North Pole Star is chosen

Elementary school take-off on 'American Idol' teaches that everyone is a winner


Contributing writer

The community of Hillsboro enjoyed "the best reality show north of the Arctic Circle" Thursday evening when USD 410 third and fourth graders put on their production of "North Pole Star."

The play, a creative takeoff on TV's "American Idol," by Sally K. Albrecht and Jay Althouse, follows the search for "the most talented reindeer of them all."

Hosts Nick and Nicky Snowcrest, played by Reece Berens and Allison Gray, emceed the competition, judged by Steve and Steph Cruelle, played by Matthew Denholm and Connie Hendricks, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus, played by Jordan Fryhover and Maddie Brown.

Each of the North Pole's eight reindeer performed a song and dance routine, with musical styles varying from rap to Latin to rock-and-roll.

Dancer, played by Franklin Jost, pulled Mrs. Claus away from the judges' table to join him in a sensuous tango.

"Well, that's one way to get the judge on your side," quipped Berens.

Another audience-pleasing moment came after Vixen, played by Taytum Miller, performed a jazzy swing number touting herself as "the girl of your dreams."

When the host asked Santa Claus what he had to say in response, the answer was, "I can't say . . . I'm sitting next to my wife."

In the end, audience members were given ballots to vote for their winner and Blitzen, played by Stephen Brazil, was declared the North Pole Star. Brazil, son of Tabor football coach Randy, wore a blue football jersey for his part and his catch phrase was "It's a blitz!"

The other reindeer were Dasher, played by Morgen Laskie-Deleon; Prancer, played by John Sinclair; Comet, played by SaRae Roberts; Cupid, played by Hannah Funk; and Donner, played by Alex Anna Ratzlaff.

When asked what the best part of the night was, Jost's answer was "Everything! I liked how we sang, how you guys actually voted, how everything was a true thing."

Director Shirley Baltzer, who somehow managed to keep the cast of more than 70 children in line, was proud of the night's performance.

"It went great," said Baltzer.