‘Elf, the Musical’ is delightful

By Hollyann Gardner
Times-News correspondent

   DURHAM — “Elf, the Musical” is a delight from beginning to end.
From the energetic dance numbers like “Happy All the Time” to emotion-filled solos like “World’s Greatest Dad”, this show will fill you with the Christmas spirit of love and joy.
The show is being performed at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) now through Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.
The story follows Buddy (Eric Williams), a human who was raised by elves, and his quest to find his biological father Walter Hobbs (John Adkison) in New York City. Throughout his journey, he interacts with and makes an impression on many unsuspecting individuals, including Walter’s wife, Emily (Caitlin Lester-Sams); his son, Michael (Grady Miranda); and a special girl named Jovie (Paloma D’Auria). The storyline sticks to the beloved movie for the most part, but the addition of songs and extra jokes and details puts this stage version over the top.
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Dancers to perform at Disney’s Thanksgiving Parade

By Elizabeth Davis
Special to the Times-News 


From left to right: Patterson Poteat, Elizabeth Davis and Victoria Black hold the Universal Dance Association (UDA) All-American awards that they earned at the UDA Dance Camp at the University of Virginia this summer. Poteat and Black are two of the dancers who will perform in Disney's Thanksgiving Parade. [Photo submitted

   Nine area dancers will participate in Disney World’s Thanksgiving Parade.
These include Victoria Black and Patterson Poteat of The Burlington School; Kennedy Melton, Grayson Holt and Ashlyn Troxler, all of Western Middle School; Reece Wilburn, Aaliya Carson, Izzy Brinskelle and Hallie Smith, all of Turrentine Middle School.
Dancers and cheerleaders from across the country were selected for the All-American Award, which I also earned, but I will be unable to participate because my family had already planned a trip during that time.
We found out about Universal Dance Association (UDA) All-American Award and the performance opportunity at the UDA Dance Camp at University of Virginia this summer. The Varsity Spirit ladies and our coach, Kim “Miss Kim” Black, told us about being “All-American” and it sounded like so much fun.
To prepare for the audition, the Varsity Spirit ladies would teach us the dance and answer any questions we had about it. There was only one dance to learn for the audition, but it incorporated pom, hip hop and jazz. Every night, we would practice the dance, help each other and polish our routine. Some parts of the dance were harder than others. We really bonded as we helped each other be the best dancers we could be.
The day of the audition was really exciting, but also nerve-racking. Only three girls went at a time, and you had to dance in front of all the other schools and judges. It was a whole gym full of people. They called each name and we ran out one at a time. When the music started, all my nerves went away and I had a lot of fun dancing.
After our dance was over, we hugged Miss Kim. Then we to watched all the other girls trying out. While the judges worked through the selection process, we had a blast at “Team Turnt It Up” — a spirit party. After the party, they called up the winners one-by-one and gave us a medal and an information packet about the parade opportunity.
I was so surprised and thankful that I was one of three selected as an All-American from The Burlington School. It was such a special moment with my friends, especially with the other girls who were selected, too. We all hugged each other and celebrated.
Victoria Black and Patterson Poteat are both excited about performing in the parade and said that Miss Kim’s encouragement and the support from the other dancers helped them succeed. Poteat is excited about meeting new people and sharing her experience with other Burlington School students once she returns.
I may not be able to participate in the parade, but I will be cheering on my friends and teammates.

Elizabeth Davis is a seventh-grader at The Burlington School.

‘Hamilton’ is a masterpiece

By Catherine Wiggins
Times-News correspondent


Joseph Morales and Nik Walker will lead the second national tour of Hamilton as Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, respectively. [Joan Marcus

   DURHAM — “Hamilton: An American Musical” is a masterpiece.
The cast performed a beautiful show on Wednesday night at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). Everything about it, from the set to talent, was amazing.
DPAC was one of the sites to receive this musical on its debut tour around the states. It is being performed now through Dec. 2.
Nik Walker gave an amazing performance as Aaron Burr. He delivered each song with passion and emotion. As Eliza Hamilton, Shoba Narayan made the audience feel her character’s pain and heartbreak. Along with the cast, the ensemble gave a stunning performance. The choreography blended in perfectly with the music, creating a toe-tapping good time.
If you get the opportunity to see this incredible show, take it.
“Hamilton: An American Musical” is an amazing experience that tells the story of the forgotten forefather.
“Hamilton: An American Musical” will be performed at 8 p.m. today; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13-15; 8 p.m. Nov. 16; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 17; 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 18; 7 p.m. Nov. 20-22; 8 p.m. Nov. 23; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 24; 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 25; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27-29; 8 p.m. Nov. 30; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 1; and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), 123 Vivian St., Durham. Tickets range from $278 and up and and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or for more details, visit www.dpacnc.com.

Catherine Wiggins is a senior at Williams and a Teens & 20s writer.

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