City of Man performance tentatively rescheduled for May 13-17

Friday, March 13, 2020 | 11:00 PM

The upcoming musical “City of Man” has been rescheduled due to coronavirus concerns.

Originally scheduled for March 27, students from 12 area school districts are now slated to present the show by the Neighbors North Catholic CYO on May 13-17.

The performance will be held at Holy Cross Academy, in Getty Hall, at 307 Siebert Road, Pittsburgh. The CYO, or Catholic Youth Organization, is part of the Neighbors North Catholic Community, comprised of local North Hills churches St. Sebastian in Ross Township, St. Teresa of Avila in Perrysville, Saint Athanasius in West View, and Incarnation of the Lord Church in Pittsburgh.

More than 40 local youth are taking part in the two-act musical revue with a modern take on the Acts of the Apostles, said Craig Kreutzer, who is a director of the show.

Songs will be featured from well-known musicals, and the script includes social media references, including urging for more positive posts that uplift instead of tearing down, said Kreutzer, who assists in producing and advising the musical.

“Our mission builds in the show and even outside of the show, and is tagged #positiveimpactcyo,” said Kreutzer, of Allison Park.

No tickets are needed to attend, though a freewill offering will be accepted with all proceeds going toward helping the less fortunate through CYO’s Project H.O.P.E and the Diocese of Pittsburgh Chimbote Fund.

Project H.O.P.E. is a mission trip to help the poor in rural areas of eastern Kentucky, according to the North Catholic CYO website. And the latter provides for the needs of the community in Chimbote, Peru.

“We raise at least $30,000 per year for the poor through this musical, as teens from many local high schools join together for our causes,” he said.

This is their 47th annual musical at Neighbors North Youth Ministry in the North Hills. Musical alumni Chip Horner wrote the script along with the directors, according to Katie Dorman, director of youth ministry at Neighbors North Catholic Community.

The musical’s other modern-day tie-ins include songs from well-known musicals “Wicked,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Godspell,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” as well as music from the band U2.

“We really try to keep it fresh. I think this year we challenged ourselves. There’s a lot of different dances and songs,” said Kreutzer.

Students from various area high school all come together to be part of the show, including Oakland Catholic, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, Pine-Richland, North Hills, Shaler Area, Central Catholic, North Allegheny, Vincentian Academy, Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts, Seneca Valley, City High Charter, and North Catholic, according to Dorman.

Each student involved in the production has to raise $200 for production costs, said Kreutzer. So all donations go toward their missions. Not all of the students who are part of the show are even a member of the parish’s youth group. A lot of them join in because they hear about it from their friends, said Dorman.

Julianna West, 18, is a senior at North Hills High School and said she loves being part of the group because it helps her grow in her faith and watch her close friends do the same.

“We are all on this journey together and it brings us that much closer together,” said West.

Brooke Sturgis, 18, a senior at North Catholic High School, benefits from the camaraderie she gets from working at the musical.

“I think about the people around me working towards projecting our message ‘You are not alone,’ Being surrounded by these people, working towards one goal, and serving Christ creates an environment that you will not find anywhere else. Through CYO, I know I am not alone and it is amazing that I get to spread that love to so many people with this show,” said Sturgis.

Dorman coordinates the behind the scenes activity for the musical. With more than 250 hours of rehearsal time, the students share a positive experience with the goal of helping the poor.

She feels the musical draws a large following because the audience appreciates that their donations will go toward helping the poor through their two missions.

“They do all the heavy lifting, They’re in it to help those people. I’m continually blown away,” said Dorman of Coraopolis.

And many of the members of their youth group who are in the show are going on the mission trip, said Kreutzer, who helps lead the trip to Kentucky.

The performers started putting the show together in December, said Kreutzer.

Dorman said she’s not even a big fan of musicals, but “City of Man” is a different story.

“I enjoy this. It’s something different. It’s worth coming to see the hype,” she said

Tickets for this cost $50 and includes dinner, complimentary wine and the performance. Tables seat eight. To register, call Dorman at 412-364-8999, Ext. 8520.