Staples student brings Broadway to Westport

Brandon Rakowski, Staff Writer

When the curtain rises on Coleytown Company’s spring production of “Shrek the Musical,” one very special Staples student will be in attendance. This time, however, as the lights dim and the orchestra swells, he will be watching from the aisle.

Adam Riegler ‘16, left Westport when he was still in elementary school to pursue a career on the great white way. He was cast in “Shrek” on Broadway after his first audition, then left the production a few years later for a leading role in “The Addams Family.” Now Adam is back and assistant directing “Shrek the Musical” at Coleytown Middle School, along with the help of Coleytown director Ben Frimmer.

“It’s been great,” Riegler said. “It’s been a really fun experience and it’s allowed me to direct which is something I don’t usually get to do.”

The feelings are mutual for Ben Frimmer, head of Coleytown Company. He said that having someone like Adam who knows the show front to back has been a huge asset throughout the rehearsal process.

“He has a very good eye which comes from watching the best of the industry,” Frimmer said. “His instincts are sharp and the students relate well to him.”

But the show hasn’t come without its challenges. Back on broadway “Shrek” cost a gargantuan $25 million to produce. Still, that number doesn’t seem to scare Ben Frimmer, who is no stranger to difficult productions.

“There’s nothing small about this show. We’ve designed two brand new bi-layer stage curtains, put in a track to handle those curtains, updated our LED lights, and even ordered a growing nose for the character of Pinocchio,” said Frimmer.

Staples Player and former Coleytown student, Bryan Gannon ‘14, is excited to watch the younger students perform and to see what Adam has helped create.

“I’m really pumped,” he said. “its always fun to see what the kids pull off.

Adam Riegler, though, is just happy he could help out. Above all, he wants to make sure that the actors are enjoying the show as much as he did.

“I’ve been able to share some stories,” he said, smiling. “And the kids just seem to love it, they seem to be really enjoying the entire process.”

“Shrek The Musical” is being performed at Coleytown Middle School on Thursday and Friday, April 3 and 4, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 5 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, click here and use the search term ‘westport’.