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Brickhouse reunites with Center Players alumni for AoA show

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At the piano, William Brickhouse, director of the "Main Street Cabaret" musical review scheduled for Saturday, leads a rehearsal for the show at Arts of the Albemarle's Maguire Theater, Monday afternoon. Behind Brickhouse are (l-r) Hope Cerveny, Kelley Stancil, Rebekah Glover, Kara Yost and Trevor Pharr.

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By Anna Goodwin McCarthy
Correspondent

Friday, July 6, 2018

In his directorial debut, 16-year-old William Brickhouse is getting a little help from his friends.

Brickhouse, a senior at Camden County High School, is collaborating with fellow alumni of Arts of the Albemarle’s Center Players to present “Main Street Cabaret,” a musical review of popular songs from Broadway musicals and rock albums, Saturday at 7 p.m. at AoA’s Maguire Theatre.

“I’m most excited about performing with close friends,” said Brickhouse. “It will be a very awesome performance.”

Brickhouse is directing and choreographing the entire show which will showcase the vocal talents of Center Players alumni. Cast members will include Lauren Luther, Kelley Stancil, Hope Cerveny, Naomi Rodgers, Rebekah Glover, Trevor Pharr and Kara Yost. Billy Caudle will serve as the accompanist.

Brickhouse was a member of the Center Players, AoA’s performing arts program for children, for five years. It was while a member that he met many of the cast who will be performing in “Main Street Cabaret” this weekend.

“I wanted it to be very collaborative,” said Brickhouse.

Brickhouse, who also will be performing in “Main Street Cabaret,” said the show will feature a few songs that include the entire cast and a variety of solos that cast members wanted to perform.

“It will be a night full of fun numbers,” he said.

Stancil will perform “I Can Do Better Than That,” from “The Last Five Years.” Yost will sing Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Luther will sing “Can that Boy Foxtrot!” from the musical “Marry Me a Little” and “The Beauty is” from “Light in the Piazza.”

Stancil and Cerveny will perform “Apex Predator” from the “Mean Girls” musical. Pharr will perform “How to Return Home.” Cerveny will perform “No One Else” from “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.” Rodgers will sing “They Just Keep Moving the Line” from “Smash.” Glover will sing “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.”

Brickhouse said he plans to perform “Something’s Coming” from “West Side Story.”

Brickhouse said he’s looking forward to the moment onstage when the entire cast gets together for a group song.

“It will make us all feel united,” he said.

Brickhouse said he first came up with the idea for a performance with his friends and fellow Center Players alumni in December. After they agreed to participate, he needed a venue for the performance.

Brickhouse said he contacted Jo Ellen Aspinwall, education director at the Arts of the Albemarle about holding a performance at the Maguire Theatre in the summer.

“He presented a very solid proposal,” recalled Aspinwall. “He is very capable and organized.”

Aspinwall, who arrived at AoA in August 2017, wasn’t with the arts group when most of the performers in Saturday’s show were enrolled in the Center Players program. Even so, she can tell the alumni have a love for the arts.

“They want to come back and keep fostering that (love),” she said.

Aspinwall said Brickhouse has “done a great job” organizing the show and that his and his co-performers’ passion and commitment to the arts “shines through.”

“That is really fun to watch,” she said

Aspinwall said Saturday’s performance is also “a chance to celebrate the history they have together.”

Brickhouse said he first knew he wanted to participate in musical theater after a school field trip to see the musical, “Annie.”

“I wanted to do that — why not?” he asked.

Brickhouse’s mother, Maria, said she’s obviously proud of her son. She credits the Center Players for helping William to build his confidence.

Brickhouse said he encourages the current members of the Center Players to follow their dreams.

“If they have a dream, follow their dream and don’t give up,” he said. “Everyone should be able to do everything they want to do.”

After graduating from high school, Brickhouse plans to pursue a degree in musical theater.

Tickets for “Main Street Cabaret” are $18 for AoA members, $20 for non-members and $15 for students and available at the Arts of the Albemarle. For information, call 338-6455.

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