Archive for May, 2013

It’s Official: Critics Say DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS Is Big On Laughs

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DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS is Now Playing at Plaza Theatre Company – and boy it it an outrageously funny show. Audiences and critics agree that this is a hilarious night of theatre that will leave you with a permanent smile on your face. Tickets are available for the show which plays thru June 22nd. Read the great review by Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers and then give us a call to get your seats. 817-202-0600

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DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS at Plaza Theatre Company
by Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers

The punch lines and physical comedy are funny enough, but add in cute (and serious) songs sung by the excellent voices of G. Aaron Siler, Milette Siler, Camille Shaw, Clyde Berry and Michael D. Durrington, and the sum is an enjoyable evening at the Plaza Theatre Company’s presentation  of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” the current production at the Plaza Theatre in Cleburne.

The 1988 DRS movie, starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, wasn’t a musical comedy, so you don’t expect the songs. But they fit. Some are fast-paced and cleverly-worded (“Chimp in a Suit,” “Oklahoma?”), others are poignant (“Nothing is Too Wonderful to be True”), and some are down right hilarious (“Ruffhousin’ Mit Shüffhausen.”)

As PTC regulars have come to take for granted, the ensemble pieces are perfectly timed, the costumes are colorful and the set and lighting make you forget the you’re in a theater with only 160 seats and a stage that is just a little larger than your garage.

“Scoundrels” is about two con men — Lawrence Jameson (Siler) and Freddy Benson (Berry) -— who live on the French Riviera.

Jameson is a sophisticated con artist who targets rich women, while Benson is a down-on-his-luck crook who swindles any woman he can with stories about his very-ill grandmother. They meet on a train (the PTC’s version of which is two small dining car tables and a conductor) and decide to work together, but soon discover that the little French village is too small for both of them and one must leave.

They bet on which one can swindle $50,000 from young Christine Colgate (double cast with Kelly Nickell but played by Shaw in the show I attended) with the winner getting the money and the loser leaving town.

Benson wins Colgate’s sympathy and heart when he shows up in a wheel chair because of dance trauma, needing $50 grand to be cured by Dr. Shüffhausen. But Shüffhausen turns out to be Jameson, who also falls in love with Colgate while trying to prevent her from giving the money to Benson who doesn’t want her to give the money to Jameson.

A side plot involves Thibault (Durrington) the police inspector who is an accomplice of Jameson, and Omaha, Neb., rich girl Muriel Eubanks (Siler), who have some funny scenes and good music together.

(Typical joke — Thibault to Jameson about a potential target: “Does she have money?”

“Her family is in oil,” Jameson replies.

“Crude?”

“She’s a little pushy.”

If you’ve seen the movie, you know there’s a surprise ending, which I won’t reveal here, but is very well done on the PTC stage.

From a book by Jeffrey Lane, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and based on the movie written by Dale Launer, Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning, PTC’s Scoundrels is directed by Luke Hunt with choreography by Rachel Hunt and sets by JaceSon Barrus.

The supporting cast and dancers go through numerous changes of the Tina Barrus-designed costumes, which add to the spectacle.

You may have heard that other productions of “Scoundrels” by other theatre companies are full of sexual innuendos and double entendres, but not the family-friendly PTC.
This one is for everyone and it’s a good one. See it.

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays through June 22 at the Plaza Theatre, 111 N. Main St. in Cleburne.
Tickets — $15 for adults, $14 for age 65-plus and students age 13-college, and $13 for age 12 and under — are on sale 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the box office or online at www.plaza-theatre.com.

A Great Belated Review of PILLOW TALK – (Sorry though, it’s Sold Out)

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Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers has written a lovely review of PILLOW TALK. Congratulations to the cast and crew for their fantastic work. Unfortunately, (or fortunately I suppose), the show is Sold Out through it’s closing tomorrow night. So if you’ve seen it – you know what Paul means. If you’ve got reservations – way to go. If you missed it – well you missed out on a fun and funny comedy. (Be sure to get your reservations early for DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS). Now on the the review.

PILLOW TALK Will Keep You Wide Awake Laughing
by Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers

Growing up in St. Louis, a long, long time ago, our telephone was on a party line. I remember when my mother wanted to make a phone call, she would delicately lift the receiver and place it to her ear to listen for a conversation by the strangers with whom we shared the same circuit.

Many times she would return the receiver to its cradle, frown, and try again in a few minutes. It was considered a violation of social etiquette to listen to the other conversation.

One day, as one would expect in a major Midwest metropolis, we got a private line, apparently a lot sooner than high-rise apartment dwellers in New York City in 1960, the setting for the very funny and cleverly-staged “Pillow Talk,” the current production by the Plaza Theatre Company in Cleburne.

The comedy’s premise wouldn’t work in today’s taken-for-granted communication world of Caller ID, cell phones, emails and social media, but telephone trauma is what happens to successful Manhattan interior designer Jan Morrow (double-cast with Kristi Mills and, on the night I attended, Joy White) who shares a party line with music composer Brad Allen, played by the versatile David Goza, most recently seen in Plaza’s “See How They Run.”

It’s hard not to compare the Plaza people with the stars of the Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Thelma Ritter and Tony Randall 1959 movie, and there’s a certain comfort when our expectations are met. It’s even harder when Day’s songs play before the show and during intermission.

Mills and White are both blonde, slim and attractive; Goza is hunkish; Michael Hatch is fast and flippant as Jonathan Forbes, Morrow’s wealthy wooer (double-cast with JaceSon Barrus), who manages to find time to direct this production); and Amy Sorter is perfect as Morrow’s dry-witted, wisecracking and wise maid.

Basically, Morrow can’t place a phone call from her apartment because neighbor Brad has the line tied up talking to his many girlfriends. When they meet at a party, he decides to add her to his little black book but wants to keep his identity hidden. To do so, he poses as Rex Stetson, a wealthy Texan with a drawl is so bad it draws laughs from the audience of real Texans.
Unknown to Jan, Jonathan is Brad’s old college buddy and current Broadway benefactor, which results in some funny situations.

As PTC fans have come to expect, director and Plaza co-founder Barrus makes clever use of the theater-in-the-round setting by having numerous phone calls made from the steps leading to theater seats, thus freeing the stage for set changes while audience attention is focused on the dialogue.

Also in the cast are Steven Lindsay, quickly becoming a fan favorite, as Pierot, and the reliable Jay Cornils in two roles.

This is a good one, but you have only this weekend to see it.

Adapted from a screenplay by Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin, which was based on a story by Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene, adapted to the stage by Christopher Sergel, “Pillow Talk,” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Saturday at the Plaza Theatre, 111 N. Main St. in Cleburne.

Tickets — $15 for adults, $14 for age 15-plus and students age 13-college, and $13 for age 12 and under — are on sale 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the box office or online at http://www.plaza-theatre.com.

Audition Notice: MAN OF LA MANCHA at Plaza Theatre Company

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AUDITIONS for Man of La Mancha at Plaza Theatre Company

June 3rd and June 4th, 2013

Call backs are Saturday, June 8th, 9am – 1pm.
Auditions held at the Plaza Academy Fine Arts & Dance Studio at
221 S. Mill St., Cleburne, TX
Directed by G. Aaron Siler
Music Director: Soni Barrus

Auditions are only available by appointment

Click here to setup an audition appointment

All roles are available for Plaza Theatre Company’s upcoming production of MAN OF LA MANCHA. An open audition is being held at Plaza Theatre Company to cast the show on June 3-4, 2012. Auditions are by appointment only.

AUDITION PREPARATION:
Those who choose to audition are asked to come prepared to sing 16 bars of a showtune in the style of the show. An accompanist or CD player will be provided but each auditioner will be asked to provide their own sheet music or backing track. A brief cold reading will also be required at the initial audition. A head shot and resume are requested.

To be considered for a larger role please prepare two contrasting songs, 16 bars each, in the style of the show with one up tempo and one ballad. You must bring sheet music or backing track.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION:
MAN OF LA MANCHA will open at Plaza Theatre Company on August 9th and play thru September 7th. The show plays every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees at 3pm. Rehearsals will commence on June 15th. Double casting of some roles MAY be available to accommodate scheduling.

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS:
(all roles are available)

Don Quixote (Cervantes) – LEAD (30-65): A tall, gaunt, eccentric, charming and charismatic man with a vision of a far better and nobler world – Baritone Low B to F

Sancho Panza – SUPPORTING (25-50): Don Quixote’s pragmatic but loyal servant and sidekick – Tenor C to high G

Aldonza (Dulcinea) – LEAD (25-50): A wild woman with a jaded look at life from experience but inside has a gentle heart that only Don Quixote is able to help her realize – Soprano low Ab to high Ab

Innkeeper (The Governor) – SUPPORTING (30-65): A large and powerful man, he is kind as the Innkeeper, but as the Governor is the leader of the inmate society in the prison. – Bass low G to C#

Dr. Sansone Corrasco (The Duke) – SUPPORTING (30-60): Loves money, power and prestige -Baritone low C to Db

The Padre – SUPPORTING (25-60):  Kindly sympathetic cleric – Tenor F to high G

Barber – CAMEO (20-60):  Comic character – Tenor D to high G

Antonia – SUPPORTING (18-35):  Alonso Quijana or Quixote’s self-centered niece who is about to be married to Dr. Carrasco. – Soprano C to high F

Housekeeper – CAMEO (30-70):  Alonso Quijana or Quixote’s housekeeper, strong of body and religious/moral convictions. – Mezzo low F to high F

Pedro – SUPPORTING (25-55):  The lead muleteer, rough, ruthless. – Baritone
low D to D

Anselmo – CAMEO (20-50): A rough muleteer – Tenor A to high F#

The Moor – CAMEO (21-65):  Head of the Moorish thieves – Tenor C to high Bb

Contour – CAMEO (21-65):  Assistant to The Moor – Tenor F to Ab

Maria – CAMEO (25-60):  The Innkeeper’s wife

Fermina – CAMEO (16-30): A servant girl

Captain of the Inquisition – CAMEO (30-60):  An imposing, cruel man

Guards and Men of the Inquisition, muleteers, prison women, Dancers (horses, moors, gypsies)

EVERY PERSON WILL ALSO PLAY A PRISONER IN THE PRISON.

Casting News: The Official Cast List for BYE BYE BIRDIE at Plaza Theatre Company

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Plaza Theatre Company is pleased to announce the official Cast List for it’s upcoming production of BYE BYE BIRDIE. The show is set to open June 28th and will play thru August 3rd. It will be under the direction of Tina and Tabitha Barrus with musical direction by Glen Turner, choreography by Faith Brown and Tabitha Barrus and stage management by Dave and Amy Sorter. Thanks to all who auditioned and congratulations to those who have been cast.

The cast is as follows: (double cast where noted, some doubles yet to be determined)

Albert Peterson-  Josh Leblo
Rose Alvarez- Caitlan Leblo
Conrad Birdie- Brandon McCormick
Kim MacAfee- Madeline Smith
Mr. MacAfee- Aaron Siler
Mrs. MacAfee- Emily Warwick
Randolph MacAfee- David Midkiff, Henry Cawood
Hugo Peabody- Parker Barrus
Mae Peterson- Trich Zaitoon
Ursula Merkle/ Female Dance Core 1- Scout Harrel, Molly Morgan
Male Dance Core 1- Story Harrell, Josh Cummins
Harvey Johnson/ Male Dance Core 2- Ben Midkiff
Female Dance Core 2- Anna Looney
Male Dance Core 3- Cameron Barrus
Female Dance Core 3/ Alice- Rachel Browning, Molly Morgan
Male Dance Core 4- Devlin Pollock
Female Dance Core 4/ Deborah Sue/ Penelope Ann, Suzie-  Nancy Lopez
Male Dance Core 5- Michael Sorter
Female Dance Core 5/ Nancy-  Tabitha Barrus
Mayor- Rich Cawood
Mayors Wife- Michelle Cawood
Mrs Merkle- Cherie Robinson
Mr Merkle- Joe Robinson
Gloria Rasputin- Tabitha Barrus
Margie/ Teen Ensemble- Kaila Saffle, Micah King
Helen/ Teen Ensemble- Stephanie Pollock
Children’s Ensemble/ Tap Feature- Eden Barrus
Children’s Ensemble/ Tap Feature- Emma Whitehorn
Children’s Ensemble- Mimi Barrus, Victoria Smith
Children’s Ensemble- Harrison Cawood, Dillon Grisham
Teen Ensemble/ Tap Dancer- Levi King, Hayden Cawood
Teen Ensemble/ Tap Dancer- Madison Heaps, Lydia Jilge
Teen Ensemble- Nolan Moralez
Teen Ensemble- Melody Henderson, Bailey Steele
Adult Ensemble- Dawn Diyer
Adult Ensemble- Stacy Greenwalt King
Adult Ensemble/ Maud, Reporter- Justin Diyer
Adult Ensemble- Crystal Todd
Adult Ensemble- Reeca Henderson