Posts Tagged WCT
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
One of WCT’s favorite directors, Jessica Denes, has assembled some of Fairfield County’s most talented actors for her upcoming production of Mixed Couples, opening April 8. What makes this production special to Jessica is that she either performed with, or worked behind the scenes on the crew for, all five cast members – over 10 years ago, when she made her WCT debut in Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced, directed by Davina Porter.
Directing credits include one of WCT’s most memorable productions, Master Class, and Veronica’s Room. Last spring she brought the gripping and provocative Orange Flower Water to the ETC stage – audiences are still talking about this staged reading one year later. Directorial credits for Connecticut theaters include Love, Sex, and the I.R.S, The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild, and Confessions of a Dirty Blonde at Eastbound Theatre; Summer Brave, Time & Time Again, The Other Side of Friendship, and Her Majesty Miss Jones for Crystal Theatre Company; and productions of Delicious Death & Other Desserts, Not Now Darling, and A Night of Shakespeare.
Directing is only one of Jessica’s accomplishments as she is also an extremely talented actress. WCT audiences were treated to great performances in the recent ETC staged reading of Collected Stories, in the memorable role of Joan Plowright in Orson’s Shadow, and in the aforementioned A Murder Is Announced. Jessica also has appeared in Cactus Flower as Toni Simmons at the Town Players of New Canaan; as Emily in Our Town at the Wilton Playshop; in Li’L Abner as Daisy Mae and as Bella in Lost in Yonkers at Crystal Theatre Company; and in “Boeing, Boeing” as Bertha at Eastbound Theatre. Jessica is a member of the WCT Administrative Board.
Mixed Couples – ready for opening night!
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.