Haile hears about 'College'

Published: Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 9:38 p.m.

Songs like "Stuff sucks, but there's nothing we can do about it" and "Get out of my way" could be heard ringing through the streets of Haile Village on Saturday, courtesy of the cast of the Hippodrome's new main stage production "College the Musical."

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Drew Fornarola, right, and Scott Elmegreen, second from right, sing during a performance in Haile Village Center Saturday morning. Fornarola and Elmegreen co-wrote the musical that premieres Friday at the Hippodrome State Theatre.

JEREMIAH STANLEY/Special to the Sun

Cast members gave live, street-side performances Saturday morning at the Haile Village Farmer's Market.

The performance took a taste of the theater's new musical to the west side of town, said Carolyn Cox, group event coordinator for the Hippodrome State Theatre and a Haile Plantation resident.

"Not many people from this side of town go downtown," Cox said. "When we go downtown, we look like we're looking for our kids or we're the police."

The musical is about six guys and six girls trying to make their way through a semester at college.

The group deals with college usuals such as parties, roommates and video games.

Ted Stephens III, who plays Will in the musical, said we all go through different trials in our lives. "Whether you are in college or beyond, everyone can relate."

Haile Plantation resident Judi O'Keefe said she enjoyed the performance. "We see almost every play at the Hippodrome." O'Keefe said her 10-year-old granddaughter attends all the workshops and activities at the Hippodrome. "She loves everything about the Hipp."

Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen, who were both singing at Haile Saturday, co-wrote the musical while they were both attending Princeton University.

Elmegreen said that when they were looking for a playhouse to host the play, the Hippodrome was always on the top of their list.

The Hippodrome has two major advantages, he said. First it is located in a major college town, so people here would definitely understand the college life, he said. The second is the reputation that the Hippodrome has, even in New York City. "It just seemed like an obvious fit," he said. Casey Ford Alexander, who plays the part of Simon and is from New York City, says that he enjoys being in Florida. "The weather is just great here and it's nice to be able to come to an open-market and sing on the sidewalk."

UF history major Jennifer Shorstein plays the part of Adrian in the show. Although she did admit that sometimes she embarrasses her friends, she said that being in a musical is a really great way to express yourself. "Sometimes you have nothing left to do but to break out in song," she said.

Fornarola and Elmegreen have already written a second musical and plan on having it ready for production within the next few months. Fornarola said that the biggest challenge for him with this musical was writing the songs themselves. "It's really hard," he said.

Elmegreen said the two have really enjoyed working with each other. "We joke about how much fun the research was for this show."

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