Tri-State Theater

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Interview with Abigail Manis from "A Catered Affair"

   We’re just a few days away from the premiere of the musical A Catered Affair, being presented by ARTS in Huntington. 

   We have several interviews to share with the show’s cast, and up next is the wonderful Abigail Manis.  

Q. Tell us about A Catered Affair.

Abigail: Pretty much, A Catered Affair is a show about a cab driver and his family living in the Bronx during 1950. I won't go too deeply into the plot, but suffice to say it's about the tension in the family when his daughter Janey wants to have a civil ceremony at City Hall and then leave on her honeymoon immediately, but wife and mother Aggie insists on having a big... well, catered affair. 

Q.  What role do you play?

Abigail: I play the daughter, Jane Hurley.

Q. What's your favorite song or scene in the show?

Abigail: Oh gosh. That's tough. I really like the scene in the bridal shop, where Janey, who isn't a girly girl by any means, has her first taste of what a fairy tale wedding would be like (in the song “One White Dress”). The softness of interactions between mother and daughter, who have never been this close before, it's just really beautiful, not to mention Janey's giddiness, which is so unlike her and really shows how new all of this is to both of them. The moment is so delicate I feel like holding my breath every time because I don't want to burst the bubble. 

Q. What's been the most challenging aspect about the show?

Abigail: The romantic scenes. Definitely. Being tender and girly and romantic is the thing that comes least naturally to me. I'd much rather be expressing humor, or anger, or sadness, I really like raw emotions like that. Fluffy flirty stuff is not my thing. 

Q. What makes this show fun for you?

Abigail: Interacting with all the other actors and playing off of each other. This is such a small show, only 10 cast members, but it doesn't feel small because everyone fills up the space with their acting and reacting. Also the accent. I love being able to have a Bronx accent. 

Q. Why would you recommend this show to our readers?

Abigail: If you come and see this show, I promise you, it will hit your heart. This is a show everyone can relate to. It has humor, and sadness, and romance, and anger, and yet everything you'll see is played so naturally and beautifully you'll feel like you're one of them. Bil told us not to brag on him in these questions but I can't help but reflect on how beautifully this came together. I'd never heard of this show before, as you probably haven't, but after being a part of it I think it's one of my new favorites. 

Q: Thanks, Abigail!

A Catered Affair - ARTS presents the musical on Aug. 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at the Renaissance Theatre Ballroom at 900 8th Street in Huntington. General Admission is $15 show only and $30 for dinner and show. You must reserve reservations for dinner by calling 304-733-2787. The dinner menu for this show is: fresh kale lemon salad, baked steak with mushroom gravy, rice pilaf, apricot glazed carrots, and three tier wedding cake for dessert.

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