Shap-tastic! Saturday's Shap Show Was a Sonically Splendid Success

The 25th anniversary edition of Laguna Beach High's famed musical fundraiser was a smash. Up next: a special edition coming in May.


Laguna Beach High School's 25th annual Shap Show was held Saturday at the Artists Theatre to raise money for the 2013 senior class.

The musical program is a tradition at LBHS. Saturday's show featured 25 songs sung by students, teachers, or show namesake Gary Shapiro himself, with Shapiro playing guitar and collaborating with student vocalists and musicians to raise money for the senior class’s safe and sober grad night.

Dubbed “No Suits Allowed” to reflect the informal and welcoming vibe, there were covers of songs including such popular classic hits such as “The First Cut is the Deepest,” “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” “Ho Hey,” “Sultans of Swing,” and more.

Shapiro, an upper-level math teacher at LBHS, had been developing the show since fall, and worked especially hard on it since Christmas vacation, getting the kids together, figuring what songs they'll perform, and rehearsing during lunch and after school.

"There are several events that involve grad night," said Jackie Parker, a member of the grad night committee. "There’s a pool party, convocation, a baccalaureate, a graduation ceremony, and then there’s a grad night party, and that costs a lot of money. Each student contributes a certain amount, but not everyone can, so we supplement it with fundraisers, and this is our biggest one. Shap does this every year for the seniors."       

To decide who gets to perform “is a very informal thing,” said Shapiro. “They talk to me, I hear them play, and if they can play or they can sing, then they’re in the show.”

Shapiro began playing music at age 14, and started performing in coffee houses after college. He now appears every summer at the Sawdust Festival.

"I love music and I love getting on stage with the kids. I love to see the kids perform,” said Shapiro. “Ever since I did student teaching, I played in front of the kids, wherever I worked. I taught junior highs and high schools back east. When I got here, they used to have a lip synch show, and I’d be in between some of the acts.”

The first Shap Show in 1989 netted a little less then $1,000, but over the past 25 years, it has raised more than $100,000 and involved more than 350 talented students.

The show will continue its legacy as Shap puts on a special “No Suits Allowed” alumni show on May 11 to raise funds for the SchoolPower Endowment. 


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