• Mcalester News-Capital: OPINION: OUR VIEW: Wonderful to be back on stage

• Mcalester News-Capital, McAlester News-Capital, Okla.
·3 min read

Apr. 15—THUMBS UP to McAlester High School students preparing to perform the concert version of an award-winning Broadway musical.

Eighteen students will produce "Bright Star" — an award-winning musical that was also nominated for Tony Awards and Grammys — on Friday and Sunday.

MHS Choir Director Amy Swain told us they're excited — and we hope the community is too.

"It's going to be wonderful," she said. "The kids have done an outstanding job rehearsing and putting on this production during our time of COVID and they're just thrilled to be on the stage again at S. Arch and showcasing their talents to the community."

Swain told us how the program's made adjustments throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — wearing masks and physical distancing during rehearsals, shortening practice time, and more.

It's taken a ton of effort and changes, so we ask everyone to show support for these students by going to their performances set for 7 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the S. Arch Thompson Auditorium.

"Bright Star" features a complex love story in the American South during 1945-46 with flashbacks to the 1920s.

Comedian Steve Martin and singer-songwriter Edie Brickell wrote and composed the musical, which is inspired by the duo's Grammy-winning 2013 bluegrass album "Love Has Come for You."

It played about 140 performances on Broadway and was nominated for several Grammy and Tony Awards.

We applaud the efforts of the students, Swain and co-director Jarrett Adams, and stage director Nicole Green. We hope it goes well and the shows are well attended.

----THUMBS UP to Tannehill Public Schools for opening its new classrooms and community storm shelter.

Tannehill officially opened its $1,050,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency-rated storm shelter that includes two classrooms.

Community storm shelters are at a premium in our community — especially in the more rural areas.

This building offers protection from severe weather and two classrooms that the district needed to better serve students.

We applaud voters for approving the tax increase in the bond proposal to support this project.

----THUMBS UP to organizers and everyone planning to participate in the 2021 Armed Forces Day Parade.

This year's event will honor the 30th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm — when McAlester-based 445th Military Police Company of the Oklahoma National Guard was deployed to the Middle East.

"We want this to honor Desert Storm veterans and their families because this is a big deal," Armed Forces Day Chairman Jeff Wolf told us.

Organizers recently opened registration for anyone who wants to enter a float in the parade set to start at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 1.

The deadline to register a float for the parade is 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 27. Organizers said any late entries will be at the end of the float line.

Participants must fill out a float registration form with contact info, a float description and more. Online registration is available at https://mcalester.org/armed-forces-day-parade-2021/. More info is available at 918-423-2550.

It's great to have the event back after being cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we should continue staying vigilant against the virus, we could all use a bit of normalcy.

Let's enjoy the parade as safely as possible and honor military veterans.