Archive for August, 2015

A Sensational Review of SHE LOVES ME by Angela Newby of The Column by John Garcia

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We couldn’t be more thrilled by the positive words about SHE LOVES ME by Ms. Newby of The Column by John Garcia. We agree that it’s a delightful romantic comedy with a rich, exquisite musical score. Dennis Yslas and his phenomenal cast and crew have delivered a powerhouse of a show. SHE LOVES ME plays thru September 5th every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Read on for a sensational review review and then be sure to reserve by calling 817-202-0600 or visiting www.plaza-theatre.com

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SHE LOVES ME at Plaza Theatre Company
Angela Newby, Associate Theatre Critic for The Column by John Garcia

She Loves Me is the musical romantic comedy that lends one to understand the meaning of being secretly in love with someone else. As two anonymously write love letters to one another, they don’t realize that they actually know each other in real life, and despise one another. Will they fall in love, or miss out?

The musical is the third adaptation of the play Parfumerie by playwrite Miklos Laszlo. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1963 and subsequently had productions in the West End in 1964. It would surface in 1998 as the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan feature You’ve Got Mail. The musical will also be receiving another revival on Broadway for next season.

Director Dennis Yslas has outdone himself. This show was incredible and I was in awe as I watched all the moving parts come together to produce one of the best shows I have seen all year.

Music Director Cherie Dee Mega commanded the music. Mega highlighted the talent of the operatic cast and used them in ways that had the audience on the edge of their seats awaiting the next score. Each and every musical number was better than the one before it, and while it is easy to start strong, this was one musical that ended stronger than it started.

Choreographer Joshua Sherman did an astounding job with the cast to highlight each of the musical numbers. The choreography only enhanced the show and allowed for the mood to be heightened at every turn. In “Twelve Days to Christmas” the stage held every cast member who worked seamlessly with one another to demonstrate one of the most beautifully choreographed songs in the whole show.

Tina Barrus’ costume design was brilliantly done. The men of the cast were dressed in full suits that enhanced each of their body types and characters personalities. The three customers were nicely dressed in simple black dresses that were accessorized with hats, gloves, and furs. Ritter and Balash were wearing form-fitting flare dresses that were easy to move in and showed the aspects of their characters perfectly.

Set design by JaceSon P. Barrus was the most favorite set that I have ever seen. The attention to detail and use of the space showed his talent. Each and every scene was carefully designed to move flawlessly together in the short periods of time between the scenes. Barrus’s true talent though was shown in the revolving door on the back stage that moves the audience to the inside of the perfumery and outside. Further, the moving display cases were so interwoven within the show that they enhanced every element within the performance.

G. Aaron Siler with light and sound design was meticulously planned and executed. The soft lights with red undertones enriched the love story that unfolded on stage. The carefully selected blue lights during scene changes only made one anticipate what would come next. The use of full spotlights and a dark room highlighted solos and drew the attention exactly where it needed to be. Sound was perfectly matched with the actors’ vocals and never overpowered. Timing was never an issue and the sounds only enhanced the performance.

Property design by Soni Barrus was the epitome of attention to detail. Each and every prop was perfectly selected to show the details of the musical. I loved the antique perfume bottles and powder boxes in the display cases that showed the expensive nature of the perfumery.

G. Aaron Siler, as Ladislav Sipos, did a superior job as one of the clerks of the perfumery. Through hurried movements, nervous gestures, and vocal inflection, Siler portrayed the unease of the love affairs amongst his fellow employees. Siler used a calm, fatherly tone to help George Norwak to take a risk. His rich voice was displayed well in “Perspective” and Siler let his eyes shine with understanding of what love really is.

Arpad Laszlo, the delivery boy played by Drew Sifford was the comedic relief to the musical. Sifford was a joy to watch as he skipped and moved quickly through the set to his next location. In “Try Me” Sifford’s high energy and strong voice fully portrayed the confidence that Arpad had in himself to deserve a promotion in the perfumery. Sifford’s characterization went beyond vocals to his facial expressions, in particular his hand gestures. He was having fun on stage and it showed through his awesome performance.

Paulie Cocke’s portrayal of Ilona Ritter was remarkable. Her deep, rich, and powerful voice was highlighted in her musical number, “I Resolve”. Cocke had huge facial expressions but continued to contort her lips to show either her joy or disgust with a fellow employee. She excelled in this role with eyes that shined with the joy and glamour of a woman in love as well as scorned.

Steven Kodaly played by Joshua Sherman was the antagonist of the employees in the perfumery. His arrogant nature was perfectly displayed by Sherman’s use of lifting his chin, scowls to the rest of the characters, and tone. Sherman’s vocals are highlighted in “Grand Knowing You” through his deep and passionate plea for what is next in his characters life.

Matt Victory was George Nowak, a young man who was unsure of the woman he was in love with. Through Victory’s self-assured stance he proved his dominance on stage. His widened eyes, smile that went up to his eyes, and a shake of his head to show joy was only the start of his amazing facial expressions. Victory really shined through his inflection and powerful voice in “She Loves Me” and was only enhanced with his charming smile.

Mr. Maraczek performed by Jay A. Cornils is the pushy manager of the perfumery. Cornils nailed the haughty air of Maraczek through his arrogant tone and judgmental facial expressions. In “Days Gone By”, Cornils sang from the depth of his soul to capture the moment in the musical. Cornils becomes Maraczek and there is no denying that this shrewd manager was perfectly cast.

Meredith Browning performance as Amalia Balash was simply outstanding. Her mannerisms are warm and heartfelt when dealing with the customers, and completely opposite with Nowak. She had the presence of the girl next door, but the spitfire energy of a prideful woman. Through her simple smiles, doe eyes, and gentle touches, Browning completely encompasses the mixed up feelings of Balash. Browning’s vocal achievement reigns in “Dear Friend” and “Vanilla Ice Cream”, each one expressive and delightful.

The musical was rounded out by a top notch ensemble. Stormy Witter, Elizabeth Shelton, Haley Nettleton, Jake Kelly Harris, and Noah Foster were superb in their roles. Their vocal talented shone in both “Sounds While Selling” and Twelve Days to Christmas”. Each had their own unique style that only enriched the musical.

Plaza Theatre Company has outdone themselves with She Loves Me. With an amazing set of actors, coupled with the talented artistic staff, this performance will be hard to top. Come and enjoy this musical that will remind you what falling in love is like!

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Audition Notice: THE ADDAMS FAMILY at Plaza Theatre Company

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Audition Notice:

Auditions are: August 17th and August 18th, 2015

Directed by G. Aaron Siler
Stage Management by Lindsay Hardisty
Music Direction by Doug Henry
Choreography by Tabitha Barrus

When:
Monday Aug. 17 & Tuesday Aug. 18, 2015
7pm – 9pm at the Plaza Academy Studio
211 S. Mill St, Cleburne, TX
Auditions are by appointment only

Click here to make an audition appointment!

AUDITION PREPARATION
Auditioners will be asked to come prepared to sing 32 bars of music, preferably from a musical. An accompanist will be provided. Auditioners should also be prepared to read cold from the script at the audition. Each auditioner should plan to spend about five to ten minutes auditioning for the Directors.

A call back audition will be held on Saturday, Aug. 22nd starting at 9am and may last for up to four hours. Those auditioners who the Directors wish to see further will be invited to the call back audition.

REHERSALS:
Rehearsals will commence Monday, Aug. 24 and take place usually on Mon. – Wed. evenings and Saturday mornings depending on performer schedules. No Sunday rehearsals or performances. Performers are only called to rehearsal if needed.

PERFORMANCES:
The production will play on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and Saturday afternoons opening on Friday, October 9th and playing through Saturday, November 14th.

ABOUT THE SHOW
Morticia and Gomez Addams want to continue living amongst death, pain and suffering the way they always have. But then there is a change in plans. Their eldest child, Wednesday, has fallen in love with a strange boy – who is NORMAL. When the normal family is invited to dinner, craziness ensues. A Broadway hit based on the classic TV show.

ALL ROLES ARE AVAILABLE

* Please note that the age ranges on the characters are for guidance only. Actors who play older or younger will be considered for characters outside their age range based on ability.

Gomez Addams: Male, age 40-59. A man in his prime, of Spanish descent with a wild Iberian passion. Takes great pride in being an Addams and revels in all that means. Struggles with having to keep his daughter’s secret from his wife, whom he adores more than death. Requires great comedic timing and baritone to high G.

Morticia Addams: Female, age 35-59. Attractive, in shape, holds the balance of power in the family; often seems like the only emotionally mature member of the clan. Calls for a sexy, dry wit. Feels her husband is hiding something from her and will use any tactic to lure the secret out. Must be a strong dancer/mover with with lower mature womanly sound (alto/mezzo soprano).

Uncle Fester: Male, age 30-59. Narrator of the piece, has a hugely energetic, joyous childlike presence – totally incorrigible. A vaudevillian-style comedian with tenor vocals, spoken parts and a couple of high notes.

Wednesday Adams: Female, appears 18-19. Strikingly similar to Morticia but is experiencing a bit of a personality crisis. Experiences the youthful drama that comes with first love–Lucas can actually put a smile on her face. Low belt with high E possible.

Grandmama: Female, appears age 102, but a feisty 102. – fun, adorably dangerous, but don’t mess with grandma. Surprisingly resourceful and sprightly. Comedic actress with strong character vocals.

Pugsley Addams: Male, age 12ish. But can be played by older actor – charming, funny, husky boy who loves being tortured by his sister. He wants to ensure he won’t lose his sister to her new boyfriend so he takes matters into his own hands. Lower child’s range or woman’s mid-range.

Lurch: Male, age 35 and up. A very tall male character, the Addams butler who knows all. He speaks in moans and groans (some tinged with irony or exasperation) without becoming a cartoon version of himself. His movement is always very slow. Character actor with a low bass vocals to Eb.

Colonel Mal Beinecke: Male, age 45-50, all ethnicities – father to Lucas. A stuffy military man, a man who must be obeyed, exasperated with his rhyming wife. At one time was a follower of The Grateful Dead but lost that side of himself. Always looking out for his family. Midrange baritenor.

Alice Beinecke: Female, age 40-45. Mother to Lucas. Quirky, devoted to her family, so she puts aside her own desires. At the Addams Family dinner party, drinks a potion that causes her to let her hair down and speak her mind. Legit voice up to G#.

Lucas Beinecke: Male, 19. Fell in love with Wendy and plans to marry her. A writer, classic codependent, feels good when everybody’s happy. Experiences the pain and drama of young love and struggles with the differences between his family and the Addamses. Contemporary pop tenor vocals.

The Ancestors: Male and female ensemble singer/dancers of all types who are smart performers and have a fun, quirky sensibility.

Casting Announcement: POLLYANNA at Plaza Theatre Company

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Plaza Theatre Company is pleased to announce the official cast list for its upcoming production of POLLYANNA, a play version of the famous book by Eleanor H. Porter, which will play at PlazaCo from September 11th thru October 3rd. The show will be under the direction of Taffy Geisel with stage management by Nathan Glenn. Plaza producers wish to thank all who auditioned for the show.

The Cast of POLLANNA is: (double cast where noted)

Pollyanna Whittier – Emmie Vaughn, Kylie Scarborough
Aunt Polly – Katherine Anthony
Nancy – Christine Atwell
Mrs. Durgin – Priscilla Nix
Loretta – Lauren Morgan
Mrs. Snow – Katy Holt Wood
Millie Snow – Tori Beth Pilcher
Mrs. McCleary – Meagan Avery Sellers, Noelle Mitchell
Mrs. Malden – Ruth Ann Warwick
Mrs. Benton – Julia Ekpo
Mrs. Jack Payson – Gwen Swinehart
Emily Payson – Esther Ekpo
Mrs. Winkle – Helene Cottongame
Jimmy Bean – Henry Cawood
Mr. John Pendleton – Jay Cornils
Dr. Thomas Chilton – Jason Philip Cole
Pastor Malden – Kyle Scarborough, Gary Payne
Old Tom – JaceSon Barrus
Mr. Gilbert – Cody Vernon
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