Women’s ensemble shouts ‘hooray for hollywood’

Under the direction of Citrus alumnus Vonetta N. Mixson, the Citrus College Women’s Ensemble will open their annual showcase, this year titled, “Hooray for Hollywood” on June 12 at 8 p.m. and will run until June 14.

The women of this musical group were first introduced to Mixson’s musical selection in January and have worked vigorously on the production since.

This year’s show, “Hooray for Hollywood,” will include “everything sensational that has to do with Hollywood,” said musical theater major Maria Matthew, 23.

This will encompass Academy Award winning music, Disney themed songs, action music, romance and various soundtrack pieces.

The music selection has been structured to create an all-ages environment with selections to satisfy any audience member. Music major Michelle Gutierrez, 22, explained that the sections including popular Disney songs allowed for the singers to bring young family members to rehearsals who will join the group during performances.

“That has been the best part in my experience,” said Michenzie Cardenes, 20. “So they can see how it may be when they get older [and possibly enter the world of theater performance].”

Music major Sara Bullara, 19, explained that the development of the show has not necessarily been all fun and games.

“The hardest challenge for me is putting our dances that we learned previously without the stage, onto the platforms and learning how to maneuver and where to go,” Bullara said.

The women had initially been choreographed by the performing arts department’s Renee Liskey on flat ground; because they will be using the multi-layaered platform stage already built in the Little Theatre. However, the women must adapt to the staging change.

Gutierrez and Cardenes also shared that the challenges they’ve faced in the production of “Hooray for Hollywood” include the demand to remember all information regarding staging, foot placement and lyrics, while also keeping their stamina throughout rehearsals on stage.

Months of rehearsals under Mixson’s direction have shaped the group to be confident in their abilities as performers. With the motto “practice as you intend to perform,” Mixson’s influence will be demonstrated on stage.

“We’ve been working on his show since January, and we’re just really excited for people to see it,” Gutierrez said.

“It’s exciting to see it all come together because before it was just in chunks and pieces and it’s really hard to imagine what it’s going to be like,” Bullara said. “And we’re just thinking ‘it isn’t going to work!’ But once we get on the stage and start putting it together, it’s really exciting to see. It’s going to be a good show!”

The Citrus Women’s Ensemble will begin “Hooray for Hollywood” June 12, opening the theater doors to audience members of all ages, ready to experience an array of Hollywood classics and upbeat and fun dancing.