West Valley High School drama student Nanieezh Peter got a rave review last week for demonstrating a snippet of her performance as Helena in West Valley’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

That rave review was pretty special. It came from Broadway star Jenn Colella, who was visiting Fairbanks for a performance of her own, for Fairbanks Concert Association. During a multi-day stay, Colella and the core group of musicians from Broadway’s “Come From Away” musical, including homegrown fiddler Caitlin Warbelow, got to share their expertise with local students. It was outreach arranged by FCA.

These Broadway performers included Jenn Colella, Fairbanks fiddler Caitlin Warbelow, percussionist James Yoshizowa, music director Chris Ranney and Nate Lueck, all from the Tony Award-winning hit musical “Come From Away.”

During their short visit here, they visited North Pole High School musicians, interacted with students of theater and film at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. And at West Valley High School, a small handful of students were fortunate to enjoy an intimate conversation with Jenn Colella and Caitlin Warbelow.

Needless to say, Nanieezh was astonished at her good fortune and delighted with Colella’s words of encouragement: “Maybe we’ll be in a show together someday.”

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.


Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at kcapps@newsminer.com, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.