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The Print

Keeping Up With The Kougars

The 2024 Variety Show

The Kardashian family looked a little different last Friday night as the “KUWTK” show came to Fallston! ‘Keeping with the Kougars’ follows the blended Kougar family, made up by the 2024 NHS officers and advisors as the audience followed the family’s adjustment to life here in Fallston after a big move across the country. 

 The cast was as follows: 

President: Jacob “Ken Kougar” MacMillan 

Vice President: Ace “Kleo Kougar” Liu 

Secretary: Campbell “Kimmie Kougar” Wheeler 

Treasurer: Jesse “Kyle Kougar” Kilian 

Historian: Courtney “The Producer” Robinson 

Advisors: Ms. Lauren “Kris” Price and Ms. Elise “Krissy” Majewski 

The Kougar fam all together! (Photo courtsey of lifetouch)

 Following the tradition of the annual Variety Show, this continuous KUWTK skit framed several acts throughout the night as the producer, Courtney Robinson, followed the Kougar kids through their senior year.  

 Jesse Kilian says, “We wanted to stick with the reality TV theme from last year because of how successful it was, and the idea of the Kardashian show kept popping up.” 

The show started with a performance from Scumline, which featured Krystian Lisiewski (11th), Tyler Cigarski (‘23 graduate), Noah Walter (12th), and Dylan Scheihing (9th), playing “Under Your Scars” by Godsmack and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” by Van Halen. A clever joke where one Kougar family member, Kyle, went to play music on his phone seamlessly transitioned to the next act where Addison Dougherty (12th) sung “Tennessee Orange,” by Megan Moroney.

 Then with a flash from the past, Seniors Nate Hawk, Kyleigh O’Mailey, and Abby Richard performed “I Eat More” from Willy Wonka – which they originally did in their 5th grade musical at Youth’s Benefit Elementary School – while that original film played in the background for a touch of nostalgia.  “Everyone in the audience is very supportive, and no matter how nervous you may be, getting on stage is always a blast. The energy a crowded auditorium gives off is always great,” says Nate Hawk. 

Long Live this 5th grade trio! (Photo courtsey of Julianna Mullen)

 Though not a re-performance, Meghan Perez also showed off some old skills with an Irish Dance as she has been Irish dancing for most of her life. After her, the Kougar kids got in a fight about what they should watch on TV – the only thing they could all agree on was Family Feud which, coincidentally, was a group of boys from the Kougars’ math class. A group of senior boys performed a Family Feud skit which was then followed by two senior girls, Celia Gizinski and Megan Watts, who danced a duet to Olivia Rodrigo’s “Making the Bed” with their own original choreography.  

 Then, Kyle and Ken came back on stage tossing a football to practice for tryouts. The Producer interrupted them to introduce the next act, Mac Fisher (10th), but not before jabbing at her real-life father saying, “Aren’t you guys nervous about tryouts? I heard the coach is kind of a headcase.” Courtney reflects on that moment describing it as her favorite and saying, “Calling my dad deranged in the scene with Jacob and Jesse tossing the football was so fun.” 

 Mac returned for his second consecutive year doing a solo guitar medley, which the crowd adored. He really showed off his skills and even had a tech crew member blindfold him toward the end as he continued to play hit songs. 

Ending the first act was the fan favorite event: The Teacher Dance. The theme of the teacher dance this year was “A Night at the Movies,” so the staff danced to a variety of songs from iconic films including but not limited to “Barbie,” “Camp Rock,” and “Grease.” 

Shoutout to Seniors Lindsey Dettloff, Raley Elliott, and Chloe McCarthy who worked tirelessly to choreograph and teach FHS staff members their dances for over two months. 

Chloe and Raley share a moment! (Photo courtsey of lifetouch)

 Ms. Partin says, “The students work so hard to get the teachers to learn the dances. I truly appreciate their time and effort!” Ms. Majewski adds, “I just love how much everyone gets into it. 6:45 a.m. rehearsals for two months, extra practice sessions during planning periods, and even cafeteria duty – people really take our dancing seriously!” 

 Opening up the second act was a series of TikTok videos featuring FHS staff members. Mr. McLeod was climbing a tree, Mr. Grant was mewing, and Mr. Ensminger was barefoot – talk about crazy. 

 After the video played, a crazy cool act came on stage. A new band, *OutOfSync, made their debut, performing “It’s Gonna Be Me” by *NSYNC.  Band members included Jonas Mendoza (12th), Lawrence Acevedo (11th), Theodore Kidwell (10th), Zack Patton (11th), and Eric Vanderbeek (11th). The boys dressed up in all white attire, it was downright iconic, and the crowd was certainly captivated.  

 Resident FHS actress, Jules Vendetti (12th), followed them with a breathtaking rendition of “She Used to be Mine,” from the Broadway show Waitress. Continuing the theme of iconic acts was Senior Chris King and his Comedic Genius. His act was different from the rest because it was simultaneously part of the KUWTK skit. The Kougar kids needed some cheering up, so they decided to attend a local comedy show. As per his punishment for losing in fantasy football, Chris took the stage and rattled off Dad jokes, which was only made better with his Bazinga shirt and light-up heelies. His comedy show not only had the Kougars in a VIP tent but had Mr. West make an appearance as well – Sarye West that is, played by Senior Saras Gill. All of the NHS officers agreed that this was their favorite part of the show. Campbell even adds that “the tech crew was amazing to work with and having Christine be a part of this skit was cool.” 

 Celia Gizinski came back to the stage to perform a solo dance to “Side of My Heart,” following the comedy show. It was beautiful and highlighted just how good of a dancer she was. After Celia finished, Courtney took the stage to recap what was happening with the Kougar family, reminding them that Kimmie received a phone call from Gordon Ramsey. Once she finished, the curtains opened to reveal a kitchen set up for the siblings to compete in a “who can make the best school lunch” competition. Gordon Ramsey was played by Junior Gordon Lefkowitz, and he decided that the girls’ team won. 

 Then came Fallston’s favorite brothers, Max (12th) and Oliver (10th) Rueckert, with Oliver on piano and Max singing and playing the harmonica – they performed Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.” Max describes his performance as, “Exhilarating! I felt like I was on top of the world.”  

Fallston’s Favorite Brothers! (Photo courtsey of lifetouch)

 Ms. Price says, “Well, I suppose I should admit where I was wrong – All rehearsal week, Max couldn’t remember the words to ‘Piano Man,’ and I told him, ‘Your skit will be funny because you’re going to ham it up; it won’t be funny if you forget the words.’ Turns out I was wrong. Max forgot the words, and everyone loved it. He made sure to let me know how wrong I was. Max and Oliver’s skit was adorable and so memorable, definitely a crowd pleaser.” Ms. Majewski adds, “It was a perfect combination of talent and humor – super entertaining!” 

 Next up was Noah Walter (12th) and Kaylee Spiegel (11th) performing “I’m Not the Only One,” by Sam Smith. Kaylee sang while Noah played the piano and it was a stunning performance! Kaylee says, “Performing was great! It was such a huge step for me. It was the most people I’ve ever performed in front of. I had so much fun working with Noah! He’s just so talented and fun to be around. I hope to perform again because I had so much fun this year. And to anyone who is thinking about it, just go for it. It’s something you won’t regret, and a great core memory!” 

 Then the officers wrapped up their script with a heart-felt finale. The Kougar kids graduated and suddenly, when they all get together for a family photo, their mysterious Dad finally appeared. Turns out Mr. Collins was Dad Kougar!  

 Ending the show was the annual Senior Dance. Seniors worked for a month to learn the choreography, created by Raley Elliott and Chloe McCarthy. The seniors were coordinated and managed by the pair and Ms. J. Cummings. Special thanks to them for their incredible patience, which culminated in a fun bucket list item the senior class happily got involved in. The dance had its fair share of iconic moments ranging from students doing the worm, to an appearance from Pitbull, and showcased some recent hits like Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night Away,” and some bops from our childhood like Justin Bieber’s “Maria.” 

             All in all, the 2024 NHS officers did a fantastic job with the show. It was an incredible night for those on the stage and those in the audience filled with laughter and unforgettable memories.  

 Historian Courtney Robinson speaks to the work that goes into the show saying, “Some words of wisdom would be to really have fun with the script and the scenes but remember that it is a project that needs a great deal of hard work and effort. We were meeting up several days a week for many hours in January and February to finish it.” She continues, “It definitely taught me how to power through a hard task even when you feel unmotivated. There were times in the last month or so before the show when we were working for hours on end, and even though we were mentally exhausted, we knew it was something we couldn’t just put off or ignore.” 

 President Jacob MacMillan says, “It was so cool to see all the work we did come to life in a complete show. I think this show went very well and was a huge success. The theme worked really well, and I think it complemented the actual acts very well. All the performers did such an amazing job!” 

 “The Variety Show is the one Fallston event that truly does bring the whole community together,” says Ms. Price. “With such good attendance for two years back-to-back, it feels like we definitely succeeded in bringing back the tradition after Covid. The current sophomores and juniors have now seen two really good shows, so I’m hopeful that they are motivated to live up to it and keep the tradition going.”  

Look at the size of this crowd! (Photo courtsey of lifetouch)

 Every year, no matter how different from the last, the show continues to be great! “Mrs. Majewski and I have done ten shows together, and it never fails to surprise us how unique each group of kids is. They all have their own unique sense of humor, and that always comes through in the script they write. This group did a great job combining pop culture references with FHS inside jokes that I think the audience really enjoyed,” Mrs. Price says. 

 Ms. Majewski sums it up best when she says, “I think some of us actually have some post-show sadness when it ends! It’s such a great example of the student body, staff, and community coming together to create something entertaining and to just have plain fun.” 

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About the Contributor
Julianna Mullen, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Julianna Mullen is a senior and a third-year journalism student. Aside from her role as one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief, she is an involved member of the FHS community: she runs for the school's track and cross-country teams, is the leader of Voices of Equity and German Club, does Morning Announcements, and is an avid member of Green School Club, Envirothon, Academic Team, and the Fallston Drama Company. Julianna plans to continue pursuing her passions as an Environmental Sustainability major, International relations minor, and collegiate runner. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling to new places. She loves to write news-like feature stories and is excited for the successful year ahead for The Print Staff. 
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