Posts Tagged Bob Lasprogato

“Cabaret 55” – Celebrate 55 Years of WCT, Friday May 20 at 7:00 PM!

Join us for a very special Gala Evening – “Cabaret 55” – celebrating Westport Community Theatre’s 55th anniversary! “Cabaret 55” will be held Friday, May 20 at 7:00 PM at the Westport Woman’s Club, 44 Imperial Avenue.

Tickets are $35, and include desserts by Westport’s leading restaurants, bakeries and confectioners – plus a ticket to the opening of our final production of the 2010 / 2011 season, Sabrina Fair.

We’ve assembled some of your favorite WCT performers – Priscilla Squiers (Master Class), Fred Tisch (Angel Street), Rosanne Nelson (Mixed Couples), Kimberly Lowden (The Women), Ruth Anne Baumgartner (Angel Street), Rob Pawlikowski (The Front Page), Marguerite Foster (Orson’s Shadow), Randye Kaye (Broadway Bound), Jessie Gilbert (Don’t Drink the Water), Linda Gilmore (Ice Glen) David Victor (Mixed Couples), Vic Terenzio (Don’t Drink the Water), Larry Greeley (A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum), Joan Barere (The Best Man), John Fatteross (The Best Man) and others for a cabaret-style evening of songs and classic comedy sketches from the 1950s, the era when Westport Community Theatre first began! The evening will be hosted by Robert Watts as Emcee.

We promise no novelty songs (!), just a fabulous musical evening of classic standards, torch songs, and old favorites, with comedy sketches celebrating that marvelous 1950s era when radio gave way to a new-fangled development called television and launched the careers of Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Jackie Gleason, Neil Simon…

Music throughout the entire evening will be provided by Bob Lasprogato’s Uptown Jazz Combo – if you haven’t heard them before, get ready for a sweet evening of cool jazz and then some by some of Westport’s most popular musicians.

The format for the evening is Cabaret-style – in addition to the entertainment, we’ll provide desserts courtesy of Great Cakes, CakeSuite, The Wild Pear, Garelick and Herbs and Nothin’ But Premium Snack Bars, along with coffee, tea and bottled water. Guests are invited to bring supper or snacks; BYOB (sodas and wine only, please).

“Cabaret 55” is a true celebration of all things Westport and Westport Community Theatre’s 55 years of commitment to the community by providing outstanding theatre at affordable prices. We’ve partnered with local businesses to underwrite this fundraising event (including Fairfield County Bank and Mutual Security), and look forward to having you join us!

Space is limited, so we encourage you to make your reservation soon by phoning the Box Office at (203) 226-1983.

 

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Set construction on “Mixed Couples” begins!

Construction is well-underway for our next production, the charming romantic comedy “Mixed Couples” by James Prideaux, directed by one of our favorite directors, Jessica Denes. We are so pleased to have Raymond Stephens return to WCT, this time in the role of Set Designer – and quite the job he has undertaken as “Mixed Couples” is set in an airplane hanger circa late 1920s! Ray is an extraordinary friend to WCT, and excellent manager of all things and people helping to get this job done!

We thought everyone might like to take a look at some of the earliest steps – Ray has advised:

We have started repainting the set.

The flats, soon to become the hangar doors, are being painted and dressed.
The hangar girders have been fabricated.
With help from:
Lisa Mellott
Bill Mellott
Ian Lander
Beth Flavin
Bob Laspogarto
More updates to follow!

The stage and seats are well protected in this early stage of construction –

Set construction for "Mixed Couples" at Westport Community Theatre

What you don't often see – the view "behind-the-flats"...

Set construction begins for "Mixed Couples" at Westport Community Theatre, April 8 – 24

In case you don't recognize this, it's the staircase that leads from the dressing room to the theatre – an impromptu workbench!

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“Angel Street” – a.k.a. “Gaslight” – opens Friday, November 26 at 8:00 PM

"Angel Street" at Westport Community Theatre, November 26 – December 12

The Manninghams – Jack (Peter Wood) and Bella (Ann Kinner)

“Angel Street” opens tonight, Friday, November 26 at 8:00 PM. “Angel Street” (also known as “Gaslight”) by Patrick Hamilton is one of the all-time great thrillers, a night of theatrical magic that captivates the audience from start to finish and keeps you guessing right up to the end. If you’ve never seen the play that the famous 1940s movie “Gaslight” was based on, this is the production to see! You may know “who” does it… but what keeps you guessing in this story of unfolding psychological terror are the whys and hows.

A diabolical killer… lost rubies… a charming, insistently persistent detective… mysterious footsteps and light shifts… locked drawers and rooms… secrets… intrigue… all part of an edge-of-your-seat mystery that keeps the audience in suspense until the end. To give away the plot is a crime in itself… Bellla Manningham may be losing her mind… and her husband may be a killer enacting a plot to slowly drive her insane – or is he?

Directed by Alexander Kulcsar, “Angel Street” features sensational performances by Fred Tisch, Ann Kinner, Peter Wood, Ruth Anne Baumgartner and Sarah Smegal, – charming, beguiling, vulnerable, saucy, funny, stoic, villainous, duplicitous… – with cameo appearances by Bob Lasprogato and Al Toth. Jack and Bella Manningham’s world on Angel Street stays with you long after the final glow of the gas light…

Opens Friday, November 26 – December 12, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm, and Thursday, December 2 at 8:00 pm. Westport  Community Theatre at Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport. Tickets are $14 – $20; for reservations and information go to (203) 226-1983 or go to westportcommunitytheatre.com for directions.

Check back for profiles, behind-the-scenes information and more!

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Enter Laughing opens September 24… Profiling Director Will Jeffries

Enter Laughing opens in just one week, Friday September 24 at 8:00 PM, and Off-Book will be profiling cast members and crew over the next weeks to give a behind-the-scenes look at who’s who!

WCT is so very pleased to have as noted director, actor and set designer Will Jeffries at the helm! We are of the opinion there is nothing Will can’t do… and audiences are in for a treat. The production is excellent – he has truly gotten some amazing performances from his actors, and the show achieves that rare blend of heartwarming emotional comedy and laugh-out-loud funny comedy. In a little twist of irony, Will is playing the director of the play-within-the-play at the heart of the plot of  “Enter Laughing” – his performance as Marlowe is superbly memorable. And his set design, not an easy task as the play takes place in a variety of settings ranging from a machine shop to a theatre to a cemetery… is ingenious!

A little about Will, who is well known to Connecticut audiences for his work on stage and behind-the-scenes:

"Enter Laughing" at Westport Community Theatre, September 24 – October 10

Will Jeffries as "Marlowe" and Tim Cronin as "Pike" in "Enter Laughing"

"Enter Laughing," Westport Community Theatre, September 24 - October 10 2010

Will Jeffries – Director, Set Designer and appearing as "Marlowe" in "Enter Laughing"

Officially retired after 25 years in the professional ranks in N.Y. & L.A., his acting on stage includes – off-Broadway as JFK in Kennedy At Colonus, originating the role of Arnold’s lover Ed in two segments of Torch Song Trilogy by and with Harvey Fierstein, as IRA commander Keeney in the American Premiere of Brian Friel’s Volunteers, and for director Marshall W. Mason, he had the privilege of co-starring in Shaw’s Don Juan In Hell, (with Ricardo Montalban, Lynn Redgrave, and Stewart Granger ), in films (Iron Eagle, Remo Williams, Refuge), dozens of TV series (ER, Newhart, Valerie, and a bunch of Matlock’s), soaps (as the evil Damon on General Hospital), and in your living room in hundreds of commercials. Over the years, he has directed productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, That Championship Season, Purlie Victorious, Black Comedy, Henry Fielding’s Tom Thumb, and others, and has designed sets for Agatha Christie’s The Hollow, Jesus Christ Superstar, and That Championship Season.

Will has returned to his native New England, and has found a true community of theatre people with whom to collaborate. In recent seasons, he has directed Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, the premiere production of Leonardo, and The House of Blue Leaves. Set design credits include Three Tall Women, Sleuth, Camelot, Beyond Therapy, and The Memory of Water. As an actor, he has appeared in leading roles in The Cocktail Hour, Sleuth, The Rimers of Eldritch, My Side of The Story, Romantic Comedy, Love Letters, Camelot, and Beyond Therapy. At WCT, he appeared as Mr. Lockhart in the acclaimed Bare Bones/WCT staged reading of The Seafarer last year.

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“Enter Laughing” – two weeks until opening night September 24!

Westport Community Theatre, September 24 - October 10

Carl Reiner from "The Dick Van Dyke Show"

Carl Reiner, semi-autobiographical source of "Enter Laughing"

Carl Reiner, semi-autobiographical source of "Enter Laughing"

Westport Community Theatre's 55th Anniversary season

Carl Reiner

It’s hard to believe, but at Westport Community Theatre we’re about to open our 55th Anniversary season Friday night, September 24, at 8:00 PM! This upcoming season promises to be one of – if not the – most memorable seasons with a crowd-pleasing mix of shows. We couldn’t be more proud to kick the season off with a critically acclaimed comedic gem from the second half of the 20th century, “Enter Laughing” by Joseph Stein, directed by noted actor and director Will Jeffries.

The heartfelt, uproarious, enthusiastically praised comedy is based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the early life of comedian Carl Reiner. We know that Off Book readers span multiple generations – and decades of Carl Reiner’s work has touched every one of you. We’ve put together the following “word cloud” to help to jog your memory and define Carl Reiner’s career; see how many of these references you recognize:

Writer… Caesar’s Hour… The

Dinah Shore Chevy Show… A Date with Debbie… The Thrill of it All (with Larry Gelbart of MASH fame)… The Dick Van Dyke Show… The Comic… The 2000 Year-Old Man (comedy routine with a guy called Mel Brooks)

Director… Good Morning, World (ouch if you know that one)… The Dick Van Dyke Show… The One and Only… The Jerk… Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid… The Man With Two Brains… All of Me… Summer Rental… Bert Rigby, You’re a Fool… Sibling Rivalry… Fatal Instinct… That Old Feeling

Comedian… Cavalcade of Stars… The Name’s the Same… Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall… To Tell the Truth… I’ve Got a Secret… The George Gobel Show… This Is Your Life… The Ed Sullivan Show… The New Steve Allen Show… The Jerry Lewis Show… The Judy Garland Show… The Jack Paar Program… The Andy Williams Show… The Hollywood Palace… The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour… That Girl… Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In… The David Frost Show… The Julie Andrews Hour… Password All-Stars… The Hollywood Squares… The Carol Burnett Show… The Merv Griffin Show… The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson… and Jay Leno… and every talk show through 2010… Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color… It’s Garry Shandling’s Show

Actor… let’s go the other way through time… Hot in Cleveland… Two and a Half Men… House M.D…. Ocean’s Thirteen, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Eleven… Boston Legal… Ally McBeal… Crossing Jordan… King of the Hill… Mad about You… Frasier… Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid… The Jerk… Oh, God… Night Gallery… The Comic… A Guide for the Married Man… The Dick Van Dyke Show… The Russians are Coming the Russians are Coming… Linus! The Lion Hearted… John Goldfarb, Please Come Home… Burke’s Law… It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World… Gidget Goes Hawaiian… Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse… The Sid Caesar Show… Playhouse 90… Your Show of Shows

And did we mention “The Dick Van Dyke Show”???! Writer, Director, Comedian, Actor, Producer Carl Reiner’s early days, as he got his start in what would become an 8-decade career in show business, were a treasure trove of material, much of which you’ll see in the plot of “Enter Laughing.” From his days as a machinist to his first breaks in show business to his perpetually endearing faux pas to his fond family recollections, young Carl Reiner’s life becomes coming of age tale about David Kolowitz, a stage-struck, woman-struck teenager from the Bronx in 1930s New York City.

Tomorrow… get to know director Will Jeffries.

“Enter Laughing” runs September 24 – October 10, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm, and Thursday, September 30 at 8:00 pm. Westport  Community Theatre at Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport. Tickets are $14 – $20; for reservations and information go to (203) 226-1983 or go to westportcommunitytheatre.com for directions.

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