Baldwinsville Theater Guild will present ‘All Together Now!’ November 14 review – Eagle News Online
BALDWINSVILLE – When the COVID-19 pandemic fell, the curtain fell on live theater everywhere from Broadway to Baldwinsville.
Broadway singer-actor Matt Dengler, who grew up in Baldwinsville, can attest to that.
âRight before the pandemic, I was in Emory, Virginia, directing a musical – ‘Little Women’ – at Emory & Henry College,â Dengler said.
Just before opening night, COVID shut down live productions across the country, including “Little Women.” Dengler has returned to his family’s home – the Denglers now live in Skaneateles – to wait for the pandemic to end.
âLive theater has been completely shut down,â he said. âIt is perhaps one of the industries hardest hit by [COVID] because live theater has to be a community experience.
Dengler will return to his hometown and share a community theater experience on November 14 as part of the Baldwinsville Theater Guild’s production of “All Together Now!” A global event celebrating local theater. The magazine features musical numbers from beloved productions such as “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Hairspray”, “Into the Woods”, “Les MisÃ©rables”, “Rent” and more Again.
If you are going to
WHAT: Music Theater International: All together now! A global event celebrating local theater
WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday, November 14
OR: Baker High School Auditorium
INFO: Limited tickets available; $ 10, https://ci.ovationtix.com/35789/production/1083181/. Masks required.
Music Theater International (MTI), a leading theater licensing company, has created “All Together Now!” as a fundraiser for local theaters to recoup some of their losses. The Baldwinsville Theater Guild’s November 14 review is one of 5,500 performances of “All Together Now!” which will take place across the world between November 12 and 15.
âWe have streamlined our licensing process for this special event and there is no restriction or limit on the number of theaters in a particular geographic area that can license the magazine. Instead, we hope that as many theaters as possible produce the magazine themselves, or come together with other organizations in their communities to mount a joint production. We also wanted to give cinemas as much creative contribution as possible, âsaid John Prignano, COO and Director of Education and Development for MTI, in a press release.
While the Baldwinsville Theater Guild typically performs at the Presbyterian Education Center on Oswego Street, “All Together Now!” will take place in the auditorium of Baker High School, which allows for greater physical distancing for members of the public. The review is a homecoming for Dengler and for BTG, which had its performances in Baker.
âIt will be great to go back,â Dengler said. “I have very special memories of this space because that’s where BTG was performing, in the old auditorium.”
Dengler grew up watching his grandparents and parents perform in BTG productions.
“I remember thinking, ‘What is this? I want to do this! ‘âHe said. “This is where I got ‘bitten by the virus’, as they say.”
A scholarship from BTG enabled Dengler to attend New York University and the Collaborative Arts Project 21 conservatory. He has now performed professionally for 11 years. His Broadway credits include “A Little Night Music” and “The Visit”.
âThey’ve always been there to cheer me on,â Dengler said of BTG. âI am so happy to come back and work with everyone. “
BTG producer Sandy Baker and director Colin Keating invited Dengler to participate in the review.
âI had the opportunity to be his teacher when he was a student here in Baldwinsville,â Keating said of Dengler. âWe look forward to further collaborations in the future. He’s a great guy and I can’t wait to hear him sing.
Keating will do double duty next weekend. He directs âMoana Jr.â of the Baldwinsville Theater Arts Program. November 12 and 13 before performing “All Together Now” on November 14.
âWe’re literally going at midnight Saturday night to change the setsâ¦ to get ready for Sunday,â Baker said.
The BTG team will be painting on parts of the “Moana” ensemble for “All Together Now!”
âWe have deliberately designed this set so that it can be shared between the two productions,â said Keating.
The Baker High School Chamber Choir – also under Keating’s tutelage – will also perform in the review.
âI think they’re really excited about it. This gives them the opportunity to collaborate with other local artists who are not their classmates. Hearing that they’re going to be sharing the stage with some Broadway talent is really exciting for some of them, âKeating said.
The review is the first live performance of BTG since the start of the pandemic. Artists, audiences and supporters have expressed their enthusiasm for BTG’s return, Baker said.
âWe were so excited to have such attendance at the auditions. It was so exciting to hear these beautiful voices. Everyone was so thrilled, âsaid Baker. âThe sound system in high school is so wonderful and the lighting [is too]. It has been such a home for us and they have been wonderful for us.
While the BTG team looks forward to meeting in person again, COVID security protocols will be in effect. Performers will wear clear face shields / masks during ensemble performances. Members of the public are required to wear masks, and the auditorium seats provide plenty of space to spread out.
âPeople are hungry. They’re looking for something to do where they still feel comfortable, âBaker said.
Keating said players have been eagerly awaiting the âmagic of being in a theaterâ in person.
“I’ve found that people in the theater community may still feel a little reluctant to get involved again, but once they’re in the room rehearsing and collaborating together there’s a sigh. of relief, âKeating said. âI think people are tired of looking at things on a screen. The magic of being in a theater and doing it live – I know our performers look forward to this and they know the value of it. “
Dengler said theatergoers and performers have been “hungry for community” during the pandemic.
âI think we all realize how much we miss each other. If there is a silver lining in COVID, it’s that it has helped us realize how valuable live theater is, âhe said.
Now that he’s back based in New York City and attending auditions via Zoom, Dengler said he misses the small town vibe of B’ville.
âBaldwinsville in general has a very good community theater / art scene,â he said. âTheater is the ultimate in community building, it’s the ultimate community activity in my opinion. Baldwinsville is the community that brought me up.