Last semester in my brief stint with YMCA chorus our theme was Thankfulness and one of the songs we were singing was Thank You For The Music. This is my favorite song from the musical Mamma Mia. March is Music In Our Schools Month and I felt I should talk a little bit about music. In 7th grade my Wells Speech was about music & the deep connections I have with it and the impact It has had on my life.
On the Oscars Lady Gaga did a mind blowing medley of songs from The Sound Of Music in honor of the 50th annniversary of the movie. I had never heard her sing like that ….not to mention she looked gorgeous. The Sound Of Music has had a profound affect on me as it was the first movie musical I saw that got me interested in musicals and musical theatre. To this day it is my favorite movie of all time.
I think music is a universal language that everyone can relate to in some way, shape or form. If you think for a second about songs from musicals or just songs you hear on the radio there are songs out there that would fit this topic. Music has been an exceptionally huge part of my life. I starteed being involved in music in 3rd grade playing the drums in the school band. I would continue with that for 5 years. In 5th grade I joined chorus and haven’t stopped being involved since. (With the exception of taking a break from singing in college) One thing that I have enjoyed about being involved in music & musical theatre over the past 19 years is the sense of friendship and family you build with whatever group your are performing with. I have fond memories of going on trips to New York & Disney World and memories I am making with The Amherst PTA, Actorsingers, Riverbend Youth Company and Souhegan Valley Chorus only continue to grow.
As people know I am a huge fan of musicals however the scope of my musical interests does not simply settle on that. Over the years I have listened to pop, classic rock, jazz and classical and I have come across a song in every genre that I have enjoyed listening to. My friends have introduced me to groups such as The Fray,Panic! At The Disco, Dashboard Confessional & Washington Social Club.
“Without a song or a dance what are we so I say thank your for the music for giving it to me.” Thank You For The Music Mamma Mia
AH! Here we are again… my NH Theatre Awards Summary Entry. Last night’s show was great…. though I have to admit sometimes a bit anticlimactic. I love how the NHTAS bring together all the different theatre companies from around the state. I always try to make it a mission to try to get to some theatres I’ve never gone to but my schedule does not allow it.. hopefully this year I’ll do a little research and see what shows are playing where and then go. This year I did not get a chance to make predictions like I normally would. I’ve actually had a bad track record of predicting things… in the past couple of years only 2 PTA predictions have come out accurate. I decided to try out not going into the awards show with any pre-conceived notions of who would win… and yet somehow I end up disappointed anyway.
Shows I saw this year that were nominated
The Music Man 6 nominations No top 3 :(
Young Frankenstien 7 nominations Top 3: Music Director Judy Hayward Best Supporting Actress Top 3 Mia Beradi and Rachel Cerrullo Winner: Rachel Cereullo Best Supporting Actor Eric Skoglund
Kiss Me Kate 5 nominations 1 Top 3 Best Actress Sarah Murai
Beyond Therapy Milford Area Players 5 Nominations 1 top 3 Amy Agostino Best Supporting Actress
Let’s review the past couple years of PTA nominations. I see a bit a trend developing here.
Please note also that I am only listing the shows I have been involved with I am not sure of the stats for anything earlier than 2011.
2011 The Music Man 7 nominations 3 top 3 Ashley won best Actress
2012 Oklahoma 8 Nominations 3 top 3 Nick Hammes won best supporting actor
2013 Meet Me In St Louis 4 Nominations Margaret got top 3 for best actress No winners
2014 Seussical 7 Nominations Sophie got top 3 and won for best Actress. So happy for her!! I am disappointed that we weren’t quite as successful in the other catergoies. I understand the adjudicators have to make a lot of tough descions when they are picking the winners but I think Seussical was BY FAR the best show that the PTA has done in the past 10 years (aside from Annie and Oklahoma which were my favorites for obvious reasons but there were lots of other great shows in between) and was really overlooked in a lot of ways.. maybe I have my own bias and the adjudicators have theirs but that’s just how I feel.
Peacock Players won multiple awards for Spring Awakening and The Addams Family. Two shows I wish I had seen.
Congratulations to all top 3 nominees and winners!!
In general I think that there is a lot favoritism in the Theatre Awards and a lot of the same companies win every year which puts other groups at a disadvantage. I am not sure how many people feel the same way. I also feel that being adjudicated for the PTA puts a lot of extra stress on us to do a good job which sucks the enjoyment out of being in the play. I’ve felt this way for awhile and wonder how many of my cast mates feel the same way. Recognition is well and good but our focus should be centered on putting on a good show for the community and raising money for the Amherst Schools not winning awards. Do other people feel the same way or am I alone in feeling like this?
I think I need to take a step back for a second reevaluate how often I will be updating this blog. I am making more use of the Facebook page as a place to post reviews so I question I am going to keep the physical blog up much longer. I will try very hard to update this blog at least once a week… twice if I go see a show and write a review. I will also try to review shows right away after I see them instead of waiting so long between entries… I do despise keeping you all hanging. Deepest apologies for that.
Leading up to Saturday’s NHTAs I have been doing a top 20 countdown of favorite songs from shows I have seen in the past year. Some songs are from shows that didn’t get nominated ( these are the snubs I feel)
Videos I have posted so far:
The countdown should wrap up by Thursday or Friday and the top 6 songs will be revealed in my wrap up entry about the NHTAS (Naturally you will see the videos on Facebook before then.)
#20 King Of New York from Newsies This was one of my favorite numbers from the all dance production of Groovin on The Go that Jenn Brisebois directed for her senior project. I must remember to rent this movie again/ I have not seen in awhile.
#19 Too Darn Hot from Kiss Me Kate This show was not too long ago at the beginning of December and was put on by Stagecoach Productions. This show was directed by Joel Iwaskewiz Chreographed by Laura Iwaskewiz and music directed by the thrice nominated Judy Hayward. This song definitely had me snapping a long. I like to introduce myself to a new show every year and this one was one of my favorites
#18 and #11 Disneyland and Smile from Smile The Musical I do admit that most of this countdown mostly does a huge amount of sucking up to Riverbend Youth Company and Actorsingers. These two are from Smile The Musical which was last spring’s Riverbend Youth Company production. I really thought what made this show so unique is that is so unknown by a lot of people which made all the more fun to see. A weclcome change from shows that are done all the time such as Sound Of Music
#17 Attitude Dance Diversion #1 away from showtunes. One thing I really enjoy about the Jazz Nights at Souhegan is the fact that so many jazz bands from many different local schools perform. This particular song was performed by the jazz band from Manchester High School West.
#16 and #13 Good Night My Someone and Shipoopi from The Music Man It was a toss up between Good Night My Someoone and Til There Was You two utterly fantasic love songs… I am a helpless romantic what can I say? Shipoopi is such a fun dance number!
#15 Bend And Snap Hands down my favorite song from Legally Blonde The Musical. This dance number was so fun to watch and it’s hilarious to boot
#14 Interplanet Janet School House Rock Jr It was great to see this play after not seeing it in such a long time. I saw the full version back in 1998 when the PTA did. My other favorite songs from the show were Do The Circulation, UnPack Your Adjectives and Conjunction Junction.
#12 Minister’s Cat Scrooge The Musical This was a very fun scene and this song was a lot of fun. The next song from Scrooge is in the top 5 but I will not tell you which one it is!
#10 Anything Goes from Anything Goes I love the Riverbend Alumni Shows because it always fun to see the alumni come back during the summer and work with the current high school students. I have seen Anything Goes two other times but this was definitely my favorite performance of it. Anything Goes was definitely my favorite number in the show and deserved the standing ovation it received.
#9 Fairytales by Alex Preston American Idol fever swept through Amherst/MT Vernon as Mt Vernon’s own Alex Preston took the show by storm with his unique sound. All his music is amazing and I can’t wait until his EP comes out.
#8 Translyvania Mania Young Frankenstien Loved this song.. the music was catchy and I wanted to get up and dance along to it.
The biggest change you will note in this blog is newspaper articles. Right now I am taking a break from doing PR for theatre shows while I help my mom promote her new book which is about me growing up with a disability and being bullied. I am also taking this time to reevaluate weather or not I still want to PR. Over the past couple years I’ve found that I work hard to write articles and sometimes they not get published in the newspaper. While there have been some occasions where space has been an issue it just gets so frustrating that I spend so much time doing interviews and then my work does not get published. Other times it does get published but it doesn’t get name credit which also perturbs me. I know this probably is not a good selling point for wanting to do publicity stuff with other theatre companies ( I am not only talking about PTA either) but I just feel like it’s a lack of respect for the hard work I do to not get name credit in the paper. I may change my mind about doing PR by the fall but we will see what happens with that.
One goal I’ve set for myself is to try something new with backstage work. That is already going to be accomplished because I am Assistant Sound Designer for the PTA play CATS. Initally I was not even excited about doing CATS because it’s not my favorite show ever but I can’t wait for this new experience! I also want to try assistant stage managing eventually or something new in the front of house or production team capacity. We’ll see what happens with that.
Stay tuned for my theatre awards wrap up later this weekend!! Also enjoy the Super Bowl! Go PATS!
Happy New Year everyone. Be safe in the storm!
Ok, so open admittance I do a really crappy job of updating this blog… though on occasion I did post reviews directly to the Facebook page for this blog which works the same way. One of my new years resolutions is to do a better job with updating.. this also depends on how busy I am because I am once again on the job hunt and that is my main focus right now. I wanted to do a year in review post of all the shows I saw in 2014. It was a great year. I took a picture of all the playbills I have saved… there are some missing because my box was too full and I had to throw some away once I wrote the review.
February was a pretty busy viewing month as I saw Groovin On The and Almost Maine and in March I saw Peter Pan at Nashua South, The One Act Play Festival at the Amato Center Grease at Pentucket Regional High School (my cousin Olivia was a pink lady) Beyond Therapy and The Producers.. I will get to listing NHTA Awards later. The NHTA nominations were released on December 19th and I am excited for all the shows I saw or was involved with that got nominated.. we’ll get to the nominations at the end.
In April I was in my 4th play with the PTA. As people know I had a lot of personal connection to the story of this show. If you read the chapter Exit Music in my character anaylsis fanfiction you will see what I mean. I love my PTA family! That is all.
The thing I liked best about this musical was that it is not very well known unlike the musicals that are done all the time (ie Sound Of Music, Wizard of Oz etc) Riverbend Youth Company always done fantastic with their shows and this one as well as Little Shop of Horrors and Scrooge were no exception. My favorite songs were Disneyland, Shine and Smile.
Every summer I go to Meredith NH to go see a show at Interlakes Summer Theatre. This summer my the junior version of my mother’s Princess K.I.M. Play which was excellently done by the Junior Intern Company. I saw Miss Saigon and The Wiz put on by the adult company. Miss Saigon was not one of my favorite musicals… I have to be honest. I found to be kind of depressing and there were very few songs that stood out to me. The Wiz was fantastic and my favorite songs are definitely Ease On Down The Road, Y’All Got It and No Bad News.
The Riverbend Youth Company Summer shows this year were The Little Mermaid Jr and Anything Goes. Probably my favorite two shows of the year by far!! I had never seen The Little Mermaid on stage before so I was super excited that RYC selected it for their summer show. This show was student directed by Katy Osterholtz music directed by Megan Dillon and choreographed by Meghan McKnight. Anything Goes was the alumni show which features the talents of all the current high school students and college students who are home for the summer. My favorite musical numbers included Friendship, Blow Gabriel Blow, Anything Goes, You’re The Top and I Get A Kick Out Of You, I really look forward to the summer show this year! :)
In October I worked backstage for Passion For Dracula with Milford Area Players. This was snubbed by the NHTAs unfortunately and I am a little upset about that. Very excited for everyone involved in Beyond Therapy that was nominated. This show had a good mix of funny and emotional scenes which I really liked a lot.
One of the funniest shows I think I saw this year! Lots of great dance numbers including Transylvania Mania and Roll In The Hay. All nominations for this show were so well deserved. Congrats to all!! Missing from the line up of playbills is the one from Music Man which is also up for numerous NHTA nominations! I can’t wait until the 31st to see who will win!
A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite holiday and Scrooge is a wonderful musical retelling. This was directed by Liz Moore, Musical Directed by Brian Moore and choreographed by Madison Calabria. My favorite musical numbers were December The 25th, Minister’s & Thank You Very Much.
ALSO Congrats to Liz and Brian Moore on the arrival of their son Royce in early December! He is adorable!!
On November 20th I saw Moon Over Buffalo at Milford High School. When I heard they were doing it I was super excited. I saw this show in Fall 2012 at Manchester Community Theatre Players and I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time. The same thing was the case this time! Kayla Bullwinkel and Lily Ayotte gave the most hysterical performances but the whole cast was talented. Congrats to all! We wrap up the 2014 viewing schedule with Kiss Me Kate at Stagecoach Productions. This show was directed by Joel Iwaskewiz, Choreographed my Laura Iwaskewi & music directed by Judy Hayward. Lots of great songs in this show including Another Openin Another Show, I am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple, I Hate Men and Too Darn Hot. Congrats to everyone involved on a great show and your NHTA nomin I was in the Christmas show at the Amato Center for the second time in a row this year and hope to make it an annual tradition. This year we did two one act plays called Carol’s Christmas and Jingle Bell Jury. The great thing about this show is that I get to work so many of my PTA friends during the off season and also get to work with new people. My friend Jeff made his acting debut in the Christmas shows and I hope this the first of many times we work together on a show. The thing I like best about the Christmas plays is how it brings families together in the spirit of the holidays. To me the holiday season is not really about presents but being around people you love. Thank you to everyone who came to the show and everyone also who sent me candy grams..,, many were not signed so I cannot personally thank them. Your support means a lot to me. :)
I also joined the Souhegan Valley Chorus this year and am so happy that I did!
2014 was an awesome year of theatre and I have no doubt that 2015 will be much of the same. Happy New Year to all!
Full List of Nominees for NHTA top 10 can be found here http://www.nhtheatreawards.org/finalist-list.aspx
What a delightful early Christmas present to find out that Seuessical was nominated for 7 New Hampshire Theatre Awards! So blessed to be part of cast and production team made up of so many talented people. Blessed also to be part of the New Hampshire theatre community and see so many amazing shows through out the year. Congratulations to all theatre companies throughout the state who were nominated. :Looking forward to January 31st and finding out who wins.
A year in review
Beyond Therapy Milford Area Players
Best Production Drama Comedy
Best Director Vick Bennison
Best Actor Kevin Linkroum
Best Actress Sarah Lord
Best Supporting Actress Amy Agostino
Best Production Community
Best Director Robin Lacroix
Best Actor Jonathan Edelbleut Cat In The Hat
Best Actress Sophie Linkroum Gertrude McFuzz
Best Supporting Actress Ashley Hughes Swanson Mayzie
Best Costume Design Paula Troie
Best Set Design Mike McKnight
The Music Man Actorsingers
Best Production Community
Best Actor Michael Coppolla as Harold Hill
Best Actress Caity Glover as Marian Paroo
Best Music Director Jed Holland
Best Choreographer Martha Daniels Holland
Legally Blonde The Musical Teen Actorsingers
Best Production Youth
Best Actress Youth Susan Dudka as Elle Woods
Best Actor Youth Sean Fitzgerald as Emmett Foresst
Best Supporting Actress Youth Jill Tokac as Paulette
Best Chreograpgher Brinttey Lynne Stanley
Young Frankenstien Actorsingers
Best Director Paul Metzger
Best Musical Director Judy Hayward (also nominated for Kiss Me Kate and Jesus Christ Superstar with Stagecoach Productions)
Best Actor Marc Murai
Best Supporting Actor Eric Skoglund and Stuart Harmon
Best Actress Sarah Souter
Best Supporting Actress Rachel Cerullo & Mia Beradi
Best Choreographer Donna O Bryant Metzger
Best Costume Designer Lindsey Vago
Best Sound Design Mike O’Keefe
Best Lighting Designer Craig Brennen, Dennis Schnieder, Rick Brooks
Kiss Me Kate Stagecoach Productions
Best Actress Sarah Murai
Shows that should have gotten nominated:
Almost Maine Peacock Players
Schoohouse Rock Jr Actorsingers Youth
Smile Riverbend Youth Company
Little Shop of Horrors Riverbend Youth Comapny
Passion For Dracula Milford Area Players
Scrooge The Musical Riverbend Youth Company
The Producers Palace Theatre
Welcome to fall! Can’t believe that September has passed by so quickly. The past couple of weeks have been quite rough dealing with the loss of my Nana Rose. My grandparents would have been married 60 years this past Friday September 26th. I miss her terribly.
On the 19th I went to see Little Shop of Horrors at the Amato Center. Alyssa Lederhos directed and chorepgraphed the show for her senior project. As with most RYC shows I was left impressed. Little Shop is in my list of top 10 favorite musicals. Favorite musical numbers included Suddenly Seymour, The Meek Shall Inherit and Mushnik and Son. Congrats to the cast and crew.
I am in the midst of a transition between choirs this year. I am still in the choir at the YMCA but plan to leave that once the year finishes. I finally joined Souhegan Valley Chorus and am so excited about being in the group! The theme this semester for YMCA Choir is Thankfulness and our line up includes Thank You For The Music from Mama Mia, Thankful by Josh Groban and the theme song from Golden Girls Thank You For Being A Friend. In SVC we are singing songs from holiday movies and the line up included Christmas Star from Home Alone 2, Welcome Christmas from How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas from Meet Me In St Louis and Hot Chocolate from Polar Express. I have been kept on my toes the past couple months between Choir rehearals, being trained at the Y to use the computer software that signs people up for classes, starting an internship at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua, doing PR for local theatre groups and helping my mom promote her new book Janine which is coming out in the spring. This year the PTA Play is CATS and I am still on the fence about auditioning because CATS is not one of my favorite shows. If I don’t audition I will probably work backstage or possibly co-produce. Might want to try something different this year. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it though.
I had an audition last weekend for Kiss Me Kate with Stagecoach Productions. I didn’t get cast but I am hoping to either work backstage or help with publicity. My next audition is for the Holiday Show at the Amato Center and the end of next month. I am excited about that! :)
I promise that next time there won’t be so much of a gap between updates!
Fall 2014 Viewing Schedule
If anyone is going to see the same shows as me and would like to co-write a review with me for this blog or submit your own review please let me know. That would be super fun!! :0)
Note: I am unable to go see Sound of Music at Manchester Community Theater Players but would like to try to go see one of the dress rehearsals. Would anyone in the cast be willing to give me a ride?
** Backstage work *** ushering
October 11th Milford Pumpkin Festival Talent Show
** Passion For Dracula Milford Area Players October 17th-26th
*** Young Frankenstien Actorsingers November 8th
*** Scrooge Riverbend Youth Company November 15th
Moon Over Buffalo Milford High School November 20th
Kiss Me Kate Stagecoach Productions Sept 22nd \
Today the audition did not go as well as I had hoped. For some reason I choked during the song but at least the monologue went well. Dance audition is on Thursday. Hope that will go well.
Holiday One Acts at the Amato Center October 27th