COUNTY NEWS - August 16, 2010
Mother Goose rules
Family show energizes an audience of all ages
By SUZANNE McKENNA-LINK
SAYVILLE — Mother Goose and her sidekick DJ
Dittle came to The Common Ground at Rotary Park in Sayville last Friday to
sing and entertain children and their families with a live sing-along show. As
part of The Common Ground’s Family Fridays, “Rapping with Mother Goose”
featured Sayville resident and Airport Playhouse owner Terry Brennan as the
rhythm-matron herself. The show, which lasted an hour, started at 6:30 p.m.
under a setting sun. The comfortable weather made it possible for many
families to enjoy the free performance, appearing with folding chairs,
blankets, strollers and lots of energetic children.
It all started with
Mother Goose reciting a dreary version of the alphabet song. Along came DJ
Dittle, played by Sean Burbige, appearing from the back of the audience to
encourage her to “kick it up a notch,” he said. DJ proceeded to show her a
rhythm of clap, snap, lap before reciting the song in a new and hipper way.
As the show progressed, Mother Goose claimed that
“Mama’s getting in the groove,” and to the amusement of the audience, she
turned away and whipped off her skirt and shawl to reveal a shiny black sweat
suit and a large dollar-sign necklace with lots of “bling-bling.”
Along with a reading of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, they
sang many of the old favorites such as “Old McDonald’s Farm” and “Bingo” with
audience participation. Kids and adults alike were asked to come up and be a
part of the show—Mama Goose even handpicked one dad to join her specifically
because he wasn’t actively participating.
Mama Goose’s proclamations of “word” and “ain’t that
funky” gave the show a modern and hip flair in addition to the rhyming-rap
beat. But the show continued to drop bits of the modern world into old stories
as was done in the telling of the Three Little Pigs; each pig’s activity
represented a modern-day activity—listening to an iPod, playing a PSP game and
using a laptop.
All in all, it was a fun show that got the kids up on
their feet and singing along and for those little ones who couldn’t sit still,
the park was a great place to run around before bedtime. The Common Ground’s
Family Fridays continues this Friday with Erik’s Reptile “Edventures,” also at
6:30 p.m. Erik will have an alligator and other reptiles with him. More
information can be found at The Common Ground’s website,
Before the show “Rapping with Mother Goose,” Mother
Goose, played by Terry Brennan, posed for a picture with audience members Sara
Rose Sabatino, Elliot Colon and Olivia Colon. SCN/Link
SUFFOLK COUNTY NEWS - February 11, 2010
Con artists at play
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Airport Playhouse
By EMILY PORTOGHESE
BOHEMIA — Airport Playhouse opened its
production of the hilarious musical comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels last Friday
with stellar performances by a talented cast of mostly Airport veterans.
Based on the 1988 film of the same
name directed by Frank Oz, starring Steve Martin, Michael Caine and Glenne
Headly, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the musical features music and lyrics by
David Yazbek and a book by Jeffrey Lane.
This musical follows several people as they con women they
think are harmless into giving them money; much scheming and plotting abounds.
In the end, though, the joke may be on them. Con artist Lawrence, played
wonderfully by Rob Schindlar, tricks wealthy women out of their money with his
“bodyguard” Andre, played by George Ghossn.
Lawrence discovers he is not the only
con artist in the French Riviera area when Andre warns Lawrence that he heard
about a local con artist known as the Jackal. Part of the show’s mystery is
determining who the Jackal is.
In another storyline, Muriel, played
by Christy Reinert, realizes she has been duped by Lawrence, who is not who he
claims to be, and an ensemble of four other women who have been conned join
Muriel in the humorous song, “What Was a Woman To Do” while wearing only bed
While riding on a train, Lawrence
sees an American named Freddy swindle money out of a woman, though in a far
less amount than Lawrence usually does. Freddy, played by Craig Boccia,
accompanies Lawrence to Lawrence’s mansion, where Freddy sings the musical
number “Great Big Stuff,” naming all the things he wants when he is rich.
Lawrence and Andre are unsure if they
want to show Freddy how it is done, but Lawrence changes his tune when Jolene
Oakes, one of the women he is with, tells him that they are unexpectedly
getting married and moving to Oklahoma.
Lawrence decides to have Freddy help
out, and makes him pose as his mentally challenged brother Ruprecht. When
Jolene, played by Heather Van Velsor, is introduced to Ruprecht she all but
runs away, and calls off the wedding.
“All About Ruprecht” was quite an
entertaining number including Lawrence, Freddy and a horrified Jolene, who was
the victim of Ruprecht’s inappropriateness, hysterically disguised as a mental
condition meant to scare her away. Boccia and Schindlar portrayed a great
camaraderie between their characters that was great fun to watch.
The real action starts when “The
American Soap Queen” Christine Colgate, played by Kristen Digilio, enters the
scene with the song “Here I Am,” in which she declares her arrival.
Lawrence is worried there is not
enough room for two con artists in town, so he and Freddy make a deal: the
first to dupe $50,000 out of a woman gets to stay, while the other has to
leave the area.
They separately decide that Christine
will be their target. Freddy creates an alias as a man paralyzed from the
waist down, and tells Christine there is only one way to help him become well:
to pay $50,000 for him to see the “well-known” Dr. Shuffhausen. When Lawrence
surprisingly shows up as the doctor, Freddy is shocked.
The ending of this show is the best
part, certainly not because it is over, but because the audience finally
discovers all the underpinnings of the con artist world portrayed in this
Directed by Steve McCoy, Airport’s
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels features musical director Paula Willis, costumer Linda
Mooney, stage manager Liz Grudzinski, set design by Christopher Kenyon, set
construction by Barteld Theatricals, and lighting design by Mike Burke.
Performances of the musical run through Feb. 21. For more information, call
589-7588 or visit airportplayhouse.com .
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is currently being
performed at the Airport Playhouse at
218 Knickerbocker Avenue in Bohemia.
Pictured are Rob Schindlar as Lawrence and Craig Boccia
The Suffolk County News -
June 4, 2009
and finding love like it’s 1985
By EMILY PORTOGHESE
— If you
loved the popular 1998 movie,
The Wedding Singer,
you will definitely enjoy the musical comedy of the same name, which opened at
Airport Playhouse to a packed audience last Friday.
aspects of the plot and characters from the musical vary slightly from the fi
lm, which starred Adam Sandler opposite Drew Barrymore, it basically follows
the same storyline.
Wedding Singer is a
musical comedy set in 1985 with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad
Beguelin, and based on a book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy. It opened on
Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theater in April of 2006 and closed in
December of 2006 after 284 performances. It was directed by John Rando, with
choreography by Rob Ashford, and featured musical comedian Stephen Lynch
played expertly by Casey Manning (Death
of a Salesman and
Barefoot in the Park
at the Playhouse), is a
popular New Jersey wedding singer who runs into some trouble with love when
his fi ancée, Linda (Erin Furey), does not show up to the wedding.
In the movie,
Linda visits Robbie on his doorstep and dumps him, but in the musical, she
makes a ghost appearance. His friend Sammy (Nick Attanasio) gives Robbie a
letter from Linda, and Robbie hears her voice as she reads the letter.
Erin Furey is
only on stage for a small portion of the show, but stole the scene when she
sang “A Note from Linda” during the wedding in Madonna- esque ’80s garb, of
Waldo) is the female lead who is a waitress at many of the weddings where
Robbie and his band perform. Julia is desperate for her boyfriend, Glen (Adam
Mace) to propose and sings “Pop!” with her cousin Holly (Kaity Cave).
was especially entertaining, as Julia is anxious about going to dinner with
Glen at a fancy restaurant and is afraid that he may dump her instead of
proposing. Glen proposes and Julia is ecstatic, although it becomes clear
later on in the show that Glen is not the perfect man Julia thought he was.
Cave as Julia and Holly are hysterical as the respectively prudent and
promiscuous cousins, both their voices are strong, as well as their stage
presence, and they do a wonderful job of portraying a girlish-bond throughout
in his grandma’s basement and many funny exchanges happen between Manning and
his on-stage grandma, Rosie, played by Jill Cohen- Wilson. While Julia is
being proposed to, Robbie is wallowing in his sorrow of being left by Linda.
He writes a
song to express his feelings and performs the piece, “Somebody Kill Me,” with
almost as much comedic prowess as Sandler himself. This song alternates a
quiet love song with a screaming hate one, as it contains some whiny lyrics
and a couple choice words for Linda.
Julia begin to spend a growing amount of time together and seem to connect on
a more than friendly level, but will Julia’s fi ancé get in the way of her and
Robbie’s possible romance? You will have to go see the musical to see the fate
of these spunky characters.
The show runs
through June 14 at Airport Playhouse, located at 218 Knickerbocker Avenue in
Bohemia. An ordained minister will be available to renew wedding vows at the
end of most shows, but reservations are required.
’80s fabulous performance is scheduled to be held at the playhouse on
Wednesday, June 10 at 8 p.m., when one can buy one ticket at the regular price
and get a second ticket for 80 cents.
Casey Manning flanked by Kaity Cave (left) and Danicah Waldo star in the
Airport Playhouse’s presentation of
The Wedding Singer.
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The Suffolk County News- April 30, 2009
Popping out a comedic performance
Airport Playhouse performs
Barefoot in the Park
By JEFFREY BESSEN
Kelli Bavaro as the free spirited Corie Bratter in the Neil Simon play treated
audience members of the Airport Playhouse’s premiere of Barefoot in the
Park to a wonderful debut performance last Friday.
as vivacious and spontaneous as Jane Fonda, who starred with Robert Redford in
the 1967 movie and as Elizabeth Ashley, was in the play’s initial Broadway
offering in 1963. Redford also starred in the play.
A fine arts
major at Hofstra, Bavaro entered the stage and grabbed command with a beatific
smile that effectively demonstrated her youth and excitement about being
play, directed by Ed Brennan, who operates the playhouse with his wife Terry,
revolves around the newly married Corie and Paul Bratter (Casey Mannning)
living in a fi ve-story Manhattan walkup that has no heat and a gaping hole in
Corie’s lightheartedness is trying to make the best of the situation, along
with a visit from her mother Mrs. Banks (played nicely by Phyllis Kaye)
and the wacky neighbors, including the would-be lothario, Victor Velaso,
performed by James Lotito Jr.
always viewing the world sunny side up and Paul being the realist, both learn
that life, especially married life, is not always a honeymoon at the Plaza
the actors did wonderfully well, including Sean Burbridge, who played the
telephone repairman and appeared at the beginning and end of the play,
was convey emotions with their facial expressions. Manning, who was last seen
in the playhouse’s production Death of a Salesman, was especially good
at doing that.
two-act, four-scene play maintains the audience’s attention through the
well-timed, funny delivery of Simon’s lines. Credit also goes to costumer
Linda Mooney and set designer Christopher Kenyon for recreating 1963 on a
of the production staff are stage manager, Liz Grudzinski, and lighting
designer, Joel Valerio. Barfield Theatrical Production served as the
in the Park
its run at the Airport Playhouse, located at 218 Knickerbocker Avenue,
this Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 3 at 2:30
on Wednesday, May 6 at 2 and 8 p.m., Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 at 8
p.m., and Sunday, May 10 at 2:30. The Sunday matinees include
complimentary bagels, the Wednesday matinee includes complimentary coffee and
cake at intermission.
Up next for
the playhouse is The Wedding Singer, scheduled to premiere on May 29
and run through June 14. In addition to the play, an ordained minister is
slated to be available at most performances for couples willing to renew their
wedding vows, reservations are required.
information and tickets to both plays, call 589-7588 or visit
Bavaro and Casey Manning star as Corie and Paul Bratter in the Airport
production of Neil Simon’s
Barefoot in the Park.
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County News - March 26, 2009
Attention must be paid
Death of a Salesman
at Airport Playhouse
By JEFFREY BESSEN
BOHEMIA — When a
writer commits words to paper, the most they can ask for is for those verbs,
adjectives and nouns to be read or remembered, not so much for ego, but to
make a difference.
For playwright Arthur Miller, that mission came
true with his 1949 play Death of a Salesman, which continues to resonate today
and came to life when performed by the actors onstage at the Airport Playhouse
during the premiere performance last Friday.
From the opening scene, with Jack Howell as
Willy Loman and Sheila Shefield as Linda Loman, through the scenes with Tom
Evans as Biff Loman and Casey Manning as Happy Loman, and Steven C. Fallis’s
haunting Uncle Ben, this show crackles with drama.
“We waited a long time to put this play on to
get the right cast,” Ed Brennan said in his introductory remarks to the
audience. He and his wife Terry operate the theater.
Miller’s work is a classic and its story of a
man lost in the sunset of his working days possesses a timeliness that the
actors, directed by John J. Steele Jr., capitalized on. One can sense and feel
Willy’s anger throughout the play.
The story revolves around Loman, now a bitter,
disillusioned man, whose eldest son, Biff, once a big man on campus (high
school size), is a lost man-child who was hurt when he found out his father’s
Howell’s Willy erupts with anger or happiness
with similar vigor and takes the audience on a roller coaster ride of his
emotions. Evans’ Biff is not as brooding as some have portrayed him, but
somber with a respect for what his “lost boy” ways have to done to
Playing referee to three males is Shefield’s
Linda, a concoction of strength and weakness, who stands up to her sons in
defense of her husband, refusing to truly show him his mistakes and continuing
to support him.
Watching this show was a great joy, though
there were several different scene locations that maintained the play’s tempo;
scene changes were made with simple props and lighting instead of constant
shifts of furniture.
For that we praise Steele, Stage Manager Steven
Prendergast, Set Designer Christopher Kenyon, Technical Director Tim David and
Joel Valerio for his lighting design. Costumer Linda Mooney deserves praise
for giving us the true feel of 1948 fashion.
The performances of the actors and the hard
work put in by the stage people allows the audience to experience the big
dreams and the big disappoints of the Lomans. It is a play that should be
watched by families, especially fathers and sons, who too often may be not be
honest with each other about faults or dreams.
Death of a Salesman is slated to
be performed on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 at 8 p.m., and
on Sunday, March 29 at 2:30 p.m. There are also scheduled shows on
Wednesday, April 2 at 8 p.m., Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 at 8 p.m.
and on Sunday, April 5 at 2:30 p.m.
The Airport Playhouse is located at 218
Knickerbocker Avenue in Bohemia. For tickets ($14 to $22) and
more information, call 589-7588 or visit airportplayhouse.com.
Disney’s High School Musical 2 is also playing through April 11.
Airport Playhouse in Bohemia is performing
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. From left are: Casey Manning (Happy Loman),
Linda Shefield (Linda Loman), Jack Howell (Willy Loman) and Tom Evans (Biff
Loman). Photo courtesy of Airport Playhouse
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Suffolk County News - December 4, 2008
Humming along to a happy holiday
Airport Playhouse presents
Jingle Bell Jubilee
By TINAMARIE CAPUTO
usually so stressed out during the holiday season, always worrying about
getting everyone gifts and where they will be for the usual holiday dinners.
Jingle Bell Jubilee
is something that is there to relieve the stress and get you back into the
holiday spirit and make you remember what Christmas is really about.
Presented at the Airport Playhouse, the
Jingle Bell Jubilee
is a merry musical montage designed to get
everyone in the holiday spirit. Filled with singing,
dancing and laughter, it provides a cheerful fun-filled
evening of entertainment for the whole family.
Sleigh rides, shopping, Santa's elves, turkey dinners,
caroling and more are woven into a warm, seasonal
address to “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Jingle Bell Jubilee
was written by William McGrath and directed by Susan Jeffares. The
choreographer is Patrick Grossman, stage management by Gabrielle Morin,
costumer by Linda Mooney, lighting design by Keri Haas and Joel Valerio,
musical direction by Paula Willis, set design by Christopher Kenyon, technical
direction by Tim David, sound technicians Joel Valerio and Jackie Hellreigh,
and lighting technicians Michael Burke and Jill Bankoff.
The band did an extraordinary job performing all the holiday music; Kenneth
Kruper on keyboard, Anthony Genovese on drums, Tom Wolf on trumpet and James
Cassara on woodwinds.
With a vivacious cast, they all did an exceptional job getting the audience
into the Christmas spirit as well as getting them involved with the
performance. The cast included 20 lively performers: Barbra Anderson, Matt
Baguth, Sean Burbige, Mollie Burke, Kevin Burns, Kristen Digilio, Anise Jade
Falco, Victoria Isernia, Christopher Isolano, Susan Jeffares, Courtney Kenyon,
Timmy Kenyon, Carley Mattheus, Erika Mazzola, Michelle Mazzola, Anthony
Pizzuti, Jack Seabury, John J. Steele Jr., Stacey Terrana and Paul Velutis.
The show started off with the number “Holiday Time is Here” with the entire
cast singing and dancing in the routine. The first act seemed to begin before
the actual Christmas day holiday, from Thanksgiving to shopping for the
holidays. They then went on to sing a very appropriate “Autumn in New York”
for the greatest city in the world.
The next two pieces were filled with humor, when a small group sang, “What Are
We Gonna Do About Thanksgiving,” a song about a family’s turn to host
Thanksgiving dinner but not wanting to. The group was dressed in head-to-toe
“holiday cheer” with an edge of bitterness.
“Gotta Shop” was the next routine that had a very comedic side, with the
entire cast running around the stage trying to get in their last-minute
shopping. At the end of the song there was a small skit that had a man trying
to return a pair of shoes at a department store, and we all know that
returning holiday gifts can be a nightmare, and that is exactly what this skit
was about. The very arrogant store associate would not let the man return the
shoes without a receipt!
The second act was where the cast really got into the holiday spirit, opening
with the famous “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” One of the
funniest acts of the show was “Hans Und Franz.” It was a small skit with what
seemed to be two very in-shape German men who were trying to get the audience
in shape, with the well-known phrase, "We are here to pump you up!"
There wasn't anyone in the audience who didn’t giggle at the very illustrated
The rest of act two had the recognized numbers “We Need a Little Christmas",
"Blue Christmas", "Baby It's Cold Outside", "Lovers on Christmas Eve", "What
is Christmas?" and "Seasons of Love".
The show was traditional with a kick and had a little something for everyone,
whether you like traditional or modern.
Jingle Bell Jubilee
runs until Dec. 21. For information on tickets, call 589-7588 or visit
The Airport Playhouse at 218 Knickerbocker Avenue in Bohemia is performing
Jingle Bell Jubilee
for the holiday season.
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Playhouse in Bohemia Presents...
By Maria Capp
Playhouse in Bohemia presents the Long Island Premier of Ken Ludwig's LEADING
LADIES. Performances run October 17 ‑ November 2. Tickets $14 ‑ $22. Group
rates available. Call the box office for reservations (631‑589‑7588) or visit airportplayhouse.com to purchase tickets on line. This madcap farcical
romp was written by the author of Lend Me a Tenor. Two down‑on‑their luck
thespians think they have hitched their train to Easy Street when they scheme
to secure a fortune from a
philanthropist by posing as her nephews. All is going well until they discover
the woman has nieces, not nephews! Come and see if they can pull off the
acting job of their lives! With a little bit of everything: screwball comedy,
vaudeville, a big dance number, and a love story!
Halloween Fun on
Friday, October 31st. Come in a Halloween Costume of the opposite sex and
receive $5.00 off your ticket ‑ Wine and Cheese served at the end ‑ and who
knows what other ghoulish treats may lurk the theater! Digital picture
available, call 631‑589‑7588 or 516‑316‑2896.
Plan Ahead for
this Holiday Season and Celebrate and enjoy the holiday musical JINGLE BELL
JUBILEE. Performances run November 28 ‑ December 21. Tickets S14 ‑ $22. Group
rates available. Call the box office for reservations (631‑589‑7588) or visit
airportplayhouse.com to purchase tickets on line. Jingle Bell Jubilee is a
Merry Musical Montage designed to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Filled
with singing, dancing, and laughter, it provides a light‑hearted, fun filled
evening of entertainment for the whole family. Sleigh rides, shopping, Santa's
elves, turkey dinners, caroling, and more are woven into a warm, seasonal
salute to "the most wonderful time of year"! Opening Night November 28
includes complimentary wine and cheese and a meet and greet with the cast
after the show. Sunday Matinees include complimentary coffee and bagels.
Senior Matinee is Wednesday, December 10 at 2:00 pm. Tickets $14.00. Includes
complimentary coffee and cake. Digital picture available, call 631-589‑7588
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September 25, 2008 Suffolk County News
Entering the Kit Kat Klub
Airport Playhouse performs the rakish Cabaret
By EMILY PORTOGHESE
The Airport Playhouse stage was transformed last Friday into a dark world full
of fantasy in which the characters in this musical classic, Cabaret, must
face the devastating reality preceding World War II in Berlin, Germany.
theater company opened its production of Cabaret at 8 p.m. to a packed
house, full of people ready to take a journey through the enticing yet harsh
world of the Kit Kat Klub, and prepared to sympathize with a well-meaning
English journalist, Cliff; this is the world of
Based on the book
by Joe Masteroff and the play by John Van Druten, Airport’s Cabaret is
directed by Ed Brennan, with musical direction by Paula Willis,
choreography by Patrick Grossman, stage management by Renee Santos Stewart,
and technical and lighting direction and design by Tim David.
With creative sets
designed by Christopher Kenyon and a myriad of costumes worn by the often
scantily clad Sally Bowles and the rest of the cast, and picked by costumer,
Ronald R. Green, III, this show was about more than just the music.
Jason Dowdell, who
plays the Emcee who hosts the entertainment at the Cabaret, opened the show
with “Wilkommen,” with klub girls, waiters and the Emcee dancing and singing
about the stage in barely-there ensembles consisting of lingerie for the
ladies and shorts and suspenders for the men.
Dowdell did an
excellent job of portraying the freaky, almost unearthy vibe of the Emcee and
the Cabaret in general. Erinn Fury played a fabulous Sally, and expertly
conveyed the troubled persona of the young woman who is lost and acts ignorant
to the outside world, namely the impending World War II.
“Don’t Tell Mama,”
with Sally and the klub girls was a standout number in the first act, with
Sally telling the audience at the Cabaret to not tell mama about her
lifestyle, which she suggests is a far cry from what her mother expected of
“Two Ladies” was a
humorous song by Emcee (Dowdell), Helga (Kristen Digilio) and Bobby (Paul Velutis),
dressed as a club girl, in which Emcee sings about his preference, which is to
have more than one lady, or man-friend, at a time.
(played by Susan Jeffares) runs the inn at the Cabaret where the writer Cliff
(played by Jack Seabury) stays while he is in Germany to write a book.
(played by John J. Steele Jr.) and Fraulein Schneider are a cute older couple
who have fallen in love, but Fraulein Schneider becomes concerned about their
difference of religion: Herr Schultz is Jewish.
thinks the Nazi party is taking over, which they are, and is afraid of being
associated with Herr Schultz because of the Nazis’ prejudice towards people of
his ethnicity or religion. The two get engaged and … you will have to go see
the show to find out the fate of their controversial romance.
This musical is
fraught with complicated issues; Cliff and Sally also fall in love, but Sally,
who has become accustomed to her somewhat nomadic, adventurous lifestyle and
usual bad taste in men, is hesitant to put her faith in nice guy Cliff to be
the man that may help her become a better person.
passionately about this conflict of emotions in the song “Maybe This Time” in
the second act, and Fury’s voice and acting ability are showcased in this
Act II sets a
noticeably depressing tone and the unraveling of the characters’ personal
lives and the political state of the country becomes evident. Sally rings in
the end of the show with her performance of “Cabaret,” in which she wobbles
around the stage and sings in a sad and crazed voice about how life is a
Cabaret; a live performance.
Oct. 5 at Airport Playhouse, 218 Knickerbocker Avenue in Bohemia. For
ticket and show information, call 589-7588 or visit airportplayhouse.com.
The risqué and classic Cabaret is currently playing at the Airport
Playhouse in Bohemia.
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News - August 7, 2008
Where the locker room meets the footlights
Disney’s High School Musical
at Airport Playhouse
Playhouse opened its production of the popular Disney movie,
High School Musical,
last Saturday at 1 p.m. to a packed house. Before and after the show, and
during intermission, kids begged their parents to buy them memorabilia sold at
Based on the
original movie written by Peter Barsocchini,
High School Musical
hilarious view of high school culture and can entertain people young and old
with the catchy songs written by a crew of 10 talented people.
Erik Mischke played
the part of preppy jock Troy excellently, and complemented Kristen Digilio’s
performance as the studious new student with a great voice at East
High, Gabriella Montez.
Sharpay and Ryan
Evans, played by Lisa Ganz and Patrick Grossman, are the East High Drama Club
president and vice president, respectfully, and these twins cracked the
audience up with their coordinating outfits and deceitful plots, one of which
included lying to a teacher, to remain heirs to the drama throne.
Chad, played by
Billy Aberle, and Taylor, played by Emily Dowdell, are Troy and Gabriella’s
sidekicks. Taylor befriends Gabriella immediately upon meeting her, but then
realizes Gabriella’s intelligence, and asks her for help in a science group
tournament. Chad and the rest of Troy’s basketball teammates put Troy under
pressure to help them win their biggest game of the season.
their friends, Troy and Gabriella met on vacation during winter recess and
sang karaoke together. The two discovered they both love singing and secretly
want to try out for the school musical.
When Sharpay finds
out that Gabriella and Troy are interested in auditioning, she concocts a plan
to make sure nothing gets in her or her brother’s way of playing the
lead roles. Her brother, Ryan, is more level headed and tries to get his
sister out of her diva zone several times, to no avail.
The play starts off
with the attention- grabbing “Wildcats” (the school mascot) cheer. Five
“cheerleaders” get the rest of the cast cheering along with them in this fun
number in the first act was "Get'cha Head in the Game", sung by Troy and his
jock buddies. The actors each bounced a basketball in rhythm while singing
about how Troy needs to forget about the musical and his new crush on
Gabriella in order to win the big game.
Bound by their
loyalty to their friends and other school activities, Troy and Gabriella
attempt to forgo the tryouts and win the big game and the big science
tournament because, unfortunately, all three are scheduled for the same day at
the same time, which forces the couple to choose.
After singing, "The
Start of Something New", Troy and Gabriella seem sad but know what they have
to do. The friends who had put pressure on them to choose where their
loyalty lies, suddenly feel bad for taking part in making their friends
unhappy and devise a plan that will allow Troy to play in the championship
game (which will please his father, Coach Bolton) and to try out for the
play. They also arrange for Gabriella to compete with her team at the
science tournament and also audition.
In a heartwarming,
yet predictable conclusion, Troy and Gabriella play the lead in their school
musical and Sharpay apologizes for her devious behavior, while Ryan
congratulates the couple.
The basketball coach (played by Ray
Gobes Jr.) and Ms. Darbus, the drama coach, (played by Phyllis Kaye) who were
once at odds, become friends and support both sports and the arts. Disney’s
High School Musical
is slated to run at the Airport Playhouse at 218 Knickerbocker Avenue
through Aug. 24. Call 589-7588 for tickets and more information.
Disney's High School
currently being performed at The Airport Playhouse in Bohemia. It stars
Patrick Grossman as Ryan Evans, Lisa Ganz as Sharpay Evans, Kristen Digilio as
Gabriella Montez, and Billy Lewis as Troy Bolton.
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News - July 17, 2008
Going overboard for romance
The Airport Playhouse performs
A lively cast occupied the Airport Playhouse stage for
their production of the cheeky 1930s musical, Anything
This show first hit Broadway in 1934, which is the year the play takes place.
With music and
lyrics by Cole Porter, Anything
a medley of fun songs and energetic dance numbers, based on the original book
by Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. An updated
version of the book was co-authored by Crouse’s son, Timothy, and John Weidman
in the late 1980s.
Most of this play
is set on board the S.S.
a ship heading for London from New York City, but the play opens in a bar on
the west side, with Billy Crocker, a Wall Street broker played by Brett
Frederick, scrambling to get onboard to be reunited with his love, Hope
Harcourt. Before he boards the ship, he is serenaded by Reno Sweeney, an
entertainer, in the sultry song, “I Get a Kick Out of You.”
Reno, played by
Jennifer Roller, is a confident character, who makes a move on Billy, but is
let down when Billy explains he is in love with Hope, who is set to marry the
British Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Reno and Billy then board the transatlantic
ship, and the sailors, captain and crew welcome them with the song, “There’s
No Cure Like Travel.”
occupants then sing “Bon Voyage,” a silly song in which the cast says farewell
to New York. As Billy questions whether Hope is even interested in him, Reno
reminds him of all his wonderful attributes and he responds by saying how
wonderful she is in “You’re the Top.”
Moonface Martin, a
second-rate gangster in the disguise of a priest, played by Sean Burbige, and
his side-kick, Erma, played by Kristen Digilio, offer much comic relief to the
Digilio stole the
show with the songs “Heaven Hop” and “Buddie, Beware,” in which she showcased
her acting chops and great voice. The well-known song “Friendship,” sung by
Reno and Moonface, shows a sweet side of the gangster and a soft side to the
often outspoken Reno.
when the captain of the ship believes that public enemy number one, also known
as “Snake Eyes,” is onboard and is excited to have a “celebrity” on board.
For some reason,
the captain believes Snake Eyes to be Billy. Moonface, Erma and Billy team up
to provide a disguise for Billy so he can roam the ship for Hope undetected by
the captain and crew.
In the moving song,
“All Through the Night,” Hope and Billy sing separately about their longing
for one another. The pair also shows off their harmonious voices in the song,
“It’s DeLovely,” another popular Cole Porter song.
and Billy end up together as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh falls in love with Reno,
which greatly upsets the wealth-obsessed Mrs. Harcourt.
At times, this
musical’s storyline seemed absurd and the segues into some of the songs seemed
choppy, but though the plot may not be plausible, the title of the play should
help the audience keep in mind the light-hearted nature of the show.
directed the production, with musical direction by Paula Willis and
choreography by Patrick Grossman. The stage manager was Casey Clark, with set
design by Christopher Kenyon, lighting design by Keri Haas, costume design by
Christine Latham, and technical direction by Tim David.
the Airport Playhouse on Knickerbocker Avenue, runs through July 27. Visit
airportplayhouse.com or call 589-7588 for more information.
Sweeney, played by Jennifer Roller (center), surrounded by her "angels", Courtney Kenyon, Lisa Ganz, Michelle Mazzola and Marquez Stewart in
Airport Playhouse's production of
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News - March 20, 2008
Beauty is in the eye of the contestant
Playhouse presents the humorous musical Pageant
If an opening night performance is any
indication of how the rest of the shows will fare, Airport Playhouse’s
production of the musical Pageant will continue to rouse audiences’
funny bones into April.
Opening night last Friday
ran smoothly; as smooth as a play can run with six men dressed up as
beauty queens competing against each other for the annual “Glamouresse” beauty
Similar only in theory to the
Miss America beauty pageant, Glamouresse’s pageant judges Miss
Industrial Northeast, Miss Texas, Miss Bible Belt, Miss Great Plains,
Miss West Coast, and Miss Deep South, in categories such as talent,
gowns, bathing suit, and “spokes model.”
Debbie D’Amore directed
Pageant with the original book and lyrics written by Bill Russell and
Frank Kelly and music by Albert Evans. This musical is unique in that members
of the audience are chosen as judges who determine the winner of the
pageant. Not only does that add an element of surprise for the actors, but
it also adds to the excitement of the audience, as they are an
interactive part of the show.
The host of the pageant,
Frankie Cavilier (played by Jon Rivera), was a perfect complement to the
“beauty queens” who twirled on the stage around him at the beginning of
the show. The somewhat sleazy character of Frankie was amusing and Rivera
worked the audience into laughter on several occasions.
“Natural Born Females” was
the first number performed by the cast. In white dresses, the girls showed
off their dance moves and surprisingly feminine bodies through the use
of stuffing (in the appropriate places), wigs and make-up.
Then host Frankie sang
“Something Extra” as a way to express how he thinks all the contestants are
special and have that certain something that makes them stand out.
Miss Texas (played by
Michael McAuliffe) literally kicked off the talent portion of the show with
her “Texas Tap” dance. Clad in a cowboy hat and Texas garb, McAuliffe
ambled onto the stage on a wooden horse, stood up and began tapping away.
Miss Great Plains (played by
Scott Interrante) performed a poem. Interrante’s character spoke about humans
hurting the land, punctuating his words with exaggerated moves to add to the
absurdity of his talent performance.
Patrick Grossman, performing
an interpretive dance as Miss West Coast, was also a riot; the contestant told
the story of her life. Supplementing his character’s story with awkward dance
steps and interaction with the audience, Grossman proved that Miss West Coast
was more than a blonde bombshell; she was also witty and funny.
Rob Buchwald played the
dainty Miss Deep South wonderfully, using puppets for her talent
performance, and cracked the audience up while also showing a talent for
The song “Bankin’ on Jesus”
had Miss Bible Belt (played by Ronnie Green) living up to her title as
she belted out the song with great power and conviction. Multi-talented
and multi-lingual Miss Industrial Northeast (played by Michael Stegmeier) rolled
onto the stage on rollerblades while playing the accordion.
The title of Miss Glamouresse
went to Miss Deep South, who was chosen by four judges in the audience.
Conveying that she was upset to let go of the title, last year’s winner, Tawny
Jo (played by Michael Stegmeier) hesitantly crowned the new Miss Glamouresse. All
the beauty queens paraded off stage at the end of the show, dancing in the
aisles as they made their way out of the auditorium.
is slated for shows on Friday, March 28 and
Saturday, March 29 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, March 28 at 2:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April
2 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5 at 8 p.m.; and
Sunday, April 6 at 2:30 p.m.
Sunday matinees include
complimentary coffee and bagels, the April 2, 2 p.m. show is a senior matinee, with tickets at $14 and complimentary coffee and cake. All tickets
are $14 and $22. The Airport Playhouse is located at 218 Knickerbocker Avenue.
Call 589-7588 for reservations and more information.
Pageant is currently being
performed at the Airport Playhouse in Bohemia. The cast includes Jon Rivera as
Frankie Cavilier (tuxedo), Scott Interrante as Miss Great Plains, Michael
McAuliffe as Miss Texas, Patrick Grossman as Miss West Coast, Ronnie Green as
Miss Bible Belt, and
Rob Buchwald as Miss Deep South.
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