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Laughs await ‘On the Razzle’

Pictured are, front from left, Maddie Moen, Kelly Waid, Abby Duerst and Erin O'Brien; middle, Sam Kast and Kayla Hanke; back, Lars Jorgenson, Elijah Verdoorn, Noah Kast, Elliot Wareham and Jared Johnson.1 / 8
From the left are Elijah Wood, Colton Parks and Sam Kast. 2 / 8
From the left are Grady Zerse, Jordan Stewart and Ruby Johnson. 3 / 8
Standing is Chris Lueneburg. Kneeling from left to right are Elijah Baumgartner and Emily Hanson.4 / 8
From the left are Grady Zerse and Chris Lueneburg, ambitious assistant shopkeepers.5 / 8
Waiters Jared Johnson, Noah Kast and Elijah Verdoorn prepare a table at one of Vienna’s most famous restaurants. 6 / 8
Strolling through the streets of Vienna are Elliot Wareham and Kayla Hanke.7 / 8
From the left are Elijah Baumgartner and Emily Hanson. 8 / 8

The decision to stage this year’s HHS spring play, “On the Razzle” by Tom Stoppard was an easy one for directors Rico and Kari Heisler.

Kari Heisler, HHS choral music director, described it this way. “The real decision to pick this show came when Rico and I were both laughing out loud just from reading through the script!”

It all revolves around a shop owner, his employees and others in a story the cast describes as a farce.

Said Heisler, “We are able to feature 20 extremely talented ninth through 12th-graders, many of which play more than one character in the show. It has been fun to see them embrace different walks, mannerisms and character voices.”

Senior Elijah Wood is the shop owner and imposing businessman Herr Zangler. The show takes the controlling Zangler out of his comfort zone and that’s the part Wood enjoys. “It’s fun to act older and be kind of impatient and frustrated and then have one false move throw everything in a turmoil. What’s not to love about a guy like that?”

This will be Wood’s last HHS performance having been involved in most of the school shows and at The Phipps over the past several years. “I have loved all of it and I hope I can continue it no matter what career I end up in.” He is the son of Robert Wood and Lydia Terwey.

Christopher Luenenberg plays Weinberl, the chief assistant who is on his way up the ladder if he can only survive being “on the razzle.” Having been in shows like “The Secret Garden” and last year’s “Rumors,” he is happy to be on stage again. “It’s a great experience and so much fun.” He is the son of Dave and Carrie Luenenberg.

Grady Zerse, a freshman who just moved to Hudson this year already feels at home, especially on stage and with the friends he’s met there. He plays Christopher, the assistant to the assistant, which of course means he is more eager than in tune with what’s going on around him. He says he likes the family environment he’s found in Hudson and says he feels right at home at HHS. He is the son of Kris and Tommy Zerse.

Senior Jordan Stewart is among those people Zerse call friends and she is a familiar face on the HHS stage with leads in “The Secret Garden” and “Music Man.” She plays Zangler’s love interest, the slightly ditzy yet demanding Madame Knorr.

Stewart said she loves the fact that her last HHS show is so different from the other parts she’s played over the years. “So many of my friends from the last four years are in the cast and it will be great to go out on laughter.” She is the daughter of Jenny Driscoll and Phil Stewart, and the granddaughter of Cathy Driscoll, who has costumed most of Stewart’s shows. This will be her last show as well.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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