On Thursday night, April 20, good guys and bad guys will be battling for the chance to be crowned Londonderry High School’s 11th “Mr. LHS”.
Following last year’s “Decades” theme, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the event, this year’s theme will be “Heroes and Villains”, and the 9 Mr. LHS contenders will be dressed for the occasion.
The idea for the very first Mr. LHS pageant arose when back in 2006, the editors of the Lancer Spirit, LHS’s source for the high school’s happenings, were in need of money, so brainstorming began for ideas for fundraising. English Teacher and Journalism Advisor, Mary DeWinkeleer, had the idea to put on a talent show of sorts, but it never came to fruition as she had taken maternity leave at that time. That’s when fellow english Teacher, Corrine Murphy, chimed in.
Murphy had gone to Pinkerton Academy, where they had a “Mr. Pinkerton” competition, so she suggested adopting it for LHS. After the first event proved to be a hit amongst the students, DeWinkeleer has been running it since, and it has become much bigger throughout the years.
“It’s less about talent and more about the laughs,” DeWinkeleer explained.
Lancer Spirit Student Editor, Shea Robinson, explained that at each event, the boys will strut their stuff on a catwalk wearing tuxedos donated by Men’s Wearhouse, followed by a group dance, where the guys will be scored individually based on performance. Afterwards, contestants will break up into their individual acts, with the exception of one dynamic duo. Individual performances will include a magic act, dancing, and a cover of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”, just to name a few.
“You don’t really need to have a talent,” Robinson explained, adding that the variety of performances reflects on each individual’s personality and is what puts Mr. LHS among the “must see” events, along with hits such as Mack Plaque and the Hypnotist show.
Competitors for the Mr. LHS crown will be judged based on their performance in the catwalk, their “talent”, how they fare in the question and answer portion, and bonus points will be awarded to the young man who raises the most funds through ticket sales, and raffle tickets for “man cans”, inside of which contain several chances to win gift cards to great local restaurants and businesses.
Judges this year include Assistant Principal Stephen Secor, Math Teacher Leokadia Koch, fellow Math Teacher Scott Milne, and one vacant spot that at press time had yet to be determined.
When contestants were asked why they should be crowned Mr. LHS, some of the boys came up with compelling answers.
“I wanted to be Mr. LHS because I’ve always looked up to the funny guys on stage,” explained Mr. LHS contestant Sean Snyder. “and since freshman year, I told myself I would do it. I should be the next Mr. LHS because I’m a great singer, a wonderful charm with the judges…and, because I’m Batman.”
Contestant Andrew Chase countered, “I think I’m going to win this because I’m the best singer, and I have better charm than others.” He also mentioned that he entered “For the laughs, and if anyone should join, it should be me, from my (group of) friends.
The show starts at 7:30pm the night of the event. Tickets are available for $10 at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Lancer Spirit, helping to publish the news magazine, and helps to provide journalism students with opportunities to attend conferences such as the Columbia Scholastic Press Association convention.