‘Wizard of New Hyde Park’ cast gets one final curtain call

‘Wizard of New Hyde Park’ cast gets one final curtain call
The cast of "The Wizard of New Hyde Park" takes a group photo at village hall. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

The cast of “The Wizard of New Hyde Park” joined the New Hyde Park Board of Trustees Thursday night to receive one last curtain call for their amazing performances. 

Two hour-long shows were held on Feb. 3 and Feb. 4 — the latest production by Centre Stage, an inclusive drama program at New Hyde Park Memorial High School that includes students with special needs. 

“When I was watching each and every one of you, members of our community, singing and dancing and having fun with each other, it filled me up with so much pride,” Mayor Christopher Devane told students and their families. “It was such a tremendous event.”

Devane himself had a cameo in the production, which required memorizing a total of four lines in what he believes was a performance worthy of a Tony Award and may spearhead a possible acting career. 

More than 25 cast members were presented with a certificate of recognition by the board while also performing some of their iconic lines from the play, which included some local twists on the original 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.”

On top of the certificates, Devane said the billboard at Village Hall, starting on Feb. 17, will dedicate a day to each cast member in alphabetical order for every business day.

Certificates were also presented to Pamela McLaughlin and Lisa Bocchino, advisers for Centre Stage.

The mayor said he knew the production was going to be special when seeing the rehearsal for the first time and told members of the board at the time something unbelievable was  taking place in the village because of the students who made it possible.

“I told everybody I knew they have to come next year and see how wonderful, beautiful and talented you all are,” Devane said. “I told everyone just come once and you will never miss a play. I promise you that I will never miss another one of your plays again.”

The play, available on YouTube, follows Centre Stage’s previous two years of performing “New Hyde Park Goes to the Movies” and “Happily Ever After at New Hyde Park.”

Deputy Mayor Madhvi Nijjar reiterated Devane’s comments and commended Principal Richard Faccio, who also performed in the play as the Wizard of New Hyde Park, for always going above and beyond for helping incorporate the village’s involvement with school activities whenever possible. 

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