High School Drama Class Produces Entire Musical About Wegmans

Northeastern grocery chain Wegmans inspires the same kind of fanatical devotion in consumers as iPhone releases or “Twilight” movie premieres. So when a Wegmans store opened in Northboro, Mass., people camped out overnight awaiting their opportunity to storm the bulk candy aisle and buy $6 prepared meals, or something. Students in a local high school’s advanced drama class tapped into the zeitgeist, and have created an entire musical about the chain. It may be the world’s longest grocery store commercial.

“I was just feeling all around me the excitement and buzz about Wegmans. It seemed like an event, it seemed like a good idea to create a musical about,” their teacher told the Worcester Telegram.

The show grew out of improv exercises earlier in the school year where students sang about Wegmans. Its plot centers on dueling twin brothers who work at Wegmans and at a competitor, and a spy sent to steal the secrets of Wegmans who instead falls in love with the store.

Wegmans the musical? Algonquin students turn food shopping into melodic drama [Worcester Telegram] (via The Rochesterian)

Update, 5/15/12:

Here is what we know you’ve all been waiting for: a clip from the musical.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. bhr says:

    Sounds cute, and living in a soon to be Wegmenated town, I know exactly what they are talking about. The local food blog has had a countdown going for months, and people just drive by the location to get a peek at the building under construction (then update FB.)

    • MeowMaximus says:

      I loved Wegmans when I lived in NY, I wish they were here in Colorado Springs,=.

  2. PSUSkier says:

    Wegmans needs to spin off their sub business into a standalone venture. I would gladly spend my lunch money every day if they would just bring that arm of the business down to North Carolina.

    • ScottG says:

      I remember inviting a friend to lunch at Wegmans one time. She was new to the area and wasn’t familiar with Wegmans. When I suggested it she thought I had lost my mind. The Wegmans cafe is incredible.

      • bobloblaw says:

        OMG I LOVE WEGMANS!!!! especially missing it here in NC! sorry, ingles, your just not the same, with your still-on-the-shelves expired products : /

    • daveSH says:

      Interesting point. Wegmans actually franchised their sub shops FROM a local (Rochester) sub shop (Dibella’s). Originally there was a sign in Wegmans talking about how Danny Wegman would always notice the line at Dibella’s and ultimately brought the concept to Wegmans.

      • PSUSkier says:

        Very true, I had forgotten about that. Still though, I’m sure the conversation to be had (if the original sub shop is still operating on its own… I would assume so) would go something like this: “Hey, remember the boatload of money we made partnering in the grocery stores? How would you like to make that seem like a pittance?”

        • daveSH says:

          Actually, Dibella’s has branched out in a pattern similar to Wegmans (except that Dibella’s has expanded to the west. They (Dibella’s) are now in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan & Indiana. They also have a store in Milford, CT.

      • BurtReynolds says:

        I never realized that until I ate in a DiBellas and thought “This is exactly like Wegman’s subs”

    • liz.lemonade says:

      I’ve never been to a Wegman’s, but do you have Publix in your neck of NC? Damned if those subs aren’t amazing.

      • PSUSkier says:

        I don’t believe I do. The only grocery stores I’ve seen around me is Aldi’s, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Trader Joes and Bi-Lo.

  3. GMFish says:

    How long before an attorney from Wegmans sends a nasty-gram to the school ordering it to cease and desist from violating their intellectual property by performing the play?

    • sherrietee says:

      Since the New England division manager donated props to it, I think it will be a long while.

      • GMFish says:

        Employees of Viacom posted videos on YouTube, then other employees of Viacom decided to sue Google in part for those very same videos. Never understatement the smarminess of lawyers.

        • HomerSimpson says:

          Nah, Wegman’s loves that sort of thing

          • Rachacha says:

            Exactly. I used to work for Wegmans and had several family members that worked in various aspects of the company. They get a HUGE kick out of the strength of their fan base and do what they can to support it and include stories like this in their internal company communications.

          • Rachacha says:

            Exactly. I used to work for Wegmans and had several family members that worked in various aspects of the company. They get a HUGE kick out of the strength of their fan base and do what they can to support it and include stories like this in their internal company communications.

      • Lisse24 says:

        Never?
        Wegmans is a high class company. They treat their employees and communities well – and always have. They bought local before local was cool.
        To trash on a highschool for honoring them is out of character for the corporation and won’t happen.

    • wknt3 says:

      I actually heard senior Wegmans executives talking about it while I was shopping and they were visiting the store. They thought it was a hoot. Thought it was funny and charming, and knew it was great publicity. One of the reasons that the store is so loved is that its run by people who act like humans and allow their employees and managers to use their brains and exercise judgment. I seriously doubt that they would let their lawyers ruin the good PR.

  4. ScottG says:

    If you have never been to a Wegmans you should. There is a reason they are consistently ranked as one of the top companies to work for.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      I wish. They renovated a shopping center in my suburb and opened a new grocery store…a Harris Teeter. D:

    • webweazel says:

      Agreed. Awesome place! Whenever I visit the NorthEast, there are always two specific places I keep on my list to visit. Wegman’s is one, Reading Terminal in Philly is the other. (Italian market street in Philly, or Chinatown supermarkets, is another one to add to the list for me.)

      Reading terminal being so big usually requires a few trips to catch up on all the delights on display and to eat my way from one end to the other. Just to even see the multitudes and varieties of cheese is worth the trip. How to choose?

      All a foodie delight! Definitely lacking in the South.

    • Such an Interesting Monster says:

      I worked in one during college, and it was by no means a pleasant experience.

  5. dragonfire81 says:

    What’s wrong with product based musicals?

    Call 877 CASHNOW!

  6. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    ‘Northeastern grocery chain Wegmans’

    I’ve never heard of them.

    Maine: we’re basically Canada.

    • KatieNeptune says:

      I’m from Maineeeeeeee too! Went to my first Wegmans this year (had read about it). Closest is probably in the Worcester area? I hear ya, though. At least we have a Trader Joes…

      • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

        Yeah, Trader Joes is awesome. We’ve dropped 20% off our grocery bill by buying a lot at the new Trader Joes.

        Then we just Hannaford the rest.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      I’m in Connecticut and i’ve never been to one.

    • SeattleSeven says:

      Does milk come in bags in Maine too?

    • JMH says:

      Calling it a “Northeastern grocery chain” isn’t really precise enough. They’re really a western New York chain (48 stores, more than half of the entire chain, are in NY, none further east than of Binghamton, plus two in Erie PA, which is basically Southwest Buffalo) that’s done a lot of expansion into eastern Pennsylvania (10 stores along the Scranton-Philadelphia corridor plus State College, Harrisburg and Williamsport), central NJ (7 stores), eastern Maryland (5 stores) and northern Virginia (6 stores), plus the one in Massachusetts that’s the subject of this story. Where they aren’t is anywhere in the NYC area, Long Island, Albany (or anywhere else in NY east of Binghamton), or anywhere in New England except the one store in Massachusetts. According to their website, most of their planned expansion is in Maryland and Massachusetts (including a couple of stores in the Boston area) and not, much to my dismay, anywhere in the NYC area.

  7. aja175 says:

    I moved out of upstate NY about 18 months ago, one of the things I miss most is Wegmans. There’s nothing like it in San Francisco.
    Sahlens Hot Dogs too. MMmmmmmm Death by tasty tasty nitrates.

  8. ncn2003 says:

    GMFish the company is actually excited about the musical. A quote from another news article:

    “We’re really excited to go see it,” said Bill Congdon, Wegmans’ New England division manager. “We’re honored that the students want to do it.”

    Wegmans is not the type of company that sends a nastygram to a High Schooldrama class.

  9. cara says:

    WHY ALGONQUIN, WHY.

    Thank god I went to their rival school. Gotta love my area though for how odd it is.

  10. Ben says:

    What good little consumers!

  11. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    ferb I know what we’re gonna do today

  12. axolotl says:

    Huh?
    It’s a grocery store? And people camped out overnight? What’s the deal? Why?

  13. DerangedHermit says:

    Hi Wegmans. There’s a giant big gaping hole in your operations that corresponds to downstate NY and Connecticut. Please fix.

  14. raitch says:

    The Northborough Wegmans is heaven. HEAVEN I TELL YOU. 90% of the attraction is that the employees are so gosh darn nice. People smile at you! And offer you help!

    The other great thing about Wegmans is they have a huge variety of store brand products, which means that the prices for just about everything they carry is very low. Out here in the Boston ‘burbs, a gallon of no-name milk is $4.50 at the Shaws in my town. Wegmans’ milk is $1.99 a gallon. All grocery staples are similarly priced. Also… huge beer, wine & liquor selection. And a coffee bar. And a rooster that crows on the hour, which makes my kids’ day. I love Wegmans.

  15. mbz32190 says:

    As someone who worked at Wegmans for 4+ years…let me just say it isn’t all its cracked up to be. Very good prices, but lots of inside drama, poor management, and food that really isn’t as fresh as you think it is (eg….most of the bakery stuff just comes in as frozen dough and is simply heated in the store). So besides the huge size and pretty extras, it’s pretty much like any other store.

    • daveSH says:

      Then, with that poor management, etc. how does Wegmans consistently end up being at the top of Fortune Magazines “100 Best Companies to Work For”? They have been in the top 5 (#4 this year) for the last EIGHT years!

      • mbz32190 says:

        I’m not really sure who they gave those “random” surveys out to. I never heard of anyone in my store getting one. And I’m sure some (most) stores are run better than others, but my store was so full of gossip, people getting paid to do nothing, while those working hard were getting yelled at, and people either quitting or shuffling stores in a weekly basis. Not to mention the clueless management who insisted on saving every penny…every department was short staffed and overworked. The rest of the staff put on a happy face for the customer, but overall be pretty miserable the rest of the time. The benefits were okay I guess if you needed health insurance, but the pay for a non-management position wasn’t anything extraordinary. Now I still shop there occasionally, but mainly just for beer (since I live in PA with crazy laws..)

      • mbz32190 says:

        I’m not really sure who they gave those “random” surveys out to. I never heard of anyone in my store getting one. And I’m sure some (most) stores are run better than others, but my store was so full of gossip, people getting paid to do nothing, while those working hard were getting yelled at, and people either quitting or shuffling stores in a weekly basis. Not to mention the clueless management who insisted on saving every penny…every department was short staffed and overworked. The rest of the staff put on a happy face for the customer, but overall be pretty miserable the rest of the time. The benefits were okay I guess if you needed health insurance, but the pay for a non-management position wasn’t anything extraordinary. Now I still shop there occasionally, but mainly just for beer (since I live in PA with crazy laws..)

    • Cat says:

      Yea, so it’s a grocery store, but…

      Compare Wegmans’ benefits to any other grocery store.

  16. gman863 says:

    My family is originally from the Rochester, NY area. I loved Wegman’s growing up; it’s where my first generation Italian grandmother taught me how to shop for fresh, high quality meat and produce.

    Living in Texas, the only stores that come close to Wegman’s quality are Central Market and a few of the higher-end H-E-B stores.

  17. JMH says:

    After going to college upstate I do love me some Wegmans, but I can’t say that I’ve ever felt the urge to commit that love to a musical number.