Learning Castle and La Canada Prep Return to the Stage Following Four-Year Hiatus

In March 2020, The Learning Castle and La Canada Preparatory were two weeks from presenting their spring musical production of Frozen, Jr., when a global pandemic shut the world down. On Saturday, March 23rd, TLC and LCP’s performing arts department returned to the stage for the first time since March 2019 to present their spring production, Broadway Junior Revue, before near-capacity crowds at La Canada’s own Lanterman Auditorium.

The revue was comprised of scenes from six musicals that the schools had produced in previous years: Annie, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.  Each grade level, starting with third, took on a different musical with a different cast for each of the two performances. The production featured director and LCP administrator, Justin Whalin, co-director/ musical director and TLC music teacher, Kristin Maitlen, and choreographers and TLC/LCP dance teachers, Rakkell Villagomez and Michael Villagomez.  

Produced by TLC/LCP principal, Terry Villanueva, Broadway Junior Revue, ran for two performances and incorporated over 410 students in two casts.  The annual musical is made possible by the financial support of TLC and LCP’s Annual Giving Campaign and The Strait Up Foundation.

"After four years, we wanted to give performance opportunities to as many of our students as possible,” said director, Mr. Whalin. “By picking six different musicals and having two separate casts in two different performances, we were able to create over fifty leading roles!”

For Annie, the title role was played by Victoria Avagyan and Mila Terantonians, Pepper was played by Arina Avagyan and Celesia Kupelian, Kate was played by Sona Kistorian and Lianna Kiramijyan, July was played by Jewel Lee and Emmy Kiureghian, and Miss Hannigan was played by Zoe Lund in both shows.  For The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy was played by Mia Garcia, Evelyn Abraham, Kate Dekermanji and Danika Vartanian, Glenda was played by Julia Kuzoyan and Rebecca Whalin, the Lullaby League was played by Sophie Avagyan, Michelle He, Nicole Manukyan, Rebecca Whalin and Julia Kuzoyan.  The Lollypop Guild was played by Kira Agadzhanian, Sasoun Keshishian, and Arthur Kiramijian.  For The Little Mermaid, Ariel was played by Farah Mashhoud and Sarah Chammas, Sebastian was played by Ava C. Avakian and Caesar Hu, Flounder was played by Anais Rupchian, Queen Aphridite was played by Caroline Schroeder and the Mersisters were played by Chloe Babaian, Jacqueline Grigoryants, Ariana Pashayan, Danyela Tavanian, Juliana Topuzyan and Isla Yousseffian. For Aladdin, Jasmine was played by Hailey Hong and Anahit Matevosyan, Aladdin was played by Christian Karroum and Christian Lund, Jafar was played by Evan Jayaraj and Zoya Qureshi, Genie was played by Anahit Matevosyan and Arina Vahramyan, and Sultan/Sultana was played by Evan Jayaraj and Zoya Qureshi.  For Beauty and the Beast, Beast was played by Hovik Agazaryan, Belle was played by Delilah Mashhoud and Giuliana Mirzaians, Mrs. Potts was played by Camille Danoukh, Cogsworth was played by Leonna Torosyan and Ella Isakhanian, Babette was played by Leila Morvarid, and Lumiere was played by Marie Arzumanyan.  For The Lion King, Rafiki was played by Anahit Amirkhanyan and Sophie Tahmazyan, Timon was played by Casey Gmelich and Anthony Ter-Matevosyan, Mufasa was played by Sevan Keshishian, Simba was played by Pavel Markov, and Nala/Spirit of Life was played by Fiona Sheldon and Verena Saied. Additional solo performances were provided by Delsa Akmal and Iva Isayan, vocals, and Hannah Korkin, piano.

Others who helped make the production possible were Mark Seibert of Lanterman Auditorium, facility management; Steve Miller and Christine Michael, props and set pieces; Gohar Abramyan, Kristin Maitlen and Terry Villanueva, costumes; Printefex, program printing; Susan Spann of La Canada Junior Theater, photography; and Scott Albright, technical direction.

                                            “We pride ourselves on our academic programs, but we also believe that the performing arts are a fundamental component of a well-rounded education,” said TLC/LCP principal and founder, Terry Villanueva. “Each year I’m astounded by the wide array of talent on display.”

The Learning Castle & La Canada Prepatory

4490 Cornishon Ave., La Canada, CA 91011