“Sweeney Todd” to be last musical before director retires


Contributed by Diego Echeverria DeCordova

Dance teacher and director Christian Polos leads students during a rehearsal of a previous play, “Pippin”.

Madison Sklaver, Longform Editor

Before each musical, Christian Polos jumps on stage to introduce the show and the cast. He talks about all the hard work the cast has done, the subject of the musical, and immediately jokes around with the audience. Even from just his short introduction to the musical, his personality shines through.

On top of being a dance teacher, Polos has been directing the high school musical since 1995. This year, he is directing “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” his final musical before he retires.

Senior Diego Echeverria De Cordova, who has been in three of Polos’ productions, will be playing the titular character of Sweeney Todd. According to him, Polos plays a huge role in the musicals beyond being a director.

“What makes him memorable is he had this way of pushing you to your limit,” De Cordova said. “If you make a choice and it seems like you can go further with it, he pushes you to the brink of your own capabilities and it makes you a better actor, person and student just in general.”

De Cordova said that another thing that sets Polos apart as a director is the connection he has with students.

“He probably knows me and everyone in the cast better than anyone in the school because of how much time he’s spent with us,” De Cordova said. “He has this connection with students that you don’t really see in a lot of directors.”

This connection is important to De Cordova as Polos has been his mentor for the last three years and in many aspects of his life.

“I’ve talked to him about a lot of personal stuff,” De Cordova said. “Specifically for me, he’s been a very personal mentor and someone to look up to.”

De Cordova admires Polos, his personality, and his directing ability.

“He’s insane in the best way possible and I love that,” De Cordova said. “He’s really funny and he does love what he does and you can tell how passionate he is. You can tell he has a passion for you and he has a passion for the things that he does and it brings everyone closer together in the show.”

Senior Zach Lowenstein has been in all four musicals during his time at the high school. He agrees that Polos’ direction brings a sense of community to the cast.

“We don’t have someone build the set for us; we go in and build the set,” Lowenstein said. “There’s a communal aspect to the musical that’s different than a lot of productions that BHS puts up, and so I’ve learned what you can do as a cast and he definitely cultivates that.”

Lowenstein also said that Polos is very passionate about his work.

“He’s always smiling when he talks about the shows he’s doing,” Lowenstein said.

This passion shows through all of the time Polos puts into the musical. In the past, he has started thinking about the next musical as soon as the previous one finishes. Even with a rigorous schedule that starts with casting before the summer, he spends many extra hours working on his musicals.

“He puts a lot of effort into the shows he’s doing,” Lowenstein said. “He does a lot as one person.”

Polos said that he does not know what to expect from the musicals in the future.

“Maybe they’re going to be fresh and different,” Polos said. “Somebody just comes in with a whole new point of view.”

De Cordova agrees that he does not know what the musicals will be like without Polos.

“I feel like [his work] is kind of a tradition, and people who have been here for a while kind of know how things work and how his brain works, so I think it’s definitely going to be a different outlook,” De Cordova said. “I’m not sure who’s going to be the new director. I wish them luck. Big shoes to fill.”

However, for Polos, thinking about the future is a sorrowful topic.

“To be totally absolutely honest, I don’t want to think about it because it will make me sad,” Polos said. “For now I have a job to do. I’ll be sad in February.”

Make sure to see “Sweeney Todd”  this week!

Wednesday, January 16th- Matinee 3:30 pm

Thursday, January 17th- 7:30 pm

Friday, January 18th- 7:30 pm

Saturday, January 19th- 7:30 pm