SFCC shines on HLT stage
Seven SFCC Panthers rock ’n’ roll as part of the Highlands Little Theatre’s production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe.
“There are a lot of people involved in a show, and I’m just one little sliver of that,” said Kris Schmidt, coordinator, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
Schmidt is joined by other panthers Lindsay Lynch, Christopher Hayes, Laura Wade, Tracy Schuknecht, Cameron Reck, Anna Schmidt, and Rachel Lang.
Schmidt volunteers as the costume designer for the performance’s dancers, and Lynch, grants development director, serves as her wardrobe assistant. Anna Schmidt and Lang, dual-enrollment students, dance in the show. While Hayes, Wade, and Schuknecht, adjunct instructors, perform as singers in the show with Reck, Lynch said.
Smokey Joe’s Cafe features 41 rock ’n’ roll songs by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, classic American songwriters and music producers from post- World War II music.
The show celebrates the classic theme of love won, lost, and imagined. “The show’s highlights include 10 vocalists, a live band and back-up dancers all of which take you through famous hits like ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ ‘Poison Ivy,’ ‘Kansas City,’ and more,” Lynch said.
Schmidt said, “It’s a colorful show and the dancers complement what’s on the stage because it’s primarily a singer’s show.”
As a costume designer, Schmidt worked with the directors to understand their vision of the performance and to personify that vision through the wardrobe. She then designed and created all of the costumes for the performance’s seven dancers, one of which is her daughter, Anna Schmidt, a senior at Sebring High School. Lisa Thomas acted as the wardrobe designer for the singers.
Schmidt purchased some of the costumes, but she primarily used costumes in which she and Lynch pulled from the theatre’s extensive wardrobe. These costumes then required alterations, which she did herself.
She also created all of the “shimmy” costumes for the number “Teach me how to Dance.”
“It was challenging. I sure didn’t like sewing all of the fringe,” she said with a laugh.
Smokey Joe’s Cafe opened at the Highlands Little Theatre on Aug. 21 and will run through Sept. 6. Tickets can be purchased Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesday, 6 – 8 p.m., and before each performance at the theatre box office. Tickets can also be ordered online at www.highlandslittletheatre.org.
“The show is fun, really fun,” Schmidt said. “It’s just one musical number after the other. I’m really amazed with each performance. It’s hard to believe sometimes that such talented people live in Sebring.”