Amelia Koehler, front, sings with fellow cast members Meg Scroggins (back row, from left) Lauren Goebel and McKay Burdette, during a rehearsal. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Amelia Koehler, front, sings with fellow cast members Meg Scroggins (back row, from left) Lauren Goebel and McKay Burdette, during a rehearsal. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
A children's book comes to life in a musical this weekend at Shawe Memorial High School.

The school's theater department presents Lauren Mayer's "Cool Suit," a musical version of the book, "The Emperor's New Clothes," by Hans Christian Andersen.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Rev. Hilary Meny Gymnasium, 201 W. State St.

The musical portrays the emperor's quest to find the best clothes money can buy in a hip, updated version of the classic short story.

"It's about a very vain emperor who is more concerned with how he looks than taking care of his subjects," the play's director Lori Hedges said in a release. "Because of this, a group of rebels decide to stage a coup by making him look so foolish that he must be removed from the throne."

The play features several musical numbers.

"We have a classic musical-style song," Hedges said. "We have some 1960s-sounding rock. We have some rap. There's even a song that sounds like a Sinatra tune. There's something for almost everyone's musical tastes."

The play's cast includes Aczael Rios Garcia, Amelia Koehler, Myles Hesse, Justin Stewart, Chase Heaton, McKay Burdette, Meg Scroggins, Lauren Goebel, Alex Reuss, Andrew Eigel and Katelyn Moore.

Hedges said the musical fit well for the drama department because of the smaller cast and the versatile set expectations.

"Most of the time, a musical has a huge cast," Hedges said, so "Cool Suit" fit well for the smaller Shawe drama department cast.

Sets for the play also were a top consideration when selecting the spring production. While this play doesn't call for a set, the group decided to add their own creative ideas to the production by reusing some of the set from the group's fall performance.

The play is expected to last about an hour.

"I think it's going to be really funny," she said.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 17 and younger. Advanced tickets may be purchased at Shawe Memorial High School office or at Something Simple, 217 E. Main St. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Doors to the auditorium open 30 minutes before the production begins.

In addition to the play, the school will host a dessert and beverage buffet in the high school student lounge about an hour before the play. Prices vary per item, but money raised will help the school's drama department to purchase a new costume closet.