Archive for January, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Plaza Theatre Company receives 44 nominations for the 2012 Column Awards

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The official nominees for the 2012 Column Awards were revealed last night, and all told Plaza Theatre Company was honored to receive 44 nominations for eight of it’s 2012 productions. Production staff, performers, musicians and designers all received recognition for their work at PlazaCo in 2012. Here is the list of those from Plaza Theatre Company who received nominations:

THE FOREIGNER – (non Equity)

Best Play
Best Director of a Play – Luke Hunt
Best Supporting Actor – Jerry Downey
Best Supporting Actress – Trich Zaitoon
Best Featured Actor – Luke Hunt

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF – (non Equity)

Best Musical
Best Director of a Musical – Jodie and Soni Barrus
Best Musical Director – Soni Barrus
Best Choreography – Tabitha Barrus
Best Actor in a Musical – G. Aaron Siler
Best Featured Actress in a Musical – Caroline Rivera
Best Costume Design of a Musical – Kara Barnes
Best Lighting Design of  a Musical – Cameron Barrus

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE – (non-Equity)

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical – Ben Phillips
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical – Milette Siler
Best Costume Design of a Musical – Tina Barrus
Best Scenic Design of a Musical – JaceSon P. Barrus
Best Sound Design of a Musical – G. Aaron Siler

THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE – (non Equity)

Best Actor in a Play – Luke Hunt
Best Featured Actress in a Play – Trich Zaitoon
Best Costume Design of a Play – Kara Barnes
Best Lighting Design of a Play – Cameron Barrus

GUYS & DOLLS – (non Equity)

Chita Rivera Dance Award (Female) – Rachel Hunt

FOOTLOOSE – (non Equity)

Chita Rivera Dance Award (Male) – Stephen Singleton

ARSENIC & OLD LACE – (non Equity)

Best Director of a Play – Ben Phillips
Best Actress in a Play- JoAnn Gracey
Best Scenic Design of a Play – JaceSon P. Barrus
Best Sound Design of a Play – G. Aaron Siler

RAGTIME – (Equity)

Best Musical
Best Director of a Musical – G. Aaron and Milette Siler
Best Musical Director of a Musical – Bree Cockerell
Best Choreography of a Musical – G. Aaron and Milette Siler
Best Actor in a Musical – Major Attaway
Best Actor in a Musical – Dennis Yslas
Best Actress in a Musical – Daron Cockerell
Best Actress in a Musical – Chimberly Carter-Byrom
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical – JaceSon P. Barrus
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical – Jonathan Metting
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical – Whitney Latrice Coulter
Best Featured Actor in a Musical – Luke Hunt
Best Costume Design of a Musical – Tina Barrus
Best Scenic Design of a Musical – G. Aaron Siler
Best Lighting Design of a Musical – G. Aaron Siler
Best Sound Design of a Musical – G. Aaron Siler

We should also mention that both Cessany Ford and Lindsay Hardisty received nominations as Best Stage Manager for their work throughout the area including work at PlazaCo.

We feel truly honored to be nominated alongside the excellent work in the Metroplex and we express our gratitude to The Column Awards organization for the wonderful event they work tirelessly to provide. For a complete listing of the 2012 Column Awards nominations go here.

Now, we encourage you to make plans to attend the annual Column Awards event. It is always a wonderful evening honoring the best of DFW theatre which also benefits Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. This year the event will be held February 25th at the Irving Arts Center. You can go here for more information about getting your reservation.

Congratulations to all the 2012 Column Awards nominees and “thank you” to every person who contributed to the excellent work in 2012. We are proud to know you and to work with you.

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Official Press Release for THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Plaza Theatre Company

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Plaza Theatre Company set to open the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic THE SOUND OF MUSIC

January 24th, 2013

Plaza Theatre Company is proud to announce the opening of THE SOUND OF MUSIC on February 1st, 2013. The production will play Plaza’s newly renovated theatre at 111 S. Main Street in Cleburne, TX opening on February 1st and playing thru March 9th. The show will be the 61st produced by Plaza Theatre Company since it’s inception in November of 2006.

The musical is considered one of the masterpieces of modern musical theatre and marked the culmination of the epic Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration. Featuring such theatrical standards as “The Sound Of Music”, “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria”, “16 Going On 17”, “Edelweiss” and “Climb Every Mountain”; The Sound of Music remains one of the most beloved musicals of the era.

Too high-spirited for the religious life, Maria is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of widowed naval Captain von Trapp. She gradually captures the heart of the stern Captain, however upon returning from their honeymoon they discover that Austria has been invaded by the Nazis. The family’s narrowly escapes to Switzerland providing one of the most inspirational finales ever presented in musical theatre.

The Cast List for THE SOUND OF MUSIC is: (Double Cast where noted)

Maria Rainer – Meredith Browning
Captain von Trapp – JaceSon P. Barrus
Max Detweiler – Jay Lewis
Franz – Billy Myers
Frau Schmidt – Ruth Ann Warwick
Elsa Schraeder – Tina Barrus
Herr Zeller – Kyle Scarborough
Leisl – Tabitha Barrus / Katy Nicholas
Freidrich – Hayden Cawood / Benjamin Midkiff
Louisa – Rachel Browning / Marisa Pope
Kurt – Harrison Cawood / David Midkiff
Brigitta – Eden Barrus / Emma Whitehorn
Marta – Rylee Mullen / Kylee Scarborough
Gretl – Miranda Barrus / Paige Moore
Rolfe – Robert Twaddell
Mother Abbess – Kathy Lemons
Berthe – Cherie Robinson
Marguerite – Lisa Randol
Sophia – Bethany Dane
Baron Elberfeld – Jamie Long
Baroness Elberfeld – Julie Hefner
Admiral von Schreiber – Jodie Barrus
Fraulein Schweiger – Judy Barnett
Nuns
Julie Hefner
Sherry Clark
Suzi Hanford
Kathrynne Myers
Priscilla Nix / Kennedy Styron
Carolyn Myers
Debra Midkiff / Donna Moore
Michelle Cawood / Tammie Phillips
Dawn Diyer
Amy Hilton
Townspeople / Germans
Michael Sorter / Chris Stanferd
Levi King
Nolan Moralez
Nicholas Hefner
Cameron Barrus
Jamie Deel / Mark Midkiff

The production is under the Direction of Jodie and Soni Barrus with Musical Direction by Soni Barrus, Choreography by Tabitha Barrus, Assistant Direction by Jamie Long and Stage Management by Emily Warwick. The show will open on Friday February 1st at 7:30pm and will then play every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening thru March 9th at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees every Saturday afternoon at 3pm. Ticket prices are $15 for Adults, $14 for Seniors and Students and $12 for Children.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 817-202-0600, by visiting http://www.plaza-theatre.com or visiting the Plaza Box Office between the hours of 10am and 6pm Monday thru Saturday.

The Annual “Best of Theatre 2012” list from The Column by John Garcia

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Plaza Theatre Company today received multiple mentions in the annual Best of Theatre 2012 publication from The Column by John Garcia. Senior Theatre critic John Garcia as well as the 28 Column critics reviewed over 300 productions in the DFW area during 2012. As a culmination to the season of reviews, these critics have compiled a list of the “Best in Theatre” for 2012, and PlazaCo is honored to have received several mentions for many of our 2012 productions.

We are honored to have our name appear beside many excellent productions in the Metroplex during 2012. You can view the entire list of mentioned productions and companies by clicking Best of Thestre 2012.

We offer our congratulations and our thanks to the many actors, musicians, directors, designers, crew members and staff who made 2012 such an artistically successful year.

Bravo! Yet another great review for SEE HOW THEY RUN!

SHTR-web

Run, or go as fast as you can to get your tickets for “See How They Run,” the funny, funny British comedy that is the current production of the Plaza Theatre Company in Cleburne.

The play (which is called a farce), Plaza’s 60th since it opened in April 2007, once again features the familiar PTC staples of outstanding direction, clever sets and good acting — but this time delivered by some unfamiliar faces making their first or second appearances on the PTC stage.

Erica Maroney as Ida, the maid, Joy Millard, as lead character Penelope Toop, and David Goza, as U.S. soldier Clive Winton, are each a hit in their PTC debut, while Robert Shores, as Rev. Lionel Toop, and Steven Lindsay, as the Bishop of Lax,perform at the PTC for the second time. It’s actually the third time for Joshua resident Lindsay, if you count both times he played Scrooge in PTC’s last two presentations of “A Christmas Carol.” Here’s hoping he returns again.

There are others in cast who will be readily recognized by PTC regulars, such as Stacey Blanton and Milette Siler, double-cast in the role of Miss Skillon, the church-going busy body; Kevin Poole as the escaped prisoner called The Intruder; John Lewis as local policeman Sgt. Towers; and PTC cofounder G. Aaron Siler, who puts his best sight-gag timing into the role of Rev. Arthur Humphrey.

If your seated in the entrance-end of the 160-seat theater-in-the-round, watch Siler’s farcical facial expressions as he contemplates what it is that Goza, Lindsay and Shores are jumping over as they chase each other around the living room in one of the multiple slap-stick scenes that combine physical comedy with the play’s plethora of humorous lines.

The action takes place in 1943 in the vicarage at the fictitious village of Merton-cum-Middlewick just as Great Britain is entering World  War II. Penelope Toop (Millard) is a former actress who is now wife of the local vicar, Lionel Toop (Shores). Skillon, the church gossip, arrives to complain to the vicar about his wife’s behavior, specifically that she wears slacks and waves at American soldiers who pass by in Jeeps. The vicar leaves for the night and an old friend of Penelope’s, Winton (Burleson High School teacher Goza) stops by on a quick visit. Turns out he was one of the soldiers she was waving at and they are old friends who appeared together as actors in many plays.

When Penelope and Winton decide to have dinner and see a play, he must change from his Army uniform into other clothes to prevent from being seen by his Army superiors. Penelope suggests he change into one of her husband’s clerical suits, including the clerical collar,  and pretend to be vicar Arthur Humphrey (Siler) who is scheduled to visit the next day to preach the sermon.

Reliving old times before they leave, Penelope and Winton re-enact a scene from one of their former plays, which requires them to wrestle to the floor with her about to hit him. Just at that moment, Skillon enters unannounced and gets hit instead and knocked out.

The result is side-splitting chaos.

A farce requires split-second timing and lots of physical comedy, and this PTC group pulls it off with precision. When one character disappears behind one door, another character appears from a different door, when one character faints, another suddenly appears to catch him or her.

Millard has the voice and energy to make you believe she was a former actress. Goza also has lots of energy and both hit all their marks for the physical comedy that isn’t funny unless done at precisely the right moment.

This may be Maroney’s PTC debut, but she will quickly become a crowd favorite. Her reactions to the American soldier as she becomes infatuated with him are funny.
Blanton and PTC cofounder Milette Siler bring just the right “over -the-top” presence to the busy-body Skillon that adds to her already funny lines and physical silliness.

Shores, who was last seen at the PTC in last year’s “The Foreigner,” manages to keep somewhat sane as his world is falling apart right in his living room. His timing hits the nail on the head every time. PTC regulars knew Lindsay is good from “Carol,” and now we know he can do physical comedy, too. Poole, The Intruder, strikes the right balance between menacing and bewilderment, while Lewis, the local cop, hits the right note of puzzlement while trying to sort out who is who, finally arresting the right imposter.

And G. Aaron Siler is just what PTC regulars expect. Whether it’s his Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Buffalo Bill in “Annie Get Your Gun,” or Humphrey in this one, he always delivers a quality performance. And kudos, too, to director Ben Phillips for somehow turning what appears to be mayhem into magic.

Written by Philip King, with stage management by Cessany Ford, assisted by Jesica Valadez, costume design by Stacey Greenawalt King, sound and light design by G. Aaron Siler (how does he do it all?), set design by JaceSon Barrus and property design by Tammie Phillips, “See How They Run,” is presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays through Jan. 26 at the Plaza Theatre, 111. S. Main St., in Cleburne.

Tickets — $15 for adults, $14 for seniors age 65 and older, high school and college students, and $13 for children age 12 and under — can be purchased from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday -Thursday at the box office (817-202-0600) or online at http://www.plaza-theatre.com.

Treat yourself. See it.

SEE HOW THEY RUN received a wondrous review from Kristy Blackmon of The Column by John Garcia

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Yes, SEE HOW THEY RUN is getting fabulous reviews from our patrons. And now the critics agree as well. It’s a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud evening of theatre that is sure to have you smiling for days. Read on for a fabulous review of the show by Kristy Blackmon of The Column by John Garcia, then come by, call 817-202-0600 or visit www.plaza-theatre.com to reserve you seats today.

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___________________SEE HOW THEY RUN_________________

Reviewed by Kristy Blackmon, Associate Theater Critic for John Garcia’s THE COLUMN

Plaza Theatre Company, in quaint downtown Cleburne, has drawn attention from patrons and critics from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area in recent years as a hidden gem. Situated on the edge of the metroplex, PTC has gained a reputation for high-quality theatre that often entices talent to make the long drive from the city to participate in its productions. I expected an entertaining evening on Saturday when I traveled there to review the opening weekend of See How They Run, a World War II era farce by British playwright Philip King, but PTC left my expectations in the dust. See How They Run is one of the most delightful evenings of theatre I have experienced in years, leaving me utterly breathless with laughter and opening the 2013 season by setting a comedic bar that will be difficult to surpass.

See How They Run is a classic example of farce, complete with mistaken identities, fast-paced and razor-sharp repartee, ludicrously improbably plotlines, and slapstick humor peaking in a chase scene so perfectly timed and executed that I marvel at the hours of rehearsal that must have gone into staging it. The play is perfectly suited to PTC’s theater-in-the-round space, involving quick entrances and exits through multiple doors and allowing Director Ben Phillips to maximize the intricate character twists and subplots by playing to a 360 degree audience.

The playful 1940’s mood is set by popular wartime songs like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” playing before curtain and during intermission. The play takes place entirely in the hall of the vicarage in Merton-cum-Middlewick, and the set design by JaceSon P. Barrus and props by Tammie Phillips are perfect down to the last doily, mismatched floral rug, and tufted pillow. Costume Designer Stacey Greenawalt King never misses a beat, and every character is outfitted beautifully, be they former actress, vicar, or American G.I. Visually, See How They Run is a gorgeous display of minute attention to detail and dedication to period authenticity. G. Aaron Siler’s light and sound design is pretty uncomplicated with the only challenge being balancing the shrieks and shouts of various actors through their head mics, an occasional problem but not to the point of distraction. On all fronts, the production quality of See How They Run is superb.

If the crew shines, however, the cast is blinding in its talent, comedic timing, and obvious enjoyment of the show. Joy Millard as Penelope Toop, an American stage actress turned English vicar’s wife, leads a team of actors beautifully through a script riddled with moments that would land less dedicated and talented players flat on their faces, both literally and comedically. Penelope, young and impulsive, does not fit the image that the little village wants for its vicar’s wife. Millard is lighthearted and perfectly flippant. Her performance is evocative of the comedienne’s of the Golden Age Hollywood like Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers, and Katherine Hepburn. She is feminine and full of energy without slipping into a manic stereotype; indeed, her poise is often all that grounds the madcap action of the play. Penelope’s constant missteps in propriety and etiquette often land her in hot water with the villagers, led by the prudish Miss Skillon, played in this performance by Stacy Blanton. Blanton’s performance is the perfect complement to Millard’s. Where Millard flits, Blanton plods – but she does so while maintaining the lightness and quickness required by the script. Miss Skillon is less offended by Penelope’s manners and more so by her unrequited love for Penelope’s husband, the Rev. Lionel Toop, played by Robert Shores. Though enamored of his vivacious wife, Lionel doesn’t seem quite to know how to handle her, and Miss Skillon’s constant reminders of her inappropriate behavior lead to frequent rows between the married couple.

As the show opens, Miss Skillon has arrived to complain about Penelope’s usurpation of the decoration of the pulpit for the Harvest Festival, which is Miss Skillon’s territory. However, it is soon apparent that her real purpose is to tattle to Lionel that Penelope was seen “yoo-hooing” at an American soldier in a Jeep in the village earlier that day. The soldier is Corporal Clive Winton, played by David Goza, who used to tread the boards with Penelope in America in a production of Noel Coward’s famous stage comedy Private Lives, though none of the characters is aware of his identity yet. Having sown the seeds of marital discord, Miss Skillon attempts to make her exit, but her bicycle has been punctured by sassy Ida, as played by Erica Maroney, a good-intentioned Cockney maid who is as subtle as a ton of bricks.

Though the cast in general is fantastic, especially Millard, Goza, and G. Aaron Siler in a side-splitting and unforgettable supporting performance as Rev. Arthur Humphrey in the second act, Maroney steals this show. Every guffaw, every nugget of wise-cracking Cockney bluntness, and every gesture and movement shows a comedic timing that is tailor-made for this role. The character of Ida plays witness to the night’s tomfoolery, the only one to have even half an idea of what’s going on and have enough sense to keep quiet about what she’s seen, though she has plenty to say about everything else. Maroney shines in the role and her performance raises the bar for everyone who shares the stage with her.

The tripping, giddy back-and-forth repartee between Millard and Goza is another highlight. Their familiarity implies an intimacy without bleeding over the line into any insinuation of sexual attraction, which is difficult to accomplish when you have an actress straddling an actor on the floor calling him a brute. They work very well together but also separately, as they spearhead two of many storylines that intertwine and tangle up into one big knot of extremely well-executed farce. Stephen Lindsay as Penelope’s uncle the Bishop of Lax is another performance peppered with expertly crafted moments of comedy, and Siler’s foppish Rev. Humphrey sent the whole production over the top with a masterful combination of physicality and timing that made me laugh to the point of wiping away tears. John Lewis as Sergeant Towers and Kevin Poole as The Intruder round out the talented supporting cast.

I cannot say enough about my experience at Plaza Theatre Company. The small-town surroundings and very comfortable theater space were enhanced by friendly, smiling volunteers and a truly marvelous and supportive audience. The show itself was such a fun riot that I may make the drive again before the run ends January 26th.

PTC has a great season in front of it with a lineup that includes The Sound of Music, Pillow Talk, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and other audience favorites. I’m glad I made my first visit to Cleburne’s small theatre with its deservedly big reputation early in the year. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this season brings us.

Some fun action shots of SEE HOW THEY RUN

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SEE HOW THEY RUN opened on New Year’s Eve to great success. The show is a hilarious British farce featuring outrageous situations and gleeful mistaken identity. 2013 could not start off better than with a joyful evening of laughter and good humor.

Stacey Greenawalt King (and her trusty camera) was on hand to photograph the show on Monday night, and below are some of the results. Enjoy these lively, animated photos of SEE HOW THEY RUN, then give us a call at 817-202-0600 to reserve your seats today!

Miss Skillon tattles on Mrs. Toop.

Miss Skillon tattles on Mrs. Toop.

Ida investigates.

Ida punctured it for spite.

Reverend Toop referees.

Reverend Toop referees.

“The trouble with you Ida is: you ain’t got no oomph!”.

Mrs. Toop acting out Private Lives.

Mrs. Toop acting out Private Lives.

The Intruder hides from the Bishop of Lax.

The Intruder hides from the Bishop of Lax.

"Where is my uniform?!?"

“Where is my uniform?!?”

Harvest Capers.

Harvest Capers.

"I am a ruined woman!"

“I am a ruined woman!”

The REAL Mr. Humphrey.

The REAL Mr. Humphrey.

The sergeant investigates.

The sergeant investigates.

"So THAT'S Betty Grable".

“So THAT’S Betty Grable”.

The Intruder rallies to the conflagration.

The Intruder rallies to the conflagration.

Photos from PlazaCo’s New Year’s Eve Party 2013

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It was a spectacular evening of enjoyment at PlazaCo’s 2013 New Year’s Eve celebration. Patrons were treated to a thrilling performance of SEE HOW THEY RUN, some delicious pre-show appetizers, and dancing ’til the clock struck midnight and 2013 arrived. Thanks to all who attended and to all who helped make the evening special.

Here are some fun photos of the event:

Guests enjoyed hearty appetizers before the show.

Guests enjoyed hearty appetizers before the show.

Our cute group of servers helped make the evening fun.

Our cute group of servers helped make the evening fun.

The performance of SEE HOW THEY RUN brought the house down.

The performance of SEE HOW THEY RUN brought the house down.

Intermission featured some delicious desserts.

Intermission featured some delicious desserts.

...and dancing 'til the clock struck midnight.

…and dancing ’til the clock struck midnight.

SEE HOW THEY RUN is British farce at it’s very best. The show now plays every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees at 3pm thru January 26th. Make plans to enjoy this hilarious comedy – you’ll be glad you did. 817-202-0600 or visit www.plaza-theatre.com

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