The “show” has once again returned to St. Mary’s Catholic Parish School in Moscow, and the students are ready.

The twice-yearly musical performances, one at Christmas and another in the spring, are a staple at St. Mary’s Catholic Parish School and involve the whole school, said music teacher Nikki Crathorne.

St. Mary’s School includes students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. After two years of COVID-19 restrictions that put limits on the school’s band and theater efforts, the school will bring back its spring show, “The Lion King,” in-person.

The students have spent the last few weeks before the show practicing the music and their lines. The school band, consisting of the students in the third through eighth grade, will provide the showtunes and play familiar roles like Scar, Simba, Mufasa and Rafeki.

The lone public performance of the show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Church of the Nazarene, 1400 E. Seventh St., in Moscow.

“Last year we did a video recording (“Mary Poppins”) and it wasn’t the same,” Crathorne said.

On Monday, after band practice, students took their positions on the gymnasium floor, joined by second graders for the cast’s first combined practice. The lights were dimmed and one student stood on some scaffolding to open the show.

Other students acted like their animal and sat on benches or crouched beside the scaffolding — which simulated a rock — and waited for their cues.

Christopher Sheftic, a seventh-grader, plays Rafeki in the show. He said this is his first musical and he is having fun. He said he had seen musicals at a previous school he attended, but hadn’t taken part.

The students at Monday’s practice agreed the musicals are a fun addition to their school day and they all look forward to them each year. Quinn Farley, another seventh grader, said he likes getting to act in the musicals.

He doesn’t have a favorite part, but Farley said he does enjoy listening to the recording of their music afterwards.

Ali Wilson, a sixth grader, played Jane in “Mary Poppins” and will be Shenzi, a hyena, in “The Lion King.” She has enjoyed every musical she’s been in and looks forward to them every year.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Wilson said.

Crathorne’s band room is the holding area of the play’s many set pieces and costumes. She said the students impressed her on their first big group practice because despite the restrictions on group sizes because of the pandemic, their first practice went smoothly.

Crathorne is excited to see the students give the final performance, and for the community to see the work they have put into their roles.

Nelson can be reached at


WHAT: “The Lion King,” performed by students of Moscow’s St. Mary’s Catholic Parish School

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Church of the Nazarene, 1400 E. Seventh St.

COST: Free

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