Jai Pereira has put in his time academically, and athletically, and now with one month left in his high school career, the Grade 12 student will make his stage debut as Prince Charming in the Claremont secondary’s theatrical production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
The show runs May 10 to 13 and May 17 t0 20 at Claremont’s Ridge Playhouse.
For Pereira it’s not just an acting debut, but singing too.
“It was because of the Claremont production of Grease [in 2015] that I wanted to do the musical theatre program,” Pereira said. “I was also asked to join choir last year, which I did, so I’ve been working on the technical side of singing.”
Playing Prince Charming is the payoff after years of Pereira “immersing” himself in academics, including 10 courses last year, as well as rugby and other sports. He’s living up his final days at high school with two courses.
Of course, it’s not normal to make your debut as the (male) lead but Cinderella, played by Grade 12 Jessica Corbin, isn’t worried.
“I’m nervous but I trust him, it’s cool to see someone brand new be the lead after four years here,” Corbin said.
Corbin’s been a regular in Claremont’s performances since she arrived four years ago. She’s been in the dance, choir, drama and musical theatre programs.
“Claremont doesn’t do a lot of fairy tail stories so it’s different and fun, it’s all imagination,” Corbin said.
Musical theatre teacher Colin Plant said Claremont’s musical theatre teachers try to find a performance that blends the educational needs of the students as well as being a production audiences will enjoy and attend.
“This year’s special group of students features students who have never been on stage before as well as ‘veterans’ who have been in more than seven shows,” Plant said.
Cinderella features the return of dance teach and show choreographer Chelsea Giordano, a one-time student of Claremont, who’s been choreographing musicals at Claremont for 10 years and was on parental leave.
Show times for Cinderella are 7 p.m. from May 10 to 13 and 17 to 20, with 2 p.m. matinees on the 13 and 20. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12.50 for students and seniors, and $10 for 10-and-under. The Ridge Playhouse is in Claremont secondary at 4980 Wesley Rd. Call 250-658-6672 for tickets or more information.