More than 200 students, including male actors from twelve different schools, performed the original jukebox musical—Leader of the Pack—to thousands of audience members at the historic Shubert Theater in New Haven on the weekend of November 9 and 10.
, Director MaryLee Delaney selected this lovable and empowering musical because the young women are “very similar to my students.” Based on the true story of Ellie Greenwich who rose to fame in the 1960s and ’70s, the lead role was played by senior Samantha Dorsi. Ellie follows her dreams until her husband, Jeff Barry, played by Ben Nugent (Notre Dame of West Haven), breaks her heart. She recovers with the support of her good friends, played by seniors Jenna Basile and Genesis Brito, junior Megan Harkins, and sophomores Talia Bellucci and Kelsey Rice. Other male leads included Ian McLay (North Branford HS), Tyler Karasinski (North Haven HS), Matthew Moody (West Haven HS), Dillon Glazier (Amity HS), and Diego Hernandez (Xavier).
And as promised…the audience was moved to dance and sing along to hits such as "Chapel of Love,” "Be My Baby," “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” along with the title song. Sophomore Laniyah Diaz really got the crowd singing and clapping with her high energy number “River Deep, Mountain High,” which received the biggest applause. President Sr. Sheila O’Neill, ASCJ, ’71 addressed the company at dress rehearsal and called this the “best number the school has ever put on.”
More than four hundred alumnae returned to see the musical and by all accounts this was one of the most fun and best shows yet! Originally called the “operetta,” the musical has taken place each year since the first students enrolled here in 1946. At each performance, alumnae cheered with the recitation of the line, "That's the way the wind blows!" delivered by senior Greta Pello.
Congratulations to the talented cast and crew, director MaryLee Delaney, producer Kim Curbow ’81, choreographer Janet Gambardella Bracale ’77, and musical director Matt Durland. What a show!