LEADER OF THE PACK
by Samm J.
On April 20th, 1995, the curtain in the Tom Morrison Theatre rose to reveal the opening act of the FHS musical, Leader of the Pack.
The show was a jukebox musical showcasing the life of Ellie Greenwich (a famous pop singer in the sixties) and her personal triumphs and downfalls as a musician. It was performed by the students of Fredericton High School and produced by the staff and faculty. Mr. Dunfield, a physics teacher at the school and the current director of its musicals, said it was his first time taking part in production.
When asked if he enjoyed his involvement, he said, chuckling, “Obviously I did, or I wouldn’t still be here, would I?”
Having replaced Jim Miles as director, Dunfield said he noticed only one major change in the school musical since the old days. “The number of students participating has dwindled because we’re now two schools instead of one.”
With the creation of Leo Hayes High School, FHS now has just over 100 kids interested – having dropped from the approximate 160 involved with Leader of the Pack.
However, one thing that hasn’t changed is the public’s enthusiasm; tickets sales have always been at a healthy standing. About 400 seats were sold per showing then and now.
A unique thing about FHS’s musicals is that everyone is welcome, whether they belt it out as a main character or stand and sing proudly from the chorus line. “Whoever wants to be a part of it can be a part of it,” said Dunfield.
Interestingly enough, Leader of the Pack was the now-famous Measha Brueggergosman’s final high school play. The famous soprano got her start as a narrator at Fredericton High School, where it’s all about showing off young talent, entertaining an audience, and having tons of fun in the process.