Tri-State Theater
Let's discuss upcoming shows, secrets behind the scenes, things you never knew about the theater and why live theater is so darn entertaining.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

On Stage This Weekend

   Here's the rundown of shows coming up this weekend, courtesy of my pal Ryan Hardiman:

- Crazy for You (Musical)
Music by George Gershwin, Lyrics by Ira Gershwin, Book by Ken Ludwig
Arts Resources for the Tri State (ARTS)
Fri. and Sat., Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.
Matinee Sun., Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.
ARTS Mainstage
900 8th Street in Huntington
General Admission
Tickets are $15 


- Fiddler on the Roof (Musical)
Music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, Book by Joseph Stein
The Charleston Light Opera Guild, co-presenting with The Clay Center
Fri. and Sat., Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 7 - 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinee Sun., Nov. 2 and 9 at 2 p.m.
Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences
One Clay Square in Charleston
$25 all seats reserved
Clay Center Box Office: 304-561-3570

- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Play)
by Dale Wasserman, with music by Teiji Ito. Based on the novel by Ken Kesey
Portsmouth Little Theatre
Fri. and Sat., Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Portsmouth Little Theatre
1117 Lawson Street in Portsmouth, Ohio
$12 Adults / $10 Senior/Student
740-353-7034 pltlive.com

- Evil Dead: The Musical (Musical)
Book & Lyrics By George Reinblatt
Music By Frank Cipolla/Christopher Bond/Melissa Morris/George Reinblatt
Kanawha Players
Fri. and Sat., Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.
Kanawha Players Theater
309 Beauregard St., Charleston, WV
$16 Adults / $10 Kids 17 and under / $10 Students with ID
Tickets: www.kanawhaplayers.org  304-343-7529
or at the door while tickets last.
*Parental discretion is advised & children under 16 will not be permitted without an adult*

- Murder on the Mountain (Interactive Murder Dinner Party)
Murder and Merriment
Sat., Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
965 Lodge Road in Greenup, Ky.
Tickets $40
Reservations Required: 606-473-7423

    So get out there and support your community theatre!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Interview #3 With the Cast of "Crazy for You"

  We've had a couple of interviews with the cast of the musical Crazy for You, which wraps up this weekend in Huntington - and here's another one! Let's hear from the talented Mark Albert:

Q: Tell us about Crazy for You.
Mark: The show is a romantic comedy, with timeless songs by Gershwin.

Q: Tell us about your work on the musical.

Mark: I play Sam, an easy goin' cowboy.

Q: I understand this show required a lot of rehearsal.

Mark: And how. But I wouldn't take nothin' for the journey...

Q: What's your favorite song in the show?

Mark: Wow, hard to pick. "Someone to Watch Over Me," rendered by the beautiful and talented Jocelyn (Polly). She simply sparkles!

Q: What's your background in theatre?

Mark: College mainly, some grad school (Marshall University). I've enjoyed a few productions at ARTS, which I affectionately like to call home. The whole organization makes me feel right at home.

Q: If one of our readers is thinking about trying out for a show, what advice would you give them?

Mark: Go for it. I have many friends from my experience here.

Q: Why would you recommend this show? 

Mark: Triple threat fun. Singing,Acting, and Dancing

   Thanks, Mark!

   The musical Crazy for You will be staged at the Renaissance Theatre at 900 8th Street on Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 (dinner tickets are sold out).

Monday, October 27, 2014

Interview with the Director of "Crazy for You"

   We've had a couple of interviews with the cast of the musical Crazy for You (about which I've heard rave reviews), and we'll have more in the days ahead - but now, let's hear from the director of the show, Stephen Vance!

   He's a triple threat - not only is he a fine director and a talented actor - he's also one of the most knowledgable tech guys around!

   Here's Stephen: 

Q: For those not familiar with the show, tell us about Crazy for You.
Stephen: Crazy for You is the story of a young banker who want to be in a Broadway show. Everyone else has different plans for him. He ends up in Nevada to foreclose on an old theatre, but immediately falls in love and decides the best way to save the theatre is to put on a show. Showgirls, cowboys, mix-ups, and mayhem ensues all wrapped around the Gershwin's greatest tunes.

Q: Tell us about your work on the musical.


Stephen:  I've had the privilege to be the director of the show. I'm genuinely flattered that so many talented and hard working people have committed to this project. It really is a dream come true. This is a dance show, and not nearly enough can be said about the work Coni Anthony has done, she has indulged me over and over, and her creativity and ability to tell a story beautifully and so full of life is second to none. John Campbell has done the same thing on the music side of things. He has an infectious enthusiasm and a tremendous grasp of how to get the best out of singers. It is still mind boggling that I've been able to be a part of this team. I'm grateful.

Q: I understand this show required a lot of rehearsal.


Stephen:  We started up during "Much Ado" back in August. From the beginning, we knew we were getting into something that was bigger and more elaborate than normal. The first six weeks were nothing but music and dance rehearsals. The amazing thing about this cast is that no matter the challenge, they rose to it every time. By the end of the process, each cast member had spent well over 100 hours in rehearsal. However, it wasn't just the rehearsals that they poured themselves into. There were at least five weekends of work calls prior to tech week that everyone was part of in some capacity, whether it was costume building, set construction, scene painting, or some other crazy task we had to accomplish. We only have a handful of dedicated technicians for this show. The efforts of the crew and the cast have been outstanding and above and beyond the norm.

Q: What's your favorite song in the show?


Stephen:  Every song in this show is special to me. I don't say that lightly. The arrangements of the music are designed in such a way to feature someone and something unique in every single number. Each has required a special focus both technically and from a performance standpoint. I could write paragraphs about every single number. The work that went into each, and the joy they all bring me is immeasurable. My goal starting this project was to feature all 21 cast members at least once each, and I think we pulled that off successfully.

Q: What's your background in theatre?


Stephen:  I started with Helen Freeman during Footloose in 2004 sweeping the straw off the backstage sidewalk. From there, I worked tech for a couple of shows, and eventually ended up in the chorus of Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2006. I've since been on stage and volunteered with HHS, First Church Dinner Theatre, First Stage, and Fifth Avenue. As ARTS has grown over the last few years, I found myself right in the middle of it, on stage and off. In 2009, I was given the opportunity to direct I Ought to Be in Pictures. Crazy for You is the fifth show I've directed and certainly the most ambitious. I can't overstate how grateful I am to work with ARTS, the board, the production team, the crew, and cast for this show.

Q: If one of our readers is thinking about trying out for a show, what advice would you give them?


Stephen:  Realize that it is going to be a lot of work. A lot. However, not one day goes by that you don't realize it is worth it.  

Q: Why would you recommend this show?  


Stephen:  I love it. It is as much fun as I have seen on stage ever. I love standing in the back of the house and watching people walk out with a smile on their face. It is that kind of show. Wonderful music, terrific choreography, a hilarious book. Mike and Jocelyn are dreams as leads. Mike, Joanna, and Dylan hit on every comedic and performance cylinder every night. Todd and Karen are like glue in their character roles. Amy, Tiffany, Sheila, Cyndi, Nora, and Jenn are stunning in every costume, every scene, every dance, and every vocal performance. Marc, Bill, Luke, Jason, Tristan, and Andrew add so much life and texture every single time they are on stage. Bil and Becky are perfect in their cameo roles. (I've fought the urge to go into great detail about everything I love about everyone in this show.) If you can't tell, I love this show and I really want everyone to get a chance to see it.

   Thanks, Stephen!

   The musical Crazy for You will be staged at the Renaissance Theatre at 900 8th Street on Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 (dinner tickets are sold out).

   

Friday, October 24, 2014

On Stage This Weekend

   Here's the rundown of shows taking the stage this weekend, courtesy of my pal Ryan Hardiman:

- Crazy for You (Musical)
Music by George Gershwin, Lyrics by Ira Gershwin, Book by Ken Ludwig
Arts Resources for the Tri State (ARTS)
Fri. - Sat., Oct. 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.
ARTS MainStage at 900 8th Street in Huntington
General Admission
$15 Show Only / $30 Dinner (reservations required) and show - call 304-733-2787


- Venus in Fur (Play)
by David Ives
Alban Arts and Conference Center
Fri. - Sat., Oct. 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. and 
Sun., Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.
Alban Arts and Conference Center at 65 Olde Main Plaza in St. Albans
Tickets are $15 Adults / $10 Students and Seniors
304-721-8896

- Evil Dead: The Musical
Book & Lyrics By George Reinblatt
Music By Frank Cipolla/Christopher Bond/Melissa Morris/George Reinblatt
Kanawha Players
Fri. - Sat., Oct. 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.
Kanawha Players Theater
309 Beauregard Street in Charleston
Tickets are $16 Adults / $10 Kids 17 and under / $10 Students with ID
Tickets: www.kanawhaplayers.org (304)343-PLAY (7529)
or at the door while tickets last.
*Parental discretion is advised & children under 16 will not be permitted without an adult*

- Hamlet (Play)
by William Shakespeare
American Shakespeare Center
A FestivALL Fall event
Fri., Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Scottish Rite Temple
406 Capitol Street in Charleston
Tickets are $20 Adults, $15 Seniors 65 and older and $10 for students and children, available at the door or in advance at Taylor Books (fee added)
Preshow begins at 7 p.m. - the actors entertain 30 minutes before the performance and during intermission, so plan to come early.

- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Play)
by Dale Wasserman, with music by Teiji Ito. Based on the novel by Ken Kesey
Portsmouth Little Theatre
Fri. - Sat., Oct. 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Portsmouth Little Theatre
1117 Lawson Street in Portsmouth, Ohio
Tickets are $12 Adults / $10 Senior/Student
740.353.7034 pltlive.com

- Your Swash is Unbuckled (Stage combat plays)
by Jeff Goode
Lincoln County High School Theatre
Fri. - Sat., Oct 24 and 25 at 7 p.m.
81 Lincoln Panther Way in Hamlin
$10 Adults / $5 Students

- War of the Worlds (Live action radio show)
Jackson County Players
Fri. - Sat., Oct. 24 and 25 at 7 p.m.
Matinee Sun., Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.
The Alpine Theatre
107 Main St West in Ripley
All tickets $10

- A Murderous Match Game (Interactive Murder Dinner Party)
Murder and Merriment
Fri. - Sat., Oct. 24 - 25 at 7 p.m.
The Greenhouse of Teays Valley in Hurricane
Tickets $40
Reservations Required: 304-397-6316

   So get out there and support your community theatre!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Interview #2 with the Cast of "Crazy for You"

   Here’s the second in our series of interviews with the cast of Crazy for You, the Gershwin musical that opens this weekend at the Renaissance Theatre (the old Huntington High School).

   Today let’s hear from the lovely and talented Jocelyn Clark-Knapp, who plays an All-American Girl:

Q: For those not familiar with the show, tell us about Crazy for You.

Jocelyn: Between Ira and George Gershwin’s lyrics/music and Ken Ludwig’s writing, this musical offers something for everyone. While Bobby Child chases his dream to be a Broadway star, his mother is determined to keep him in banking. During a work assignment to foreclose on a theater in a rundown town in Deadrock, Nevada, Bobby meets and falls for Polly Baker. Instead of foreclosing on the theater he decides he could try to help save the theater and town. Saving a rundown theater and winning the girl of his dreams is not a one man job.  With the help of his Showgirl friends from New York City, two worlds collide to make some of the most memorable and exciting show stopping numbers in musical theater.

Q: Tell us about the character you play.

Jocelyn: I am honored to play Polly Baker, the “All American Girl” from Deadrock, Nevada. Polly is a headstrong cowgirl who makes a living delivering mail and keeping the lazy town of Deadrock awake. She lost her mother and is now the only female within miles of town. Polly secretly longs to find her special someone but wouldn’t ever admit to it, until she meets Bella Zangler. Before New York City and Bobby’s visit to Deadrock, I don’t think she even realizes what love could be. 

Q: I understand this show required a lot of rehearsal.

Jocelyn: I am a member of ARTS Resident Acting Company. Last year when I received the offer to play Polly Baker I couldn’t wait to get started. I have been humming along to these songs since January and will probably be singing them long after the final curtain drops. Coni Anthony, our choreographer, challenged me from day one with dance steps and now I can proudly say I can do a triple time step (fancy tapper talk for “lots of noise at one time with my taps”). Along with singing and dancing, this role has pushed me to think beyond a traditional character role and into the life of Polly Baker. I couldn’t be more honored to be part of this production.

Q: What's your favorite song (or scene or dance) in the show?

Jocelyn: This is such a hard question because each song/dance has such a special place for me within the show. But my favorite song/dance in the show is the first full number with Bobby and Polly, “Could You Use Me/Shall We Dance.” It is one of the first numbers we choreographed and has been a great experience from day one. Not only do you get to see both characters and their beginning feelings for each other but you also hear the fun upbeat carefree spirit of Gershwin’s music.

Q: What's your background in theatre?

Jocelyn: I am a current ARTS Resident Member. I played Mazy this past spring in “The Boyfriend” and was a Showgirl in our “Much Ado About Nothing” production. I have played Rosemary in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and The Favorite in “Will Rogers Follies.” In high school I was bitten by the theater bug and have participated in several community theater productions over the last 10 years.

Q: If one of our readers is thinking about trying out for a show, what advice would you give them?

Jocelyn: Go for it! Your audition pieces don’t have to be overly technical, but show your best efforts. Directors holding auditions for a show want you to be successful and want participants, so show them what you got! Being nervous to sing, act, or dance for someone is normal, but they aren’t there to tear you down. The more auditions you do, the better you become.
 
Q: Why would you recommend this show?

Jocelyn: It seems to me this show has it all: classic music, amusing dialogue, and fantastic dance numbers. One of the most important things this show – and most shows from ARTS have – is the cast.  As an audience member you will be able to see the love for theater from every person on stage. We are a close knit group who genuinely cares for each other and you will be able to see that too. It is a family friendly show for all ages and guaranteed to keep you at the edge of your seat the entire performance. There hasn’t EVER been a better time to be at ARTS – Won’t You Join Us?
   Thanks, Jocelyn!

The musical Crazy for You will be staged at the Renaissance Theatre at 900 8th Street on Oct. 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the show, and $30 for dinner and the show - to make dinner reservations, call 304-733-2787.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Interview #1 with the Cast of "Crazy for You"

   The musical Crazy for You takes the stage this weekend in Huntington, so it's time for some interviews and comments from the cast!

   First up is the lovely and talented Cyndi Fuller!

Q: For those not familiar with the show, tell us about Crazy for You.

Cyndi:  Crazy for You is about a banker named Bobby Child. All he wants to do is dance, but his money hungry mother sends him to Nevada to foreclose on a poor, rundown theater. Of course he immediately falls in love with the only girl in Deadrock. What ensues is a series of lies delightfully covered up by singing cowboys and dancing showgirls. It seems like your typical Broadway love story, but I promise you: it's not.

Q: Tell us about the character you play.

Cyndi:  I'm part of the Zangler Follies. I thought this would be an "easy chorus" role where I was a blip on the stage for a short time here and there. I was so mistaken! Each character in the show must bring everything they have to the table for the story line to work. We're all onstage as a unit. Without the "background" characters like me Crazy for You is just a bunch of bango-bingo.

Q: I understand this show required a lot of rehearsal.

Cyndi:  You. Have. No. Idea. From the first rehearsal, we have been charging at this show full force. Singing. Dancing. Acting. Not only have we been working our triple threat skills, we've been giving our all to help make the show happen. Set builds. Painting. Sewing. When we aren't rehearsing, we're working as a team to make the show the best it can possibly be in all aspects.

Q: What's your favorite song in the show?

Cyndi:  "Slap That Bass" is the most fun I've had on stage in years. It's so upbeat, and you can feel the energy radiating from the cast. Thinking about it makes me so happy and excited, I can't think straight!

Q: What's your background in theater?

Cyndi:  Tons of children's theatre. I took a break to pursue competitive dancing but came out of retirement for ARTs last show (Much Ado About Nothing). Let me tell you: I sure did pick a great time to come back. Crazy for You is going to be a show that the theater community remembers for a long time, and I'm so thankful I get to be part of it.

Q: If one of our readers is thinking about trying out for a show, what advice would you give them?

Cyndi: Just go for it! The last two shows I've done have had first time actors, and they did amazing. You have so many resources available in the Tri-State it would be silly to not try! Go to a workshop. See a show. Talk to directors and actors. Put on your dancing shoes. Watch your spirits climb.

Q: Why would you recommend this show?

Cyndi: I'm jealous I don't get to see it! Everyone has worked so hard. The set is amazing. The costumes are fabulous. The choreography is out of this world. The vocals will blow you away. This is one of the biggest productions to come across the ARTs stage. If you don't see it, you're K-RA-ZY! 

   Thanks, Cyndi!

   The musical Crazy for You will be staged at the Renaissance Theatre at 900 8th Street on Oct. 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the show, and $30 for dinner and the show - to make dinner reservations, call 304-733-2787.

Monday, October 20, 2014

On Stage This Weekend: "Crazy for You"


   ARTS has a terrific musical taking the stage this weekend - the Gershwin musical Crazy for You!

  Here's everything you need to know:

   Arts Resources for the Tri-State presents Crazy for You, the New Gershwin Musical Comedy, by Ken Ludwig. The show runs October 24, 25, 26, 31, November 1, 2. 

   Songs from the show include: I Got Rhythm, Shall We Dance, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Someone to Watch Over Me, and more classic Gershwin Tunes. 

   The show features comedy, tap-dancing, and wonderful music - all of which make Crazy for You a must see show this Fall!

   Online Tickets now available! Click here to purchase: http://www.artstristate.org/#!current-production/cb3i

   Tickets for the show only are $15. Dinner and Show: $30 - for dinner reservation you must call 304-733-2787.

   Directed by Stephen Vance
   Choreographed by Constance Anthony
   Musical Direction by John W. Campbell

   Cast:
Michael Naglee - Bobby Child
Jocelyn Clark Knapp - Polly Baker
Amy Knell Carlson - Tess
Tiffany Caldwell Trent - Patsy
Sheila Meade - Sheila
Nora Joseph Ankrom - Betsy
Jenn Naglee - Mitzi
Cyndi Mac Fuller - Louise
Marcus Albert - Sam
Luke Matlock - Mingo
Bill Stambaugh - Moose
Jason D. Roach - Jimmy
Tristan Reynolds - Custus
Andrew Surber - Junior
Dylan M. Clark - Lank Hawkins
Joanna Berner - Irene
Mike Murdock - Bela Zangler
Todd L Green - Everett Baker
Karen Kelly Pruitt - Lottie Child
Bil Neal - Eugene Fodor
Becky Tippett McClelland - Patricia Fodor