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Broadway shines on local kids - I.S. 278 students tapped for Broadway League performance

Seventeen Marine Park Intermediate School 278 students were invited to perform at the Broadway League Dinner honoring Chairman of the Schubert Organization Gerald Schoenfeld, and New York City School Chancellor Joel Klein. The two gentlemen were awarded with the first ever “Schoenfeld Vision for Arts in Education Award.”

Marine Park students performed a special salute to Klein, singing “Getting to Know You” from the show “The King and I.” Eighth grader Jessica Zhulesko had the honor of performing the lead role of the character Anna. The students were excited to be accompanied by Todd Ellison, renowned music director of the current Broadway hit “Spamalot.”

In addition to the students’ performance, Schoenfeld was treated to performances by Betty Buckley, amongst other things, known from the musical “Cats”; Carolee Carmello from “Mamma Mia”; Marin Mazzie from “Kiss Me Kate”; Donna Murphy who performed in “The King and I”; and Leslie Uggams, who starred in “Anything Goes” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

The honorees and guests were surprised with a special appearance by the Phantom from “Phantom of the Opera” and famed comedienne Whoopi Goldberg.

After the performance, the Broadway performers and Goldberg met with the students to take pictures and give words of encouragement as they begin their acting and musical careers.

This year, IS 278’s drama and theatre program performed their first ever musical, “Annie,” with the help and hard work of Victoria Turoff (director), Amy Wilkinson (acting coach), Renee Browne (vocal coach/accompanist), Candis Pohl (music coach), and Principal Debra Garofalo.

Marine Park IS 278 is located at 1925 Stuart Street.

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