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Despite tragic loss, the Colonie show goes on

Colonie Central High School students and staff are taking the opportunity to remember a student whose life, love of music and charisma touched so many.

More than a month before Corey Womack's signature humor and booming voice were to wash over audiences at this year's school production of the musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors, Womack died in a car accident.

The Feb. 19 accident happened a day after his 18th birthday. The car he was riding in crashed less than a half-mile from his home.

Womack would have played the off-stage voice " and antics " of Audrey II, the evil blood-sucking plant from space, whose plan is to take over the world.

His loss to the school and thespian community hit hard, but " as he would have wanted " the cast continued to grind through rehearsals and landed three students to fill the role of Audrey II.

As months of work culminates in four shows this week, South Colonie Dollars for Scholars will use profits from the sale of bottled water to fund a scholarship in Womack's name.

"He was an amazing singer. I always told him he gave me the goose bumps when he sang," said Erin Chesky, 18.

The two had been friends since Womack moved to the district in seventh grade.

Chesky, a senior at Colonie Central, had participated in several productions with Womack.

Womack was one of a handful of young men at the school willing to join productions and sing in the choir. He was the choir's only "true bass," Chesky said. And his abilities quickly landed him the lead in school plays and musical, including last year's production of "Anything Goes."

"Corey was fun to work with and very easy going. He was very laid back and on the money when he needed to be. Charismatic is a very overused word, but it works for him. After I got to know him, I called him my Ferris Bueller," said production manager Edward Meagher. Meagher alternates from year-to-year on productions as manager and director.

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