The HU Singers will perform “A Tim Burton Christmas” at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, and Saturday, Dec. 6, in New Mexico Highlands’ Ilfeld Auditorium. The program features musical numbers from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “The Corpse Bride.”
The curtain opens to reveal “Halloween Town” where Jack Skellington, played by Joseph Chavez, sings about his love for Christmas to a corpse and a vampire. They are plotting to kidnap Santa Claus so that Jack can usurp the role. However, Oogie Boogie, played by Shawn Woodyard, and Jack’s love interest Sally, played by Stacy Romero, have other ideas.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” originally an animated musical-turned-fantasy stop-motion film, tells the story of Jack Skellington, a creature from Halloween Town, who is obsessed with Christmas. The music is composed by Danny Elfman.
The “Corpse Bride” is based on a 19th century Russian-Jewish folktale set in a Victorian village. Victor Van Dort, played by Joseph Chavez, is a young man due to be married to the beautiful and aristocratic Victoria Everglot. Victor wanders through the forest before the wedding and practices his wedding vows. When he finally gets them right, he puts the wedding ring on a tree root that resembles a human hand. The tree root is not a root at all, but a human hand belonging to Emily, played by Stephanie Salas, a jilted, murdered bride. Declaring that Victor is now her husband, she whisks him off to the “Land of the Dead,” where he must try and find his way back to his beloved Victoria. Lively dance numbers by members of the Performing Arts Club are accompanied by Andre Garcia-Nuthmann on piano, Mike Campbell on drums, Edward Harrington on bass and Shawn Woodyard on the saxophone.
The performing arts club was started in the fall of 2007 by Highlands music student Joseph Chavez as a way to raise money for the music department. Since then, they have put on several student-driven shows, including “An Enchanted Disney Evening,” “Just For Laughs,” “Oedipus Tex,” “An Afternoon With The Romantics” and “Laugh Out Loud.”
The group is responsible for all their own costumes, props and sets.
Their main supporter, Andre Garcia-Nuthmann is proud of the efforts of his students. “They’ve learned a lot about what it takes to put on a show,” Garcia-Nuthmann says. “They have wonderful energy and commitment.”
Members include Joseph Chavez, Lisa Cisneros, Devin Barad, Kaitlyn Synclair, Stephanie Salas, Eliza Woodyard, Shawn Woodyard, Stacy Romero, Tiffany Neely, Nicole Robinson, Marie Trigg, Jacqueline Gomez, Kassily Karlin, Jesyca Moore, Karliz de Marco, Sage Harrington and Erin Lopez.
“The exciting thing about this new show,” says music major graduate Devin Barad, “is that we are in collaboration with other departments.”
Students from the art department and media arts have contributed posters and set designs.
“Isaac Sandoval from Art made our sets and they are great,” Barad said. “Stacy Romero did our posters.”
Romero is a media arts major but also performs in the Tim Burton Show. “Stacy Romero is one of our exciting new members this semester,” said Joseph Chavez. The group has grown and hopes to continue the collaboration with different HU departments.
General admission is $10, faculty, staff and seniors is $3 and children under 10 are free.