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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Man's Attempt to Sneak Out of Middle School Production Foiled by Cast Singing in Aisle

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

by Gabie Barnes. @anacrusisnt.

ITHACA, New York - Local uncle Joel Watterson, 38, attempted to sneak out of Ulysses S. Grant Middle School’s production of Seussical the Musical JR. on Friday night, only to be thwarted when several cast members, including his niece, came into the auditorium aisles to sing at the audience.

“It was intolerable. I only understood about two-thirds of the words being said, and literally none of the kids could carry a tune if you handed them a bucket,” exclaimed Watterson after as he smoked a cigarette by the school’s dumpster post-performance. “I had to get out of there, so I told my sister that I had to use the bathroom and booked it during one of the songs. I’d made it halfway to the auditorium door before I realized that there were stairs leading from the stage to the audience, and these kids were going to use them.”

Luckily, Watterson’s escape went unnoticed by his sister-in-law and proud stage parent, Abigail Wexler.

“It was so sweet,” she noted, oblivious of the true intentions behind her Joel’s attempt to leave the show. “As soon as Joel realized the kids were coming into the aisles to sing, he almost tripped getting back to his seat so he wouldn’t miss Tamara. I’m so glad he skipped hanging out with his friends who are in town for the night in order to come see her shine.”   

Tamara Wexler, 11, who played the role of Mrs. Mayor in the production, was asked during intermission backstage whether she had seen her uncle’s escape attempt. 

“Yeah, I saw Uncle Joel making a run for it during ‘Here on Who’ and I wish I could have told him he didn’t stand a chance,” she noted while shaking her head solemnly. “Poor guy. He had no idea what the rest of the show had in store. Should have gotten out while he had the chance.”

At press time, Watterson was seen attempting to avoid the flash mob promoting the rest of the weekend’s performance as he made haste to his car, unfortunately stepping in at the worst moment and becoming the centerpiece of the children’s poorly rehearsed mashup of songs that lasted no less than 90 minutes.


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