Beach to present 'The Bachelor King'

BEACH - What do you get when you combine aspects of popular reality shows such as "American Idol," "The Bachelor" and "Survivor" ? A new play called "The Bachelor King" by Martin A. Follose, which is the Beach High School junior spring play this ...

BEACH - What do you get when you combine aspects of popular reality shows such as "American Idol," "The Bachelor" and "Survivor" ? A new play called "The Bachelor King" by Martin A. Follose, which is the Beach High School junior spring play this year. The hilarity happens at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, and Monday, April 23, in the Beach Lincoln Elementary School.

"It's a satire on a few of the popular television shows," play director Diane Taylor-Szudera said. "I try to find something that's new and hasn't been done before. This was a brand new play which came out just this year. It is really funny from what we've done so far."

Kids always like to do comedies, she added.

The play follows the matchmaking for new King Yokel who thrust into the new role with King Evian's last words as he falls out a window.

Everyone in the kingdom begins to clamor to find foolish hillbilly Yokel a bride. In the same vein as the television show "The Bachelor" hopeful women come to be the next queen.


Five lucky ladies must compete in vocal contests reminiscent of American Idol to grueling "Survivor" type of challenges.

While Yokel looks for a bride, King Evian's son Prince Daft who was snubbed from the crown looks at trying to assassinate Yokel. Meanwhile Daft's most trusted advisor is draining the royal treasury.

Interest for the play came right away after Taylor-Szudera sent out a sign up sheet to the junior class.

"I believe the class has 17 students and 15 signed up," she said. "I did ask a couple underclassmen to fill in."

Once students are signed up, Taylor-Szudera looks at how many male and female parts there are and has students right down their top five character choices.

"I talk to them a little about the parts and how many lines they have with a part," Taylor-Szudera said. "I am usually able to give everyone their first choice and very rarely do I have to go to their second or third choice. It's fun to see the choices they make because a lot of times the parts they pick fit their personalities."

Taylor-Szudera has found most students who participate in the junior plays want to be in the senior plays in the fall.

Nate Zachmann who plays the Bachelor King named Yokel was in the senior class play this fall and Therese Hardy who has two parts in this play was in the junior class play last spring and the senior class play.


Hardy plays Miss Knolls and during the "American Idol" scene has fun playing a version of Paula Abdul called Paula O'Toole.

"I like when the bachelorettes are singing," Hardy said. "It's fun being around my classmates, but the biggest challenge is memorizing lines."

Although Jenna Olson who plays the bachelor king's assistant hasn't been in a play at school since third grade she has enjoyed being involved.

"It's fun coming to practice and getting to sit together to figure things out," Olson said.

Unlike his some of his fellow cast members, this is the first time to be on stage Brad Steele.

"It's a challenge to remember to talk forward, but not look right at the audience," Steele said.

Steele plays two parts like Hardy. He plays the first king, King Evian, who goes out the window and later plays a version of Simon Cowell during the "American Idol" scene called Simon Towel.

Practices started at the end of February and for the next two weeks the group is practicing everyday except Wednesday.


"This class is a very busy bunch of kids, several of them have jobs so it's been a challenge getting everyone to rehearsals," Taylor-Szudera said. "It's still fun though, but the biggest challenge will be to be ready."

One special challenge for students in this play is the interaction they will have with the audience through part of it.

"The last challenge for the bachelorettes is based on Survivor where they have to follow clues and put together a puzzle," Taylor-Szudera said. "Puzzle pieces will be hidden under audience chairs and our players will have to go out and find them. We are hoping to make sure people sitting in these chairs are parents or someone we know who can handle it and not get freaked out when someone comes up to them during the play."

The window is a special prop used for this play which has also been a challenge for the cast and crew.

"There's a lot of falling out of it and we need to get it anchored better so we are getting it adjusted," Taylor-Szudera said. "Other than that the set up is like a kingdom palace room and the high school art teacher Lilian Stewart will draw picture of both the kings."

Sound affects and lighting will not present a big challenge with this play as there are only a few bells and noises, she added.

Taylor-Szudera said there plenty of costumes for the cast and a few parts are normal people who wear normal clothes.

"I like this because it's a different comedy we can have fun with and personalize it a little bit," Taylor-Szudera said. "Instead of a girl coming from Texas she's from Golva and we've modified other things to get the audience laughing more."


Silliness ensues more with scenes with a fairy godfather, male cast dressed as old women wanting to marry the new king and much more.

"The play's television scene with 'American Idol' has judges who kind of make fun of Simon and Paula," Taylor-Szudera said. "The maid Hazel fills in as the third judge who couldn't make it and another person of the kingdom fills in as host since Alex Trebek couldn't make it either."

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