After tripping the light fantastic in rehearsals leading up to this week's performances of "Hello Dolly" at Parkland High School, Superintendent Richard Sniscak and Principal Harrison Bailey III offer this assurance: They have no plans to quit their day jobs.
Sniscak and Bailey are among two dozen district administrators and teachers who have a six-minute group cameo in the high school musical in which they join student actors on stage to sing and dance the title number.
Both administrators look more like linebackers than tap dancers or actors and there's a reason for that.
"You're talking to two former football players," Sniscak said, during a dress rehearsal Monday night.
"This is not my forte," Bailey said, laughing. "Denzel [Washington] has nothing to worry about."
Both have been rehearsing since February with other administrators and teachers who answered the call put out last July for male Parkland staff willing to take part. The scene is a classic musical number in which dozens of men dressed in tuxedos and white gloves join Dolly, played by student Payton Sherry, in singing "Hello Dolly."
Musical Director Frank Anonia came up with the idea and his goal was to have a staff member from every building in the district take part.
"I just wanted everyone to experience what the high school musical is all about," said Anonia. "When you look at all the other school districts cutting the arts, it's really good to see Parkland supporting the arts."
Students from elementary and middle schools who hear that one of their teachers or principals are performing might be more apt to attend the show and be inspired to audition when they're old enough.
"I think it's important for the leadership to show they support the arts," said Sniscak, looking spiffy in one of the black tuxes that Top Hat Formalwear in Whitehall donated for the duration of the show.
Sniscak said he's fine with the singing but made clear that no one will mistake him for Fred Astaire when it comes to hoofing it.
"This is well out of my comfort zone," Sniscak said, laughing. Still, it's been fun and a good way to interact with students in a less formal way, he said.
So has Anonia had to tell any of the higher-ups that they decidedly don't have the moves like Jagger? "The first rehearsal was a big question for all of us," Anonia said. But the teachers and administrators have been receptive to criticism, he said.
"They don't want to be the guy who let's down the kids," he said.
Where: Parkland High School
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 12 and April 13; and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14.
Tickets: $5 for students and senior citizens; $10 for adults.