But what's intergalactic civil war without some music to carry it along? With the help of John Williams' notes and a small pit orchestra of strings, a few woodwinds and a tuba, conductor Jeremy DelaCuadra (sporting a Jedi-inspired cape) led the group of musicians ages 10 to 17 through interludes between scenes.
The kids looked like they were having a lot of fun onstage, tapping into the creative mind of George Lucas with original movie quotes, dance numbers and inspired new numbers.
Some well-chosen borrowing included tunes taken from an operatic phantom with new lyrics, namely "Music of the Dying Knight" (the knight being Yoda, played by alive-and-well 11-year-old Calvin Proctor) and "The Phantom of the Empire," with Darth Vader (Curtis McMackin, 13) and the Phantom Singer (Catherine Reynolds, 11).
There were even a few well-placed jokes, namely the reference to forcibly watching the infamous 1978 "Star Wars Holiday Special" as punishment inside the sarlacc's stomach within the Great Pit of Carkoon.
I imagine there are few better ways to get kids interested in theater, acting and music than a means like "Star Wars," one of the most influential films of all time. It certainly had a Force as strong as Luke Skywalker upon me when I first watched it in second grade on a former VHS rental tape. It still does.
Here's hoping, with the help of the money raised, that the Force stays strong with those kids!
BRADLEY ZINT is a copy editor for the Daily Pilot and a classically trained musician. E-mail him story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.