Les Misérables--Nov. 17-20

North High School's Junior Players and music department will present the long running, Tony Award winning musical, Les Misérables, a stirring story set to glorious music. Les Miz takes place in France primarily at the time of the June rebellion of 1832. The leading character, Jean Valjean, the town mayor, is a former convict who is pursued by Javert, a police captain. Valjean takes responsibility for one of his employees, Fantine, and her daughter, Cosette. As a young woman, Cosette falls in love with Marius, a revolutionary, and they become embroiled in a battle between the rich and the poor. Les Miz will be performed on Thurs., Nov. 17; Friday, Nov. 18; and Saturday, Nov. 19; each evening at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 2 p.m., in the school's auditorium, 35 Polo Rd. Junior Players, in conjunction with Long Island Cares/The Harry Chapin Food Bank, will be holding a Food Drive at all four performances to help fight hunger in local communities. Patrons are asked to please bring non-perishable foods for this worthy cause. For ticket information, call 441-4743, or contact Jonathan Gellert at jgellert@greatneck.k12.ny.us.


Cabaret--Nov. 18 & 19

South High School will present Cabaret, on Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m., in the school's auditorium, 341 Lakeville Rd. Winner of 12 Tony Awards and 8 Academy Awards, this musical from the creators of Chicago brings to life the decadence of 1930s Berlin, beckoning the audience into the Kit Kat Klub on the eve of Hitler's rise to power in Germany. Defiant, brazen, and gleeful, Cabaret sizzles and provokes with classics such as "Wilkommen," "Money," and, of course, "Cabaret." Join the Master of Ceremonies as he beckons you to "leave your troubles outside," and experience the seedy world of Cabaret. This show is appropriate for ages 12 and up. For ticket information, go to www.greatnecksouthtickets.com or contact Thomas Marr, drama teacher/Theatre South director, at 441-4873 or at tmarr@greatneck.k12.ny.us.


Children's Entertainment Series: Peter and the Wolf

The second performance in the 2011-12 Great Neck Public Schools Children's Entertainment Series will be Peter and the Wolf, on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 2 p.m. This unique presentation of a children's musical favorite will be held in the South Middle School auditorium, 349 Lakeville Rd. Young Peter decides to go hunting for the wolf that's been prowling around his village. Along the way, he is joined by his friends the bird, the duck, and the cat. All the fun comes to an end when the wolf makes a surprise appearance. A dynamic actor recounts the classic tale of Peter and the Wolf, as a woodwind quintet brings the delightful characters to life through Sergei Prokofiev's music. The program explores the magic of music by using children's imagination to compose a drama, picking the musical themes to match the characters.

Remaining Performances

The two remaining performances in the Children's Entertainment Series will be Pooh's Winter Tale, on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 2 p.m., in the North Middle School auditorium, 77 Polo Rd., and the Dirty Sock Funtime Band on Sunday, March 18, at 2 p.m., also in the North Middle School auditorium.

Birthday Parties

The Birthday Party Program will again be offered at each performance. Birthday parties must be scheduled in advance, to be held before or after a show. Performance seating is reserved for party members. Party facility fee is $50. Call the Recreation Department at (516) 441-4045 for more information and/or to make a reservation.

Series & Ticket Information

The Children's Entertainment Series performances are selected by the United Parent-Teacher Council Children's Entertainment & Cultural Arts Committee. Tickets for individual shows, available at the door, are $5 per child and $8 per adult. The box office opens one hour before each performance. Shows, which last about one hour and have open seating, are supervised by faculty members and parent volunteers. For more information about tickets or performances, or to make a Birthday Party reservation, call the Office of Recreation on school days at (516) 441-4045.


Theatre Festival Winners

South High School students recently took home top awards at the New York Educational Theatre Festival. The event, supported by the New York State Educational Theatre Association (a chapter of the International Thespian Society), was held at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC. Students competed in the Individual Events Showcase where they performed two monologues or one duet scene before an audience of professional theater practitioners. These judges gave written evaluations and rated participants on a scale of Superior, Excellent, Good, or Fair. Superior ratings were earned by six student who are now eligible to compete at the national Thespian Festival in June. Two students received an Excellent rating on their scene. Other awards and accomplishments: two students took the "Best of Fest" Award for their scene; a student was named a NYS Educational Theatre Association Scholarship Winner; and two were elected NYS Thespian Officers. At the Theatre Festival, students also participated in a variety of workshops including: Costume Design, Ensemble Theatre, Mime, Musical Theatre Characterization, Physical Acting, and Playwriting. Faculty sponsor at the Festival was Thomas Marr, drama teacher/Theatre South director.


Thespians!--ITS Members

"It is something really special…knowing that you are part of an international community of kids who share the same interest in theater as you…" &endash;South High junior

"It's a huge honor…it shows that you worked really hard at something you care a lot about…" &endash;North High senior

"Being a member is an exhilarating honor that provides many opportunities…great to be part of the theater community…" &endash;South High junior

"Being a Thespian is a responsibility, an honor, and a privilege." &endash;North High junior

These glowing "reviews" are typical of the North and South High School students who proudly call themselves "Thespians" (with a capital "T"), for they have earned membership in the International Thespian Society (ITS), the world's largest honor society for theater students. Thespian membership is hard earned by accumulating points through participating in productions. Those with more demanding roles earn more points than lesser roles (Junior Players at North High; Theatre South at South High). Points are also earned through participating in crew, producing, and directing. At North, at least 25 percent of involvement must be in some form of crew; a student who devotes all his/her time to the many aspects of crew work, without ever speaking a line, may also become a member. Additional points can be awarded for outstanding service or exemplary work. At South, points may also be earned by taking classes and workshops in and out of school. Membership selection at North is made by a committee of current Thespians, supervised and guided by the faculty advisors. South Thespians are selected by their faculty advisor.

ITS membership is announced at the end of the school year. North High currently has eight Thespians; South has 12. Thespians become the student "leaders," said Neil Saggerson, North High's fine and performing arts head. Membership can also include participating in ITS events, such as the National and State Festivals, and national recognition and resume building, added Thomas Marr, South High drama teacher/Theatre South director. Also closely involved in school theater/drama are Jon Gellert, drama teacher at North High, and Michael Schwartz, performing arts department head at South High. ITS is a division of the Educational Theatre Association, the professional association for theater education.


A Little Consideration--Book Reading

Richard Ehrlich, a South High School English teacher, will be reading from his recently published book, A Little Consideration, on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m., at the Long Beach Public Library. The book, a compilation of autobiographical vignettes, is published by AuthorHouse. Mr. Ehrlich explained that he started writing the book in 1991, "not really planning a book…just writing for myself. But after writing at least a story a year, …I realized that they might be interesting to other people." The author calls the book a "personal compass, but I trust that the directions they point me in are universal enough for anyone to enjoy and utilize." For more information, contact Mr. Ehrlich at rehrlich@greatneck.k12.ny.us.


Adult Program: Food, Art, Flowers & Photo Fun

The Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program invites you to enjoy a hobby or interest as the weather cools and more time is spent indoors. Acquire new recipes and cooking techniques; create art with your child or grandchild; beautify your home with seasonal plantings; enhance and edit your digital photos for creating albums or sharing with family and friends. Detailed descriptions are provided below. All classes take place at the Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Ave., Lake Success. For additional information or to register by phone, please call the Adult Program at 441-4949, or visit our Web site at www.greatneckadulted.org for the online catalog and registration.

Super Soups

Learn everything soup, from quick and easy hearty meals to fresh and fruity. Come away with soup and sandwich ideas to warm your heart and body on a cold winter day, as well as a delightful fresh-fruit or vegetable cold soup for the spring and summer. Explore the best ingredients and methods for making soups and accompaniments. These will wow you and your guests. Learn how to choose the best meats, poultry, and fish, pick the finest, freshest vegetables and fruits, and choose and create the best cooking liquid, methods, and add-ins to make your soup a winner. Join Instructor Greg Bartley on Monday, Dec. 5, from 7-9:30 p.m. Fee: $36.

Fusion Bistro

Lynn Kutner creates a perky meal to put a smile on everyone's face. Fusion Bistro combines the most interesting aspects of two very different, sophisticated cuisines--classic French with an Asian influence. She'll use the best of the season, starting with a smooth broccoli soup with garlic-parmesan croutons. The entrée will feature the freshest fish fillets available, such as perch, trout, or red snapper, with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, and reduced-sodium soy sauce, accompanied by brown rice with shallots, raisins, and dried tomatoes. End with thin, lacy crepes bathed in a zesty orange sauce and a few dabs of chocolate ganache. Class meets Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 7-9:30 p.m. Fee: $45.

Salmon Five Ways

Bruce Beck's spring class was over-subscribed, so we've invited him to repeat it for fall. He returns with main courses for five very different dinners. Crispy roasted salmon, perfect poached salmon, steamed salmon Cantonese style, braised salmon with rosemary, and broiled salmon with lime à la Mexicana. After taking this class, which one will you try first? Join Bruce on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 7-9:30 p.m. Fee: $45.

Flowers in Watercolor: Parent/Grandparent & Child

Explore creative methods of painting beautiful flowers of the season. Spatter, sponge work, printing, and stenciling will all be demonstrated and tried. Use of color and design will be explained. Bring sponge, old toothbrush, scissors, and pencils. Take a paint set home with you (included in fee). Class meets Saturday, Dec. 3, 1:15-3:45 p.m. Fee: $36 for one adult and one child, ages 6-12; each additional child $12.

Collage Together: Parent/Grandparent & Child

Children and adults will have fun working together to make collages by cutting and pasting parts of photos, colored paper, and other fragments of different sizes, shapes, and textures. Materials will be supplied. Instructor is Amy Finkston. Class meets Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Fee: $31 for one adult and one child, ages 6-12; each additional child $5.

Seasonal Flower Containers

Just because the fall flowers are finished doesn't mean that the color has to escape your containers! Keeping your containers colorful all year is easy. With a little guidance, inspiration, and knowledge, you can have color year long. Instructor is Ryan Santelli. Class meets two Thursdays, Dec. 1 & 8, from 7-9 p.m. Fee: $49 includes two containers and seasonal flowers.

iPhoto for the Mac

iPhoto is an easy-to-use, intuitive way to organize and touch-up photos. Hands-on experience will give you an opportunity to import photos and touch them up to improve color, brightness, contrast, cropping, straightening, and sharpening. Create special effects, such as converting to black and white, placing a vignette around a photo, blurring the edges, creating sepia tones, etc. Instructor is Larry Pinsky. Class meets two Mondays, Dec. 12 & 19, from 4-6 p.m. Fee: $79.


ESL & GED at the Adult Learning Center

If you are an adult with English as your second language and you want to learn English or improve your English-language skills, or if you want to earn a high school diploma, the Great Neck Public Schools Adult Learning Center at Clover Drive offers a variety of classes designed to meet your needs. A range of English-language classes are offered from beginning literacy to advanced ESL (English as a Second Language). In preparation for the High School Equivalency (GED) examination, classes are available to improve math, social studies, science, reading, and writing skills. Registration for classes must be done in person at the Adult Learning Center, 105 Clover Drive. Allow two hours to complete the registration process. Register on Wednesday, Nov. 16, Thursday, Nov. 17, or Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m.-Noon, or from 6-9 p.m. Preference will be given to Great Neck residents and 2010-11 Adult Learning Center students. The annual, non-refundable processing fee for Adult Learning Center classes is $25 for those who live or work in Great Neck (proof of residency or Great Neck employment must be submitted at time of registration), and $50 for nonresidents. Payment, at time of registration, can be made in cash, or by check or money order (payable to Great Neck Public Schools). Need-based scholarships are available. Classes are offered days and evenings. For further information, please refer to the fall-winter Adult Program catalog, call the Adult Learning Center at 441-4950, or go to www.greatneck.k12.ny.us and click on the Adult Learning Center icon in the scroll at the top of the page.