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Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 12:11pm Age: 2 yrs
Category: Intermediate, District, High School


For fifty years, Walt Disney’s Jungle Book has bridged generations of fans with endearing characters, swinging songs that echo for a lifetime, and the celebration of friendship.  


On February 7 & 8, you can hum along and tap your feet to its happy tunes as intermediate school students in all grades open our musical theater season with the kids version of this family favorite. 


Minsink’s Jungle Book is produced by The Different Stages Drama Club—a merger of the intermediate and high school drama clubs. Club adviser Gary Passamonte, director of the drama program, and third grade teacher, co-directs the show with High School Drama Club students. A cast of 65 is supported by a stage crew of 18--and many volunteers!


Jason McNamara, a fifth grader playing the jovial Baloo, is no stranger to the stage—or the jungle! He played Pumbaa in last year’s production of The Lion King. “I just love singing and dancing,” he said, but he acknowledged that there’s more to it than having fun. “When I’m in the show, I have to learn to be more organized to keep up with my school work.”


Jaiden Calcano, a fourth grader, is making his stage debut playing the adventurous Mowgli. “Being in the show helps me be more expressive,” Jaiden said. “Someday I’m going to tell my kids I was in a play once.” Given Jaiden’s natural talent, “once” is a modest forecast.    


Playing King Louie, the boisterous King of the Apes who aspires to be a man, is fourth grader Sean Crowe who loves to sing and dance. “I really like to slide on my knees at the end,” Sean said.


While teaching the young cast the steps to “The Bare Necessities” theme, choreographer, and high school freshman, Ryan Fogler cried out: “Smile! Expression is the most important thing. You’ll get some steps wrong, but if you’re smiling, you’re halfway there,” Ryan said.


Student directors are Brandon Bell and Alex Booth. Kenneth Cole and Evan Sacco are musical directors. Kayleigh Evans, Katie Scialabba and Ryan Folger share the choreography.


Showtime is at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at


Support our drama students! Support theater and the arts in Minisink! Find out what else is showing this musical theater season in the district.