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CHS theatre auction set to take place Tuesday

Claremont High School Theatre Department’s 22nd annual Friends of Our Theatre Auction takes place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 14 and Wednesday, November 15 at the Candlelight Pavilion, 455 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont.

“It really kicks off the season,” said CHS Theater Director Krista Elhai. “It’s the first show of the year and it’s our largest fundraiser. It’s a really fun evening.”

The FOOT?Auction includes a live auction featuring goods and services such as themed baskets, tickets to various events around Southern California, artisan handiwork, party help, vacation home stays and more.

Seventy-four students from Claremont High’s musical theatre class will perform nine numbers from A Chorus Line between auction sessions. Dessert will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door, or $7 presale at chstheatre.cusd.claremont.edu.

The auction typically raises about $15,000 over two nights, with half of that money used for the various CHS theater productions throughout the year, and the other half going toward the season capping musical at Bridges Auditorium.

“It’s super exciting, actually,” Ms. Elhai said of this year’s musical finale. “We are piloting a brand-new musical for Disney Musicals called Freaky Friday.”

The new musical adaptation is based on the 1972 novel, the 1976 film starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster, and the 2003 remake with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsey Lohan. It’s written by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, who won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for drama for their work on Next to Normal.

“We are getting a lot of coverage from the Disney Channel,” Ms. Elhai said. “They’ll be airing ‘Freaky Friday Live’ in August, and they’re going to come out and film some of our rehearsals in March, and use the footage to help promote their show on Disney 365,” a Disney Channel news segment dedicated to all things Disney related.

Freaky Friday will run May 31 and June 1 and 2 at Bridges Auditorium.

Ms. Elhai, who is in her 24th year as CHS’s theater director, has been rumored to be considering retirement. “I’m pretty sure I’m going this year and next year,” she said. “I’m having a really good year, and the kids are extra fantastic so that’s energized me to keep me moving forward. I’ve got a couple more years in me.”

For more information on the FOOT Auction or other productions, visit the CHS theatre website at chstheatre.cusd.claremont.edu or call (909) 624-9053, extension 30463.

—Mick Rhodes

mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com