Carmel to host Vegas-themed ‘Scenes’ this weekend
Students will perform "Wild Wild West" at Carmel Catholic High School's "Street Scenes Goes to Las Vegas" this weekend in Mundelein. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
“STREET SCENES” AT CARMEL HIGH
When: 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday
Who: For adults ages 21-older
Where: Carmel High School, Hawley and Route 176 in Mundelein
Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 at the door
Details: Call (847) 566-3000
Updated: February 7, 2013 1:30PM
MUNDELEIN — “Las Vegas: Vice or Virtue?”
A cast and crew of more than 50 from Carmel High School explore this theme in a song and dance show for the 39th annual Carmel “Street Scenes” Gala.
“Everything is about good vs. evil. It’s about an adult play land but also has a nice moral to it. People choose in life to do good or evil,” said Denise Sebastiano, show writer, director and producer.
About 200 senior citizens were treated to a free performance at the production’s final dress rehearsal on Sunday at the school, on Hawley and Route 176 in Mundelein.
“Street Scenes” has a different theme every year. In keeping with the Vegas theme, Sebastiano put together a song and dance show. She researched the history of Las Vegas to come up with a Wild West-themed first act, a gangsters 1950s-era second act, followed with the finale set in modern day.
“I think our main (goal) is to entertain people but really, for them to think about life. We all have choices. The kids are amazing,” Sebastiano said.
The cast includes about 50 students, plus 14 crew members and about seven students in the pit.
“We get the whole school involved. Tech class makes a lot of the set pieces ... we get a lot of help and a lot of parent volunteer helpers,” Sebastiano said.
Annie DiVenere and Ian Fleming, both 18 and of Mundelein, are among the 25 Carmel seniors who are spotlighted in the show. Every senior gets the opportunity to shine.
“Everyone pitches in their talents to make one incredible show,” Fleming said.
Fleming is the emcee and DiVenere is a dancer. They auditioned for their roles in May and started rehearsing in August. Both said the experience was like being part of a family.
“It’s a mind-blowing experience to be part of it and to watch,” DiVenere said.
They have a three-night performance run. Family and friends come Thursday. The gala event is open to the public Friday and Saturday.
“It’s the biggest fund-raiser for the school. It’s the biggest one I know of in Lake County,” said Dan Kerkman, general chair of the event.
The event has brought in more than $300,000 to support the Catholic high school’s general fund annually for the past decade, he said. The money helps control tuition costs, he said.
More than 1,000 volunteers make the event happen, he said, adding that Carmel undergoes a “real transformation” to put together a “nice social interaction” for the community.
The students’ show is one piece of the “Street Scenes” gala. More than 30 classrooms in the school will host more than a dozen bands and acts. The school’s gymnasium will turn into a casino. The event draws thousands of people.
“(The event) is an opportunity for us to welcome all of Lake County and literally all of Lake County shows up,” said Judith Mucheck, who is the school’s president. “The auditorium seats 750. It will be packed every night. We are so proud of the kids involved. They work hard and do a great show.”