Friday, September 30, 2011

Mini-review: Still time to see Red, White and Blacklisted tonight

There's still time to see the 7 PM performance of  "Trumbo: Red, White and Blacklisted" tonight (Friday Sept. 30) at the Miller center in Reading and it's worth it. It is the story of Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood writers that was blacklisted for defying the House Unamerican Activities Committee in 1947. Charles Gallagher plays Dalton Trumbo and Kirk Lawrence plays his son as well as some of the interrogators from this dark period of American history. Told through Trumbo's actual letters,  the play's message reaches out across time to share his wit, wisdom, and sometimes, sarcasm.The play is powerful and thought provoking, but it's intensity is broken from time to time with some truly funny moments. The letter Trumbo wrote to his son, Christopher, about coming-of-age issues like masturbation, is a great example of his sense of humor. You'll recognize his screen plays: "Exodus," "Spartacus," and  "The Sandpiper" to name a few.
Tickets are only $5 and there's parking right next to the theater at Reading Area Community College. For more info here's a rerun of my earlier post:

Red, White, and Blacklisted Friday at RACC


SHOESTRING PRODUCTIONS IN ASSOCIATION WITH
READING AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESENTS
TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED
SEPTEMBER 30 AT 2 AND 7PM

SHOESTRING PRODUCTIONS AND READING AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE are pleased to present TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED; a play by Christopher Trumbo. Performances are September 30 at 2 and 7 pm.

TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED is based on the letters of Dalton Trumbo, compiled into play form by his son, Christopher Trumbo.

TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED culls from letters written by Dalton Trumbo, the language of which is some of the most literate, funny, and devastating you are likely to ever experience. The play spans the years 1947 through 1960. It opens with Trumbo's first appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he and ten other screenwriters – the Hollywood Ten – were the first of many film professionals to be barred from their livelihoods by the Hollywood Blacklist.

DALTON TRUMBO MINI-BIO: Born in Montrose, CO on December 9, 1905, Dalton Trumbo was a screenwriter and novelist. He started writing for films in 1937, and by the 1940's, was one of Hollywood's highest paid writers. In 1947, Trumbo, and nine other writers and directors, was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify on the presence of communist influence in Hollywood. All ten refused to provide information. For that, they were blacklisted and convicted of contempt of Congress. In 1950, Trumbo spent 11 months in the federal penitentiary in Ashland, Kentucky.

After serving his time, Trumbo moved his family to Mexico with another blacklisted writer, Hugo Butler. In Mexico, Trumbo wrote 30 screenplays under various pseudonyms. Collecting the fees for these screenplays proved difficult, and after several years, Trumbo, financially devastated, moved his family back to California.
In 1960, Otto Preminger announced that Dalton Trumbo would write the screenplay for his film, Exodus. In that same year, Kirk Douglas would credit Trumbo with the screenplay for Spartacus. For Trumbo, the blacklist was over; for the first time in 13 years, his name would appear on films he had written.

Partial Filmography as Screenwriter: Johnny Got His Gun (based on his novel of the same title), Roman Holiday (story - as Ian McLellan Hunter), Papillon, The Fixer, Lonely Are the Brave, Exodus, Spartacus, Terror in a Texas Town (as Ben Perry), The Brave One (as Robert Rich – Academy Award), Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.

TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED features Chuck Gallagher as Dalton Trumbo, and Kirk Lawrence as Christopher Trumbo and other characters.

TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED is directed by Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Lawrence, with the assistance of Susan Sneeringer. Peter Askin, director of the original Off-Broadway production and film offered wisdom, and archival video footage.

Tickets for both performances of TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED are $5 for adults, $3 for Students with ID.

For tickets, visit the Miller Center Events page at  http://www.racc.edu/MillerCenter or call the Miller Center Box Office at 610-607-6270 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 to 3pm.
The theatre is located at 4 North Second Street, in Reading. The production is rated PG-13.  Adult situations.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Onstage in October

READING -- Final weekend for Reading Community Players' amazing reduction of "To Kill a Mockingbird." Remaining performances will be Friday  Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at 8 p.m and the final performance Sunday Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.
"It's 1935 and it's Maycomb, Alabama." Tensions are running high as Atticus Finch prepares to defend Tom Robinson, a young black man with a crippled left arm, who is accused of attacking a poor, ignorant white woman for whom he feels pity. Finch's children, Scout and Jem experience the depth of racial hatred in their town, among their friends, as well as the unexpected strengths of their father. Both walk in the skins of others, as their father instructs them to do, to understand the reclusive Boo Radley and the vicious Mrs. Dubose.
Review is in an earlier post on this blog.
For reservations call the theatre at 610-375-9106 or visit the website at www.rcptheatre.com. 


 READING -- For the younger set --  "The Boxcar Children," Yocum Institute for Arts Education will be present at  the Miller Center for the Arts  Saturday, October 8 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets: $9 Adult, $7 Child (Ages 12 and under)
Based on the books by first-grade teacher Gertrude Chandler Warner, this endearing family classic tells the story of the Alden children who, after the tragic loss of their parents and the possibility of being separated, take off on the adventure of a lifetime. The Great Depression and Bluegrass music are the backdrop that frames this extraordinary story of two brothers and two sisters who risk it all to stay together. In an abandoned boxcar in the middle of the woods they discover that "Home is where the heart is." (Recommended for ages 6+)
 Community Partnership Activity: Children's craft workshop following the 11 a.m . performance. Registration required; please call the Miller Center box office at 610-607-6270 for more information.Presented in partnership with the Greater Reading Literary Festival.


AUDUBON -- Methacton Community Theater will present "1776,"  the Tony Award-winning musical written by Peter Stone with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards on October 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 & 16, 2011 at the Shannondell Performing Arts Center in Audubon.  All performances will be open to the public.
Curtain time is 7:30 PM for Friday and Saturday evening performances and 2:00 PM for Sunday matinees.  All non-residents of Shannondell are required to park in the Giant parking lot on Egypt Road across from the entrance to Shannondell.  A free shuttle service will be provided to transport patrons from the parking lot to the theater.  Tickets are $15.00 with a discounted price of $10.00 for seniors (62 plus) and children under 12.  A 10% fee will be added to the ticket cost to cover the Lower Providence Amusement Tax.  Please call (610) 489-6449 for information and/or reservations or visit Methacton Community Theater on the web at www.methactoncommunitytheater.org.  Tickets may be purchased in advance through the Methacton Community Theater website or through Ticket Leap at www.ticketleap.com.  Only cash or check is accepted at the door.


 
READING   --  The classically-trained and thoroughly modern Aquila Theatre returns to Miller Center to perform Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Importance of Being Earnest" Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m.
"The Importance of Being Earnest" tells the tale of Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, both young men who have taken to bending the truth to add a dash of excitement to their lives. Crammed full of larger than life characters and memorable satirical humor, Aquila's creative staging and sparkling flare for language make this production one not to be missed. Tickets: $27 Advance, $32 Door, $20 Students. Order tickets by calling our new phone number at 610-607-6270.Miller Center for the Arts - Reading Area Community College is located at  4 North Second Street, Reading, PA 19601

POTTSTOWN -- Tri-County Performing Arts Center  presents "Pippin," Thursdays through Sundays, Oct 13 – 30.  "Pippin"  is the tongue-in-cheek fairy tale that captivated Broadway audiences with its pop score and show-stopping numbers. A young prince longs to discover the secret of true happiness and fulfillment. He seeks it in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh and the intrigues of political power. In the end, he finds the answer is simpler than he had imagined! "Pippin"  is by three-time Oscar®-winning composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz, the creator of the Broadway hits "Wicked" and "Godspell", and the animated films "Pocahantas" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Parental Guidance Suggested*
PLEASE NOTE: there is no performance Saturday, Oct 15. Instead, there is an additional matinee on Saturday, Oct 29.
Special Events Opening Night Reception: 10/14; Talkbacks with Cast/Crew: Sundays, 10/16 & 10/23Tickets: ADULT:  Thurs $20; Fri, Sat & Sun $23 STUDENT/SENIOR(65+): Thurs $18; Fri, Sat, Sun $21;CHILD (12 & under): Thurs $13; Fri, Sat & Sun $15; $2 off per ticket for groups of 10 or more! Tri-County Performing Arts Center is located at 245 E. High St. in Pottstown.  For information go to www.villageproductions.org/
 
READING -- Gensius Theatre presents "The Little Dog Laughed" directed by Kirk Lawrence October 21-October 30.  Douglas Carter Beane’s, "The Little Dog Laughed" focuses on the compromises one has to make, the lies one has to tell, to get ahead in that mythical land called Hollywood. Will Mitchell’s agent Diane convince him to choose film stardom over love? Will Mitchell play gay on film, or in real life? Will Alex wind up with the man, or hit the road?
 The show does include  male nudity and is not suitable for young audiences. No one under 18 will be admitted without parental approval. For more information, go to GenesiusTheatre.org or call 610-373-9500.


OTHER AREA PERFORMANCES

 

EPHRATA -- Ephrata Performing Arts Center's Sharadin-Bigler Theater, Cocalico Street, Ephrata (717-733-7966 -- "Evil Dead: The Musical"-- Oct. 20 through Nov. 5
 
MALVERN -- People's Light and Theatre Company, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern (610-644-3500) -- "The Return of Don Quixote" through Oct. 16


 
PHILADELPHIA --
Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. Second St., Philadelphia (215-922-1122)
"August: Osage County" through Oct. 30

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia (215-413-1318)
"Aspects of Love" through Oct. 23

Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St., Philadelphia (215-546-7824)
"Our Class" -- Oct. 12 through Nov. 13

QUAKERTOWN -- McCoole's Arts & Events Place, 10 S. Main St., Quakertown (215-538-1776)
Crowded Kitchen Players present "The Maltese Falcon" through Oct. 9.



For updates on theater happenings in Eastern Pa. Follow me on Twitter @MercArtsCheryl

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tri-PAC to hold auditions for upcoming productions Oct.15-22


Tri-County Performing Arts Center has announced  auditions for  the 2nd half of its season.
Auditions will be held October 15 – 22  for productions scheduled for January – June 2012
Roles are for for ages 10 through adult.
Nonunion, most roles are unpaid except as noted; travel stipends available for certain roles.
Productions include:
A MAIN STAGE POP/ROCK MUSICAL (To be announced  January  2012)
TOYS IN THE ATTIC (Lillian Hellman)
FARRAGUT NORTH (major motion picture THE IDES OF MARCH)
AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (musical)
GOLDIOCKS AND THE DOWNHOME BEARS (touring production; stipend roles)
BOAL SOCIAL JUSTICE TROUPE
MELANGE (youth singers/dancers & adult alternative rock musicians)

casting@villageproductions.org<mailto:casting@villageproductions.org> for details and to schedule appointment


AUDITIONS for BOAL SOCIAL JUSTICE TROUPE, October 15 – 22 for teens and adults.
Concentrating on two of Boal's theatrical forms: Image Theater and Forum Theater.
Includes workshop attendance and presentations; no charge for participating
Contact casting@villageproductions.org<mailto:casting@villageproductions.org> for details and to schedule appointment

Auditions and productions are held at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center, 245 E. High St., Pottstown, 19464. For more information. go to www.tripac.org

For up-to-date info on area theater productions, reviews and auditions, follow me on Twitter @MercArtsCheryl

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Red, White, and Blacklisted Friday at RACC


SHOESTRING PRODUCTIONS IN ASSOCIATION WITH
READING AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESENTS
TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED
SEPTEMBER 30 AT 2 AND 7PM

SHOESTRING PRODUCTIONS AND READING AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE are pleased to present TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED; a play by Christopher Trumbo. Performances are September 30 at 2 and 7 pm.

TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED is based on the letters of Dalton Trumbo, compiled into play form by his son, Christopher Trumbo.

TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED culls from letters written by Dalton Trumbo, the language of which is some of the most literate, funny, and devastating you are likely to ever experience. The play spans the years 1947 through 1960. It opens with Trumbo's first appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he and ten other screenwriters – the Hollywood Ten – were the first of many film professionals to be barred from their livelihoods by the Hollywood Blacklist.

DALTON TRUMBO MINI-BIO: Born in Montrose, CO on December 9, 1905, Dalton Trumbo was a screenwriter and novelist. He started writing for films in 1937, and by the 1940's, was one of Hollywood's highest paid writers. In 1947, Trumbo, and nine other writers and directors, was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify on the presence of communist influence in Hollywood. All ten refused to provide information. For that, they were blacklisted and convicted of contempt of Congress. In 1950, Trumbo spent 11 months in the federal penitentiary in Ashland, Kentucky.

After serving his time, Trumbo moved his family to Mexico with another blacklisted writer, Hugo Butler. In Mexico, Trumbo wrote 30 screenplays under various pseudonyms. Collecting the fees for these screenplays proved difficult, and after several years, Trumbo, financially devastated, moved his family back to California.
In 1960, Otto Preminger announced that Dalton Trumbo would write the screenplay for his film, Exodus. In that same year, Kirk Douglas would credit Trumbo with the screenplay for Spartacus. For Trumbo, the blacklist was over; for the first time in 13 years, his name would appear on films he had written.

Partial Filmography as Screenwriter: Johnny Got His Gun (based on his novel of the same title), Roman Holiday (story - as Ian McLellan Hunter), Papillon, The Fixer, Lonely Are the Brave, Exodus, Spartacus, Terror in a Texas Town (as Ben Perry), The Brave One (as Robert Rich – Academy Award), Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.

TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED features Chuck Gallagher as Dalton Trumbo, and Kirk Lawrence as Christopher Trumbo and other characters.

TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED is directed by Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Lawrence, with the assistance of Susan Sneeringer. Peter Askin, director of the original Off-Broadway production and film offered wisdom, and archival video footage.

Tickets for both performances of TRUMBO: RED WHITE AND BLACKLISTED are $5 for adults, $3 for Students with ID.

For tickets, visit the Miller Center Events page at  http://www.racc.edu/MillerCenter or call the Miller Center Box Office at 610-607-6270 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 to 3pm.
The theatre is located at 4 North Second Street, in Reading. The production is rated PG-13.  Adult situations.

Monday, September 26, 2011

RCP's 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is a must-see production

Kathryn Majesky and Wiliam Santoro as Scout and Atticus Finch
By Cheryl Thornburg
No matter how many times you read Harper Lee's "To Kill  A Mockingbird" or see it brought to life on stage, it is an incredibly moving experience, and Reading Community Players current production is no exception.
Director R. Bruce McLean has put together a strong cast and  drawn powerful performances from them as they take on some of the most memorable characters in literature.
The story is required reading in most high schools and the familiar plot still evokes powerful emotions.
Set in the deep South in 1935, it is the story of Atticus Finch, a small-town lawyer who is defending Tom Robinson, a young black man with a crippled arm who has been falsely accused of attacking a young white woman. The tension in the town is palpable and tempers flare as the trial draws near. The Civil War has long been over, but the lines are still clearly drawn in Maycomb, Alabama.
Atticus is played by William Santoro with a depth and sincerity that is quite remarkable. Whether dealing firmly with his children, Scout and Jem, or delivering a passionate closing statement at Tom's trial, Santoro is totally believable. His delivery of the summation speech is powerful and poignant.
James Barksdale plays Tom, and although we only see him on stage in the second act, he delivers a subtle and stirring  performance as the gentle and stoic man on trial.
Christopher Sergel, who dramatized the classic novel, uses the device of Atticus' daughter Scout, now the adult Jean Louise Finch, to narrate the complex story as she looks back on what happened when she was a child. Beth Farmer, plays the adult Scout with just the right touch of  nostalgia and sadness as she recounts the events from long ago.
The young Scout, a feisty tomboy, is played to perfection by Kathryn Majesky, who was seen earlier this year in the title role in  RCP's "A Little Princess." Whether princess or tomboy, she can handle it all.
Luke Ott plays her older brother, Jem, who's equally mischievous, particularly when he's egged on by their friend Dill, played by Panayiotis "Pete" Clauser. The target of some of their antics is Boo Radley,  a recluse that no one has seen in years. This trio's chemistry is fun to watch.  Perhaps they've become really good friends in real life, for their interaction is quite believable on stage.
Kevin Wade is  superb as the mean, foul-mouthed and violent Bob Ewell, the father of the young woman who was allegedly attacked by Tom Robinson. I suspect Wade is a really nice guy, but he is very convincing as the intimidating Ewell.  He never breaks character.  Watch his face in the background at the trial.
Julia Minotto plays his daughter Mayella with a sensitivity as she cowers  while testifying under the glaring eyes of her father.
Brian Miller plays Mr. Gilmer, the persistent prosecutor who is determined to convict Tom of the crime, with intensity and style.
The large cast features actors ranging in age from 12 to 80+, and even the "smaller" roles give everyone a chance to shine on stage.
Margaret Orner is fun to watch as the mean Mrs. Dubose  and Diann Stewart evokes lots of laughter from the audience with a gleam in her eye as the town gossip, Stephanie Crawford.
Ruth Martelli's Maude Atkinson is sincere and likable as another of the townsfolk who supports Atticus and tries to help Scout and Jem.
As the Sheriff Heck Tate, Randy Miller brings a depth to this complex character who is a product of the era, has strong sense of right and wrong and tries to keep the peace in Maycomb.
Earl Boehmer as Judge Taylor has a brilliant moment at the trial as he reacts to an outburst by Bob Ewell.
Colin Long also only has a short time on stage as the reclusive Boo Radley, but he captures the essence of the strange young man who hides from society.
Rounding out the cast  are Joan Reppert as Calpurnia, John Foster as Rev. Sykes, Bob Barskey as Walter Cunnigham, and Kenneth Dreistadt as Nathan Radley.
This is a cohesive cast with no weak links. They recreate Lee's Maycomb with honesty and compelling story-telling.
Bruce McLean designed the set, which is quite ingenious, somehow compressing an entire town into one small stage  -- and it works.
The entire production is first-class community theater, allowing the entire audience to "climb into other people's skins and walk around in them" to understand that time in our history, as well as some things that are still happening today.  The play's message of courage, integrity, loyalty  and tolerance are as relevant today as they were when Lee first created this remarkable story more than 50 years ago.
"To Kill  A Mockingbird" is a must-see production.  Sunday's performance was a near sell-out, so make reservations soon. It continues through Sunday  October 2  at 403 North 11th Street in Reading.  Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 8 p.m., while Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m.
Since on-street parking is limited in the area, RCP provides a free shuttle service from the parking lot of the 13th and Green Elementary school for patrons’ convenience
 For reservations please call the theater at 610-375-9106 or visit  the web site at
http://www.readingcommunityplayers.com/. RCP may also be  reached at rcptheatre@gmail.com.

For up-to-date information on area theater productions and auditions, follow Cheryl Thornburg on Twitter @MercArtsCheryl

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spaghetti and Song -- more than satisfying -- sensational!

The cast of Spaghetti and Song performs "Joseph's Coat"
video 

By Cheryl Thornburg
Fleetwood Community Theatre's  Spaghetti and Song fundraiser sounded like a good deal to me -- a spaghetti dinner and live entertainment for $8.  Having attended Saturday night, I  think it's the entertainment bargain of the year.  Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until September next year to check it out.
The kitchen at St. Paul's UCC Church in Fleetwood was filled with dedicated volunteers dishing out plenty of yummy pasta and the stage was filled with some of the area's most gifted performers, creating a great evening out for music lovers of all ages.
This year's theme was "A Rainbow of Songs," featuring music with a color in the title or lyrics -- and the musical rainbow they produced was spectacular.
With the event running from 5-8 p.m., and 18 cast members and about three dozen different songs, there were too many great performances to mention here, but I'll share a few of my favorites with you.
One of those is "My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music" featuring Stacy and 5-year-old Kayla Laucks. There's nothing like the enthusiasm of a talented  youngster to steal the hearts of an audience.
A haunting rendition of "Look To The Rainbow" from "Finnian's  Rainbow" by Debbi Silas and Peter Bourey gave me goosebumps.  Bravo!
Dave Hornberger more than did justice to one of my favorite Elton John songs, "Blue Eyes."
Nichi MacFarlane and Jonathan Quier reprised the exquisite "Written In The Stars" from FCT's summer production "Aida."
Several younger performers demonstrated maturity in their performances and delivery including Paige Fenstermacher's version of "Back to Black," Katie Spencer's "Black and Gold," and Emily Levan's "Not For The Life of Me" from "Thoroughly Modern Millie."
Adding some fun to the event, Nichi MacFarlane and Allyson Horn performed "White Boys" and "Black Boys" from "Hair" separately and then as a first-rate duet.
Best of all was the ensemble number, "Joseph's Coat," which was performed three times, so that both early birds and latecomers could join in the fun.
The cast, ranging in age from 5 to more than 55, included Pete Bourey, Andrew Carroll, David Erb, Paige Fenstermacher, Dean Ficthorn, Allyson Horn, Amanda and Dave Hornberger, Jennifer Juntunen, Stacy and Kayla Laucks, Emily Levan, Nichi MacFarlane, Jonathan Quier, Debbi Silas, Katie Spencer, Donna Torres, and Sarah Wisser.
Accompanist Phyllis Sands did a great job of backing up the singers -- and improvising some entertainment when needed.
The show was directed by Jeanette DeAngelo.
I'm already looking forward to next year. When I get my 2012 calendar, I'm setting aside the last weekend in September.  I recommend you do the same.
For more information on Fleetwood Community Theatre, call 610-944-6379.


For up-to-date information on area theater productions and auditions, follow Cheryl Thornburg on Twitter @MercArtsCheryl

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reading Community Players present "To Kill A Mockingbird"


Reading Community Players  presents "To Kill  A Mockingbird as dramatized by Christopher Sergel beginning  Friday, September 23 and runs through Sunday  October 2.

The production is directed by R. Bruce McLean, who has assembled a cast of 20 actors ranging in age from 12 to 80+.  In addition to an incredible diversity of age, the ensemble cast reflects a range of experience as well, from seasoned actor to novice performer. Interestingly, McLean is directing his daughter, Beth Farmer, who portrays Jean, the adult Scout.  As the narrator, Jean provides the context of the story by evoking a sense of time and place.

"It's 1935 and it's Maycomb, Alabama."  Tensions are running high as Atticus Finch prepares to defend Tom Robinson, a young black man with a crippled left arm, who is accused of attacking a poor, ignorant
white woman for whom he feels pity.  Finch's children, Scout and Jem experience the depth of racial hatred in their town, among their friends, as well as the unexpected strengths of their father.  Both “walk in the skins” of others, as their father instructs them to do, to understand the reclusive Boo Radley and the cranky Mrs. Dubose.
Ultimately, though Atticus does not persuade the jury to acquit Tom, his children recognize his courage in the attempt.

Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 8 p.m., while Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m.  The theater is located at 403 North 11th Street in Reading.  Since on street parking is limited in the area, RCP provides a free shuttle service from the parking lot of the 13th and Green Elementary school for patrons’ convenience.

Many area students study "To Kill A Mockingbird" and CSP encourages them and their parents to attend one of the six performances.  Proof of attendance can be provided for classroom extra credit, if  that is a possibility.

Though written 51 years ago, Lee’s story still resonates in the present.  Her themes of courage, loyalty, wisdom and love eventually triumph over bigotry and ignorance. Those readers who have loved Lee’s novel will be moved by the dramatization of  "To Kill A Mockingbird."

For reservations please call the theater at 610-375-9106 or visit  the web site at http://www.readingcommunityplayers.com. RCP may also be  reached at rcptheatre@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On stage this week

Fleetwood Community Theatre  presents its Spaghetti and Song fundraiser Friday Sept.  23 and Saturday Sept. 24 from 5-8 p.m. at St. Paul's UCC Church, Fleetwood - Corner of Franklin (Route 662) & Arch streets/. This year's theme is A Rainbow of Songs. It features some of the most talented singers from around Berks County.  They range in age from 5 to over 55.  Your servers are also the entertainment. FCT was the pioneer in the Berks county area for the idea of a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser "with entertainment". This is its 20th year. Adults: $8, Children 4-12: $5 - Children 3 & under eat free & salad bar only  is $5.50. For more information call 610-944-6379.

PHOENIXVILLE -- Forge Theatre presents "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" Sept. 22, 23, 24. Based on the seminal 1960s novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,"  it left an indelible mark on contemporary theatre. For more information call 610-935-1920  or visit the website at http://forgetheatre.org/

READING -- Genesius Theatre presents the comedy "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change' Sept. 21 through Sept. 25,  Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change," can be summed up in the show’s official tag line: “Everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit.” Genesius Theatre is located at 153 North 10th Street (Corner of 10th & Walnut) in Reading. For tickets call 610-373-9500 or go to Tickets Online at tix.com For more information, go to genesiustheatre.org

READING -- Reading Community Players presents the world-acclaimed "To Kill a Mockingbird" opening on Sept. 23  at 8 p.m. Other performances will be on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m., Sept. 25 at 3 p.m.; Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at 8 p.m and the final performance Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.

"It's 1935 and it's Maycomb, Alabama." Tensions are running high as Atticus Finch prepares to defend Tom Robinson, a young black man with a crippled left arm, who is accused of attacking a poor, ignorant white woman for whom he feels pity. Finch's children, Scout and Jem experience the depth of racial hatred in their town, among their friends, as well as the unexpected strengths of their father. Both walk in the skins of others, as their father instructs them to do, to understand the reclusive Boo Radley and the vicious Mrs. Dubose.
For reservations call the theater at 610-375-9106 or visit the website at www.rcptheatre.com.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Genesius' 'I Love You' is the 'perfect' pick-me-up

Photo by  Shannan Denlinger.  
Pictured from left  are Robert Aregood, Beth Linzer, Jason Denlinger, Meegan Gagnon.
By Cheryl Thornburg
Whatever has been getting you down, Genesius Theatre has the perfect pick-me-up with its current production, "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change."
The show features numerous laugh-inducing vignettes with titles like "Men Who Talk and Women Who Pretend to Listen," "Satisfaction Guaranteed," and "Sex and the Married Couple."
The ensemble cast is multi-talented, delivering spot-on vocals and great comedic timing.  The cast includes Robert G. Aregood, Erin K. Aregood, Jon Browning, Heidi Carletti, Jason Denlinger, Meegan Gagnon, Laura C. Kruse, Amanda Leam Guistwite, Beth Linzer, Nate Matz, Brad Micale, Devon Moll, Krystin Moll, Nicholas Allen Moore, Linda Reedy, Christopher Sperat, Laura Stewart and Logan Stewart-Mugno.
The songs range from the ridiculous ("Why? 'Cause I'm A Guy") to the sublime ("Shouldn't I Be Less In Love With You." The latter is a poignant ballad delivered with tenderness  by Jason Denlinger.
There are many fine performances in this production, but my favorite is in Funerals Are For Dating with Bob Aregood and Linda Reedy, who play two widowed seniors who meet at a wake. As they tentatively get to know each other, it leads into another memorable song from the show, "I Can Live With That."

Other songs of note are  "A Single Man Drought" featuring Amanda Leam Guistwite and Meegan Gagnon; "The Baby Song," by Bob Aregood;  " Always a Bridesmaid," by Amanda Leam Guistwite; and  "A Stud and A Babe," with Jon Browning and Beth Linzer, as two geeky types on a date.
Other scenes that showcase comedy skills are "Tear Jerk" with Bob and Erin Aregood;  "I'll Call You Soon" with Heidi Carletti; and "The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz," with Erin Aregood.
There are also some young actors in the cast who manage to steal the scenes they are in, and I suspect we'll be seeing more of them in future productions. They are Devon and Krystin Moll and Logan Stewart-Mungo.
The show is directed by Hope L. O’Pake, with Chris Sperat as music director. Choreography is by Amanda Leam Guistwite; and costumes by Shannan Denlinger.

"I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change' continues  this week with performances  Sept. 21 and  22 at 7 p.m., Sept. 23, 24 at 8 p.m. and Sept., 25 at 3 p.m. at Genesius Theatre, 153 North 10th Street (corner of 10th & Walnut) in Reading. For tickets call 610-373-9500 or go to Tickets Online at tix.com
For more information, go to genesiustheatre.org

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On stage in September

PHOENIXVILLE -- Forge Theatre presents "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" Sept. 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24.
Based on the  1960s novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" written by Dale Wasserman, adapted from the novel by Ken Kesey, left an indelible mark on contemporary theatre. Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately devastating, it is the unforgettable story of patients in a mental institution, a world where sanity means conformity. For more information call 610-935-1920 or visit the website at http://forgetheatre.org/


POTTSTOWN --Tri-County Performing Arts Center:
1) "Flamenia’s Wedding" (family comedy) will be features at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center Saturday, Sept. 10 & Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m.
Written and directed by Don Elwell, Artistic Director of Greylight Theatre Collective Commedia dell’Arte Improvisational Comedy, the show is appropriate for all ages.
Flamenia has a problem. She's been deeply immersed in the joys of learning and reading, but her elderly father, Pantalone, has decided that reading taxes the feeble minds of women. In response, he has concocted a surprise - Flamenia is getting married, and hopefully to his old friend, the aging, wealthy braggart Captain Spavinto! What to do? Fortunately for Flamenia, she has an intellect that just won't quit, and with the help of her scheming servant, Bardalino, she comes up with a plot to either derail the marriage or to build herself a fiancée she can live with ... and that, of course, would be herself! With plot elements drawn from Flamenio Scala's sixteenth century collection of Commedia scenarios, and utilizing period costuming,) "Flamenia’s Wedding" is the Commedia at its best.
A talk-back with the director and cast will follow each performance
Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for students and seniors and $13 for children 12 & under. Tri-County Performing Arts Center is located at 245 E. High St. in
Pottstown. For information go to www.villageproductions.org/

2) MURDER MYSTERY PARTY, "A Brush with Death: The Flossing of Chester Basil"
will be presented Friday, Sept. 16 through Sunday, Sept. 18. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m. and Sunday's is at 3 p.m.
Includes Pre-Show Assorted Cheeses with Complimentary Wine and Intermission Dessert Buffet - Not recommended for young children due to performance format*
"You are cordially invited to the home of Chester Basil (also known as the Tri-PAC), for an interactive comedy murder mystery “whodunit”! Bring the whole gang and enjoy delicious light fare while meeting a sarcastic gumshoe and his mentally meandering sidekick as they investigate the untimely death of a famous dental floss magnate. Is it the comely yoga instructor, the muscleman chef, the loyal maid, or the wife who stands to inherit millions? Or did the butler do it?"
Tickets for adults and seniors are $32 and students and children 12 & under, $24.
Tri-County Performing Arts Center is located at 245 E. High St. in Pottstown. For information go to www.villageproductions.org/


READING -- Genesius Theatre presents the comedy "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change' Sept. 16, 17, 23, 24 at 8 p.m.; Sept. 18, 25 at 3 p.m. and Sept. 21, 22 at 7 p.m. Directed by Hope L. O’Pake, "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change," by Joe Dipietro and Jimmy Roberts, can be summed up in the show’s official tag line: “Everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit.”
Genesius Theatre is located at 153 North 10th Street (Corner of 10th & Walnut) in Reading. For tickets call 610-373-9500 or go to Tickets Online at tix.com
For more information, go to genesiustheatre.org

READING -- Reading Community Players presents the world-acclaimed "To Kill a Mockingbird" opening on Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. Other performances will be on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m., Sept. 25 at 3 p.m.; Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at 8 p.m and the final performance Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.
"It's 1935 and it's Maycomb, Alabama." Tensions are running high as Atticus Finch prepares to defend Tom Robinson, a young black man with a crippled left arm, who is accused of attacking a poor, ignorant white woman for whom he feels pity. Finch's children, Scout and Jem experience the depth of racial hatred in their town, among their friends, as well as the unexpected strengths of their father. Both walk in the skins of others, as their father instructs them to do, to understand the reclusive Boo Radley and the vicious Mrs. Dubose.
For reservations call the theatre at 610-375-9106 or visit the website at http://www.readingcommunityplayers.com


READING -- Sovereign Performing Arts Center, 136 N. Sixth St. (1-800-745-3000)
"Menopause the Musical" 8 p.m. Sept. 28-29 -- This uplifting 90-minute production includes parodies from the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s.
It culminates with a salute to women who are experiencing The Change. Tickets start at $61.



OTHER AREA PERFORMANCES

BRISTOL -- Bristol Riverside Theatre, 120 Radcliffe St., Bristol (215-785-0100)
"Chita Rivera: My Broadway" Sept. 23-25

EPHRATA -- Ephrata Performing Arts Center's Sharadin-Bigler Theater, Cocalico Street, Ephrata (717-733-7966)
"Equus" Sept. 8-17

HARRISBURG -- Gamut Classic Theatre, 605 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg (717-238-4111)
Gamut Theatre Group presents Bram Stoker's "Dracula" 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9, 10, 16 and 17

MALVERN -- People's Light and Theatre Company, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern (610-644-3500)
"The Return of Don Quixote"
Sept. 21 through Oct. 16

PHILADELPHIA --

Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. Second St., Philadelphia (215-922-1122)
"August: Osage County" Sept. 29 through Oct. 30

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia (215-413-1318)
"Aspects of Love" Sept. 6 through Oct. 23

Walnut Street Theatre for Kids presents "Madeline and the Bad Hat" 10:30 a.m., 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 24

QUAKERTOWN -- McCoole's Arts & Events Place, 10 S. Main St., Quakertown (215-538-1776)
Crowded Kitchen Players present "The Maltese Falcon" Sept. 23 through Oct. 9.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Upcoming auditions

Upcoming auditions

"THE SOUND OF MUSIC" at Genesius Theatre
Wednesday, September 7 at 7 p.m. -- Adults + Liesl & Rolf
Saturday September 10 at 10 a.m. --Children + possible callbacks
Location
Genesius Theatre
153 N 10th Street
Reading, Pennsylvania

THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers
Suggested by “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”
Directed by Christopher Sperat

Performances will be December 2 – December 11
For more information, please feel free to contact Chris Sperat via email: PtownTchr@aol.com with any questions.


Auditions for "THE HOUSE OF YES," directed by Ray Rhoads, will take place on Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Reading Community Players, 403 N. 11th Street in Reading. Possible callbacks or extra audition date will be on Thursday, September 8 (location TBA).
Cast Listing
“Jackie O” Pascal – mid 20’s -early 30’s Marty Pascal – (her twin brother) – mid 20’s – early 30’s Anthony Pascal – (their younger brother) – mid to late 20’s Mrs. Pascal – (their mother) – Late 40’s to early 60’s Lesly (Marty’s girlfriend) – mid 20’s – early 30’s
The show runs November 11, 12, 13 and 18, 19, 20 (run time approximately 80 minutes). Rehearsals will begin on September 9– 13, and then you will have periodic e-mail and phone discussion with the director. We resume rehearsals to stage the show again November 1 -10. Off-book on November 1.
For more information: http://wendymacleod.com/plays/house_of_yes.shtml