AUGUSTA — The timelessness of Chizzle Wizzle will be displayed on the Cony High School stage next week in the collected reflections of alumni, in the dedication and talent of current students, and in the expertly moving feet of world renowned ballet master Alphonse “Alphy” Poulin.

Chizzle Wizzle, the nation’s longest-running student variety show, marks its 125th year with a “Timeless” theme when the show takes the stage March 15-18.

Students interviewed Cony alumni about their favorite memories and other thoughts about Chizzle Wizzle, so audio of those interviews can be played before each show.

Poulin, an Augusta native and 1966 Cony graduate who performed as a student in the 75th Chizzle Wizzle, will take the stage to dance with longtime Chizzle Wizzle choreographer and local dance instructor Keltie Collins. Poulin traveled the world as a dancer and retired last year after teaching at the esteemed Juilliard School for 15 years.

Cony senior Michaela Rice, assistant producer, said the timeless theme is appropriate given the lasting nature of Chizzle Wizzle.

“It’s a tradition that has come this far and will continue to go further and further,” Rice said. “It’s the 125th, so we wanted to make it as special as we could.”

Of Poulin’s special appearance, she noted, “I think it’s awesome of him, coming back to do that. It’s awesome to see how Chizzle Wizzle stays with you forever.”

Poulin, 67, said the last time he danced publicly was as a special guest at the 100th anniversary of Chizzle Wizzle in 1991. At that time he left his then home in Switzerland, where he was ballet master for Le Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve, for a one-night only Chizzle Wizzle performance.

This year, he and Collins plan to perform together each night of the show.

“If I’m going to diet and try to get back in shape, I’m not going to do just one show,” Poulin joked at his Rome home where the walls are lined with photographs and posters from the many operas and dance performances he was involved in over his career. “I’m glad to finish where I started. I’m very much looking forward to Chizzle Wizzle.”

He said he’ll likely be performing on the same stage as some of the grandchildren of his Cony classmates.

Cony senior Ciara Tenney, assistant technical director, interviewed Cony alumni about their memories of the event. They told her it gave creative students a chance to feel comfortable and show their talents and students who may not have considered themselves to be creative a chance to see what being involved in such a performance was like.

She said the most exciting moment for her is usually opening night. She encouraged people to come see the show any of its four nights.

“I love seeing opening night, and how it all comes together,” Tenney said. “It’s such a unique experience. It’s something special.”

She said roughly 200 students are involved in the annual production from volunteering at sales booths to performing onstage.

Lindsey Morin, an education technician at Cony and producer of this year’s show, said work on the production by an executive committee made up of both students and adults began in October with auditions for performers in January followed by rehearsals.

She said interviewing alumni has provided an opportunity for students to learn the event is significant not just for them and their friends and family, but for Cony alumni and the community as a whole.

“It was nice for students in school now to make that connection. I’m not sure they fully get how important it is to everybody else,” Morin said. “So they realize, it’s bigger than you. It’s bigger than us. The audience isn’t just your best friends and parents; it’s about the families and alumni in the community. For them to see kids, grandkids, carry on their legacy, it means so many things to so many people.”

Performances are 7 p.m. each night in the auditorium at Cony.

Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased at Cony each morning between 6:45 and 7:30 a.m. and afternoons between 1:45 and 6 p.m.

Tickets are $10 each.

Wednesday, March 16, is alumni night. The show will be preceded by a reception open to Cony alumni in the dining room at the old Cony flatiron building, the former high school since converted to apartments, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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