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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jun 23, 2009

“Prairie Home Companion” move over. There’s a new kid in town.

“Norwegian High School Musical,” the featured musical Saturday night during Ringsted’s annual Danish Days, was a wonderful success that had everyone a rockin’ and a rollin’ with the nostalgic look at a 1950s high school – Norwegian style.

Scripted by Anita Larsen, aka Lena, the musical was a wonderful complement to a great meal and table decor that set the stage for some good, down home entertainment.

Joining Larsen in her role as Lena was Bill Hansen as Ole. They were joined by Tom Lindell as Sven and Athlyn Black as Helga. Jon Larsen had to set aside his reputation as an easygoing A-R English teacher to become the frustrated, dictatorial teacher in the ’50s classroom.

Objectively speaking, Larsen’s scripting was brilliant and nothing short of top-notch and professional. Audiences in any venue in the Midwest would have been entertained and impressed.

Staged in five scenes, Troy Junkermeier gave a touch of class in the song “A White Sport Coat.” There were some hilarious laughs in the movie theater scene along with “Your Teddy Bear” by Hansen and Lindell. Ciara Witte also offered a moving rendition of “Johnny Angel.”

Scene three, Pajama Party, included the selections “Sugar Time,” “I Will Follow Him” by Pastor Lauri Boysen and “Norman” featuring Black, Shelly Anderson and Sue Nelson as soloists.

Larsen sang “Where The Boys Are” in scene four, Bomb Shelter Party, and the guys offered a great rendition of “Bonanza.”

School Days, scene four, featured Hansen, Kent Madison and Tom Lindell as soloists on “Swinging On A Star” and Shelly Anderson brought back the old school days in her solo, “Old Cape Cod.”

Scene five, Graduation Day, featured the entire cast. Afterward, the audience had the chance to go outside and shake hands with all the “graduates” in the reception line.

If you didn’t get a chance to see this year’s dinner theater production, there’s always next year.

But that’s a reeeally long time to wait.