Published in the March 21, 2018 edition


LYNNFIELD — Huckleberry Hill School presented its 18th annual Variety Show, “HHS Under the Big Top,” on Sunday, March 11 to a boisterous sold out crowd.

Variety Show chairs, Allison Donahue, Lucy Karis, and Rich Sjoberg, along with their band of parent volunteers, succeeded in creating a fun, festive, family-friendly, circus-themed atmosphere.

Assistant ringmasters in sequined top hats escorted guests inside the Lynnfield Middle School auditorium to the sounds of an organ grinder. The stage was lined with circus balloons and a spectacular center ring backdrop. The mouth-watering aroma of circus popcorn wafting in from the cafeteria completed the illusion.

Friends Inaayah Qazafi and Isabel Anthony performed a moving patriotic prelude of “God Bless America.”

HUCKLEBERRY HILL SCHOOL Principal Brian Bemiss (back row) served as the ringmaster for the 18th annual Variety Show on March 11. (Jillian String Photo)

The opening number kicked off the spirit of the afternoon. Complete with animals, dancers, acrobats, weight lifters and clowns, this act infused the audience with energy. Huckleberry Hill Principal Brian Bemiss, who served as the circus ringmaster, entered the stage on stilts to join student performers Faye Allen, Kendall Burek, Christian Coleman, Ava Breken-Cruz, Scarlett Donnelly, Piper Fleming, Lillian Gant, Dino Gesamondo, David Glynn, Marianna Ingianni, Valentina Ingianni, Payton Jenkins, Nick Kelter, Olivia Kelter, Elisabeth Megaloudis, Landry McKelvey, Urwah Qazafi, Alexandra Scanlon, Matthew Tracy, Joey Wozniak and Abby Zanella.

The circus did not disappoint with its variety among the 37 acts. From dancers to singers and instrumentalists to martial artists, this show had it all.

Entertaining group dances were presented by Dancing Daisies Alyssa Attubato, Corie Boccaci, Jenna Butter, Ava D’Agostino, Tiferet Donahue, Emma Esposito, Kiley Flynn, Eliana Georges, Giuliana Guerriero, Myra Gupta, Nora Hettus, Anna Lawler, Stephanie Megaloudis, Violet Moreiera, Ella Pascucci, Hailey Rebelo, Sienna Richardson, Madison Steiner, Ahrielle Thomas, Genevieve Wang and Amelia Willoughby. The Fortunate Miss Laila and Her Tiger-Lilli featured Laila Karis, Lilli McSweeney and Selena Saab.

The Taco Girls consisted of Alex Schmidt, Kayla Smyrnios, Khloe Smyrnios and Teya Smyrnios. The Fierce Five included Faye Allen, Giuliana Fusco, Elisabeth Megaloudis, Jenna Supino and Abby Zannella. High Wire in the Hood featured Laila Karis, Sarah Kaufman and Olivia Kelter.

Friends Chloe Cieslewicz, Ereeny Georges, Meredith Hughes, Olivia Kelter, Lexi Kent, Emrys Klee, Sonia Kumar, Jerusha Robins, Nicole Solomon and Siri Tudi created a unique performance seamlessly blending American and Indian styles of dance.

Comedic dancing performances included The Belly Bunch, performed by Mia Daley, Shane MacEachern, Cole MacKinnon, Nick Marini, Devon Neenan, Brendan Reilly and Ryan Sjoberg. The Glowing Girls featured Giada Antidormi, Kaylee Barrett, Hadley D’Agostino, Avery Haney, Lily MacEachern and Sophia Tramontozzi. The Big Top Six, consisting of Christian Coleman, Dino Gesamondo, David Glynn, Nick Kelter, Matthew Tracy and Joey Wozniak, had the audience clapping and hollering with laughter.

Acrobatic dances performed by The Tigers consisted of Giuliana Fusco, Erin Golden, Marianna Ingianni and Valentina Ingianni. The Circus Peanuts featured Stefania Bonavita, Mia Capodilupo, Karolena Gomez, Lauren Mattia, Lilli McSweeney and Katie Shrewsbury. The Funfetti Girls consisting of Aislin McCormack, Ellie Phelps, Alex Schmidt, Kayla Smyrnios, Estella Steadman and Bella Sykes wowed the crowd with their tricks and turns.

Ava Brecken-Cruz, Ella Hodsdon, Kira Miles and Emerson Turney performed powerful dance solos.

Daniela Lins Botta and Maggie Pavao showed their “Finesse” with a well-executed hip hop duet, while Tiferet Donahue and Emma Esposito rocked circus goers with their original choreography for “Boomerang.”

Rounding out the small group dances with lively performances were Sisters in a Candy Store, Faye and Grace Allen; and The Greatest Second Graders on Earth, which featured Carina DeLeo, Eva Hixon and Lucia Palmer.

Kai Fitzgerald and Mike Celata performed awe inspiring piano solos. Evyenia DiVirgilio brought the crowd back to patriotic roots with her rendition of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Martial artists Jamie Broady and Ray Fitzgerald impressed the audience with their strength and focus during their individual martial arts performances.

Om Nagrath presented a wonderful original poem/song entitled “I Love HHS,” while Landry McKelvey, Inaayah Qazafi, and Madeline Ladd masterfully performed works by poet Shel Silverstein.

Vocalist-guitarist Audrey Malone got the crowd ready for baseball season by performing a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” Louis Tramontozzi kept things rocking with his exciting drum solo.

Vocal soloists Ephram Donahue, Sydney Moore and Jerusha Robins performed with dynamic range and stage presence well beyond their years.

Huckle Chuckles performers Mia Daley, Ella Pascucci, Sophia Morgese, Nicholas Raso, Brendan Reilly and James Settipane took the crowd on an adventure with their interpretive Bemiss Blaster Roller Coaster.

The Variety Show’s finale was really something special. Choreographed by award-winning dancer, Huckleberry Hill alumna and current eighth grade Kelsey Hodsdon, the Big Top Brownies dazzled with this Broadway-style production number. Performers included Grace Allen, Avery Fleming, Piper Fleming, Fiona Golden, Claire Halsey, Ella Hodsdon, Payton Jenkins, Sarah Kaufman, Isabella Kent, Audrey Malone, Patrick Malone, Alexandra Scanlon, Olivia Scanlon, Bianca Sacco and Emerson Turney.