Posts Tagged Theater

Meet the Cast, Director and Stage Manager of “Moonlight and Magnolias”

"Moonlight and Magnolias" at Westport Community Theatre, September 16 – October 2

Cast, director and stage manager of "Moonlight and Magnolias"

A little more about our wonderful cast, director and stage manager of “Moonlight and Magnolias”:

John Bachelder – “Victor Fleming”
John is very happy to be back at WCT with this great cast and crew. Other Westport productions include:  Joe Cantwell in “The Best Man,” Col. Jessup in “A Few Good Men” and Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock’s Last Case.” Other theater roles include: Mr. Lockhart in “The Seafarer,”  Teach in “American Buffalo.” Jake in “Jake’s Women”  and Allen in “Play it again Sam.”  John can also be seen in the movies, in “Greenmail” with Stephen Baldwin and Tom Skerritt, and “Benefit of the Doubt” with Donald Sutherland and Amy Irving. His favorite productions remain his two sons, Philip and Mickey, co-produced with his wife, Marilyn.

Bob Filipowich – “David O. Selznik”
Bob has a very vague memory of watching the burning of Atlanta while dressed in his pajamas, in the back of his parents Country Squire at a drive-in movie theater on Cape Cod many summers ago. Who knew he’d be reenacting scenes from this epic movie years later on the WCT stage? He is happy to be working on this production with such a wonderfully talented ensemble cast and awesome crew. Bob has appeared most recently on the WCT stage as John Stapleton in “The Hound of the Baskerville’s” Other recent credits include, Floyd Spinner in “Love, Sex and the IRS”, Bobby Carlye in “Postmortem” and Buddy in “Follies” all at The Powerhouse Theater in New Canaan. Other favorite roles he has performed in locally are, The Leading Player in “Pippin” and Vittorio Vidal in “Sweet Charity” at The Wilton Playshop and Harold Hill in “The Music Man” at Stamford’s Curtain Call Theater.

Cindy Hartog – “Miss Poppenghul”
Cindy Hartog is thrilled to be back on the stage at WCT, where she is a long-standing board member. She was last seen in WCT’s “Rumors,”  “Lend Me A Tenor,” and “Spider’s Web,” Eastbound’s “Brooklyn Boy,” and The Wilton Playshop’s “The Nerd.”  To WCT audiences, Cindy might be most famous for catering all the goodies for the opening night parties! Cindy is a graduate of The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC and classically trained in acting at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, and NYC’s Neighborhood Playhouse. In addition, she has a Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University. Merging her roles as real life chef, actor, and teacher,  Cindy is the owner of Cindy’s Sous Chefs, a company which teaches both children and adults the art of cooking, always sprinkled with a bit of the dramatic!  Cindy truly feels lucky to finally work with such a gifted and artistic director as Jessica Denes, a trio of such polished, professional, and talented actors, and a capable and caring pair of Producer and Stage Manager!

Rick Waln – “Ben Hecht”
Rick Waln finds himself once again lured into the pursuit of thespian glory. It was nine years ago that he appeared after an eighteen-year hiatus right here at WCT in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Be forewarned: at this rate he may be coming your way again in 2015. Global stardom has thus far eluded him, but the older of those among you may recognize his face from any of the two hundred commercials he has made both in Los Angeles and New York. Truly dedicated fans can find him in reruns of “M*A*S*H,” “Barney Miller ” and “Married: With Children.” Whoever said, “You can’t go home again” didn’t check with Rick. He’s back and having a grand time thanks to all involved with “Moonlight and Magnolias.” One can only hope that it’s as much fun to watch the show as it was to prepare it.

Jessica Denes – Director
Jessica is thrilled to be once again working on the Westport stage!  For WCT she directed last season’s production of “Mixed Couples,” one of WCT’s most acclaimed productions,“Master Class,” and “Veronica’s Room.” Last spring she brought the gripping and provocative “Orange Flower Water” to the ETC stage. She has also directed for Eastbound Theatre, Crystal Theatre Company, and several other area stages. She is a member of the WCT Administrative Board. Jessica Denes has appeared for WCT in “Orson’s Shadow” and “A Murder Is Announced” (among others); she has also performed with Town Players of New Canaan, Eastbound Theatre, Wilton Playshop, and Crystal Theatre Company.

Robyn Mortiboys – Production Stage Manager
This is Robyn’s first production at WCT. She has recently been PSM for “Blithe Spirit,” directed by Scott Brill, and the staged reading of “A Woman Called God,” written by David Canary and directed by Maureen Maloney, both at the Wilton Playshop. After “Moonlight and Magnolias,” Robyn will be production stage manager for “Mrs. Warren’s Profession,” directed by Larry Schneider at the Ridgefield Theatre Barn this November.

 

 

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“Sabrina Fair” brings a smile to the audience – and cheers!

"Sabrina Fair' at Westport Community Theatre, June 3 – 19, 2011

Cast of "Sabrina Fair"

The news today is all good news about our current production, Sabrina Fair – an absolutely charming play with memorable performances from actors who are cast to perfection! The audiences for the first weekend of performances gave the most amazing feedback – in a nutshell, they loved it. And the actors. And the set. And did we mention the play? Tom Rushen is applauded for his excellent directorial eye.

Make no mistake about it, this is what we call an “ensemble” play as no matter the size of the role, every performance is excellent. We’ll start in this posting with three of the principal characters. Actors are always challenged when assuming roles that are widely identified with famous celebrities – it is inevitable that an audience member will remember a favorite film. And we’re proud to say that WCT has overcome that challenge three times this season with our productions of Enter Laughing, Angel Street (“Gaslight”) and now Sabrina Fair.

For Sabrina Fair, the challenge is even greater as it means two films etched into memory over five decades – and a very successful Broadway run. The character of Sabrina Fairchild was beloved, made memorable in film by Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s and then again in the 1990s by Julia Ormond – and yet on Broadway it was Margaret Sullavan’s performance that brought the attention of the world to a new play destined to be a hit.

We are so, so lucky to have Debra Hanusick create this wonderful role in the Westport Community Theatre production – audiences this first weekend have absolutely fallen in love with her. To quote an overused phrase, she has “made it her own” – she is beguiling and sweet, feisty and smart, impetuous and patient, in-depth and frivolous – and absolutely charming. If for no other reason, everyone should see this production to see Debra’s wonderful performance in her WCT debut.

Sabrina Fair, Westport Community Theatre, June 3 – 19, 2011

Sabrina Fairchild (Debra Hanusick) and Linus Larrabee (Jeff Pliskin) – sparks fly...

We are so pleased to have Jeff Pliskin return to WCT in the role of Linus Larrabee after a string of hit roles at Curtain Call Theatre in Stamford. His challenge was having no less than Humphrey Bogart and Harrison Ford precede him on film – and Jeff’s superb talent has brought Linus Larrabee to life so convincingly, so intelligently, so sophisticated, so debonair… Linus is a terribly complex role that requires the actor to assume a rich “inner life” and take the audience with him in this endearing story. Jeff has the audience from his first line to his last, and we heard audience members wishing there was more when the play ended. We  looked up the definition of “heartthrob”… and…

In this story there are two Larrabee brothers, Linus and David – and they are effectively polar opposites. David is somewhat of a ladies-man. He’s funny. Somewhat care-free. Maybe somewhat care-less… He’s sure of himself, in control and easily infatuated. We are very pleased to welcome Terry LaPolice to the WCT stage as David – an amazing actor who captures the heart and soul of David Larrabee, creating a different version of the character than William Holden or Greg Kinnear played. He shines in his scenes with Sabrina, goes head to head with Linus, is a sympathetic confidant of elder Larrabee family members – and is the epitome of the suave sophistication that the 1950s is so well known for. We looked up the definition of “playboy”… and…

"Sabrina Fair" at Westport Community Theatre, June 3 – 19, 2011

Sabrina Fairchild (Debra Hanusick) and David Larrabee (Terry LaPolice) – a childhood crush is revisited...

There is much more to follow this week – as previously mentioned, this is a cast of 14 equally talented actors. Based on the reaction to this first weekend, we encourage you to make your reservations early – performances are Thursday, June 9 at 8:00 PM (great after-work outing!), Fridays and Saturdays June 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 8:00 PM, and matinees Sundays June 12 and 19 at 2:00 PM. WCT Box Office is (203) 226-1983.

The cast includes Michelle Blau, Jessica Denes, Andrea Garmun, Debra Hanusick, Terry LaPolice, Manny Lieberman, Andrew Morris, Sue O’Hara, Jeff Pliskin, Brendan Quinn, Tara Reuter, Catherine Samose, Nik Shpilberg and Fred Tisch.

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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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Auditions for “Mixed Couples” February 13 and 14 at 7:00 PM

WESTPORT COMMUNITY THEATRE

Announces AUDITIONS for

 

“Mixed Couples”

By James Prideaux

 

 

Directed by Jessica Denes

Auditions will be held on:

Sun., February 13 & Monday, February 14th at 7:00 PM

Westport Community Theatre
Westport Town Hall – 110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT

Auditions at WCT February 13 and 14 for "Mixed CouplesThe time is 1927, the place an airplane hangar in New Jersey where two couples wait for the fog to lift so their chartered plane can fly them to Washington. Their meeting is quite by chance, but also ironic, as it develops that the four had switched partners twenty-five years earlier, and haven’t seen each other since. One couple has settled into suburban bliss, he a professor, she a housewife and mother; the other couple are Park Avenue types, he a rich, hard-driving businessman, and his wife (after all these years) still an aspiring actress. Cautious and civil at first, their conversation turns gradually bitchier (and funnier) as time hangs heavy, bootleg liquor flows, and old enmities are revived. As their veneers crumble, it is clear that neither couple has benefited as much as they had expected from their marital switch, and that beneath their pretense lies aridity, although tempered by the witty hijinks they go through to convince themselves (and us) that all’s well in their reordered worlds. Performance Dates are April 8 – April 24, 2011 at 8:00 PM.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Familiarity with the play is suggested. “There are two (no let’s be totally fair to the men, four) razzle dazzle performances in James Prideaux’s new play MIXED COUPLES…” —NY Post.

Characters:

Alden: (40s) A bit bookish and seemingly unemotional. Alden’s discontent with life speaks volumes in what he does not say or outwardly expresses. Married to Elberta.

Elberta: (40s) A dutiful, charming wife and mother. She is kind and proper and much too smart to see this as a failing or to etch this final image in stone. Elberta is full of emotions but is always in control of them. Married to Alden.

Don: (40s) A well heeled business type. Self confident and slick. Does have his moments of anger and annoyance, but remains loyal to his marriage and lifestyle. Married to Clarice.

Clarice: (40s)  A shallow, half-baked starlet whose contrived, dramatic antics are her only real claims to fame. Still a sexpot and can lay on the flirtatious allure with ease. Clarice enjoys stirring up trouble. Married to Don.

Pilot: (Any age) He is a bit nervous about having people, especially women, in the pilots’ room. As the night and the antics go on he is more than ready to get the passengers in the air.

Perusal Scripts available upon request; contact the director at jessicadenes1@yahoo.com

For further information, please call Westport Community Theatre at (203) 226-1983 or contact the director at jessicadenes1@yahoo.com

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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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