“White Christmas” to be featured on ABC 2 News


(From left to right) Freshman Nicole Arrison, sophomore Amanda Reid, senior Stephanie Meadowcroft, sophomore Lindsey McCumber, senior Nick Henninger, senior Adam Kuester, and junior Thomas Gardner sit on set in front of the ABC 2 News logo. Those seven leads will be featured on “Good Morning Maryland” on Saturday, and the rest of the cast will have a segment on the ABC 2 11 o’clock news next week.

Brianna Glase, Managing Editor

The theater department is dreaming of a white Christmas, but a little bit differently from the ones they used to know.  For the first time ever, the cast of the winter musical “White Christmas” will be featured on ABC 2 News, both the morning show and the nightly news.

“It was just by a fluke that it happened,” choreographer of the musical Larry Hensley said.

“You can send out as many press releases as you want, but it’s really who you know that makes things like this happen,” producer of the musical Laura Lang said.

In this case, it was director of the musical Kim Brueggemann that knew Arlene Murphy, who happened to know ABC 2 News anchor and reporter Kelly Swoope.  Murphy struck up a conversation with Swoope about the upcoming musical, and Swoope was eager to get the musical featured on her station.

“There’s so much in the news that’s negative.  Since this was their [JC’s] first holiday performance, I thought it would get everyone in the holiday spirit,” Swoope said.

Swoope filmed a few scenes from Wednesday night’s rehearsal, Brueggemann, Lang, and Hensley discussing the musical, and the pit orchestra playing scores from the show.  She also interviewed Brueggemann and four of the leads, including seniors Nick Henninger and Stephanie Meadowcroft, junior Thomas Gardner, and sophomore Lindsey McCumber.  This segment will be featured on the nightly 11 o’clock ABC 2 News on Monday or Tuesday of next week, Swoope said.

Thursday morning the seven leads – Henninger, Gardner, Meadowcroft, McCumber, senior Adam Kuester, sophomore Amanda Reid, and freshman Nicole Arrison — went to the ABC 2 News station to perform a few of their songs a capella.  Brueggemann was interviewed by ABC 2 News anchors Charley Crowson and Sherrie Johnson.  This segment will be featured on “Good Morning Maryland” on the ABC 2 News station Saturday morning at 7 o’clock.

“Going to the station wasn’t what I pictured it to be, but we had fun watching the anchors interview Mrs. B and singing a few of our numbers,” Arrison said.

McCumber had performed on television once before as a part of the All County Chorus, but said “this is pretty much a new experience, and I am thankful for the opportunity.”

Advertising the musical was one of the main incentives for the theater department. According to Hensley, the play is usually advertised through local newspaper advertisements and spreading the word to both public and private schools in the area.  None of the musicals had ever been advertised on television before.  “I don’t know if this will be a standard or an expectation, but I hope that it will be a good marketing strategy,” Hensley said.

Henninger echoes his sentiments.  “In my mind, if one young person sees this on TV and says ‘Wow, I want to be a part of that,’ then it was a success,” he said.

Gardner is excited for this new opportunity, but he is still apprehensive.  “I feel like it’s very good for the show and everyone involved…But it scares me because a lot of times things on TV don’t look as good as they are in real life,” he said.

Both Swoope and Brueggemann said that they are thrilled that this opportunity arose.

“This gives us an opportunity to do more local things, and a chance to highlight good things in the community,” Swoope said.  “Now that we’ve established a relationship [with JC], they just need to let me know when something like this happens.”

“Ideally we want to be on [television] for every show we do. Hopefully this will jumpstart something,” Brueggemann said.

You can watch the White Christmas cast’s apperance on ABC 2 News here.

Brianna Glase is a Managing Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com