Curtain theater – Abajo El Telon http://abajoeltelon.com/ Wed, 18 May 2022 22:40:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://abajoeltelon.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-120x120.jpg Curtain theater – Abajo El Telon http://abajoeltelon.com/ 32 32 Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo on the transformative nature of Akhnaton by Philip Glass https://abajoeltelon.com/countertenor-anthony-roth-costanzo-on-the-transformative-nature-of-akhnaton-by-philip-glass/ Wed, 18 May 2022 22:40:52 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/countertenor-anthony-roth-costanzo-on-the-transformative-nature-of-akhnaton-by-philip-glass/ Characteristics of Classical Arts Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo on the transformative nature of Philip Glass’ Akhenaten On the eve of the revival of the Metropolitan Opera’s landmark production of Glass’s work, the opera star reflects on his defining power over his career. Anthony Roth Costanzo in Akhenaten Karen Almond / Met Opera As I write […]]]>

Characteristics of Classical Arts

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo on the transformative nature of Philip Glass’ Akhenaten

On the eve of the revival of the Metropolitan Opera’s landmark production of Glass’s work, the opera star reflects on his defining power over his career.

Anthony Roth Costanzo in Akhenaten
Karen Almond / Met Opera

As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane returning from the Grammy Awards, where I was just presented with one of those chunky gold chunks praising our live recording of Akhenaten at the Met. Rarely, if ever, in the life of an artist is there a project, a role, that merges the experiences and skills you have accumulated and channels them into a single practice. If this project then connects with people in a deep way, it is truly life changing.

When I smelled the cold metal of the reward, a memory came to my mind of the first time I set foot on the cold brass floor of the throne room of the three-tiered hieroglyphic diorama. by Tom Pye. I was in rehearsal at English National Opera, where we premiered Phelim McDermott’s extraordinary production. In this golden room where my character is crowned pharaoh, I have no lines to sing. How could I convey the fear, the excitement, the vulnerability, the vision of a young man about to change the world with his revolutionary ideas? Phelim encouraged us to explore four different qualities of movement taught by theater guru Michael Chekhov: shaping, flying, floating and radiating. Casting, for example, should feel like moving your hand through the air if the air was made of molasses. After walking through the throne room, with Glass’ musical meters of three and four swirling around me, and Sean Gandini’s juggling balls crossing my field of vision like magnified atomic particles, I began to unlock the answer how I could make Akhnaton’s thoughts speak. The physical sensation of resistance merged my body with the dark weight of Glass’ violinless score, and simultaneously allowed my mind to relax enough for some sort of clarity to emerge.

I realize I sound like someone who just got back from a Zen retreat, but when I was a kid on Broadway doing theater in New York, I had a similar feeling. when I realized intuitively that I couldn’t try my hardest to shape the audience. attention, but instead had to develop instincts about how people react to a performer’s honesty on stage. The mental clarity that the Phelim technique offers, by occupying your body with a finished task, makes this kind of candid self-expression possible, like the laser beam from my eyes to every seat in the house.

Anthony Roth Costanzo in Akhenaten

Ken Howard / Met Opera

On stage, as I’m about to open my mouth and sing in ancient Egyptian, I climb dangerously up the stairs in heavy gold paraphernalia – 40 pounds, to be exact – and ponder how I can convey the meaning with the sound, since nobody speaks ancient Egyptian and the production deliberately avoids the translation of the ancient text. The human voice exists in a liminal space between the voluntary and the involuntary – we can’t tell exactly what to do with the over 60 muscles that control voice function. The only way to shape and color your tone is through imagination. For example, if you inhale and imagine that you smell a rose, your soft palate (the skin at the back of your throat) will magically lift. I had to find images that prompted a constellation of sounds that could combine to tell a story.

In a quest to amass a quiver of images, I went to talk to Oxford Egyptologist Richard Parkinson and amateur Egyptologist (and famous filmmaker) James Ivory. Richard showed me the original soft-grained watercolors that Howard Carter painted of Tutankhamun’s tomb when he discovered it exactly 100 years ago this fall. I wanted Akhnaton’s “Hymn to the Sun” to have no rough edges and glide like his brush on paper. James spoke of Akhnaton’s crown with its flint brilliance and complicated geometry, and I wanted to match the shimmering beauty of the crown in the timbral steel I could muster to rival the brass in the pit. Combining these ideas with real-life vocal approaches, I worked first with my voice teacher Joan Patenaude-Yarnell and then with bandleader Karen Kamensek to find Akhnaten’s voice.

The entire cast and creative team worked in a similar fashion to create a show that was a hit when it premiered in London. But it wasn’t until three years later, when we performed this show at the Met, that we soared to apotheosis. We worked together to create buzz, invent engagement, education and marketing strategies that engaged my entrepreneurial spirit, and the show sold out. My procrastinating friends called me complaining that they had to go to Stubhub and pay over $1000 for a single ticket. When all of these people sat there, absorbing the synthesis of our years of painstaking work and the spontaneity of a live performance, it was as if we were somehow releasing ancient spirits upon them. More thrilling to me than the shouting, standing ovations at the end of each performance were the sacred and exceedingly rare seconds of breathless silence just after the curtain fell. I stood behind that curtain, imagining that each had just experienced their own sort of lucid dream that was wonderfully distinct but connected to everything ours was on stage.

As the weight of that Grammy shifted into my hands and I heard the cheers of the audience in a Las Vegas ballroom, I was filled with joy not only because of the recognition that that loud roar represented, but because I knew that soon I would hear those few more seconds of silence when Akhenaten returns to the Met.

Akhenaten is on arrange May 19–June 10. For more information, visit metopera.org.

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Anthony Edwards enters “Girl From the North Country” https://abajoeltelon.com/anthony-edwards-enters-girl-from-the-north-country/ Sun, 15 May 2022 15:52:19 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/anthony-edwards-enters-girl-from-the-north-country/ Anthony Edwards is no stranger to playing a doctor or answering emergency calls after starring on the hit TV series “ER” for eight seasons. When Robert Joy, who plays Dr. Walker in the Broadway musical “Girl From the North Country,” couldn’t perform Friday night, Edwards stepped in and played the part with just an hour’s […]]]>

Anthony Edwards is no stranger to playing a doctor or answering emergency calls after starring on the hit TV series “ER” for eight seasons. When Robert Joy, who plays Dr. Walker in the Broadway musical “Girl From the North Country,” couldn’t perform Friday night, Edwards stepped in and played the part with just an hour’s rehearsal.

The actor was contacted by his wife, Tony contestant Mare Winningham who stars on the show, earlier in the afternoon after several members of society tested positive for COVID-19. “I was in Connecticut removing these storm windows from our house and Mare called me and was like, ‘Hey, guess what?’ We’ve lost another one and we’re going to have to cancel the show because Bob Joy is missing,” Edwards said in a YouTube video talking about his experience. Winningham then said director Conor McPherson suggested Edwards take Joy’s place.

Producer Tristan Baker made a pre-show announcement thanking the show’s swings and stunt doubles, then asked if there was a doctor in the house before revealing to the audience that Edwards would be taking the stage.

Edwards, 59, appeared with a script for part of the show, but for several scenes he was able to work off the book. At the call of the curtain, he received a standing ovation.

“I know the audience is so loving and forgiving,” Edwards said in the video. “I’ve seen someone go on with a book before, and I just thought, I love this show, I love everything about it. And if that means…1,000 people are going to get to see it tonight at the instead of canceling it, I’m in, like let’s go.”

“I’m beyond impressed and proud,” Winningham said of Edwards’ performance, before telling her, “You’re fearless and fun and you’re blessed. And the show went on.”

‘Girl From the North Country,’ set in a dilapidated guesthouse in Duluth, Minnesota, during the Great Depression and features the songs of Bob Dylan, is up for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical . The show runs until June 19.

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Shows ahead | New Season of Cresson Lake Playhouse Offers Diverse Programming | Features https://abajoeltelon.com/shows-ahead-new-season-of-cresson-lake-playhouse-offers-diverse-programming-features/ Fri, 13 May 2022 23:00:00 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/shows-ahead-new-season-of-cresson-lake-playhouse-offers-diverse-programming-features/ CRESSON, Pa. — A mix of stage shows will entertain patrons as the curtain rises on Cresson Lake Playhouse’s 2022 season. Paul Seymour, the venue’s artistic director, said it was great to be back offering a full schedule after having to cancel the 2020 season and have limited shows in 2021. “We’ve had wonderful energy […]]]>

CRESSON, Pa. — A mix of stage shows will entertain patrons as the curtain rises on Cresson Lake Playhouse’s 2022 season.

Paul Seymour, the venue’s artistic director, said it was great to be back offering a full schedule after having to cancel the 2020 season and have limited shows in 2021.

“We’ve had wonderful energy and the support we’ve received has been tremendous,” he said.

“I’ve never started a season so excited and I think the audience will have a wonderful time.”

Seymour said the season is diverse and offers something for everyone.

“We don’t like to be afraid of newer works because it exposes our audience to something different and something they may not be familiar with, but we also like to build on some of the traditional shows,” did he declare.

“When planning the season, I was very concerned about variety. Each show is its own thing. If you are a subscription holder you will experience something new, something big and epic and smaller scale musicals and plays.

Prior to the start of the season, the venue will perform “Crooners and Country Cabaret” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through May 21 and 2 p.m. on May 22.

The show will feature music from Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee and country stars Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.

Performers include Josh Duman and Megan Dumm of Ebensburg; Scott Getz of Revloc; Kelly Devett of Johnstown; and Altoona native Rick Herbster.

“We looked at singers that our audience would like and picked these five artists,” Seymour said.

“There was no existing jukebox musical that included these five singers, so we decided to write one ourselves. It’s not a musical that tells a story, but it gives biographical information on each of the singers.

Tickets range from $12 to $16.

The main season will kick off from June 16 to 25 with the musical “Nunsense.”

What happens when a nun accidentally poisons 52 of her sisters with her cooking and then has to bury them all?

A wild whirlwind ensues in which the sisters decide that the best way to raise money for funeral expenses is to put on a variety show, so they take over the school auditorium, which is currently set. in place for the eighth grade production of “Grease.”

Here we meet Reverend Mother Regina, a former circus performer; Sister Mary Hubert, the novice mistress; a streetwise nun from Brooklyn named Sister Robert Anne; Sister Mary Leo, a novice who is an aspiring ballerina; and the delightfully wacky Sister Mary Amnesia, the nun who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head.

“It’s our nod to a more traditional musical, and it’s been around for many years,” Seymour said.

“The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” will be staged from July 26 to August 6.

The production tells the story of Quasimodo, the hunchbacked ringer of Notre-Dame, and his desire to one day be part of the outside world.

When he finds the courage to attend the Feast of Fools, he meets Esmeralda, a compassionate gypsy who protects him from an angry mob.

At the same time, Quasimodo’s master, Archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, and the new captain of the guard, Phoebus de Martin, fall in love with the beautiful girl.

Adding to Quasimodo’s struggle is his derisive punishment of Frollo, who subjected him to years of emotional abuse.

As the three compete for Esmeralda’s attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all.

“This is the largest-scale musical ever performed by the showroom, and there will be a cast of 38 to 19 actors and a 19-person choir on stage throughout the show,” Seymour said. .

“We also have an expert costume designer, Laura Hanchar, who has been working on these costumes for a few years. When she dresses a show, the costumes themselves become characters, and they’re beautiful, evolved, and intricate.

The fast-paced thriller “The 39 Steps” will be presented from September 6 to 11.

In “The 39 Steps”, a man with a boring life meets a woman with a heavy accent who claims to be a spy.

When he takes her home, she is murdered.

Soon, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that ends in a death-defying finale.

“It’s an Alfred Hitchcock, and it’s a wonderful piece that we’re passionate about,” Seymour said.

“It will be appealing to our audience because it’s a fun mystery.”

The season will conclude with “Almost Maine” from October 11-16.

On a deeply cold and magical winter’s night, the citizens of Almost – not organized enough for a city, too populated for a wilderness – experience the overwhelming power of the human heart.

Relationships end, begin, or change beyond recognition when strangers become friends, friends become lovers, and lovers turn into strangers.

Powered by the mystical energy of the Northern Lights and populated by humorous, clear, thoughtful and sincere characters, “Almost Maine” is a series of loosely connected tales about love, each with a compelling couple at its center, each with its own touch of witchcraft.

“It’s one of my favorite pieces, and it’s a lovely little piece that showcases couples and tells about different kinds of love,” Seymour said.

“It’s very sweet and poignant and really beautiful.”

He hopes patrons will see the value in community theatre.

“If it’s produced well and done well, it can be just as impactful as a professional theatrical experience,” Seymour said.

“We hope they experience the same kind of thrill that any professional theater can give them.”

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“The Song is King” from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Dennis DeYoung https://abajoeltelon.com/the-song-is-king-from-the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-by-dennis-deyoung/ Wed, 11 May 2022 16:09:41 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/the-song-is-king-from-the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-by-dennis-deyoung/ The Hunchback of Notre Dame is Victor Hugo’s classic French Gothic novel from 1831 detailing the twisted and obsessive relationship between Archdeacon Claude Frollo, the beautiful street dancer Esmeralda and the famous cathedral bell ringer, the physically deformed Quasimodo, the “Hunchback” of the title. Hugo wrote the novel in response to the decay of the […]]]>

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is Victor Hugo’s classic French Gothic novel from 1831 detailing the twisted and obsessive relationship between Archdeacon Claude Frollo, the beautiful street dancer Esmeralda and the famous cathedral bell ringer, the physically deformed Quasimodo, the “Hunchback” of the title.

Hugo wrote the novel in response to the decay of the famous cathedral at the time. More than 130 years later, this story ironically parallels the work underway today on Notre-Dame, given the massive fire that caused extensive damage on April 15, 2019.

Hunchback has been made into a number of films, including Disney’s animated version in 1996. Next stop? The musical version. Hunchback was first produced at the Tennessee Rep in Nashville in 1997 and then again at the Bailiwick Theater in Chicago where it won the 2008 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Mid-Range Musical.

Now he’s performing at the Skylight Music Theater in his final offering of the season. The show’s writer and composer, Dennis DeYoung of classic rock band Styx, explained his long-term vision for the musical, how he adapted the classic 1800s novel and created a contemporary pop score:

How were you associated with this production? Was it your idea? Have other producers or directors approached you about the collaboration?

My interest in creating a musical version of Victor Hugo’s classic began in 1993 while performing in the national touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar like Pontius Pilate. I got the part because my sister-in-law Dawn married Forbes Candlish, the show’s executive producer, in 1992, who offered me the job. So my advice to aspiring Broadway actors is to have a producer brother-in-law. Until then, I hadn’t considered doing anything on Broadway. I was just a kid from Chicago with an accordion, dreaming of the Beatles.


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Skylight Artistic Director Michael Unger and I have been friends since 1994, when we met by chance outside the Steppenwolf Theater where Michael was then working. We became friends and vowed one day to do this musical together and that day came two years ago when we agreed to do it at the beautiful Skylight Music Theatre.

How did you come up with the music and lyrics for the show? For example, watching movies? read the book?

I knew the 1939 [Charles] version of the Laughton film, then proceeded to read five translations of the original novel. I finally found one in English which sped up the process considerably. Yes it’s a joke

Do your own solo/Styx works play a role in the creation of the music? If so, how exactly?

The music I created for Styx was always written specifically for the five guys who performed it. With this musical, there were no musical boundaries; I didn’t have to meet the expectations of a fanbase, so it was very freeing. Suddenly, the musical palette was unlimited. Although I avoided the chip and burnt sienna.

While many people are familiar with the classic movie and the Disney movie as well as the book, is there anything different/changed about this musical adaptation? If so, what exactly?

I rewrote the story using Hugo’s compelling characters and backdrop to tell a slightly different story while staying true to Hugo’s novel. Priest Frollo has become my central character as we follow his journey from a well-meaning young priest to his descent into obsession, murder and madness.

I changed the text and introduced characters that weren’t in the novel to inform the story I wanted to tell. I’m still waiting to hear from Vic’s legal team. The specific changes are Quasimodo playing football in South Bend and Frollo moonlit as a Parisian mime. Fake news. Come see the show and if you don’t like the changes I made, Michael Unger will buy you a new Tesla…no more fake news. Ok, this is starting to get silly now. Keep reading if you dare

What, if anything, surprised you about creating a musical score for theatre? Was it what you thought it would be once you started the process?

The song is queen and always will be. It’s a musical, not a play. Write a good song and people will come to your party because music is magic. Too many modern musical compositions have forgotten this simple formula. It’s the song, silly. And don’t forget to cast some great singers and this Hunchback production certainly has it in spades.

Once you’ve finished the score and reflected on the process, what do you think you’ve learned working in musical theatre??

Creating a musical is the most difficult and challenging business in all of entertainment. He brings together the music, story, choreography, lighting, sound, costumes, sets, etc., all in real time and must somehow convince the audience that he there’s a good reason these actors sing. This is why so few succeed at all levels; they are really tough. Add the cost element and the myriad of people who need to come together, most for the first time, and then all working in collaborative harmony is daunting. I think I just talked myself out of doing that. Seriously, it’s an exhilarating challenge that I’ve taken on more than once. I also wrote the score for Jerry Zaks’ production of 101 Dalmatians.




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When I first did Hunchback in 1997, I thought I knew a lot, but I didn’t. I have learned many valuable lessons from others I have worked with over the past three decades. I owe them all a debt of gratitude. Which is much cheaper than cash. One lesson in particular is to never leave your wallet in the locker room. Thanks to George Burns for this. I told you it was getting silly

Is it something you would like to try again? If so, are you currently working on anything? Are you planning anything in the future?

To start another musical at my age would be too optimistic considering the time involved in their development. Honestly, I believe this show is the greatest musical work of my life and I don’t just say that, I mean it. I know exactly how I wrote Come sail, baby, lady, best of times, Mr. Roboto and others, but when I started writing this score, it felt like someone smarter and more talented than me was doing it. Its corny, it’s true. This show is a very moving experience for me and I hope for the audience as well.

Am I planning anything in the future? Well, I still have a good job pretending to be a rock star, so that’s good. But the last two years have taught me this… less pride and more humility for all of us would be a good thing. And be careful with your plans…the universe awaits

Do you have anything else to add?

Beginnings are easy, endings are difficult in art as in life. And that

show has what I believe to be a real humdinger.

Thanks to Uncle Vic [Victor Hugo] for creating the text that I could paraphrase to bring down the curtain. So tragic and yet so hopeful.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame May 20-June 12 at the Cabot Theater at the Broadway Theater Center, 158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee. For more information, call the box office at: 414-291-7800, or visit: skylightmusictheatre.org

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You’re invited to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s summer series: RE/UNION https://abajoeltelon.com/youre-invited-to-hubbard-street-dance-chicagos-summer-series-re-union/ Mon, 09 May 2022 22:19:14 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/youre-invited-to-hubbard-street-dance-chicagos-summer-series-re-union/ We have a limited number of tickets available for select shows from Summer Series: RE/UNION. Please RSVP as soon as possible if you wish to attend. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E Randolph St Program A (12 + 13 May) is a two-night engagement featuring the highly anticipated return of At […]]]>

We have a limited number of tickets available for select shows from Summer Series: RE/UNION.

Please RSVP as soon as possible if you wish to attend.

at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E Randolph St

Program A (12 + 13 May) is a two-night engagement featuring the highly anticipated return of At Ohad Naharin DECADENCE/CHICAGOa one-night work specially curated for Hubbard Street and featuring excerpts from Naharin’s most famous pieces, including Sadeh21, Naharin virusand the iconic Minus 16.

Thursday, May 12, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 13, 8 p.m.*

Performance Execution: About 1h45 including 1 intermission of 15 minutes

*Includes a post-show conversation with Artistic Director Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell and the Hubbard Street Dancers

We hope to see you at Harris!

Please note that all guests must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and show proof of full vaccination with photo ID to attend this event or show a recent negative COVID test. In addition, all members of the public will be required to wear a mask inside the room. Learn more about our safety precautions here.

This offer cannot be combined with other offers and is not valid on tickets already purchased. Offer valid while stocks last.

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Half-million dollar project will expand Alton Little Theater https://abajoeltelon.com/half-million-dollar-project-will-expand-alton-little-theater/ Sat, 07 May 2022 21:43:29 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/half-million-dollar-project-will-expand-alton-little-theater/ ALTON – The time has come for Alton Little Theater to leave its legacy intact. A half million dollar expansion in lieu of a brand new building is underway in Alton. About five years ago, Illinois’ oldest community theater organized a fundraising campaign and plan for new construction on property donated by a patron. Then […]]]>

ALTON – The time has come for Alton Little Theater to leave its legacy intact.

A half million dollar expansion in lieu of a brand new building is underway in Alton.

About five years ago, Illinois’ oldest community theater organized a fundraising campaign and plan for new construction on property donated by a patron. Then the pandemic hit and what was planned as a $6.2 million new construction project was recalculated to cost around $9.2 million.

According to ALT executive director Lee Cox, the solution was to expand the existing footprint of the Alton Little Theater Showplace at 2450 N. Henry St. in Alton.


“Everything was put on hold during the pandemic because so many people were out of work and going through a tough time,” she said. “The Alton Little Theater Board of Directors did not think the time was right to move forward.

“Our community has taken such a hit,” she said. “People didn’t have jobs. I didn’t think our community could support this kind of project.

“Two years ago we were in great shape – we had been given land, an endowment built up,” she said. “That stopped, and now the construction costs have gone up so much, which has changed the trajectory.

“So we will renovate and expand as much as possible.”

Cox added that while the ALT tries for nonprofits, grants from national foundations are difficult.

“These are very hard to get because we own our own building and have an endowment,” she said. “We get turned down all the time, because those are given to theaters with fewer resources, which is understandable.”

Cox said ALT’s endowment was around $1 million, but the stock market took a hit.

“We always felt safe spending half of it getting Alton Little Theater back to pristine condition,” she said. CNB Bank stepped in and did a $500,000 valuation for the expansion.

“CNB has been nothing but supportive,” Cox said. “They said we were in good shape with the endowment and the money. They said we could spend half a million dollars and everything would be fine.”

Cox and ALT Creative Director Kevin Frakes’ goal is to leave the building well-equipped for a smooth transition when they retire at the end of 2025.

“We want the building to be a total asset to his continuing legacy,” Cox said. “From design to costumes and lighting, I teach others how to do my job; it’s my job. Kevin and I really want the theater to do one for a smooth transition that no one even notices. “

Already new flooring is in place at the ALT with wood and non-slip carpeting in the auditorium.

“The only thing that’s changed is the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) easement,” Cox said. “Kevin Frakes totally rebuilt the entire ADA section with a three foot easement and more room on each side.”

On August 1, ALT plans to begin installing new, wider seats with lumbar support and rear-located cupholders that fold down to increase guest space and safety. The chairs are made by a company in Michigan; Buck’s Decoration Center in Godfrey will install them.

“We try to use the local whenever we can,” Cox said. “Buck found contractors who worked with Fisher Lumber Co. in East Alton, and the chairs need to be bolted an extra three-quarters of an inch into the ground.

“We’ll be shutting down ‘Shrek’ on July 24, so we’ll have August to work, work, work,” she said. “The next show opens on September 11.”

The ALT board plans to sell the theater’s 220 old chairs.

The expansion work includes a few local companies to set up a new marquee from a Chicago-area company, the closest the council can find. A new stage curtain with motorized rigging will also be installed, along with a state-of-the-art $100,000 pixel wall and laser printer.

“We’re still waiting for things to be in place,” Cox said. “We’ll be able to do bigger shows, with four technicians running a show. Already ‘Barry Manilow’ was everything we dreamed of. People thought they were in Vegas.”

All theater lights are now LED with state-of-the-art fixtures, which were completed with the help of the Wood River-based Alton Foundation. It cost ALT about $44,000 to replace the lights.

The theater restrooms will feature touchless fixtures and deeper sinks that are safer, deeper, and ADA accessible. The locker rooms will also be completely renovated and a shower, washer and dryer will be installed.

“After a show, I did about 30 loads of laundry with costumes for years,” Cox said. “And, like in ‘Shrek,’ all these guys have all this green makeup on, and they can’t start going out like that. We really need to have those things here. And Kevin gets so dirty with construction sets sawdust. He can build anything and take anything down.”

Frakes also constructed four buildings within walking distance of the ALT Showplace. One of the largest houses artwork, rugs and other staged objects, including a huge dragon. Another houses a workshop where Frakes creates sets. One of the newest, a two-story structure, is filled with artifacts from estate sales and donations for props.

“When Mary Dixon moved to Florida, she gave us a beautiful couch that we use now,” Cox said. “We have tons of stuff and props that we can now use and even lend,” which the theater does on a regular basis, especially for Alton High School and its students who regularly volunteer at ALT Showplace. She noted that ALT recently loaned a jukebox for an outside production and even had a coffin.

“The fourth building we call ‘Little House on the Prairie’ because it has china, glass and all kinds of little paraphernalia, everything you can imagine,” Cox said.

When Alton’s Baxter’s Party Store moved to online-only sales, Bob Baxter donated over 1,000 Halloween costumes to ALT, along with other items. In September, ALT plans to host a community Halloween party offering costumes for $5.

“It’s a Halloween town,” Cox said. “We’ll keep a few costumes. But we don’t need 30 mouse costumes.”

ALT owns around 4,000 costumes, which it also lends.

The expansion seems to come at a perfect time, as 100 new people have purchased tickets for the ongoing show, ‘The Wild Women of Winedale’, which runs until May 15.

Cox said that over the past two years, the number of season ticket holders has dropped to 600 from the normal 1,000.

“But we know we still have to replenish those season ticket holders,” Cox said.

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Burroughs’ Drama Features ‘Shakespeare in Love’ https://abajoeltelon.com/burroughs-drama-features-shakespeare-in-love/ Wed, 04 May 2022 20:02:58 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/burroughs-drama-features-shakespeare-in-love/ The John Burroughs High School Theater Department presents “Shakespeare In Love” May 6-8, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Guy Myers) The John Burroughs High School Drama Department presents its final production of the 2021-22 season, Shakespeare in love, for three performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday May 6-8. Shakespeare in love tells the story of a […]]]>

The John Burroughs High School Theater Department presents “Shakespeare In Love” May 6-8, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Guy Myers)

The John Burroughs High School Drama Department presents its final production of the 2021-22 season, Shakespeare in love, for three performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday May 6-8.

Shakespeare in love tells the story of a young William Shakespeare in the throes of writer’s block with a deadline for his new play on the horizon. Will overcomes his writer’s block by drawing inspiration from his new muse, Viola, while Viola will do anything to be cast in Will’s next play, including breaking the law.

There’s a mistaken identity, theatrical behind-the-scenes scenes and constant storylines in this stage version of the 1999 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, written by Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall and Marc Norman. As young Will falls in love with Viola, the story is alternately romance, drama, tragedy, and comedy.

The John Burroughs High School Theater Department presents “Shakespeare In Love” May 6-8, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Guy Myers)

“In March 2020, when we were sent home and our school went virtual, my students and I were working on a production of Shakespeare in love, which unfortunately had to be cancelled,” commented theater teacher and director Guy Myers. “We are thrilled to finally be able to stage this romantic comedy! It celebrates the joy of the creative process and the art of theater!

“Putting a production together is never easy, and this adaptation of the Oscar-winning film underscores the ridiculousness of the rehearsal process and all the insurmountable odds a cast and crew must face to make it to opening night,” Myers continued. “Part comedy, part romance and part tragedy, this production has something for everyone and will leave audiences smiling.”

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“I’m so proud of the dedication of the students this season, in a year that has been tougher than any other we’ve faced,” he added. “They remained enthusiastic, hardworking and always fun!”

“This role is an absolute dream as I’ve been a lifelong fan of the film,” commented junior Sophie Pollono who plays Viola. “This is my freshman year in the drama program as I transferred to Burroughs as a junior and had the best time!”

“This show is a business, but as someone who loves Shakespeare, it’s so much fun!” she said too. “I hope audiences enjoy all of our hard work and this incredible play which is a love letter to the creative process and to theatre.”

The John Burroughs High School Theater Department presents “Shakespeare In Love” May 6-8, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Guy Myers)

Performances are held at the John Burroughs High School Auditorium, located at 1920 W. Clark Avenue in Burbank. The curtain rises for Shakespeare in love Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7 at 7 p.m., with a Sunday morning at 2 p.m. on May 8.

The show lasts 2h15 with a 15 minute intermission. Tickets are $22 for adults, $17 for seniors, $12 for students, or $10 with an ASB card. Tickets are available in advance at jbhsdrama.com.

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CORAL SHORES HIGH SCHOOL THEATER RETURNS DRAMATICALLY https://abajoeltelon.com/coral-shores-high-school-theater-returns-dramatically/ Tue, 03 May 2022 03:47:34 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/coral-shores-high-school-theater-returns-dramatically/ Coral Shores High School Drama and Music Director Suzanne Gagliardini pictured with the cast of the upcoming comedy, Puffs. KELLIE BUTLER FARRELL / Weekly Keys By KELLIE BUTLER FARRELL The bright lights of live theater will soon shine on Coral Shores High School as the cast prepares for their first production in two years. COVID-19 […]]]>
Coral Shores High School Drama and Music Director Suzanne Gagliardini pictured with the cast of the upcoming comedy, Puffs. KELLIE BUTLER FARRELL / Weekly Keys

By KELLIE BUTLER FARRELL

The bright lights of live theater will soon shine on Coral Shores High School as the cast prepares for their first production in two years. COVID-19 has abruptly dropped the curtain on performance in 2020, leaving many aspiring comedians struggling to fill the void.

“Theater is kind of an escape for me, a home, so without that with the companions that come with the theater, it’s been really hard to keep going,” CSHS senior Gabi Rivera said. Rivera and 13 other actors are busy rehearsing the Harry Potter-inspired comedy, “Puffs.”

“I’m really excited because my freshman year the production we were doing was canceled due to COVID, as well as our state competition, so that kind of feeling has risen from the ashes and it’s a rebirth of the program. “said junior Aleisa Crumb. Crumb also serves as the student director for the play.

The play involves a lot of improvisation, with the actors having to think quickly. Coral Shores music and drama director Suzanne Gagliardini says that aspect will add to the excitement.

“On the evening of, I don’t know what story they will invent. It’s very, very exciting. They amuse me. There is so much talent, it’s extraordinary,” said Gagliardini.

As Coral Shores prepares for opening night on Friday, May 13, the Key Largo School has learned that it has received two grants, totaling $21,750, to start a theater program. The after-school program will be led by Michele Zofchak, who was instrumental in developing the drama program Coral Shores before taking a job at KLS.

“Kids really need something to keep them happy and involved and connected in school and theater has so many opportunities,” Zofchak said, “not just for extroverts who want to be on stage, but for children who want to be behind the scenes and do makeup and hair and costumes and build sets and be stage managers She plans to start the drama program at the beginning of the next school year at KLS.

The Keys Children’s Foundation donated $11,750 to KLS for the theater program and $10,000 was awarded by the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys (CFFK) in conjunction with the Key Players.

“We’re going to be supporting them by helping them with production, helping them with publicity, basically anything she needs,” said Jonelle Kop, president of Key Players. Kop has volunteered with the nonprofit community theater group for 21 years and says this grant will be well spent. “Kids these days are constantly on the phone,” Kop said, “and having interpersonal communication with people and being able to speak in front of a group of people like an art form is getting lost and theater brings that out.”

Kop said the Key Players are thrilled to help KLS with this new theatrical venture even as they work to find a new venue for their productions. Their former home, the Lions Club, was recently sold. The Murray Nelson Center is an option, but Kop said performing at the government center now costs more. Kop is looking for other rehearsal and performance locations and invites anyone with a possible location to call him at (305) 942-4339.

Puffs runs Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m. A matinee performance will take place on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m. Monroe County students attend for free. General admission is $10 at the door and tickets can be purchased in advance at Coral Shores High School.

The puffs take place inside the CSHS Performing Arts Center at MM 89.9.

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North Star Theater back in the spotlight with historic $1.7 million renovation | A Tammany https://abajoeltelon.com/north-star-theater-back-in-the-spotlight-with-historic-1-7-million-renovation-a-tammany/ Sun, 01 May 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/north-star-theater-back-in-the-spotlight-with-historic-1-7-million-renovation-a-tammany/ When property developer Barrett McGuire and his wife, Jill, bought the North Star Theater complex in Old Mandeville, it wasn’t an impulse buy. Acquiring the historic property and turning it into an art center was a longtime dream for the couple. Jill, now a member of the Mandeville City Council, had majored in theater at […]]]>

When property developer Barrett McGuire and his wife, Jill, bought the North Star Theater complex in Old Mandeville, it wasn’t an impulse buy. Acquiring the historic property and turning it into an art center was a longtime dream for the couple.

Jill, now a member of the Mandeville City Council, had majored in theater at Southwestern Louisiana University, and she performed years ago on the North Star stage. Barrett had other historic renovations to his credit, including Rest A While at Lake Mandeville, which was also originally a hotel.

With this purchase, the McGuires now own the two remaining historic hotels in the area and they are bringing in the same contractor, Brad Rogers, to restore the North Star to its former glory.






Care was taken to use the original cladding, or a bespoke replica cladding, during the refurbishment of the former North Star Theater in Mandeville, presented on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.




Although the North Star decision was not difficult, the revival was not without drama. The main building, which had been converted to offices, was in poor condition when the McGuires purchased it in 2020. The pandemic had just begun, and shortly after the main building was raised, Hurricane Ida swept through and twisted the 6,800 square-foot structure, requiring the replacement of structural components starting with the floor joists.

“It wasn’t in my budget or my game plan,” Barrett McGuire said.

The cost of materials has also skyrocketed, due to supply chain issues. Siding for a previous restoration, of a cabin that was part of the Bands’ former grocery store, had cost 98 cents per board foot, and he was able to obtain it locally. But this ride, it cost $9.75.

But when they lift the curtain on their $1.7 million investment later this year, the McGuires think the North Star will shine again.

“Office space would be the highest and best use,” Barrett McGuire said of the buildings, on Girod Street. “But we need cultural arts, not offices, in this area.”

Many roles

The North Star’s main building dates back to 1927 and it has served several roles during its lifetime, first as a hotel. But unlike the grand lakeside hotels, where New Orleans’ wealthy flocked during Mandeville’s heyday as a resort town, the Allenton Hotel was a getaway for the middle and working class, Barrett McGuire said.

“Kind of like a motel,” Jill said.

The kitchen, dining room, and dance floor were downstairs, and upstairs had two bathrooms and 10 guest bedrooms.

When the Lake Pontchartrain causeway was built in the 1950s, the hotel housed construction crews, Barrett McGuire said.

After that, the building was transformed into what was called the Small Mall, with different small shops, and at some point it was covered with a gray vinyl coating.

This was dismantled and replaced with what was there originally: a double cove facing, in pine. Only 10% of the original coating was salvageable; the rest they had custom made in Gulfport, Mississippi, to match.

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North Star Theater

Original windows are seen in the building that Barrett McGuire and his wife, Jill, are renovating at the former North Star Theater in Mandeville on Tuesday April 26, 2022.




Only 10 of the original window sashes remained, so they had another 80 sashes bespoke to match. “Windows is a defining feature,” Barrett McGuire said.

Finding the right color was also a project. “We found old photos of the Small Mall and literally created the color,” Barrett McGuire said, which took several tries. “It’s a lot of red, but it works,” he said.

A colorful past

The property is said to have been a brothel for a time and is said to be haunted by the ghost of an old woman; some have claimed over the years to have heard his voice and his wheelchair moving on the floor.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the property became the North Star Theatre. Actress and director Lori Taylor, now Lori Bennett Prudhomme, bought it as a home for her non-profit organization, United Theater Artists, Inc. The last production there was in the early 2000s.







North Star Theater

Barrett McGuire and his wife, Jill, stand in the doorway of the old North Star Theater which they are renovating and transforming into a new performing arts space in Mandeville on Tuesday April 26, 2022. Messages and kisses from the actors past performances are seen on the far left walls.




This incarnation is what the McGuires want to bring back, but in an expanded form that will be a convergence of all the arts. The McGuires plan to keep local artists and performers in the community.

“Too many of our artists are leaving. We want to keep them and give them a place to pursue their careers,” Barrett McGuire said.

A place for artists

The North Star Cultural Arts Center will have gallery space in the main building, with regularly changing exhibitions, two studios, a concessions area and a place to gather and hang out, Barrett McGuire said. Artists will not be charged for using exhibition or studio space, he said.

An annex building on the site is donated to the Ozone Music Education Foundation for offices and classrooms. “They’re really the lifeblood of what’s going on here,” Barrett McGuire said of the nonprofit group.

Another outbuilding, called Green Room, will be used for this purpose – a place for actors waiting to take the stage – but Jill McGuire said it could also serve as a space for children’s theatre.

The auditorium, which was built in 1990, is in very good condition, Barrett McGuire said. But it will have new lighting and sound systems as well as live streaming capability. Plans call for using the theater for productions of all kinds, from singer-songwriter nights to plays to stand-up comedy.

The venue will not charge for use or space and will not take any share of the box office, he said.

“It’s not a competition with anybody,” Barrett McGuire said. “It’s a way of bringing everyone together and growing that.”

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World premiere of LOVE AMONG THE RUINS & More announced for Laguna Playhouse 2022-2023 season https://abajoeltelon.com/world-premiere-of-love-among-the-ruins-more-announced-for-laguna-playhouse-2022-2023-season/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 20:17:43 +0000 https://abajoeltelon.com/world-premiere-of-love-among-the-ruins-more-announced-for-laguna-playhouse-2022-2023-season/ Laguna Playhouse has announced its 2022-2023 show season! Their season kicks off with the most successful new Canadian play of the past decade, the hilariously heartwarming KIM’S CONVENIENCE; followed by a world premiere, based on the 1975 ABC Theater presentation starring Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier, the charming and delightful LOVE AMONG THE RUINS; then […]]]>

Laguna Playhouse has announced its 2022-2023 show season! Their season kicks off with the most successful new Canadian play of the past decade, the hilariously heartwarming KIM’S CONVENIENCE; followed by a world premiere, based on the 1975 ABC Theater presentation starring Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier, the charming and delightful LOVE AMONG THE RUINS; then Playhouse favorite Rita Rudner will return to our stage in a sure-to-delight piece to be announced shortly; then the romantic and captivating Grammy, Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical, ONCE; Joe Spano will return to our stage in Will Eno’s deviously hilarious play THE REALISTIC JONESES; and we end our season with a stunning new adaptation of writer and director Steven Dietz’s Agatha Christie thriller, MURDER ON THE LINKS! A season to celebrate, a season to love and a season to die, all in your Laguna Playhouse. Comments Executive Production Manager Ellen Richard “We are thrilled to bring such a diverse range of theatrical experiences to our subscribers and audiences in this exceptional season. Playhouse favorites Rita Rudner and Joe Spano mixed with exciting new works promise to make this one of our most exciting and extraordinary seasons in our history.”

2022-2023 LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE SEASON:

KIM’S CONVENIENCE

September 21 – October 9, 2022 (press opening September 25, 2022)

The most successful new Canadian play of the past decade, KIM’S CONVENIENCE – set in a Korean family convenience store – is a hilarious and heartwarming ode to generations of immigrants. Mr. Kim is a first generation Korean immigrant and the proud owner of Kim’s Convenience for 30 years. Now he’s desperately – and hilariously – trying to grapple with both a changing neighborhood landscape and the chasm between him and his second-generation offspring. Before KIM’S CONVENIENCE became a hit on Canadian TV and Netflix, he made audiences laugh with this warm and joyful play.

LOVE AMONG THE RUINS

October 26 – November 13, 2022 (Press opening October 30, 2022)

Written by James G. Hirsch and Robert A. Papazian

Produced in association with Papazian Hirsch Entertainment

When wealthy widow and socialite Jessica Medlicott is sued for breaking her promise by her money-seeking ex-fiancé, will her acting past help or haunt her? As the highly respected and strict lawyer, Sir Arthur Granville-Jones enters the picture, he is driven into a hilarious distraction by his larger than life personality. Based on the 1975 ABC Theater presentation starring Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier, this world premiere adaptation of the audience classic LOVE AMONG THE RUINS is every bit as charming and delightful as the original film, which won a Peabody Award and multiple Emmys. .

RITA RUDNER RETURNS!

TBD PLAY

January 25 – February 12, 2023 (Press opening January 29, 2023)

Directed by Martin Bergman

A Laguna Playhouse favorite, Rita Rudner is sure to rejoice as she stars in another play on our stage to be announced shortly and not to be missed!

ONCE

March 8 – March 26, 2023 (press opening March 12, 2023)

“Guy meets Girl” in this tender love story between a struggling Irish musician on the verge of giving up and a Czech immigrant who plays the piano and reminds him how to dream. Featuring an exceptional cast of performers playing their instruments live on stage, this gripping musical is the only show whose music has won an Academy Award, Grammy Award, Olivier Award and Tony Award. Featuring all the magical songs from the critically acclaimed film, including Oscar-winning “Falling Slowly,” this painfully beautiful and joyfully uplifting spectacle strikes an unforgettable chord in the audience and speaks to the power of music to connect us all!

THE REALISTIC JONESES

April 26 – May 14, 2023 (press opening April 30, 2023)

Produced in association with the Rubicon Theater and Gare St Lazare Ireland

In THE REALISTIC JONESES, we meet Bob and Jennifer Jones and their new neighbors, John and Pony Jones, two suburban couples who discover they have even more in common than their identical homes and shared surnames. Spare, suggestive, slyly hilarious and oddly infuriating, this profound piece explores what is said, what is not said, and the role denial plays in helping us navigate the chaos of life. Nominated for the Outer Critics and Drama League Award and listed by The New York Times as one of the “Best Plays of the Year”, these characters will continue to haunt you long after you’ve left the theater.

MURDER ON LINKS

Can you guess “Whodunit?”

May 31 – June 18, 2023 (press opening June 4, 2023)

Based on the novel by Agatha Christie

North Coast Repertory Theater Transfer

Something is wrong on the private golf course in Merlinville-Sur-Mer – namely the body of Hercule Poirot’s new client. Acclaimed playwright Steven Dietz brings the famous Belgian detective to life to solve one of Agatha Christie’s most complex whodunits. Of course, there’s the host of usual – and – unusual suspects. A cast of six versatile actors embody a myriad of characters as they navigate the twists and turns of this lively and fun new adaptation. You won’t want to miss a thrilling moment of this comedic mystery.

ABOUT THE CALENDAR AND PRIZES

Subscriptions are on sale from Tuesday, May 17. Season Six-Play tickets range from $240.00 to $360.00 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787).

The ticket office is open Monday to Saturday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays open 2 hours before showtime until 15 minutes after curtain time. Open until the show on all performance days.

For more information on all shows and lineup, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com. LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Founded in 1920, the historic Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously operating non-profit theaters on the West Coast and is proud to be an active participant in Laguna Beach’s renowned arts community. From classic plays and musicals to current Broadway hits, cutting-edge and traditional music exhibitions, dance festivals and comedy shows, Laguna Playhouse brings the magical experience of the performing arts directly to more 80,000 customers each season.

Laguna Playhouse’s educational programming includes year-round classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and is one of the few companies in the area to offer a professional touring theater program based on the program, TheatreReach, which aligns with the California State Standards for Literature, History, and Performing Arts programs.

Laguna Playhouse has been recognized for the past five years as one of Orange County Register’s “Best of OC” in the live theater category. The Laguna Playhouse has featured many talented artists on stage including Ed Asner, Leslie Caron, Hershey Felder, Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, Val Kilmer, Gregory Harrison, Dan Lauria, Hal Linden, Wendie Malick, Rita Rudner, Charles Shaughnessy, French Stewart, Loretta Swit and Bette Davis.

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