Lots going on lately
First of all.. non theatre related news, The job search presses on and I seem to be stuck in rut. Sometimes it is hard to not get discouraged. Earlier this afternoon I had an interview at Nashua Center for a receptionist position. It went really well. I think this would be a great place to work. I find out on Wednesday if I got the position. This would be a fantastic job for me. Nashua Center is place in Nashua which provides services for people with disabilities. Keeping fingers crossed.
Summer has been filled with job searching, vacations and lots of theatre going. I was on vacation for a week at the beginnning of July and then took a mini-vacation to Meredith to see Princess K.I.M. The Musical Junior and Miss Saigon at Interlakes Summer Theatre. I was really proud of the Junior Intern Company at Interalkes Summer Theatre for how well they did with Princess K.I.M. The Musical Junior. Miss Saigon was certainly a poweful piece of musical theatre but I found the subject matter to be a a bit depresing. During my vacation in Hull I went to the American Idol concert in Boston with Julie and Jen. The concert was pretty amazing. AS the tickets for the concert were very expensive I have a lot of doubt I will go to the concert next year….or that I will even watch American Idol at all since I have generally lost interest in watching it.
August started off with a bang. I tried to organize a get together with the PTA people but due to schedules it did not work out so I had to cancel it. They aren’t doing the karaoke party at Jasper Valley anymore which is kind of let down/ I’ve really looked forward to that the past couple of years.
I have seen three shows in the past couple weeks and they have all been fantastic. On August 8th I saw Anything Goes at the Amato Center
it was quite honestly one of the best shows I have seen there. How many shows do you see that get a standing ovation at the end of the first act? Not many I assure you. My favorite musical numbers were Blow Gabriel Blow, It’s Deloverly. Friendship and I Get A Kick Out Of You. Everyone in this company is amazing but standout performances were by Olivia Vordenberg, Patrick McKnight, Emily Borne and Julie Harris,. Anything Goes ran at the Amato Center from August 7-9 and was put on by the Riverbend Youth Company Alumni Company. Congrats to all class of 2014 graduates and best of luck to you all in college.
PS The PTA did Anything Goes 30 years ago and need to consider doing it again because I think it would be such a fun show to do. Jackie and Rita I hope you are reading this :)
I would just like to say that The Little Mermaid has always been my favorite Disney movie of all time. I was very excited when I heard that they doing the Little Mermaid Jr at the Amato Center this summer. Everyone in this group is incredibly talented and I am proud of the whole cast crew and production team on an amazing performance! My favorite songs aside from my ultimate favorite Part of Your World were She’s In Love, Human Stuff and One Step Closer. Great job everyone and I love you all!
Sunday Matt Sonya Jen and I went to Meredith to go see The Wiz at Interlakes Summer Theatre. I would have to say that this is probably high on my list of favorite musicals.. The musical numbers are very up beat and fun to listen too. My favorite songs were Ease On Down The Road, No Bad News and Y’All Got It. Stand out performances were by Naisa Thomas, Kellinn Dicarlo, Darius Nelson and Darius Jordan Lee. Congrats to the Interlakes Summer Theate Intern Company on a great season.
My audition went well for Young Frankenstien with Actorsingers went well. I did not get cast but I plan on working backstage but I do not know in what capacity yet. I am also doing props for Passion For Dracula at the Amato Center which I am excited. Also I am joining the Souhegan Valley Chorus which I am very excited about. Still debating staying in YMCA Choir… I think it might be better for my schedule just to do SVC.
Hope everyone is having a great summer. My birthday is in 9 days. Happy birthday to all fellow thespians with August birthdays and also congrats to my co-worker Meagan on her wedding this weekend. :)
Riverbend Youth Company to Perform Anything Goes
by Janine Leffler
The Riverbend Youth Company Alumni Troupe will set sail with their performance of Cole Porter’s classic musical Anything Goes this August at the Amato Center. The Alumni troupe consists of former members of the Riverbend Youth Company and current high school students. Anything Goes is co-directed by Patrick O’Mara and Isaiah Wilson Silvia Chandley, music direction by Karina Bertrand and choreography by Silvia Chandley. The co-directors are home from college for the summer and have decided to join their talents to put on this alumni production. When asked why he and O’Mara and selected Anything Goes for this year’s Alumni Show, Silvia Chandley said, ” I think the show highlights so many important qualities of theater and is able to highlight the talents of our theater program at the Amato Center. Silvia Chandley continued by saying, “My favorite dance number in the show is the title number Anything Goes. This number is a full company tap number, which is rare to see in community theater. The cast is able to share the stage and create moments while performing alongside one another. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s classic and true Broadway.”
Olivia Vordenberg, a recent graduate of Souhegan High School is playing Reno Sweeney. When asked what she likes best about playing her character she said, “She has it all…confidence, money, fame. All that she doesn’t have is love. And through the course of this show she finds it, and it takes her by surprise.” Vordenberg continued by saying ” I like the song “I Get a Kick Out of You” because of the musicality and sweetness of it.” Vordenberg heads off to Pace University in New York City this fall to study acting and the thing she will miss the most about doing shows at the Amato Center is the sense of family. “With the support from the Boys and Girls Club, anyone can be who they wish to be, and it is an incredible gift.”
Fellow Souhegan Graduate Jennifer Brisebois shared similar sentiments about moving on from the Amato Center. ” A bittersweet part about working on this show is working with Isaiah as choreographer. He is one of my best friends and this will be the last Riverbend show we do together before heading our separate ways.” Brisebois plays an Angel in Anything Goes and enjoys playing this role because of the different dance styles that the other angels bring to the table. She heads off to University of Connecticut this fall. Her favorite memory of doing shows at the Amato Center is directing her all dance production Groovin On The Go this past winter. ” It was great to see my own vision come to life! My favorite numbers were Rose of Jericho and Around The World.”
Emma Ayotte returns to the Amato Center this summer after finishing her first year at the Young Americans School for Performing Arts in California. To her what sets the alumni shows apart from the other shows is the passion and energy you see on the stage. “My character is a Broadway Showgirl and I have never played that kind of role before. The dancing is awesome and Julie and Mickey did a great job designing the costumes.”
Anything Goes will be performed by the Riverbend Youth Company Alumni at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts in Milford, NH August 7th, 8th and 9th at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Anchors away for an amazing show!
This article will be published in the Cabinet, Citizen and Amherst Patch
Anything Goes Cast Member Profile
Liam Conway is a sophomore at Souhegan High School where he recently appeared in Our Town and Once Upon A Mattress. He makes his Riverbend Youth Company debut in Anything Goes as Elisha Whitney. For Conway what sets the alumni productions apart from other shows is that they flesh out the character. Conway’s favorite scene in the play is the final scene where he shows up at the wedding blind after losing his glasses and yells at someone who he thinks is Billy. His favorite song from the show is Bon Voyage because all the bass singers have a very prominent role.
Anything Goes Cast Member Profile
Jenn Brisebois is a recent graduate of Souhegan High School. She commented on the alumni shows, “The quality of the shows is much better than other shows throughout the year because we have all gone through the ranks of doing shows at the club and also have lots of outside of experience in music, dance and theatre.” In Anything Goes Brisebois is playing one of the Angels and she feels that the interesting thing about playing her character is seeing the different dance styles that all the Angels bring to the table. Her favorite song is Let’s Step Out because it is jazzy and catchy. Anything Goes is a bittersweet show for Brisebois because it is her last time working with the family of Riverbend performers including her best friend Isaiah Silvia Chandlery, before she goes off to UConn in the Fall. Brisebois’s favorite memory of doing shows for the Amato Center was directing her all dance production Groovin On The Go.
Anything Goes Cast Member Profile
Devereaux Merchant is an incoming sophomore at Emerson College where she is studying Education with an acting focus. What Merchant likes best about the alumni shows is that everyone comes back and it is great to be reunited with everyone after being away at school. The thing that sets Anything Goes apart from last year’s production of Cinderella is the dancing. “There is a lot of tap dancing in this show and Cinderella was a lot more acting heavy.” Merchant is playing Mrs. Harcourt and her favorite scene is the opening scene. “My character is an old lady who wants the best for her daughter.” When asked what she looked forward to about the performances she responded, “The curtain call because of the audience feedback.”
Anything Goes Cast Member Profile
Patrick McKnight is a 2013 graduate of Souhegan High School and currently attends Eckerd College in St Petersburg Florida where he will be a sophomore this fall. Patrick feels what sets this production apart is that all cast members have done shows before. When asked why he auditioned for Anything Goes McKnight said “I have seen the show before but have never been in it and also have never tap danced before.” McKnight plays Lord Evelyn Oakleigh and enjoys the comic relief that his character provides. His favorite song in the show is Blow Gabriel Blow because it is a huge choral number where everyone sings together. McKnight can’t wait to see how everything comes together onstage.
Anything Goes Cast Member Profile
Olivia Vordenberg is a recent graduate of Souhegan High School. When asked what she likes best about her character, Reno Sweeney, Vordenberg said, “She has it all…confidence, money, fame. All that she doesn’t have is love, and through the course of this show she finds it, and it takes her by surprise.” Vordenberg’s favorite song is I Get A Kick Of You because of it’s musicality and sweetness.
As Vordenberg prepares to head off in the fall to Pace University to study acting she says the thing she will miss most about doing shows at the Amato Center is the sense of family. “With the support from the Boys and Girls Club, anyone can be who they wish to be, and it is an incredible gift.”
These profiles will be posted on the Facebook Page for Riverbend Youth Company!
Have a great opening cast! Can’t wait to see the show on Friday night!
Friday night I went to the senior cabaret at Peacock Players. This was a salute to all the seniors who are graduating high school and it was a wonderful way to send them off. They had some slide show presenations and a scholarship award for the Jared Nathan Memorial Scholarship. I got emotional a few times.. once during the presentation of the scholarship because I knew Jared and he was truly an inspirational person. I am so glad the scholarship is given out every year and feel it represents what he stood for very well. Trisha Mahoney and Joe Reault got the award. There was a great variety of songs performed that night including Someone Else’s Story from Chess, Leavin’s Not The Only Way To Go from Big River, Fly Away (Never Never Land) from Dreaming Wide Awake, A Way Back To Then from Title of Show and Astonishing from Little Women. I think I will probably be buying a lot of these songs on itunes!! :)
My co star from the PTA play Olivia Vordenberg has been involved in Peacock Playeres for a couple of years. I think out of all the people who graduated from the PTA play group I am probably going to miss her the most. I am really so happy to have gotten to know her through working on the plays. She is an amazing person and I know she will do great things after high school.
Congrats to all Peacock Players, Riverbend Youth Company and PTA seniors. Seize the day class of 2014.
Summer has arrived.. still missing my PTA crew but looking forward to the karaoke party at Jasper Valley in August. I am sort of bummed because I found out about a month ago that they couldn’t get the rights to Beauty and The Beast so next year’s PTA play is going to be CATS. I think no matter what the show should be very fun to work on. So yes… let’s get jellicle. :)
Also congratulations to all the PTA seniors who graduated last night. I am so happy to have gotten the chance to know all of you in the past couple years and will miss working with you a great deal. Congrats class of 2014.
I ultimately decided not to audition for Sound of Music in Manchester because of distance. I will definitley go to see the show though. In between now and auditions I will be working backstage for the Riverbend Youth Company Alumni production of Anything Goes at the beginning of August. I am looking forward to trying something new this year and assistant stage managing. Right now I am deciding between auditioning for Young Frakentstien with Actorsingers and Kiss Me Kate with Stagecoach Productions. I am pretty used to auditioning for both of these companies by now so I know what to expect. Hopefully my luck will change this time around. I am also going to audition for the Holiday Show at the Amato Center. They are doing one act plays this year and that should be lot of fun. :)
My choir concerts for the YMCA Chorus are coming up on June 23rd and June 29th. I do hope people will come. We have a wonderful line up of Broadway tunes. I have included a link below to our poster which has all the information about showtimes and locations.
I think the biggest challenge with promoting the Y choir is the fact that Music and Art classes are not the first thing people think about when they think about the YMCA. When people sign up for classes they don’t immediately think “Oh hey, I’m going to join choir or take voice lessons.” The thing most people associate with the YMCA is fitness. This is why we seem to be running into issues with getting people to join the chorus. Currently our choir has 8 members and we are hoping to get more people to join for the fall semester that starts in September. I think that being in this choir has really helped me to grow as a performer but at this point I am ready to be part of a bigger performing group and sing more challenging songs. This fall I am planning to join the Souhegan Valley Chorus and I am pretty excited. For awhile I will attempt to do both choirs but if my schedule ends up getting too confusing with too many overlapping rehearsals and performances I may just stick with SVC.
Happy summer friends!!
2 show weekends. Both shows end their runs today and they were fantastic.
Friday night I took my mom to see Smile at the Amato Center for a Mother’s Day present. I make it a goal to try to introduce myself to a new show and I was happy that I chose this one. This is set in 1985 at the Young American Miss Beauty Pageant in Santa Rosa California. What was great about this show is that it’s not very well known and not really done a lot by other theaters so it was a welcome change of pace for me then seeing a show that is done more frequently such as Grease,Chicago or Annie. This show was a great mix of funny and touching moments. Standout performances were by Alyssa Lederhos, Max Barnaby, John Sheridan, Meghan McKnight and Nicole Sprague. Congrats to cast crew and production team on a wonderful show!!
Smile ran at the Amato Center May 8th-11th and was directed by Elizabeth Moore, music directed by Brian Moore and choreographed by Liz Calabria.
Last night I saw Music Man at Actorsingers with Sonya and Matt. I had to refrain from making too many comparisons to the production I was in with the Amherst PTA 3 years ago. Like most Actorsigers shows this cast was comprised of a diverse group of talented people. Aside from the Quartet and the Pickalittle Ladies standouts were Cayden Plummer as Winthrop Paroo, Andrew Holland as Tommy Diljas, Katie Tocci as Zaneeta Shinn. My favorite musical numbers are Shipoopi. Til There Was You, Goodnight My Someone, Gary Indiana and My White Knight. The chase scene at the end of the play always seems to strike me as a very emotional scene because it is when the realization comes to light for everyone in the audience that Marain and Harold are in love with each other.
Great job to everyone in Music Man on a wonderful production.
Music Man ran at Keefe Auditiorium at Elm Street Junior High School in Nashua from May 9th-11th and was directed by Kathy Lovering, music directed by Jed Holland and choreographed by Martha Daniels Holland.
Still searching for song suggestions for my fall auditions. I have more time to prepare then I thought because all the auditions are in August and September. I have a feeling some auditions may overlap. Sound of Music auditions have not been announced yet but are at the end of August. Young Frankenstien auditions are August 10th and Kiss Me Kate auditions are sometime in early September. Most likely I am going to audition for ensemble for Kiss Me Kate and Young Frakentstien. I am an alto but can sing some soprano parts. Thanks Friends!
Hello! I have not posted a note worthy update in quite a long while, Lots to talk about. Quite a few shows to review!
First of all I wanted to talk about my trip to California. It was a nice mini vacation filled with sight seeing and of course my sister’s awards presentation. Her documentary won an award for highlighting people with disabilities and she got a scholarship!! I couldn’t be prouder of her. If you have not watched the documentary yet check it out here. http://vimeo.com/66667353
Lots of ground to cover with reviews too!! Wow I am so behind again!
March 30th I went to the see The Producers at The Palace Theatre in Manchester. It is by far one of my favorite musicals and so incredibly funny. Favorite songs include That Face, I Want To Be A Producer and Keep It Gay. Notable performances were by Stuart Harmon, Erin Sullivan, Marc Willis and Brendan Malafronte. Great job to cast and crew on a wonderful performance!
Before I left for California I went to the Jazz Night at Souhegan. I always enjoy going to these concerts because there is always such a great variety of music and I am always introduced to something new. The concert featured the Amherst Middle School Jazz Band, The Manchester West Jazz Band, The Alvirne High School Jazz Band, SHS Jazz Band and META Beat a Beatles Cover Band. Favorite songs were Watermelon Man (AMS), Attitude Dance (Manchester West), Sweet Home Chicago (Alvirne) and Almost Like Being In Love (SHS) Meta Beat was pretty awesome! Good luck to Jason Emmond, Dan O’Dowd and the rest of the seniors on your post high school endeavors.
Saturday night I went to the Souhegan Valley Chorus Concert A Night On Broadway. I am really hoping to join this chorus in the fall. There was lots of good variety in the songs and my favorites were Unusual Way, Beauty and The Beast, Always Look On The Bright Side of Life, Many A New Day and Climb Every Mountain Great job to all!! :)
Upcoming shows I will be seeing/ reviewing Music Man Actorsingers, SHS Spring Concert
Summer Viewing Schedule
June 8th Straw Hat Revue New London Barn Playhouse
July 9th American Idol Concert Bank North Pavilion Boston MA
July 17th Princess K.I.M. The Musical Interlakes Summer Theatre JR Interns
August 3 A Midsummer Night’s Dream Shakespeare In The Park
*August 8 Anything Goes Riverbend Youth Co
*August 15 Little Mermaid Jr YouTheatre
August 17th The Wiz Interlakes Summer Theatre
July Sound Of Music Manchester Community Theatre Players Exact dates have not been announced yet
August 10th Young Frankentstein Actorsingers
September Kiss Me Kate Stagecoach Productions Exact dates haven’t been announced yet
October Milford Area Players/ Riverbend Youth Company Holiday Show 1 Act Plays
Looking for song suggestions for my auditions for SOM, Young Frakenstien and Kiss Me Kate. For roles I am considering one of the nuns or the Baroness For Young Frakenstien I haven’t really decided on what role I am auditioning for yet. For Kiss Me Kate learning toward ensemble. I am an alto but can sing some soprano parts.
Seussical is over! Best PTA Play i’ve ever been involved with .. top rated 10!!! So happy to back with this group after taking a year off after launching Princess K.I.M. The Musical. Looking so forward to Beauty and The Beast next year.
I also should mention that if you really think long and hard about Horton Hears A Who it in very relevant to the current societal ways of bullying. As Demi observes through out the story the jungle creatures are not very understanding about the Whos and basically think Horton is insane wiihout even knowing the whole story about Whoville. As the songs say the they think “he is talking to a speck of dust.” Gertrude is the only person who truly believes in Horton and the fact that Whos exist. Another thing I noticed is that I can relate to Gertrude’s character that I can relate to her in a lot of ways. In high school I was often the odd one out in relationships. I was very much like Gertrude because she is shy around Horton and not sure how to express her feelings for him. Mayzie is a representation of all the popular girls in high school that I often envied… in this case it was more the case of Abercombie and Fitch clothes then long flowing colorful tails. I was also bullied in high school and often teased for being different because of my learning disabilities so I can relate to how Horton is hurt by being judged by the jungle creatures.
People may have different views of how they see this story unfold and this is mine. I hope that my analysis is relevant to the way society is today. While I’m not sure that is what Dr. Seuss was aiming for with the story Horton Hears A Who that’s what I got out of this show. To me this is about accepting people’s differences which is what the characters do by the end of the play.
Thank you to the PTA for an awesome and powerful experience. This show will stick with me for a long time. While not very many of the seniors did the play this year I also wanted to give a shout out to them. It has been awesome to work with you all in the past 4 years and I wish you all the best of luck in college. Thanks for sharing your talents both on stage and behind. :)