It was time for Portage High School students to showcase their talents in the annual PHS Variety Show. The Variety Show has been held every spring for almost 30 years. This year’s show had 34 acts of amazing talent which showcased singing, dancing, playing instruments, rap, comedy and even magic.
“We had such an amazing turn out this year,” Portage High School Theatre Director Kevin Giese said. “There were over 100 kids that came to tryouts. It was so very difficult to get that number down to just 34 acts. It was also amazing to see how many people came out to support the kids. There were over 800 people that attended. This was the first time in years that we had to open the balcony due to attendance.”
Retired Portage High School teacher Bill Bodnar, was invited back for another year. He narrated the entire show adding his little quirks and jokes throughout. He is always such a joy to have involved with school productions.
There were so many absolutely talented high school students. Other than the Outstanding Young Man Ballerinas Routine, which is always a crowd pleaser, many more will stick in attendees’ memories for a long time. Ashlee Showalterbaugh did an amazing rendition of Beyonce’s “Halo” in which she accompanied herself on guitar. Adrianna Acevedo put an awesome twist on the song “Hallelujah,” accompanied by Rachel Diaz on guitar. A few teachers took to over the stage to rock the house. By the end, they had the crowd cheering for an encore.
Tyler Rutherford was the only standup comedy act. He had the attendees laughing so hard they went home with sore sides. He is a senior and this is his first year performing in the Variety Show.
“My family is the reason I’m doing this,” he said. “They think I’m really funny and insisted I perform especially since this is my last year in high school.”
Freshman Lydia Gerike was one of the students who performed with the “Legally Blonde: The Musical” number.
“I’m so very excited to be performing in a show with so many talented people with all of these interesting acts,” she said. “Compared to the middle school talent shows there are a much wider range of talent and people aren’t afraid to put themselves out there.”
It was such a fun night. There was a great crowd with tons of cheering. Everyone was very supportive.
Show your support for local theatre and come see “Legally Blonde: The Musical” at Portage High School, in theaters April 19, 20, 26, 27 at 7:30 p.m. and April 21 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are only $10 at the door.
Also watch out for the Portage High School Air Band performance, which is expected to take place in late March.