Mayhem In Manhattan: A Double Debut

On November 21st through November 23rd at 7:00 pm, the FHS Theatre Guild, Choraliers, and Knightline will all work in tandem to present Mayhem In Manhattan at Truman Auditorium. When the curtain goes up on opening night, not only will Mayhem In Manhattan debut, but so will the newly improved Truman Auditorium as well.

Mayhem In Manhattan is a show written and directed by Diana Mays-Nielson, the theatre director at Farmington High School. The show has an overarching story broken into several shorter segments with Choraliers and Knightline woven into them. “Basically, we have no place to rehearse,” said Mays-Nielson when asked why the show was put together this way. In June, a demolition team came and started renovating Truman Auditorium after the bond issue passed last school year, meaning the guild had nowhere to rehearse their fall performance. “It feels disjointed because we don’t have a home, so we rehearse our skits here in my room.” During the last two weeks of production, all skits, musical and dance numbers will be put together in the newly finished Truman to create Mayhem In Manhattan.

While the Truman construction has been momentarily disruptive for the theatre guild, once renovations are done, the refurbished auditorium will become one of the guild’s biggest assets. “The audiences have always supported us, and the kids have always put on good shows without lots of technology, but I’m really excited for the audience to see what a difference good technology will do,” Mays-Nielson commented. Some major improvements with said renovations will be seating (“If you’re larger than a munchkin, sitting in those seats was terrible.”), new wiring, a new motorized lighting system, brand new spotlights, new motorized floor curtains, window shades, new woodwork, new handicap accessibility, and it’s all topped off with a new coat of paint. To put the metaphorical cherry-on-top for the theatre guild, Mayhem In Manhattan will be the inaugural activity to grace Truman’s newly painted halls.

The Truman improvements will be a huge help to this year’s fall show, but the performance itself is enough to merit some serious credit. The play follows a family by the last name of Mayhem, and includes a mom, dad, three children of varying ages, and a grandma. The family sets out for New York City and gets themselves into all types of mischief as tourists. They see well-known attractions from flash mobs (Choraliers), to the Rockettes (Knightline). Choraliers will be performing many broadway songs and are the group best suited to be in the fall show. “They are used to learning a lot of music in a short amount of time,” explained Claire Naes, instructor of all choir classes including Choraliers. “There are group numbers, some solos, classics, newer music, and a little bit of something for everyone. It’s going to be really great.” The fall show will also be doubling as a choir concert, meaning Choraliers will be pulling no punches for this performance. As for Knightline, Kayla Johnson, a Knightline dancer, explained, “Varsity and JV have all been incorporated into the show as dancers. The dancing in this show is really fast and really fun.” “There are some serious moments to some funny moments. There’s singing, there’s dancing, and I think the audience is going to be pleasantly surprised by the variety,” added Director Mays-Nielson.

As unorthodox as it may appear, there’s no arguing that the 2019 fall show, Mayhem In Manhattan, is shaping up to be a hit production while simultaneously showcasing Truman Auditorium’s improvements.