Flower power: Iberville Parish Talent Machine presents 1960s musical “Groovy”

ANGELA DEGRAVELLES Contributing writer
The Iberville Parish Talent Machine presented a 1960s musical entitled “Groovy” last week. Above, protesters display signs during a dance solo to “Abraham, John and Martin.” 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

More than 400 students participated in the Iberville Parish School System's Talent Machine production of "Groovy," a high-impact musical theatrical extravaganza filled with more than 20 hits from the 60s era and featuring student group and solo performances.

The 100 member- MSA West Orchestra also performed nine

instrumentals, led by Dr. Michael Berthelot.

The Talent Machine cast of "Groovy" is comprised of more than

350 students from Iberville Elementary School, Plaquemine High School, White Castle High School, North Iberville Elementary School, East Iberville School, MSA- East and MSA- West. More than 50 students and faculty worked on the crew.

The original play was written by Iberville Chief Academic

Officer Elvis J. Cavalier, who also played a Hillbilly who had come down from Woverton Mountain in search of a pretty girl, played by MSA West teacher Jade Leblanc. Playing Cliffton Clowers was Theatre teacher Drew Battles.

"The sixties were an exciting revolutionary, turbulent time of great social and technological change," Cavalier said. "It was a time of assassinations, unforgettable fashion, new musical styles, Camelot, civil rights, women's libration, a controversial war in Vietnam, the first manned landing on the moon, peace marches, flower power, great television, and of course, freedom," said Cavalier, who covered it all in the two hour production held in the MSA-West gym. More than 1,000 attended the play in its two-night performances.

Capturing the hearts of the audience were student narrators,

third graders Lilah Morgan and Elizabeth "Lizzy" Irwin, who gave the audience dramatic verbal "pictures" of history, depicting a decade filled with hate, love and peace. The narrator team reminded the audience of the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

They also shared the cultural attitude of peace and love, as depicted by the play's title, "Groovy." Between the narration were up-beat and lively songs of the times, including a favorite of many by the Temptations called, "My Girl," performed by five MSA-West high school students, all the way down to the youngest performers, kindergarteners dancing to "Itsy Bitsy Polka Dot

Bikini." There were also solo performances by both vocalists and dance performances.

Cavalier praised the cast and crew, under the direction of Jade

LeBlanc, Drew Battles, Robin Bickham, Cristina Cope, Andrew Zeringue, Dr. Michael Berthelot, Kimberly Dombrowski, Keeva Smith, Jackie Migliacio, Kirsten Bouchereau, Jill Edenfield, Lacey Bueche, Shandrika Mitchell, Brittany Jacob, Sallie LeBlanc, Jenna Miller, Jacqueline Stewart, Jessica Daigle, Kris Catania, Alva Hebert, Jessica Millien, Shalonda Skidmore, Jacquemine Barker, Denise Serio and Loren McIntyre.

Other songs included in the show were "Stop in the Name of

Love," "Going to the Chapel," "Abraham, John and Martin," " Don't Rain on My Parade," "What the World Needs Now," "House of the Rising Sun," "Stand by Your Man," "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," "Return to Sender," "Do Wah Ditty," "The Twist" and "Surfin USA."

"A major light show with special effects, audio visual

presentation, and orchestral music added to a night of high memories for all," said Theatre teacher and director of the show, Jade LeBlanc.

The Iberville Parish Talent Machine was started four years ago

and strives to perform annually for Iberville Parish residents.