ART-Weber earnest

Sammy Weiss-Cowie (left) and Joshua Marx test out their best Victorian English accents on Oscar Wilde’s word play in a scene from “The Importance of Being Earnest.” – Photos by Michael Jacobs

By Michael Jacobs | mjacobs@atljewishtimes.com

ART-Weber lionking

(From left) Rebecca Adler, Blake Rosen, Adele Stolovitz and Abby Goldberg dance toward the wild side in a scene from “The Lion King.”

Rabbi Ed Harwitz was praising the behind-the-scenes work of several adults but just as easily could have been talking about the Weber School students who took the stage April 26 when he said, “You make it look easy, and you make it special, all at the same time.”

In a presentation of musical and dramatic theater, those 14 students brought to public view the Jewish high school’s new focus on the arts under Rabbi Harwitz as head of school. The show at the Marcus Jewish Community Center opened Weber’s three-day Artfully Yours celebration of performing and visual arts.

Hilda Willis, Weber’s performing artist in residence, served as artistic director for the show, which ran for two nights before the visual arts took the spotlight in a showing at the Sandy Springs school April 28.

The two opening songs set the mood and range for the show. The full-cast opening from “Fame” displayed enthusiasm, fun, a touch of adaptation (praying to make PA, Weber’s performing arts program) and the occasional technical glitch with the sound system. We knew we were in for an entertaining two acts with the young cast.

The only senior in the show, University of Michigan-bound Jennifer Freedman, then made it clear that some serious talent was on display with a powerful solo performance of “Nothing” from “A Chorus Line.”

Freedman and junior Abby Blum, who had the next musical solo, stood out among the voices in the show, but all of them were a pleasure to hear and watch. For pure entertainment, nothing topped the kosher ham junior Daniel Whitesides, a stage novice, delivered in his turn as Tevye singing “If I Were a Rich Man.”

Here’s hoping we get to see all the nonseniors — juniors Zoe Aaron, Rebecca Adler and Adele Stolovitz, sophomores Ayelet Bernstein, Lindsey Bradford, Samantha Bradford, Rachel (Relly) Hayut, Joshua Marx and Blake Rosen, and freshmen Abby Goldberg and Sammy Weiss-Cowie made up the rest of the cast, each taking a turn in the spotlight — in a similar showcase next year.

Slideshow: Weber Arts Showcase