The Best Concordia Conservatory Christmas Musical Movie made its YouTube premiere on Saturday, December 19 to rave reviews: “Awesome show!”…“What a creative and enjoyable movie”… “Bravo everyone. Loved the performances.”… “Flood of memories...and some tears! Fantastic job!”
With the pandemic halting most performing arts presentations, Concordia Conservatory forged ahead, turning its traditional live stage production into a movie musical for the first time.
The screenplay, written by Greg Suss, cleverly incorporates the predicament. Current and past cast members from throughout Westchester and Fairfield counties show off their comedic skills searching for the best past show to perform virtually, as viewers are treated to a walk down memory lane with excerpts from previous shows mixing with new numbers created just for the movie. New segments were filmed at several locations on the Concordia College campus.
Conservatory Executive Director Kathleen Suss said, “In this new format, the music, choreography and dialogue all had to be mastered in a very short time period. The cast met the challenge of careful, socially-distanced filming with the spirit of the season. The finished product more than lived up to our vision!”
The production team includes Greg Suss (writer/director), Jon Klibonoff (music director), Lauren Sherwood (choreographer), Michele Rohr (costumes), Alan Weiss (video director), Marilou Yacoub (video producer), and Larry Alexander (audio engineer).
Since 1999, the Conservatory’s annual tuition-free musical has been both a beloved community institution and an effective theatre arts outreach program, supported by generous donors who have given over $850,000. In its 21-year history, the musical has seen over 1,600 performers and crew entertain over 18,000 enthusiastic audience members. This year’s production is the first ever to premiere as a movie and was produced in compliance with CDC and New York State health guidelines.