Joseph Lubeck and Sutton Van Lenten are part of a love story in "Hello! My Baby" April 26-27. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News
Joseph Lubeck and Sutton Van Lenten are part of a love story in "Hello! My Baby" April 26-27. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Forbidden romances, mistaken identities and classic music make up ‘Hello! My Baby’

Joseph Lubeck has been waiting for his chance to do the musical “Hello! My Baby.”

“I’ve been wanting to do this show since I saw it. I was 12 when I saw I it. I’m 18 now. The music is the best part,” said Lubeck, who plays Mickey McKee, a song plugger who’s at the top of his game until he loses his job to Buddy O’Reilly.

Musical Theatre Workshops will present the show at 7 p.m. April 26 and 2 and 7 p.m. 27 at Grovetown High School.

Set in the 1910s in the lower east side of New York City, “Hello! My Baby” is filled with love stories, mistaken identities and class clashes amid the music of the Gershwins and Irving Berlin.

Lubeck’s character only thinks that his job is stolen by a male, but it’s actually the girl he’s in love with – Betty Gold. Mickey caused Betty to lose her job and is told she could be the number one plugger if she was a man. So, she creates Buddy O’Reilly.

 Sutton Van Lenten, who plays Betty/Buddy, said she loves the music as well with “A Good Man is Hard to Find” as her favorite song.

  “It’s amazing. The harmonies are so good,” she said.

 While there’s plenty of vocal gymnastics, the hardest part for her has not been the singing but the acting.

“It is so fun and so challenging all at the same time. My brain has to constantly be on which character is the guy and which is the gal. I’ve learned so much acting. Being able to play these characters has been an excellent opportunity “

Director Mickey Lubeck said she first did the show in 2017 because she loved the music, and she had the right group of performers to do it again.

“It has all the beautiful songs of Gershwin and Irving Berlin – all my favorite songs, the classics,” she said. “It introduces this genre of music to a whole new generation. They love this music. Some of them say “I’ve never heard of this. What’s ragtime?’”

Mickey Lubeck’s advanced students take the roles in “Hello, My Baby!”

Two additional shows are scheduled for Lubeck’s elementary school and middle school students the following weekend.

Scenes from a recent “Junie B. Jones” rehearsal. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

The largest group of performers are in the intermediate category. They will perform several shows of “Junie B. Jones” from May 2-5 at Augusta Preparatory Day School’s Hull Performing Arts Center with multiple casts.

“It’s fun because I try really hard to pick shows like ‘Junie B’ with so many characters and then to have three casts so many children get a chance to use other talents, acting and singing. That’s fun to see how three different Junie Bs come together,” she said.

A few of the performances will be a double feature with her youngest students performing in “A Year with Frog and Toad Kids” directed by Devon McSherry.

“A Year with Frog and Toad Kids” will be performed at 2 p.m. May 4-5 at Augusta Preparatory Day School’s Hull Fine Arts Center. “Junie B. Jones” will be performed at 7 p.m. May 2-3 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 4-5 at Augusta Preparatory Day School’s Hull Fine Arts Center.

For ticket information, go here.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for more than 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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