Audiences Can’t Stop Cheering Burroughs Pop Show 39

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” Pop Show 39 pulled out all the stops and blew away Friday night’s packed Burroughs Auditorium audience.  PS39 has it all: great singing and dancing, exceptional costumes (previewed in the impressively laid out program) as well as professional-quality sound and lighting, courtesy of the amazing student tech crew.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

It’s classic Vegas entertainment…without the drinking.  There’s no need to imbibe spirits when your spirits are being raised by everything from heartfelt ballads to huge dance numbers to Hamilton-style rapping.  

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

 John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association (JBHS VMA) showed off all its groups: Powerhouse, Sound Sensations, Sound Waves, Decibelles, Vocal Ensemble, Muses, Men@Work, and Dance Ensemble.  They delivered stage-filling, intricately choreographed performances, as well as memorable, intimate performances.  To cite a few examples: Shaylin Becton with Jillian Flynn, Kayla McKeighan, and Ellen Tahmasyan owned I Heard It Through the Grapevine. Zoe Sparks showed us that Another Day of Sun can be an intimate ballad as well as a huge, La La Land opener. Sophia Kaloustian brought an Adele-like gravitas to Skyscraper. And don‘t be surprised if composer/singer Miranda Hyman’s original song, Addicted to Love, gets serious traction. Major kudos as well to Ethan Herisse (Live High) and Ian Wolf (From Eden.)

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

VMA Director Brendan Jennings may be too modest to cast Burroughs as the west coast version of New York’s renowned High School of the Performing Arts (as dramatized in the movie Fame.) But the consistently high caliber of the productions, whether creative or technical, certainly invites the comparison.   Many parents connected to the entertainment industry would agree.

Several weeks ago the Winter Olympics showcased best-of-the-best athletic performances, reminding all of us that today’s young people are just as capable of excellence as those of earlier generations.  This weekend’s Pop Show 39 is another Olympic-caliber reminder, this time in the arena of the performing arts. 

Performances of Pop Show 39  at JBHS Auditorium continue this Saturday, March 3, and Sunday, March 4.  Order tickets online at,  or call (626) 869-7328 or e-mail staff at

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