Make Way for the Musical: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Cast and crew of Sacred Heart Academy’s musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Sacred Heart Academy’s acclaimed annual musical this year is the energetic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In the early 1900s, the unconventional inventor, Caractacus Potts, lives with his equally eccentric father and his two young children, Jeremy and Jemima. This lively musical also involves a budding romance, child-hating villains, and a magical car!  

Actresses, actors, and crew members work for an innumerable amount of hours each year to put together an engaging show. For a look behind the scenes, chorus members spend about three days a week practicing for the musical, and other characters with featured roles, such as the leads, spend about four days a week practicing. Practices are held in the lecture hall, which transforms into a music room for singing and a stage for acting whenever it needs to be. Almost every Saturday, both girls and boys flood into the lecture hall to practice songs, scenes, and dances for many hours. The environment is fun but also very professional. And remember, never say, “Oh, it’s just like a real cast!” or else Mrs. Delaney will certainly come after you and yell, “That’s because it is a real cast!”  

It is difficult to capture the intense spirit of the musical in words. There is an electricity in the room when the cast comes together for the first time and sings the opening song with the perfect melody and harmonies. The production is similar to putting together the pieces of a puzzle. You start with the edges of the puzzle, creating the framework, which means learning the basics of a song or the choreography of a dance. As the musical comes together, all of the pieces in the middle are filled in to make a perfectly completed and beautiful picture. This show has a great vibe and is a thrill to practice. There are many high-energy scenes that will make you grin, and even a few songs that pull at your heart-strings, but they all come together seamlessly to create an upbeat, amazing production. 

There are so many people that enable the production to run smoothly. There is a music teacher, a dance instructor, a director, a producer, and, this year in particular, a dialect coach (to teach British and German accents!). The dialect coaching was an exciting, new, and very educational experience because accents in modern times are slightly different compared to their early 1900s counterparts. 

This year, there will be a special presentation about female inventors preceding the performance. In addition to this presentation, every year the cast gets together and gives back to the community through a service project. For example, last year the cast and crew volunteered to help clean up a local beach.   

In accordance with tradition, the musical will unfold at the beautiful Shubert Theatre in New Haven. To be performing at a professional theater as high school students is an amazing opportunity that the cast appreciates. Thousands of people will come to view Chitty Chitty Bang Bang just like every other year. By drawing such a large audience, the SHA musical ensures that they get to return to the Shubert Theatre each year. This year’s performances will be on Friday, November 3rd and Saturday, November 4th. We hope to see you in the audience!