Details create the big picture -- and the difference between something turning out just ok or great.
Drama Department Director Deirdre Alexander continues demonstrating to her cast and crew that their attention to little things make big things happen.
The department's spring musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone" opens on Thurs. March 17 and runs through March 19 with performances at 7:30 p.m.
"It's really an amazing show -- everything is so above and beyond," said Deanna Kaplan, a sophomore and the props mistress who makes sure everyone has what they need on stage.
"Every detail is so planned out and perfect," Kaplan told About Town.
The musical features "the man in the chair" a loner living in the present day, who never leaves his dingy apartment. As a lover of musical theatre, he listens to his old recordings from different eras and is transported back in time into the glamorous world of "The Drowsy Chaperone."
The play comes to life in his apartment in the Gatsby era of the jazz age.
Carpenters have constructed sets that are akin to a building a house and the twenty-five person production crew with an eye to historical accuracy, have paid fastidious attention to every detail replicating the time period.
"Our director goes to garage sales and Good Will to find authentic things from the era," said Lizzy Emond, a sophomore and assistant stage manager.
An example is an original Life Magazine cover featuring Julie Andrews in "My Fair Lady."
During "Tech Saturdays," crew members creatively armed with with glue guns secured tiny handmade pastries and goblets filled with acrylic water onto trays. Others painstakingly adorned lanterns and kimonos with individual sequins and jewels while cast mothers at sewing machines helped complete the show's elaborate costumes.
Delaney Davidson, is just a freshman, but has a senior role as wardrobe mistress. "We have over 100 costumes involved from the 20's and 30's which was really an elaborate time for outfits." she said. "The Drowsey Chaperone is a fantasy world."
Production Stage Manager Michael DeMattia promises, "The audience will have the full experience from the second they walk in the door."
The high school lobby will be decorated from top to bottom for a wedding reception with a harpist and other authentic entertainment from the era. This entire set has to be dismantled after Thursday night's performance to acommodate Friday's classes and then be reassembled.
For last spring's "The Mysteries of Edwin Drood," Alexander received the Connecticut High School Musical Theatre award for best direction and costume design and DeMattia was mentioned for stage management.
"Coming from last year when Drood seemed to be the highest point one could reach -- everything now just triples," said DeMattia, a junior.
"This is one of the most complex sets I've ever seen, let alone built."
The cast and crew who auditioned before Christmas, and then immediately began rehearsals have developed what DeMattia said is incredible chemistry together --not just among the actors in the leading roles but also among the entire cast, the orchestra players and the crew.
This show was particularly competitive to get a spot in because characters in lead roles and the chorus have to "tap." Dan Micciche a professional Broadway performer helped them hone that skill in a workshop.
Don Rickenback, the department's music and vocal director, has been creating award winning productions with Alexander, for the past 15 years and said, "It's a fabulous, stylized and crisp show, I saw it on Broadway and enjoyed it but didn't find it memorable then. "
"Now, I don't know why I didn't remember it." Rickenback said. "It's so charming -- especially when New Canaan High School puts their spin on it!"