Julie Colangelo (left) of Port Chester, Liz Rotfeld of Port Chester and Mary Simons of Rye Brook portray workers at the Life Savers factory as part of the historical musical “Flashbacks” that will be performed on Monday, Sept. 30 at 7 p. m. at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $25.
Julie Colangelo (left) of Port Chester, Liz Rotfeld of Port Chester and Mary Simons of Rye Brook portray workers at the Life Savers factory as part of the historical musical “Flashbacks” that will be performed on Monday, Sept. 30 at 7 p. m. at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $25.
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Fourth grade students, as well as the community, will get the chance to see Rye Town's history come to life at the Capitol Theatre with the revival of the historical musical "Flashbacks."

Written by Camille Linen of Port Chester and Donna Cribari of Rye, the musical about the history of the Town of Rye was first presented in 2010 to celebrate the town's 350th anniversary.

"We've got a great little history in the Town of Rye," Linen said.

The idea to revive the musical came from Port Chester resident and history buff Peter Feinman, who has always advocated for community involvement and connecting with residents.

"Suddenly, I realized I better put my money where my mouth is and try and do that in my own community," Feinman said.

He came up with several ideas and approached both the town and village boards about them. One, which got a lot of positive feedback, was reviving the musical "Flashbacks" and performing it for local students. To give it a little more pizazz, Feinman thought it would be great to hold it at the Capitol Theatre given it was recently renovated. He reached out to both the Theatre's management and Linen and Cribari, who were all thrilled to get involved.

Since the two sisters first wrote the musical, Cribari and Linen have learned some new information, which has been incorporated into the show, and a new song has also been added.

"It was good before, but it's really good now," Linen said.

Featured in the show are Shanarockwell, the indigenous leader who "sold" Rye Town to white settlers, entrepreneurs William Ward and John Lyon and personifications of the Port Chester Post Office murals. Christina Colangelo, Blind Brook High School English and drama teacher, is directing the cast, a diverse group of 25 actors ranging in age from 8 to 80.

After the musical's creation, the material covered in it was incorporated into the 4th grade curriculum in the Port Chester School District.

As a way to help the students connect with the material they will be learning this year, all fourth graders from the four elementary schools will be attending a matinee performance of the show on Monday, Sept. 30.

"It inspires the kids," Linen said. After seeing the show performed, the students say, "Oh, we saw that. Now we can study about Anne Hutchinson. Now we can study about the Revolutionary War, the Whigs and Tories."

The fourth graders from Corpus Christi-Holy Rosary School will also be attending the show and Linen and Feinman hope to get students from other local schools to attend in the future. The 400 or so students who see the musical will all receive certificates signed by Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin as a way to remember that they are a part of the town and its history.

Community members who want to see the show and support the endeavor can attend the evening performance at 7 p. m. All tickets are $25 and will go to defray the costs of the production. Call (914) 939-3183 for ticket reservations for "Flashbacks," which is co-sponsored by the Town of Rye and the Port Chester Council for the Arts. Linen and Feinman hope to turn the performance

into an annual event for local students. "I hope it's going to be every year because it really would benefit everybody," Linen said. "We need new good traditions in Port Chester, especially in the arts."

CLAIRE K. RACINE|WESTMORE NEWS