Leaders of the PAC

Audrey Vieira, Commentary Editor

The theatre program has entered its final week of rehearsals and preparations for its 2018 production, “Leader of the Pack: The Ellie Greenwich Musical.” Months of work went into putting on the show, with cast members rehearsing five days a week in order to perfect every detail of their production.


“Leader of the Pack” celebrates the true story of songwriter Ellie Greenwich while exploring her relationship with ex-husband and creative partner Jeff Barry. During their three-year marriage, the couple penned chart-topping hits including “Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” and “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts?”


“[Before auditioning for the musical], I didn’t know who Ellie Greenwich was,” junior Griffin Wetzel, who plays Barry in the musical, said. “I knew a lot of her songs, but I never knew who they were by.”


The musical features songs written by Greenwich and Barry, as well as original songs written by Greenwich. Various instruments are required to recreate the doo-wop sounds defining “Leader of the Pack” and Greenwich’s career, which sophomore and sound crew head Zoe Anderson engineers carefully throughout the show.


“Balancing instruments is really hard,” Anderson said. “I have 20 different channels for different instruments. Some instruments even have multiple channels trying to balance different sounds like drums and trumpet to make them sound the best they can.”


In addition to engineering sounds and songs, the tech crew of “Leader of the Pack” built a ‘60’s era set to recreate the era of Greenwich and Barry’s careers. Some aspects of the set, such as the slanted platforms the cast stands on during musical numbers, took months to build.


“I’ve learned a lot of teamwork,” Anderson said. “I’ve worked with so many different individuals — from lighting crew to hired technicians — and I got to know a large range of people.”


For those interested in seeing the work of the cast and crew, tickets to see “Leader of the Pack” are available for purchase at AllenPAC.org. Evening performances are scheduled for Feb. 1, 2 and 3 at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee set for Saturday, Feb. 3 as well.


“People should come see Leader of the Pack because the cast is insanely talented,” Wetzel said. “Everyone in the cast brings something to the table. The story is really cool and the show is a lot of fun.”