Pulse: High school plays feature classics

First, Neuqua

Discovering ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

Things are looking up at Neuqua Valley High School. Area residents will be pleased to find a “Fiddler on the Roof,” which opened Thursday and runs through Saturday.

A cast and crew of more than 75 students present the beloved musical tale that follows Tevyue, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives.

Director Johnathan Pontarelli said he “couldn’t be more proud” of this year’s group.

“It has been exciting to see our actors discover their character from within themselves,” Pontarelli said. “The whole process (of) adding depth to those characters has certainly been magical.”

Pontarelli said there are some unique aspects, including senior Jennifer Cha portraying the Fiddler, and playing live music.

“Our production has a variety of talented students, from ambitious freshman to seasoned seniors,” he said. “The camaraderie the cast and crew have is really great to see, and it makes me proud to be working with such a delightful group of young artists.”

Shows are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the school’s auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, $11 for adults. For more information, visit www.nvhstheatre.com

Second, Central

Presenting ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’

Local theatergoers need not pack a suitcase for this trip: Naperville Central High School theater department presents “Meet Me in St. Louis” from Friday through Sunday.

“Audiences can anticipate hearing great renditions of classic Broadway songs, performed with a full pit orchestra,” said Curtis Parry, director and choral music instructor at Central. “As always, the educational part of this is the growth of the student in the production, but foremost is to have the audience leave humming a favorite tune and thrilled that they came.”

Parry said he chose the Broadway classic, based on the 1944 film starring Judy Garland, because of its entertaining songs and opportunities for many student roles. A cast and crew of more than 85 students bring the show to life with favorites such as “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”

Tickets are $10 for reserved seating, $8 seniors and students. General admission tickets are $6. For more information, call 630-420-6834.

Dance is next

Nonprofit offers tribute to Indian king

With a burgeoning Indian community in Naperville, the Samskriti Foundation hopes a two-program dance presentation Sunday will bring out the crowds.

The Naperville-based nonprofit Indian classical dance company will present “Royal Ragas,” a music and dance tribute to king and composer Maharaja Swathi Thirunal.

The first of the two programs from 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Sangeetha Manjari, will feature local Indian classical music schools and their interpretations of Maharaja Swati Thirunal’s compositions.

The second will be the Bhavaye Padmanabhan at 5 p.m., the feature presentation.

“It combines both Indian classical music and dance with professionals from Chicagoland,” said Sailaja Kambhammettu, who works as a marketing assistant for the group.

The all-adult performance has been about six months in the making, Kambhammettu said, and the group is hoping the one-time performance will attract enough interest to warrant repeating it again.

“We have a large Indian population here in Naperville, and we hope there will be a great response to the performance,” she said. “We want people to come and see the program and understand the significance of it.”

The performance will be directed by Shoba Natarajan. Tickets range from $12, $25, $50 and $100, and are available at www.samskriti.eventbrite.com

For more information, contact 630-527-1898 or www.samskriti.com

And football

Bears’ quarterback helps Edward

Mike Tomczak, former Chicago Bears quarterback, will be the celebrity guest July 21 at the 21st annual Edward Foundation Charity Golf Tournament at Cog Hill Golf Club in Lemont.

Tomczak, a graduate of Thornton Fractional North High School, was an NFL quarterback from 1985-1999. In addition to the Bears, Tomczak played for the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The foundation is the charitable fundraising organization of Edward Hospital & Health Services. Last year’s outing raised a record $301,000.

This year’s event will be on two of Cog Hill’s four courses: Course 1 and Dubsdread, which is ranked among the Top 100 courses in the country by Golf Magazine and Golf Digest. To register, visit www.golfinvite.com/edward.

Tournament registration and lunch are from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A cocktail party, dinner, awards and raffle will follow the tournament from 6 to 8 p.m.

Also watch out for the Helicopter Ball Drop at 6:30 p.m. Each $25 chance gives an entrant one numbered golf ball that will be dropped from a helicopter. The person with the golf ball that lands closest to or inside the cup will split half of the Ball Drop proceeds with the Edward Foundation. To purchase a chance to win, visit www.edward.org/helicopterballdrop.

In addition, all golfers will have a chance to win one of two 2014 Acuras (one on each course) with a hole-in-one.

Finally …

Third time’s a charm for parks VP

Naperville Park District Vice President Mike Reilly has been recognized by three organizations so far this year — that’s no small feat.

In January, he received the Rising Star Award from the Illinois Association of Park Districts; in March he led the Naperville St. Patrick’s Day parade as the grand marshall, chosen by the West Suburban Irish; and on April 17 he was celebrated as the 2014 recipient of the Naperville Jaycees’ Community Leader Distinguished Service Award.

“Mike Reilly came to the Naperville Park District five years ago with a wealth of experience in community leadership,” said Ray McGury, executive director. “Needless to say, his dedication to serving the community is evident, and he’s been a tremendous ambassador for the Park District.”