The Music Man

The Music  Man runs until August 19 at the Weston Playhouse. Weston’s motto is that it celebrates the classics and nurtures the new.  There are two classic American plays that deal with a  traveling salesman who “doesn’t know the territory.” Both of these plays have had productions at the Weston Playhouse. They are however quite different. One of them is Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller and the other is The Music Man by Meredith Willson. Each in its own way gives a glimpse of times in the United States that have passed. Madison Avenue, shopping malls and the Internet are among the reasons  we can only encounter traveling salesmen on our stages and not in our towns, large and small.

Meeting Harold Hill in this production is probably more fun than even the most successful traveling salesman in the past. Meredith Willson’s melodies recreate a 1912 River City that may never have existed, but should have. The cast is excellent and the audience leaves the theatre with the lovely music playing in their heads.

Bob and I had the pleasure of talking with three of the cast members: David Bonanno who plays Harold Hill, Marissa McGowan who plays Marian the Librarian, and Michael Mendez who plays Marcellus Washburn, Hill’s accomplice.

The Music Man Interview

Click on Weston’s website to buy tickets and find out about the rest of the season.

Weston Playhouse Website

David Bonanno and Michael Mendez

David Bonanno and Marissa McGowan

 

 

Click below to see a preview of the show

The Music Man Preview

For a discussion of the background of the play, click below

Weston 101 The Music Man

ssugarman407 | August 15, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Tags: Weston Playhouse | Categories: Musical TheatreRegional Theatre | URL: http://wp.me/p5wL7C-Sb

A Legendary Romance

A Legendary Romance  plays at the Williamstown Theatre Festival until August 20. It is a new musical that is well worth seeing. Jeff McCarthy is on stage throughout the play as his character remembers his past differently from the film about it an eager,  young producer wants him to approve. Like many contemporary musicals, A Legendary Romance deals with issues that will leave you thinking after the show is over. There is the question of what is true and what is fiction. There is also a political dimension.. These themes are dealt with in ways that keep the audience engaged in the lives unfolding on stage, entertained as well as stimulated.

Bob and I had much to talk about after we saw it. Click below to hear some of our thoughts.

Our discussion of A Legendary Romance

For tickets click on the link to the Williamstown Festival website below.

Williamstown Theatre Festival Website

 

A Legendary Romance Preview

Spamalot

“Always look on the bright side of life”.  Eric Idle transformed the film Monty Python and The Holy Grail into a wonderful musical, Spamalot which is playing at the Mac-Haydn Theatre until August 20. Our sons saw the film twelve times. They would probably wish to see this production that many times as well. The score is wonderful, the book full of laughs and the production at Mac-Haydn a delight to see and hear. The joy in Python jokes is that you relish hearing them over and over until you can almost say the lines with the actors. Each time you hear them they are as fresh as the first time. This production builds on that as the actors transform into various characters just as the Pythons did. Arthur, King of the Britains and The Lady of the Lake are always themselves, of course. Hard to choose highlights, but “Whatever Happened to My Song?” and “I Am All Alone” and “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway…” come to mind.

The Mac-Haydn Theatre is a gem for lovers of musicals. To transform from Anything Goes to Saturday Night Fever to  Sweeney Todd to Spamalot  every two weeks on a tiny arena stage is incredible.  Bob and I are in awe of the exhilarating performances we have seen there. Fortunately, each production for us has been preceded by an interview with people involved with the particular show. This time it was  Neal Kowalsky, the director, Jillian Zack , music director and John Anker Bow who plays.Arthur, King of the Britains. Click below to hear the interview.

Spamalot Interview

Click the website for tickets and information about the rest of the season.

Mac-Haydn Theatre

Madison Stratton as The Lady of the Lake
John Anker Bow as Arthur, King of the Britains

Click on photo below for video

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is playing at the Mac-Haydn Theatre until August 6. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the play  won many awards including a Tony as Best Musical and the Olivier for Best Musical when it opened in London. Over eighty percent of the production is musical with songs ranging from the macabre to the humorous to the lyrical. Given the Mac-Haydn’s intimate arena stage, all the aspects of the show are intensified. The audience is literally in the set with London buildings painted on the walls  and the ensemble in the aisles.

Bob and I had the pleasure of interviewing John Saunders, Artistic Director at the Mac-Haydn  and David Maglione, director of this production.

John Saunders
        David Maglione

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to listen to the interview

Interview with John Saunders and David Maglione

Click the website to order tickets and find out about the rest of the season.

Mac-Haydn Theatre website

 

Click on the photo below to hear the actors talk about their parts.

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And then on this one to get a sense of the performance.

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Tenderly

Rosemary Clooney had a successful career as a singer in the 1950s. Her professional life, however, was smoother than her personal life in which she overcame many obstacles.   She and her sister, Betty, had been abandoned by their mother when they were adolescents. Her marriage to Jose Ferrer was difficult. However, after a breakdown in the 1960s, Rosemary came back and worked steadily, singing and recording  until her death in 2002.

At The Weston Playhouse.s second stage, The Rod and Gun Club, Tenderly, a play about Clooney’s life, runs until August 5. Susan Haefner plays Rosemay Clooney, Sam Lloyd, Jr. plays her psychiatrist and many other people in her life. There is music and drama in this lovely tribute to a courageous and talented woman. After seeing the play, Bob and I had the pleasure of talking to the actors about the play’s development and the rehearsal process . Click the link below to listen to them.

Interview with Susan Haefner and Sam Lloyd, Jr.

Then click below to order tickets from the Weston Play House website. The theatre is small and when we went it was filled to capacity.This is a play you don’t want to miss.

Weston Playhouse

 

 

Click on the image below to watch the Weston 101 interview with Susan and director, Tim Forthttp://

Saturday Night Fever – Mac-Haydn Theatre

Saturday Night Fever is the show  that most people requested the Mac-Haydn Theatre  produce this summer. . It runs until July 23. Bob and I had the pleasure of talking with two of the major players, Kate Zulauf who plays Stephanie and Sophia Tzougros who plays Annette, as well as the choreographer, James Kinney. As always, we were amazed to see the transformation of the actors into their roles when we watched them on stage. We were also awed, as we generally are, by the way in which the Mac-Haydn Theatre creates different worlds through costumes, lighting, minimal sets and the talents of the ensemble singers and dancers. The way  artists, such as James , can create dance numbers that take the audience into different musical worlds is joy to watch and appreciate.

Looking at the variety in the current season in terms of Saturday Night Fever and the productions before and to come, shows how remarkable this theatre devoted to musicals is.

Listen to the interview by clicking  the link below. Then click to the link  after that to order your tickets.

Saturday Night Fever Interview

Mac-Haydn Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really Rosie

Weston Playhouse’s Young Company performs the family show in the afternoon, the cabarets at night and is in the Main Stage musical. This year they are doing Really Rosie, a delightful production that is truly for the entire   family. Watching the young actors interact with the children in the audience before and during the show is one of the many pleasures  of the performance.

The songs  and dances in Really Rosie engage every member of the audience young or old. The production goes until July 9 so calling or clicking of the company’s website quickly is a good idea.

Click below to listen to The Young Company talk about their work on Really Rosie.

Click below for the website

Weston Playhouse