Last fall, Isaac and Valine Campbell of Columbia Cross Roads learned that Troy High School needed a helping hand for its spring musical.

"At the beginning of the school year we heard through my sister, Rhonda Nowacoski, and her children, Paige and Joshua, that the school was in need of a director for this year's musical," Issac recalled. "It was getting to point that the students, especially the seniors, were concerned that there may not be a musical this year."

Like the cavalry coming to the rescue, the husband-and-wife team stepped in and saved the day. They had just moved to the Troy area from Horseheads, N.Y. and both have dance backgrounds.

"Val and I jumped at the opportunity to get involved with our new community and immediately reached out to the school principal, Sue Shipman," Issac noted. "It took some time to get the red tape taken care of, but we quickly jumped into the role and started the search for the perfect show."

"After hours and hours of research we landed on 'Thoroughly Modern Millie,'" he said. "It has everything that we wanted; a nice-sized cast with lots of featured roles to show off the amazing talents of the kids in Troy, huge dance numbers, and a story line that will keep audiences laughing and singing even after the curtain closes."

This year's show dates for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" are 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 10 and 7 p.m. on Friday, April 11. In addition, the musical will be presented at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 12.

Tickets will cost $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at the high school office.

According to Issac, 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' is "an action-packed, entertaining musical comedy."

"The musical is set in New York City in 1922," he said. "A young Salina, Kansas girl, Millie Dillmount, arrives in the city with big dreams. She quickly realizes that city life is going to take some getting used to but her unwavering commitment to get what she wants proves she has what it takes to make it. Along the way, with many hilarious twists and turns, she learns that her expectations for life may be different than what she had originally thought."

According to Issac, they have been blessed with a crew "that will make every aspect of the show shine." It will be the Campbells' first time directing a musical at Troy Area Junior-Senior High School.

"Although we have lots of hard work ahead of us over the next month and a half, we can't wait to show off this year's outstanding cast," he commented. "They are awesome, they have been working incredibly hard to master the art of Tap. We are always amazed with what these kids can do. They will master anything we throw at them, and well."

The Campbells have much experience in theater and dance.

"For the past 11 years, we have been working with Corning East High School's Drama club as choreographers," he said. "We have completed 'South Pacific,' 'Company,' 'Into the Woods,' 'It's a Grand Night for Singing,' 'Carousel,' '42nd Street,' 'Les Miserables,' 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,' 'Pippin,' 'Sweeney Todd,' 'Chicago,' 'Anything Goes,' and (the) upcoming 'Spamalot.' We strive for excellence and it is our goal to provide a performance that can be compared to a professional theater group and more importantly, one that all involved will be proud of."

In addition to their experience with Corning East High School, the Campbells have taught dance and gymnastics in various communities.

"Val and I grew up dancing together and were both part of competitive dance teams," Issac said. "We were also heavily involved with our drama club throughout high school as well as many other local theater and dance groups including Elmira Little Theater, Ithaca College, Rainbow Dance Arts, New Heights Dance Theater, and Bristle Valley Theater. As dance teachers we have attended many conventions for dance and musical theater. Combined, we have even had the opportunity to work with Broadway cast members of '42nd Street,' 'Moving Out' and Radio City Music Hall's Rockettes."

This year's leading roles are: Paige Nowacoski as Millie, Trevor Ward as Jimmy, Danielle Newman as Miss Dorothy, Tyler Hoffman as Mr. Graydon, Madeline Morgan as Mrs. Meers, Braden Ward as Ching Ho, Jacob Culkin as Bun Foo, Stacey Simpson as Muzzy, and Beth Foulkrod as Mrs. Flannery.

"The cast has been learning to tap since December and they are doing a fantastic job," Issac said. "Cherilyn Ayres is directing the music portion of our show and has been working tirelessly on musical numbers and organizing the Pit that Troy has come to know and love."

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: