Oakland high school students do Cinderella & Bye Bye Birdie

I don’t even remember how I ended up reading this, but one of the blogs on examiner.com had this really sweet post about Tom Hanks doing some fundraiser in Solano or something.

Mr. Hanks exhibited great excitement in front of a sold out crowd of theater enthusiasts as well as personal fans. His million-dollar answer was in response to the very last question of the night, when Solano College Student Lina Wu asked “What is your favorite thing about being an actor?” This million-dollar question invoked Mr. Hanks true passion and roots of theater…roots originating right here in Oakland, CA.

Ecstatically, he continued to describe in detail his first time experiences in theater while a student at Oakland’s Skyline High School. While speaking, he spotlighted a fellow classmate in the crowd (who also attended Skyline High) as she waved her hand in the crowd. Mr. Hanks pointing at her stated “I remember ‘Night of the Iguana,’ ‘My Fair Lady,’ ’12th Pacific’…” He went on eagerly to describe his experiences while at Skyline High. “Mr. Farnsworth would pair us up on Friday and we would have to wait all weekend to see who would be cast…Well, I still feel that way today as I wait for a film to roll out.”

I thought it was very sweet that, given the opportunity to talk about whatever he wanted, he decided to talk about his high school drama class. And it’s always exciting to hear positive things about Oakland, right? Anyway, it reminded me of how much it can mean for kids interested in the arts to have opportunities to perform before an audience and show off all their hard work. I support arts in the schools, and so I try to go see performances at local high schools when I can.

Conveniently, you have not one, but two opportunities to go see talented Oakland high school students perform this weekend.

OSA presents Bye Bye Birdie at the Fox Theater

First, the Oakland School for the Arts is performing Bye Bye Birdieat the Fox Theater this Thursday, December 9th and this Friday, December 10th. How cool must it be for those kids to get to do their musical at the Fox?

If I were in town, I would totally go, because, well, it is very close to where I live, plus I love Bye Bye Birdie. Sadly, I’ll be in Montana, so I’m going to have to miss it.

But if you’re around, you should think about going. General Admission tickets are $20 and VIP are $30. You can buy tickets online.

Cinderella at Skyline High School

On the other side of town, Skyline High School’s performing arts program will be presenting Cinderlla, “as you’ve never seen it before.” I’m not sure what the last part means, but I went to a show at Skyline High School a couple years ago, and it was very good. I’m sure this one will be as well.

Anyway, Cinderella starts tonight, and then shows also Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (December 8, 9, 10, and 11). The show starts at 7:30 PM every night. Additionally, on Saturday, there will be a matinee at 2 PM. The shows are all at Farnsworth Theater at Skyline High School.

Tickets for that one are $10 for adults and $8 for children under 12 and seniors.