Thursday, March 24, 2022

BAILEY AUDITORIUM has for generations been the site of memorable performances and events with an annual highlight being the high school's spring musical. But two years ago "Fame" was cancelled a week before opening night and there was no show last year, which makes tonight extra special. We have a look ahead to this year's production as well as other news and notes from around town. Like OneManchester? Click here to subscribe.

Beautiful Belle is able to see beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior in this enchanting classic. Performances are tonight, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Manchester High. Tickets are $12 and available at the door.

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  • Many cast members are new to theater including 14-year-old freshman Leilene, who had never auditioned for anything arts-related before landing a lead role as Belle.
  • Kishan is the Beast and one of the few veterans in the cast. He had a lead role as Shlomo in the production of ‘Fame' that was shut down in March 2020 before it was staged.
  • Nickolas Gastello, who plays Gaston (below) is known nationally for his vocal talents but is performing in a play of any type for the first time.
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Scroll down for more photos from Wednesday's dress rehearsal.

With Snow Days Behind Us, A Revised Calendar

At Monday's Board of Ed meeting there were a few revisions made to the school calendar:

  • As a result of the four snow days we have had this year the last day of school for students at all schools except Illing will be Thursday, June 23.
  • The last day of school for students at Illing will be Friday, June 24. (Illing had to close for one day because of a staffing shortage.)
  • Students will follow an emergency dismissal schedule for all that final week.

We'll have more to share in a letter to the MPS community soon.
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A Closer Look

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In addition to OneManchester lots of our schools publish their own newsletters and just this Tuesday we sent out another Illing Insider and yesterday the latest Red Hawk Update.
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Book It!

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The CCSU Literacy Center and the Ana Grace Project recently awarded Waddell fourth grade teacher Regina Gatmaitan (right) with Black History books for her classroom. Gatmaitan was recognized for being a Culturally Relevant Teacher by CCSU professors Dr. Jessica Edwards (left) and Dr. Jesse Turner.

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MHS Fundraisers

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This Year: 30 Days Of Caring

Rebuilding Together Manchester is celebrating 30 years of service to the community and is marking the milestone with a '30 Days of Caring' campaign. The story is on the Better Manchester webpage.
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Budget Watch

The second session looking at the school pending was last night as members of the Board of Directors continue conducting workshops with each department. General Manager Steve Stephanou has proposed a town budget of $203.5 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

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Then & Now

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Ed Burzawa and Gerry Gallo put the finishing touches on the Manchester Then & Now exhibit that opens at the History Center at 175 Pine St. on Saturday from noon - 4 p.m.

The exhibit tells the story of how people from around the globe and from diverse backgrounds came to call Manchester home.

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News and Notes

  • The site of the old Sam's Club near the mall could become a furniture warehouse and retail store. Read about it in the JI.

  • Manchester Adult and Continuing Education: The new trimester started this week, meet Josh Judson, data and testing specialist, amongst other things; the new spring calendar is out, and more..

  • Manchester Matters: The Town of Manchester has kicked off a new project: “Manchester Next;" employment opportunities; curbside waste collection is back.

  • Manchester Historical Society: 'Then & Now’ exhibit opens on Saturday; the Historical Garden Club is looking for volunteers; read about Manchester’s census changes over the last 120 years and more.

The Week Ahead

Thursday, March 24
5:30 - 7 :30 p.m. -- Daddy Daughter Circle Booster at YSB, 63 Linden St.

Friday, March 25
5 - 8 p.m. -- Blank Canvas Show: Inspiration, at WORK_SPACE, 903 Main St.

Saturday, March 26
9 a.m. -- Polish food sale at St. John’s Polish National Church, 23 Golway St.
10 - 11 a.m. -- Radical Reptiles at Leisure Labs, Mahoney Rec Center, 110 Cedar St.

Noon - 4 p.m. -- Manchester Then & Now exhibit opens at the History Center, 175 Pine St.
2 p.m. -- Painted Boot Planter at Mary Cheney Library.

Sunday, March 27
1 -2 p.m. -- Bob Kanehl presents Famous Manchester and Connecticut People at Lutz Children's Museum.

Monday, March 28

6 - 8 p.m. -- In-person Songwriters Group at 153 Spruce St.

7 p.m. -- BOE meeting at Lincoln Center.

7 p.m. -- Coming Together to Help Community Cats at Mary Cheney Library.

Tuesday, March 29
5:30 p.m. -- Budget Workshop (as needed ) at Lincoln Center.

Wednesday, March 30

6-8 p.m. -- Middle School Nights for 6 - 8 graders at Mary Cheney Library.

Down The Road, Etc.

  • The first Household Hazardous Waste Collection of the year will be Saturday, April 2, between 8 a.m.and 1 p.m. at 321 Olcott St. Important: Online appointments are mandatory this year.

  • Wickham Park’s opening day for the 2022 season is Saturday, April 2.

  • The Manchester Land Conservation celebrates its 50th anniversary on Earth Day, April 22, with a dinner at Georgina’s 275 Boston Tpke, Bolton.


  • Summer is just around the corner and registration for various camps and programs and this document highlights some of the offerings. Click here for all the details.

Their Time Will Come

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The Manchester Knights youth basketball team played an exhibition game during halftime of an ECBL game between the Hartford Shockers and Western Mass Zombies last Saturday at East Catholic High. The youngsters (mostly third-and fourth-graders) were impressive as were the Shockers, who rolled to a 109-99 victory. At right is another likely future super duper hooper.
  • As for the Shockers (3-1), they will travel to Lehigh Valley to take on the Flight this Saturday before returning home to host the Red Rose Thunder on Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. Click the link to learn more about the Shockers and the ECBL.

Auditions were held in December, rehearsals started on Jan. 3 and tonight, for the first time in three years, the curtain at Bailey Auditorium will be raised for a musical. Btw, we're not being mean with that quote above. That's the phrase superstitious theatre folks use instead of saying “Good luck."

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The photos here are from Wednesday's dress rehearsal and, nice as the pictures are, they can't fully capture the richness of the costumery and color. Tickets for "Beauty" can be purchased at the door for the shows, which are tonight through Saturday at 7 p.m.
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OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office; he can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017 and features the photography of Paul Ofria. Want to subscribe? Just click here.