Disney’s ‘Mulan Jr.’ on Northdale’s center stage

With energetic dance and soaring voice, Northdale Middle School students take the stage next week to perform Walt Disney’s story, “Mulan Jr.”

Lydia Tumaini, as Mushu, interacts with one of Mulan’s ancestors, played by James Symanski. Photo courtesy of Shaun Felegy

Lydia Tumaini, as Mushu, interacts with one of Mulan’s ancestors, played by James Symanski. Photo courtesy of Shaun Felegy

The spring musical, on stage at 7 p.m. March 29 through March 31, invites the audience to travel back to the legendary days of ancient China during the action-packed stage adventure.

The Huns have invaded, and it is up to the misfit Mulan and her mischievous sidekick Mushu to save the emperor.

“(Vocal director Becky Anderson and I) decided to do ‘Mulan’ because we felt that it is important for our students to learn about stories from other cultures,” said Shaun Felegy, director of the Northdale Middle School (NMS) performance of the classic Chinese story.

“Moreover, it exposes the audience to the importance of gender equity. Mulan has to disguise herself as a boy in order to earn the respect of her contemporaries. Once she is exposed as a girl, she still retains the respect that her heroic acts earned her.”

With her strong vocal talents, eighth-grader Nicole Weisjahn plays Mulan, while eighth-grader Lydia Tumaini takes on the role of Mushu.

Other characters of note include Nick Shaaf (grade seven) as Shang; and James Symanski (grade six), Alexis Larue (grade seven), and Angel Unis, Carly Quast, and T.J. Nordby (all grade eight) as the ancestors.

Typically, Northdale’s spring musical takes the stage for three performances, however, due to overwhelming demand the run this year was extended to four shows, said Felegy.

Add to that, an afternoon performance (2 p.m. March 31) will benefit the middle school’s food shelf. Created to support students and their families in times of need, the food shelf is stocked with non-perishable food items, school supplies and personal hygiene items.

“All the money from ticket sales (for the March 31 afternoon performance) will go directly to the Northdale food shelf,” Felegy said.

“The cast thought that since we get so much support from our NMS community that we should give back to help our students in need. We are very proud of the kids for doing this.”

To learn more about Northdale’s food shelf – or to make a donation – call Gretchen Johnson at 763-506-5331.

To purchase or reserve tickets to see “Mulan Jr.,” call NMS at 763-506-5400.

Sue Austreng is at [email protected]

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