Archive for community theatre

A Two-Fer

Good news all around!  Dad will be home soon (within a few weeks).

Wednesday, the therapist had Dad come to the house for about a half hour to see how he did in old surroundings.  While still under guidance, he walked through the main floor…. though the front door; to the bedroom, the bathroom, and the kitchen.  He sat on his recliner and the couch.  Laid on the bed and got into his dresser drawers and closet.  Sat on the loo and stepped into and out of the shower.  He then sat at the kitchen table and got into the cupboards.  All in all, what you and I would consider menial tasks yet important to have him do in order to see where is at in his progress.  Before leaving, the therapist stressed the importance of motivation and activity once he is released or he will be right back out.

Today, the siblings and I met to discuss ways in which we all could make life easier for the two of them once he does come home.  Thankfully, we collaboratively came up with a plan even determining our holiday gathering schedule.  Tonight at dinner, I was amazed to learn that Dad is prepared to once again go to the school ball games.  Until last spring, he and Mom went all over as she drives the bus and keeps the book for volleyball, boys AND girls basketball, and softball.  Last spring, he fell off the bank wagon and had no interest at all in attending.  His desire to go shows (I believe) that he is indeed ready and willing to return to his old routine.

 

In other news, I have been offered and accepted the coveted role of Mr. Sawyer in Miracle on 34th Street.  This afternoon, the full cast and director Mare met to watch the glorious 1947 classic… even if it is only the last day of September.  Throughout the movie, several cast members asked if I would be portraying Kris Kringle, himself.  While playing Santa would be a fun opportunity, I think the villainous psychologist will make for an even more fun challenge.  Searching the archives, I noticed that the last performance I was in with a theatre company was October 17, 2010 as Barrymore in Hound of the Baskervilles.  Last weekend’s adventure was something else entirely.  However, while watching the movie I see ALOT of opportunity for a memorable character to develop.  Time to grab the erasable highlighter that I received in October 2009 after a performance of You Have the Right to Remain Dead.

great and beautiful marvelous things are happening!

A Year Full of Ups And Downs

2010… What a year!  So much happened that I do not know where the time went!  It started off LAST January when I received my first two awards for acting in You Have the Right to Remain Dead (as everyone’s ill-fated, lovable, hammy narrator… Harnell Chesterton) and for bringing the Grinchi Scrooginess of Mr. Henry F. Potter to life in It’s a Wonderful Life.  Even my best friends gave up a Bears’ playoff game to share in my moment as well as family!

I can’t even fathom the reality that I had limited myself to only two plays this year.  I tackled m first lead role in the three person DRAMA, Miracles.  I hope that Dawn and Rebekkah share in my belief that this play was one of the best shows I have ever been a part of.  Thank you Beth for pushing for this show to be done and spreading its important, powerful message.

Chris next challenged me to seek out a new vocal coach.  I had wanted to find one ever since Emily passed; however, I was uncertain as to whether I could find one as determined to help me in what I need to do.  Thank God, he helped me find Kathrine.  I could not ask for a better coach.  I just adore people who know where your talent lies and are willing to guide you with suggestions on how best to cultivate them.  Over the years I have had and continue to have some of the best!

I also became a board member of a new theatrical group in which I get to spend more time with my friends and help to bring The Wizard of Oz to the stage next summer.  I also had my first byline when I reviewed the company’s production of (Cr)Oklahoma! last summer.

My final performances of the year came in the Mare helmed production of The Hound of the Baskervilles in which I played a dual role as Barrymore, the caretaker of the Baskerville estate and as the doomed Selden who met a rather grisly demise.  Each production lends some challenge as well as fun working with old friends and making new ones.

The fact that I only limited myself to two shows this past year allowed me to do some very cool things with my friends.  In July, we went to Cincinnati to the zoo and then to Kings Island.  I had not been to one of my favorite parks in several years and to go and be treated as V.I.P.s was extraordinary.  Not to mention the multiple game nights (from which I just opened 2011), chats in person and via I.M.ing.  Just good times!

Of course a year is not all roses.  On January 5, we lost our beloved Aunt Carol to cancer.  Gone long before her time but held on longer than many thought she would.  And more recently, my brother separated from his wife.  I think that ultimately with the help and guidance of prayer and the love of family and friends striving forward yet remembering the special times only make us stronger.

So as we bid farewell to 2010, wrap up the holiday season and look ahead to the new year,  I wish all of you the very best of peace, joy, and happiness.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne my jo,

For auld lang syne,

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE… GOOD NIGHT!

Christmas Two-Fer

Looking for a bit of Christmas spirit (not THAT kind of spirit)?  My nephew Alex, Megan, and I found a smattering at the Huber tonight as the Village Players presented a duo of one act plays.  Things got started with an adorable retelling of the immortal Nutcracker story.  Most of the cast was made up of children with a few adults in the mix to keep things under control.  There were whole families taking part in some of the roles!  And what would the tale of little Clara and her Prince on a magical Christmas Eve be without the classic music of Tchaikovski’s ballet.  There were also some of the dances thrown in:  The Waltz of the (ADORABLE) Snowflakes, The Chinese (Tea) Dance, and of course The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  And the Snow Queen really sent shivers down my spine.   BRRRRRRRRR!  And WHO was behind the Owl Clock who kept popping up in rhyme?

After intermission, O. Henry’s classic tale of unselfish, sacrificial gifting was presented.  What better way to remind us all what the Christmas season is all about than by seeing a young couple give what they “think” is their most valued possession in order to purchase a gift for their true love.  Be it by reading the printed story, seeing it presented on stage, or watching the Mickey and Minnie version, The Gift of the Magi has always been a personal favorite of mine.  And the narration wasn’t bad, either 😉

After the performance, my trio greeted the cast… most of whom I have either worked with previously, been directed by, or been reviewed by (“a raised eyebrow speaks volumes”  still cracks me up!).  Travis received his giant nutcracker director’s present… very appropriate.  No present for Amber, yet.  And of course, my young companion had to endear himself to everyone.  Calling Miss Mare “a gift from God?!” Honestly…

I did forget how much I adored the two sets.  The Nutcracker was full of fun colors, a giant tree, over-sized sweets, and the razzle-dazzle of the season.  The polar opposite was true of the second show.  The young couple’s (by the name of Young, coincidentally) abode was dark and dreary.  Both sets captured each tale beautifully.

A really fun evening full of friends and Christmas magic.

The Ghost Upon The Moor

Well.. last night’s opening night performance of The Hound of the Baskervilles was quite a success.  What began with reservations numbering 17 turned into a crowd of over 70 before curtain time.  Quite a feat when the small village had a home high school football game.  Of course, everyone is not a sports fan and the weather is starting to get that chill once again.

The audience was very good in their reactions to he events which unfolded on stage.  As predicted in at least one review, Holmes received the most chuckles.  However, there were some unexpected guffaws as well.  One involving a ghost which must just now have decided to wreck havoc with the lights upon the moor.  Holmes and Watson come upon a corpse and investigate.  Usually, this is done with the assistance of not only their illuminated lanterns but a greenish glow surrounding the deceased.  At the end of the scene, the ghost decided to raise the stage lights prior to the “corpse’s” exit from the stage.  “He’s ALIIIIVE!

The cast was brilliant!  Even Sir Henry seemed to have relaxed and created an entirely new dynamic to his character.  Wonderful what a great audience can do!

After the performance, the cast and some VP members gathered for a small reception.  I got to chat with my favorite Tevye (who was to be “Potter’s goon” but more important matters arose) , his wife, and their growing little one who was a wee babe the last I saw her at January’s awards banquet… now she is up toddling around.  I was surprised to see Me and Ca in attendance… no idea they were going to be there.  Ca is bringing a bus load of students to this afternoon’s matinee.

So shortly after midnight, the last of the revelers departed.  Good thing I convinced the boss to let me skip my 8am-10am shift.  She did not even realize I was supposed to be there this morning.  Now.. if only I can convince her of that on Sunday mornings.

One down… three to go.

Fun Rehearsal

Not that they are not all fun, but our next to final rehearsal was more of a chance for the cast to just hang out, eat some pizza and cookies which I DID BAKE MYSELF! and run through the show unencumbered by technical stuff. I had planned to bake up a batch of Toll House to take.  However, I decided to do this yesterday since I had to work today and did not get done with my shift until it was time to head to the Huber.  I was amazed that the cookies lasted this long particularly when there were a bunch of kiddies here yesterday after school dismissed 2 hours early for a parent/teacher conference session.  My warning of one cookie a piece must have worked wonders.  Of course, I did divide up a small bowl for home and still had some left to bring home.

When I arrived at the theatre, I was immediately asked if I had read the reviews from the two of three papers from Sunday night.  Apparently, I personally had quite a glowing review.  One publication remarked:

the wonderful Jamiahsh (who can speak volumes with a simple gesture or raised eyebrow)

The second paper noted that my performance was “stunning, once again.”

All I can say is “WOW!” I did chuckle a bit as I sat and read them.  But overall, both reviews were quite complimentary and made the anticipation that much more palpable.

All I can say is that I am extremely humbled and thank God that He has bestowed upon me a great passion, appreciation, and talent for the stage.  There really is no other place I’d rather be (unless it be with a great group of friends and family).  I honestly and truly do believe that that is my calling.  Sounds humble, doesn’t it? 😉

I did however, draw a blank on one line (sometimes, I wish we had a videographer to record these moments for a gag reel)… having too much fun on our fun night, eh?

Two Weeks To GO!

Two weeks from tonight will be  OPENING NIGHT of the Sherlock Holmes classic (still can’t believe how many odd looks I get whenever I mention the title) The Hound of the Baskervilles at the splendiferous (yes… that is a word) Huber Opera House!  For my part, I am happy to state that my lines are learned which is quite common at this point in a show (more common than the line learning from my last play… still a great experience but challenging which was even more rewarding personally).  The next couple of weeks will be a whirlwind of activity from work to vocal lessons to rehearsal and whatever else may come my way but as always… I AM SUPER EXCITED!

Sunday, my talents will once again be used in set construction.  As many of you know if you ever need anything painted… I am your guy!  I remember the praise I received for my last set paining… I think it was a few years ago for The Odd Couple.  Funny how no one has ever asked me to once again use my paint brush.  Their loss, I guess.  But my talent has not gone unnoticed.  More than once justj has commented to Mare about my remarkable painting prowess.  We’ll see on Sunday if it used.

Hopefully, by Tuesday everyone will be better on their lines to avoid the dreaded Saturday before review rehearsal day.  I just learned that another tangenteer will be coming to review the show.  Hopefully, it will not take as long for her review to be published as the one I wrote for OKLAHOMA! did.

Click the link to the Village Players website for tickets and time information.

He IS A Bit Draft

AH… the first week of a new adventure in acting!  A larger cast this time.  A more limited role… but an important role (which is what I wanted for the moment). The chance to develop a new accent.  ACCENT?!  And a chance to drive everyone crazy with a physical change… a change that will be remedied after the show.

I am playing the role of Barrymore, the caretaker of Baskerville Hall in a dramatic interpretation of the Sherlock Homes classic The Hound of the Baskervilles. Some fans have asked me why Holmes or Watson need a beard.  I am playing neither the detective nor his trusted friend.  John Barrymore and his wife, Eliza have been employed by Sir Charles for years and upon his death may know a bit more than they are willing to share.

This will be a great show with some great friends I have made amongst the Village Players (our director is a fellow tangenteer) over the last two years.  Two other WCCTers (one of whom is another tangenteer) have decided to come along for the ride! Hopefully, both js will enjoy the experience as much as I have in 4 previous shows.

October 15-17th.

You Cain’t Say No to OKLAHOMA! by Jamiahsh

Yes, my first byline appeared in today’s local newspaper.  VERY exciting and fun how it came about.  Last Thursday, I received an email asking if I would like to go an review the local production of OKLAHOMA!.  The extremely talented regular reviewer of theatrical productions was unavailable for press night.  The fact that he is also the president of the board for the non-profit theatre group also might have played a role.  So, I quickly replied and was really excited about the opportunity.

Just prior to the beginning of my voice lesson, I hear my cell phone ring (and no it is no longer what I was informed was the theme to “Sex and the City…”  never seen either the tv show… or the movie).  I quickly got the details… time was the most important thing, the rest I pretty much figured out on my own.

A small town community theatre needs positive feedback from the media.  These are not paid professionals performing here.  As I have said before, the show is not one of my favorites for many reasons… chief among them is the length.  However, I am pleased to say that Fountain City Festival’s performance was top notch.  It was very easy to mention all of the principal actors and a few of the veterans who have been involved in the eleven shows the group has produced (two of which I have been in).

The production team decided to remain totally faithful to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s original.  So faithful that only 8 measures of the score were dropped.  Everything gelled nicely; the acting, singing, orchestra, set, costuming, and choreography were all superb.  Where most groups may drop such moments as the Dream Ballet for the benefit of time or the lack of decent dancers, the sequence was included and it was extraordinary.  In fact, all of the big dance numbers were high energy and very engaging.  All of the performers on stage (from Curly all the way to the cameo performers)  remarkably brought their roles to life.  The director also was involved on stage… very fun.  He surely had a lot of help from his production team.  I have also worked with the vocal director and pit conductor in the past.

While there was a lot of good to put in the review, it was hard to put into a coherent article.  Who wants to read a review containing the same adjectives over and over.  I had to put in a bit of the history… which was easy for the show which kicked off the modern musical… as well as enough of the plot to engage anyone who might not know the show.  Plus be kind to everyone involved.  Finally… shortly after 1AM Friday morning (about the same amount of time it took for the entire show), I forwarded a copy.  It only took a three editions of the paper to see the light of day.  It could have stood a bit of editing to reflect the show dates.  I just hope no one tries to attend a performance tonight.

So…. anyone in the area who wants to see a great performance of the most classic of modern musicals… check out the remaining shows this weekend.  Just forget how dated the material is.  I do think there is an audience for these light-hearted shows.  And as the banner on the website says: Professional Quality Theatre in Northwest Ohio.  And another piece to add to my resume!  Right up there with a little television performance.

A TaLi Lo Production

So ends yet another wonderful, memorable experience.  TaLi Lo is a new non-profit production company in its infancy started by a true theatre lover with the help of her two sisters.  I think this is just great.  She plans to have stage extravaganzas periodically at the Quarterline Cafe.  A portion of each ticket sale will go to a group of her choosing that is near to her heart.  Two dollars from each ticket for He Crossed That Line is going to the county hospital’s cardiac wing.

As for the show itself, it was a delightful murder-mystery full of suspense, suspicion, and improvisation fun!  The victim, Joe Coffee (the evening’s Elvis tribute artist) has been murdered.  FBI Agent Herman Clueso (no relation) is called in on his first case after finishing 97th out of 103rd in his graduating class.

The Suspects:

  • Miss Honey Dew… the 19 year-old widow of the 40 year old victim.  Funny how she has no clue who the King of Rock and Roll is.
  • Mrs. Lola Finkelmeyer… married to golf pro, Lester (Less for short,  “Less is apparently more”).  It seems that old Tiger Woods has been hitting 18 hoes (err. holes).  A close school friend of the victim.
  • Lacy Loveless… pregnant school mate of Joe and Lola.  But all is not as it seems.
  • Boobsie McGee another classmate of Lacy, Joe, and Lola.  Seems to have very close ties to Lacy.
  • Guido Zuckerstein… the owner of the restaurant where the murder took place.  An Italian-Jew… mother Italian, father Jewish (“eh, This is a America”).  Possible ties to organized crime and to Honey Dew.
  • Brittawney Rockefeller Dinglesmoocher… yet another schoolmate of Joe, Lola, Lacy, and Boobsie.  Apparently, a decendant of the Rockefeller clan.

Agent Clueso’s (and the audience’s) mission… to piece together the clues and determine whodunit and why.  The clues come at a terrific pace while the characters and audience enjoy a sumptuous buffet until all the clues are announced and Clueso (in his ultimate wisdom, after just completing his training as an FBI agent after 5 attempts.  He had a little trouble in weapons class!) announces who he believes the murderer is.   Unfortunately, he misses is by “that much” and the real murder reveals him/herself only to be thwarted by the genius who is Clueso, Herman Clueso.

I had an absolute delightful time in my first improv show!  Although, we were given the basic outline of the event, everything else was unscripted so you never knew what was going to happen.  The culprit was not announced to the actor playing the role (and only to that actor) until just before the doors were unlocked each night.  Thank you everyone in the cast, to producer, director Lisa (not that Lisa), and all the audience members who joined in the fun.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A NIGHT MAKES!

TONIGHT’S PERFORMANCE WAS PURE MAGICAL GOLD!  W had 15 reservations tonight and by the time we started our evening of mystery and mayhem, I’m sure we had at least 30.  Quite a switch from the nine we had last night.  I AM SO PSYCHED!  I know I mentioned that I was scared to death when this improv thing came up but after tonight, I am hooked.  Thanks in no small part to a larger than I anticipated table at the front of the murder scene.  One of my best friends decided to spread the word about the entertainment via a mass email that really worked!  I knew a couple of them were speculating about coming tomorrow but I am so glad that they came tonight along with a third visitor and then two more came along!  HEHEHEHE!!!!

While last night’s audience was very fun and we were able to play off of them really well… nothing beats interacting with a large crowd of VERY receptive participants.  There were moments of physicality that no one was anticipating that I found (as a performer) very exciting!  And it was all out of the blue!  That’s improv folks and I love it!  Never judge something until you’ve done it yourself?  I hope the video came off well enough to post highlights on youtube so I can share some of it!

There is something new already brewing for my return to the stage!  As with anything involving the stage, I am already pumped about it!  Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available!

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