Poster for Little Shop of Horrors

Niles West Theatre Presents “Little Shop of Horrors” on Oct 17-19

Poster for Little Shop of Horrors


Niles West Theatre presents “Little Shop of Horrors” on October 17 through 19 in the Black Box Theatre at 5701 West Oakton, Skokie. Tickets are extremely limited; please contact the Box Office at (847) 626-2633 or The Book and Lyrics is by Howard Ashman, and Music by Alan Menken.


Performances are 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. Tickets are $10 for Adults and $7 for Students, Senior Citizens and Children. There is a free community performance at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 17.


A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, “Little Shop of Horrors” has devoured the hearts of theatre-goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and The Beast,” and “Aladdin”) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.


The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II,” after his coworker crush. This blunt, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it one thing—Blood! Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out-of-this-world origins and intent towards global domination. This musical comedy is sure to be an up-close and vibrant must-see in the Black Box Theatre.


Cast:  Jake Pranian as Seymour; Lorelei Wernecke as Audrey; Wei Lin as Mushnik; Bryan “BJ” Abad as Orin; Janay Moncrief as Audrey II (plant); Nina Cajuste as Chiffon; Alexis Aponte as Crystal; Zucchious Rosal as Ronnette; Oliver Biel as Voice/Wino 1/Ensemble; Henry Gussis as Interviewer/Bernstein/Ensemble; Sara Collins as Mrs. Luce/Ensemble; Chrlotte Howard-Check as Skip Snip/Ensemble; Ellie Evens as Patrick Martin/Ensemble; Aaron Razack as Customer/Ensemble; and Sofia Joseph, Ensemble.


Crew Heads: Stage Manager: Mia Finnigan; Assistant Costume Designer: Anton Tomacic; Assistant Lighting Designer/Master Electrician: Liza Kolesnik; Assistant Production Manager: Maddy Foler; Assistant Scenic Designer: Samuel Myers; Assistant Sound Designer: Ian Soriano; Assistant Stage Manager: Sarita Akwa-Philbin; Assistant Stage Manager: Ella Rousseau; Assistant Technical Director: Henry Rousseau; Charge Paint Lead: Hailey Shah; Charge Painter: Olivia Benitez; Dramaturgy: Melanie Kerz; Hair and Makeup Head: Charles Luz; House Manager/Publicity: Mehreen Patel; Master Carpenter: Cerasela Dornan; Sound A1: Adam Rutecki; Wardrobe Head: Dashna Benjamin.


Costume Crew:  Althea Bibat, Keila Broderick, Emily Lim, Lejla Mehmedovic, Vivian Nelson, Laura Perez, Ally Regailo, Anthony Roman, Simon Solano.


Lighting Crew: Colin Bartlett, Joyful Boedefeld, Mariela Garcia, Evelyn Herbert, Melanie Kerz, Shaina Matino, Renee Namrood, Enzo Pellicciari.


Prop Crew: Caitlin Ayers, Rose Bilicki, Leslie Basco-Kent, Henry Fleck, Aaliyah Kessler, Ella Rousseau, Emily Sproat.


Scenic Crew: Ibrahem Abdulla, Olivia Benitez, Cameron Gordon, L. Irving-Secor, Odi Nano, Tanya Spasic.


Sound Crew: Brian Bedoya, Haley Ellis, Leen Hashlamoun, Kelly Kintner, Kathy Lopez, Maya Patterson.


Production Team:  Director: Andy Sinclair; Vocal Director: Carl Alexander; Technical Director/Scenic Designer: Michael Johnson; Costume Designer: Leah Hummel; Prop Designer: Kimberly Morris; Lighting Designer: Charlotte Rathke; Sound Designer: LJ Luthringer; Production Management: Hannah Luthringer; Student Music Director: Sachio Nang; Poster Design: Deanna Sortino; Production Assistant: Lisa Bany; Box Office Management: Jackie Garvey.


During the 2019-20 season, Niles West Theatre will present five productions under the umbrella theme of “Aspirations vs. Limitations.” Its mission is to showcase productions that will examine dreaming big and the limitations of reality.

D219 German Exchange 2019

Students Visit Partner School in Germany; Completing 7th Exchange

D219 German Exchange 2019

This summer, 25 District 219 students traveled to Germany to participate in the 7th international exchange with partner school Schönborn Gymnasium, located outside of Heidelberg. Students enjoyed a 10-day host stay with their exchange partner and family and ended the trip with an extension tour into Salzburg, at the foothills of the Austrian Alps. D219 German students developed close relationships with their German exchange partners when the group visited Niles West and North in October 2018; this summer’s trip to Germany completed the second half of the exchange. Students were accompanied by North German teacher Tom Neal, West German teacher Joe Neumayer, and West French teacher Leslie Natzke.

D219 German Exchange 2019

While in Germany, students visited Schönborn Gymnasium and participated in trips to the Black Forest and France, as well as outings to local towns and destinations. On one sun-filled day, students spent the day at a beach where they water-skied, wake-boarded, and knee-boarded. Students enjoyed beach volleyball and a grill party, where Neumayer grilled bratwurst, pork, and chicken on a traditional “schwenkgrill.”

“I’d say I’m an avid griller, but this was certainly something new to me!” stated Neumayer. “On a schwenkgrill, the meat swings over the flames on a large circular grill grate hanging down from a gigantic tripod. It was wild!”

Another crowd pleaser was the Ritter Sport chocolate factory, where students spent lots of Euros purchasing delicious German chocolate at fabulous prices.

“It was a chocolate shopping frenzy the like of which I have never seen. Not sure how much made it back to parents, though,” commented Natzke.

After the stay with their host families, the group traveled through Dinkelsbühl, voted the most picturesque medieval town in Germany.  Along the way to the Black Forest, a favorite stop included a Sommerrodelbahn (a self-regulated single-seated bobsled which travels down a large slide on the side of a mountain). After visiting the Bavarian castle Neuschwanstein, the group overnighted in Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The final leg of the trip occurred in Munich, with the last meal consumed at the historic Hofbräuhaus, where students feasted on traditional Bavarian cuisine, and enjoyed the oompah music, schuhplattler dancing, and other entertainment.

D219 German Exchange 2019

West participant Zach Werth reported: “It was great to have a German [student] live with my family last October – it was so much fun to show him what we do and how we live. And then, being in Germany, immersed in the German culture and living with a German family, it really allowed me to connect more with the German language. It allowed me to hear native speakers, eat their foods, see what their school is like, go to the grocery store; it was so much different than what I thought. It is such a different culture than what we have in the US – without the influence of American media – it really allowed me to have a meaningful experience. I’d definitely recommend this experience to younger students.”

Niles West Homecoming Court 2019

Niles West Homecoming Royalty 2019

Niles West Homecoming Court 2019

Congratulations to 2019 Niles West Homecoming Royalty. They are:  Sarkis Barkho, Jimmy Berg, Kristi Bliznakov, Brandon Fong, Milton Michael, John Rodica, Will Schejbal*, Alyssa Solario, Ana Veliciu* and Liliana Youkhana.


Niles West Homecoming Court 2019

Niles West 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

Niles West Inducts Five to Hall of Fame

Niles West inducted five individuals in the sixth Niles West Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony held on Thursday, September 26 at 5701 West Oakton, Skokie. The induction took place in the South Lobby. The inductees include some of the school’s most accomplished athletes, a distinguished coach, and an honoree for Distinguished Service.

The 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees:

Niles West 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

From left: Steve Foerch, Arlene Mulder, Shirley Cohen Katz, Bruce Bolnick, Ed Bruksch

Bruce Bolnick (1965): Gymnastics; Ed Bruksch (1964) Football, Basketball, Baseball; Shirley Cohen Katz (1978): Volleyball, Tennis, Basketball, Softball; Steve Foerch (Coach): Gymnastics: and Arlene Mulder (Distinguished Service Award).

Niles North Homecoming Poster 2019

North Homecoming: Week of October 14

Niles North High School is ready for a glowing, good time with the theme of “City of Stars” for its 2019 Homecoming festivities. Niles North alumni are invited to attend the events on Friday, October 18, at the high school at 9800 North Lawler Avenue, Skokie. The parade, featuring bright and festive banners from clubs and organizations, begins at 6 p.m., starting in the North parking lot and promenading down Lawler Avenue, before entering and proceeding around the track in the stadium. Alumni are invited to the Alumni Tent, which opens at 5 p.m., and is located in the corner of Chuck Pos Stadium. The Viking football team plays the Maine East Demons with kickoff time at 7 p.m. During the exciting half-time show, the 2019 Homecoming Court will be recognized.

Niles North Homecoming Poster 2019

A listing of 2019 Homecoming Events follows.

Monday, October 14

No School

Tuesday, October 15

Twinkling Twin Spirit Day

5 p.m.             Boys Soccer vs. Senn

7 p.m.             Girls Football Game

Wednesday, October 16

PSAT/NMSQT testing for Sophomores & Juniors

No School for Freshmen & Seniors

6 p.m.             Girls Volleyball vs. Highland Park

6 p.m.             Boys Soccer vs. Chicago Bulls Prep

Thursday, October 17

Bright Lights (Neon) Spirit Day

10 a.m.           Community Performance of Ipi Zombi?

7 p.m.             Ipi Zombi?

Friday, October 18

Blackout Spirit Day

Viking royalty celebrated at a Pep Assembly during the school day

12 p.m.           IHSA Tennis Sectional

4 p.m.             Ipi Zombi?

5 p.m.             Alumni Tent opens

6 p.m.             Parade begins in North parking lot

7 p.m.             Boys Football (V) vs. Maine East

Half-time show featuring Homecoming royalty, band, dance, cheer

Saturday, October 19

Viking Rumble Debate Tournament

7:30 a.m.        IHSA Tennis Sectional

4 p.m.             Ipi Zombi? Fall Play

7 p.m.             Homecoming Dance

Commended Student in National Merit Program

Commended Students in 2020 National Merit Program

Commended Student in National Merit Program


Nineteen students from Niles Township High School District 219 were named as Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the school principals to these scholastically talented seniors.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.  Although they will not continue in the 2020 competition for Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Commended Students from Niles West include:  Alexander Benitez, Sara Collins, Elizabeth De Klerk, Michael Filippini, Madelaine Foler, Hannah Kim, Christian Mancino, Agnes Manish, Omer Naveed, Thomas Nguyen, and Balaji Venkat. Commended Students from Niles North include: Cameron Churchwell, Shannon Dwyer, Jeffrey Garcia, Nimra Khan, Kieran Micari-Lawless, Alexandar Militchinski, Brooke Rickett Green, and Mercedes Sandu.