North Platte High School rocks right back to ’50s in fall play, 'Soda Pop'

The cast of the North Platte High School production of “Soda Pop” practice a dance routine in preparation for performances Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at the NPHS Performing Arts Center. The play is set in a 1950s soda shop.

The performers will be boppin’ to rock ’n’ roll music as the North Platte High School theater department presents its fall play, “Soda Pop,” written by a Nebraska native.

The stage has been transformed into a 1950s-style teen hangout where students will spend the play “Rockin’ Around the Clock.”

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday in the NPHS Performing Arts Center.

“We chose ‘Soda Pop’ because it’s by a Nebraska author,” said theater director David Cooper. “(Jim Hanna) wrote the show in about 1994. It’s a fun show where you really don’t have to have any singing talent, you just have to have rhythm.”

The cast lip-syncs classic songs from the 1950s, Cooper said.

Addie Russell, a junior, plays the part of Mary.

“Mary is known for not wanting to go to prom,” Russell said. “She is absolutely opposed to the idea, but then she gets asked by the perfect boy and hopes to have the perfect night.”

Russell said the play is a lot different from what the students have done before.

“We’re doing a lot more dancing than what we’ve done in the past,” Russell said. “I like theater because of all the people it draws together. I like the way people from all different backgrounds can come together (to perform).”

Senior Aden Reed plays Pops, the shop owner.

“Pops is kind of this little bit senile, little bit loving, old man who really cares about all the kids in his shop and tries to play parent to all of them,” Reed said. “We’ve got a lot of dancing going on and we talk about their silly bubble-gum music. We’ve definitely got a lot of emotional ups and downs in the play.”

Reed said he likes the way the cast has learned to depend on each other, and he likes being a different character as well.

“We’ve worked so hard and put so much into it to get to where we are,” Reed said. “Getting to escape your own little reality and into someone else’s mind, you get to kind of make up what they like, dislike, what their interests are. It’s like creating your little world aside from your own.”

Cooper said the show is a lot of fun for the performers and the audience.

“The hope is that when you leave the Performing Arts Center, you’re tapping your toes and singing a song,” Cooper said.

There will be a silent auction on the nights of the performances with items being sold to the highest bidder at the conclusion of Thursday’s show. The proceeds will help fund the club’s travel expenses for one-act play competitions.

Snacks will be available at the show to further enhance the ’50s nostalgia.

Tickets cost $5 for adults and students in sixth through 12th grade.

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