At 11:00 last night I came up with the idea for this fanfiction. I am still working on it and need some critical feedback on it. Much appreciated. Stay tuned on Sunday for reviews on Gyspy and The Phantom Tollbooth.
A Look Down From Heaven
An Oklahoma/Little Shop of Horrors Crossover
Notes: Picture if you will It’s A Wonderful Life where George Bailey looks down upon his life but is asked to view it from the perceptive of him not being it. This mirrors that same idea only we replace George Bailey with Jud Fry from Oklahoma & Orin from Little Shop Of Horrors both characters which die at the end of their respective shows. Jud & Laurey’s relationship was never explored very deeply in Oklahoma but I always sort of felt bad for him. I own no Oklahoma or Little Shop characters.
One day up in heaven Jud Fry and Orin Scrivello were playing some poker.
“Hey ya Jud, do you ever think about that girl you were nasty to when you were alive?” Orin asked his friend.
Jud shrugged. “ Not really very often. To her I was mostly a lousy hired hand.”
“What was her name again?”
“Do you think she still thinks about you?”
Jud shook his head. “I reckon not. The last time I saw her she was at her wedding and she looked pretty happy. What about you? Do you ever think of that girl you left behind?”
Orin nodded. “Yeah, I really wish I could apologize to her for how I treated her so bad.”
“What was her name anyway? I don’t think you talked about her.”
After their poker game they decided to go to the gate keeper and talk to him.
“Mr Gatekeeper sir, we were just wondering if we could have a look back at our lives? We treated two ladies awfully bad when we were alive and we wanted a look back on our lives to see what we could change if we could do things over again.” Orin said
The gatekeeper peered over his glasses at Orin & Jud. “Well, let’s see. Orin, you were eaten by a plant. Died in Upstate New York in 1986 correct?”
“And you Mr. Fry, you died during a fight succumbing to injuries from falling on your knife in 1902 am I right?”
Jud nodded. “Yes sir, the doctors could not save me.”
“Who would like to go first?”
Jud shrugged.”Why not?”
“Alright,let”s get on with it then”
A sight very familiar to Jud came into his view.
“That’s Aunt Eller’s farm house and there’s Miss Laurey talking to Curly McClain. Gee, I sure couldn’t stand him.”
“Why was that?”Orin asked
“He just bugged me that’s all. He was always trying to impress Laurey. He thought he was better than me when he wasn’t..even that fancy surrey didn’t impres me.”
“Everyone seemed pretty surprised when you asked Laurey to go to the box social with you.”
Jud shrugged. “I guess they didn’t expect much from a hired hand.”
“What did you do in that smokehouse all day Jud?” The gatekeeper asked.
“Just thought of what it’d be like for me & Ms. Laurey to be together. I was really hoping to ask her to marry me & take over the farm for Aunt Eller once she died. Curly stole her away from me though.”
“Did you care what other people thought of you?”
“All of Ms. Laurey’s friends always talked about me behind my back. I didn’t care though. All I cared about was getting her to be with me.’
“Did you ever stop and think that you made her feel uncomfortable and that’s why she didn’t want to go to that dance with you?” The gatekeeper asked.
“What gave any type of feeling she loved you?” Orin asked curiously.
“That day last winter when I was sick & she brought me some soup to the smokehouse. We sat real quiet for 20 minutes. I reached out and touched her hand.”
“What was her response?”
She looked into my eyes and said.”I hope the soup makes you feel better Jud. She didn’t turn away when I touched her. I don’t think she was scared of my then.”
“After that did she ever come down to the smoke house again?”
“Once but she didn’t stay for long. I don’t think the pictures I had on my wall made her feel too comfortable.”
The three looked down at a scence that was of Laurey asleep in her bed.
“When was this?”
“The girls suggested she get some rest before the Box Social.. I think at that point she was torn up about not going to the dance with Curly.”
A few minutes later the scene unfroze Jud enters the room and shook Laurey awake. “Laurey it’s time to start heading for the party.”
“How did she look then?” Orin asked.
“A little drowsy. I reckon she had a dream with me in it because when I looked in her eyes she looked mighty scared a me, like I was gonna hurt her.”
“Did you ever ask her about the dream?”
“No, just figured we’d get going to the party. Her dreams ain’t none of my business.”
What do people think so far? Have I captured Jud’s character pretty well? I get into Orin’s character next. Was Little Shop set in the 50s?
As mentioned previously it is impossible to go see every play I want to go see this summer and throughout the remainder of the year. There needs to be a balance so I have room in my schedule to do other great things. I am also saving money to go to Florida with Matt in February to go to the Harry Potter theme park.. A highly anticipated & long awaited trip.
That being said here is the final for theatre viewing, ushering and tech work for the summer and fall
Auditions for Mary Poppins are on Tuesday. Last night’s dance workshop was fun and really got me more excited for the auditions. Saw tons of familiar faces from CATS, Seussical and other shows I have done at the Amato Center since I started doing shows there in 2009. If I do not get cast I will work backstage in some capacity.
Ushering is in Italics. Dates for some shows in the fall have not been announced yet.
June 13th Alex Preston concert at Pasta Loft
June 20th Gypsy New London Barn Playhouse
June 27th Phantom Tollbooth Riverbend Youth Co
June 30th West Side Story Interlakes Summer Theatre
Bye Bye Birdie at Leddy Center, Addams Family & Don’t Fade Away at Interlakes Summer Theatre and Once Upon A Mattresss at Windham Actors Guild are still up in the air depending on schedule & budget.
August 4th Shrek The Musical Palace Theatre Youth Theatre
August 7th Shrek The Musical Riverbend Youth Co Alumni
August 23rd Peter Pan Prescott Park Arts Festival
August 29th American Idiot Actorsingers
Over The River And Through The Woods Nashua Theatre Guild
Peter Pan Manchester Community Theatre Players
24th Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
There is a bit of an overlap in schedule with Wizard Of Oz at the Amato Center and Into The Woods at Actorsingers so I will have to make a decision when the time gets closer ( or at least one the auditions are over and I find out where my help is most needed)and cross that bridge when I get to it.
Sweeney Todd runs at Community Players Of Concord 11-20-22. Too soon to tell yet if I will be going or not.
Crazy for You is a musical that is in the style of boy meets girl, and Bobby Child (played by Joel Iwaskewizcz) goes from a possible lover for Irene Roth (played by Sophie Linkroum) & a lover between the Follies in New York City and giving up and going to Nevada. A young woman named Polly (played by Laura Iwaskewicz) is busy with mail before she bumps into Bobby. She finds she’s not interested in his taste, so Bobby pretends he is Bella Zangler ( played by Colin Malette) a magician who is entertaining.
This musical overall is a combination of drama, comedy,dance, and romance.
Notable musical numbers were Slap That Bass,What Causes That?,Someone To Watch Over Me,Things Are Looking Up & Stiff Upper Lip.
It’s very entertaining with the dance numbers, as the actors dance very periodically during scenes when the actors are taking immediate action. It’s also entertaining since the main actors are real married couples. The set design which was by Catherine Andruskevich, Rod Conrad, Larry Dorion, Kelli Loughlin, Bob Lovering, John McAllister, Spencer Neimi, Nate Pare, Billy Pomerleau, Joe Ristrovotoand Bill Wenrich for Nevada looks realistic like the Old West both inside and outside. Notable performances were by Joel & Laura Iwaskewicz, Kevin & Sophie Linkroum, Jessica Dee, Colin Malette,Tim Vincent & Amy Agostino.
Crazy For You was performed at Edmund J. Keefe Auditorium May 15-17. Directed & Choreographed by Martha Daniels Holland and music directed by Judy Hayward. Great job to cast crew and production team!
Life has kept me busy, on my toes and mostly away from the computer so I have fallen behind on reviews. Matt and I will be writing a joint review later this weekend for Crazy For You with Actorsingers. The meantime here are some capsule reviews for shows I never got the capable to type up.
Feb 19th (yes, this was forever ago… Just shows have far behind I have fallen) My mother and I saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Peacock Players. Sometimes when I need a break from seeing musicals I love either Shakespeare plays or Neil Simon comedies. As always Peacock Players did a fantastic job and what made this production most unique was the live music performances by Curtis Beeteen & Lillie Ellers, Elsa Keefe & Gabriella Siva & Elayna Gardner. Notable performances were by Wally Capen, Jason Frank, Mac Galinson,Brandon Feliciano and Christina Higginson. A Midsummer Summer Night February 13-22 at the Court St Theatre in Nashua.
March 21st- Matt & I saw Death By Design at Milford Area Players. This was a very hysterical show that had me laughing the whole time. Notable performances were by Amy Agostino,Anja Ward and Katie Hammes. This mad cap comedy was directed by Val Verge and was performed at the Amato Center March 13-22nd.
March 29th- Matt & I saw Oklahoma at Nashua South. This was my 3rd time seeing Oklahoma. Previously I have seen it at Interlakes Summer Theatre & New London Barn Playhouse. Favorite Musical Numbers include The Farmer & The Cowman,People Will Say We’re In Love,Many A New Day & Oklahoma. Notable performances were by Olivia Hodson,Sarah Drake Christina Higginson,Sean Vigneault & Charlie Deichmann. Oklahoma was performed at Nashua South March 27-29. Oklahoma was directed by Joel Iwakewiz and choreographed by Laura Iwaskewicz
And more recently I have seen-
May 6th Jen and I saw You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown performed by the Palace Theatre Youth Company. First time seeing a show by them and it was fantastic. The music in this show is fun to listen too and there’s lots of good comedic moments. Favorite musical numbers were Suppertime,Beetoven Day, My New Philosophy & My Blanket & Me. Notable performances were by Joey Gold,Sydney Stevens,Toni Catanzariti, Luke Gold& Katie Duncan. Looking forward to seeing many shows by them!
Last night Matt & I went to the Souhegan High School Spring Concert. It was a wonderful night of music with a great variety of songs played. Favorite songs were National Anthems (Vietnam China & USA), The Turtle Dove and Bohemian Rhapsody ( Concert Choir),Part Of Your World and Edelweiss ( Handbells) Somebody That I Used To Know,Kuimba & The Longest Time (Acapella Singers) and Captain America March, Alligator Alley and Stevie Wonder In Concert (Concert Band) Congrats to all the seniors and to Pat McMullen on her retirement.
First off all hope all the mothers who read this blog had a great Mother’s Day yesterday. It was a lovely day so I spent most of the day down the beach& then went to see my Nana’s Rose’s grave and went to see my Nana Barb in the nursing home in the way home.
Post CATS I have busy promoting the Jani e book. The last week of April I went to my college my former elementary school in Massachuetts? It felt weird to be back in Saugus after being gone for so many years. The school has not changed very much. My concert for Souhrgan Vallry Chorus was on Saturday night. We sang a lot of great songs this semester. My favorites were We Are The World, It’s De-Lovely and I’ll Be There. I got on the Board Of Directors for SVC helping out with publicity & I am pretty excited!
I have been seriously considering my summer schedule both in terms of doing backstage work & going to see plays and I decided that in order to have a more balanced schedule I am not going to work backstage for Phantom Tollbooth but do house managing or ushering instead. Since I have never seen the play and thought the book was fantastically cute I am looking forward to seeing the show.
Choosing plays to see every summer is difficult due to budget and schedule so I had to narrow my list down to four or five shows
The final selections
West Side Story Interlakes Summer Theatre June 30th
Shrek The Musical Palace Theatre Youth Company August 4th
Shrek The Musical RYC Alumni August 9th
Peter Pan Prescott Park Arts Festival August 23rd
Still making a choice between either Addams Family or Sister Act at Interlakes Summer Theatre. I am also hoping to see Bye Bye Birdie at The Leddy center in Epping but understand it’s impossible to go see every single show.
My next audition is for Mary Poppins at the Boys and Girks Club on June 16th. Got over a month to prepare so I am not too nervous. I do not know which character I am trying out for yet.
Oh I almost forgot— Chorus song ratings! I am pretty easy to please!
Scale Rating 1-10 1-did not like it 10- Loved it
YMCA chorus songs from Fall Semester are in Italics
Thanks For The Memories
As Time Goes By
Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth
Thank You For Being A Friend
Thank You For The Music
Thank You Very Much
We Are The World
Everything else from both semesters and also the Frozen Suite from the Christmas concert. 😃
This will be updated because I am still deciding which songs by the quartets were my favorites.
Theatre Review: Legally Blonde
The Riverbend Youth Company, which usually does their shows at the Amato Center at the Boys and Girls Club Souhegan in Milford, New Hampshire, performed Legally Blonde for April. The plot of the musical was adapted from the 2001 Novel by Amanda Brown & the movie by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. The musical score and lyrics were written by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Elle Woods is the blondie and main character for the musical, and it tells the story of her going from a laid back Southern Californian to a Harvard law school student in an attempt to win back her boyfriend named Warner. It’s not easy for Elle due to other people mocking her. Along the way she finds how her knowledge help others in need and in a murder trial, she defends successfully against Brooke Wyndham, the exercise queen. True to her own self, Elle’s pink clothes and attitude makes this musical something to look into.
Robin Lacroix has directed several shows in the past at the Amato Center, so credit goes to her for this production. Kim Whitehead, the chorus director for the Souhgean Valley Chorus, also was music director for the show. She was one of three piano players along with Karina Bertrand & Blake Leister. The cast of Legally Blonde consisted of all teenagers from high schools around the area such as Souhgean and Milford. Most of the main characters were seniors, and for them it would be their last show at the Amato Center for Riverbend Youth.
Alyssa Lederhos made a good role model for the main character. She wore her blonde wig she used for when she was Miss Adelaide for Guys and Dolls a couple weekends earlier at Souhgean, her high school. She singing voice was good in songs such as So Much Better, Legally Blonde, and a few others. When she had to act surprised, her reactions weren’t quite as strong as heard in the soundtrack version of the musical. Both Liam Conway and Michael Robicheau were good fits for their characters Warner and Emmett, and Megan Hammes was seen as a stubborn foil named Vivienne. It was the first time she played a bad character instead of loving, because Megan is a lovely brunette girl with good taste in clothes no matter what the occasion. But in addition to those four who stood up, Hannah Whitney’s character as Brooke Wyndam, the fitness queen, wasn’t quite as fit and in shape as a real health guru, but her voice was all right. She wore orange prison pants and a T-Shirt, along with a sparkling top during the Whipped into Shape song. The Greek Chorus made good back-ups while Elle was singing, and they consisted of girls who have been in ensembles and back-ups in previous shows. Hannah Cohen is one of them, while her older sister Naomi, who played the Judge, sings at the Souhgean Valley Chorus along with Bryan Whittier, who portrayed DA James Riley. Paulette, played by Anastasia Feraco, looked like a hipster, but still made her voice strong in singing roles. The ensembles in the musical numbers danced and sung very well.
The set for Legally Blonde was not much, even in the way of how the Riverbend Youth Company designs it. Mostly it was extra neon lights that have been used when the Amato Center has done other dance shows, and the Pumpkin Fest Talent Show, along with bleachers in front of a changing screen for different sets. There were a few added features such as Elle’s bed, the hair salon, and the trailer used for Dewey’s role. A couple songs, including the finale, had the main cast dancing to the beat of the piano and bass music pop style, while on the screen there were some flashing circle patterns that looked like something during the psychedelic era from the 1960’s and 1970’s. Instead of changing sets to look realistic from Harvard school and where Elle was, the stage looked more like something seen on a dance show or Disney Channel. Overall, Legally Blonde is still worth seeing, especially since Elle wears pink and loves to carry her little dog around, and the dogs used weren’t real, but mechanically moved and there were some barking sounds used. The seniors will move on to bigger and better things in the future, but hopefully will be seen around again in the near future.
Music: 9: Kim Whitehead’s directing the orchestra makes good vibrating sound during the songs, and the different tones on the keyboards can make for different timing and scene changes. The songs from Legally Blonde all have good taste. Favorites: Omigod You Guys, What You Want, Ireland, Chip On My Shoulder, So Much Better, Take It Like a Man, Legally Blonde, Find My Way
Dance: 7: Basic, a few good dancers dressed as exercisers and cheerleaders had good bending power, but overall not too bad for everyone
Set Design: 5: Not a whole lot of props for different scenes, bleachers facing the audience during law class and the trial, too many neon lights and a projection screen for different scenes, music scenes sometimes had the screen with changing circle effects like psychedelic 60’s and 70’s era. Alyssa’s father did the set design
Acting: 7: The whole cast consisting of high school students, Alyssa Lederhos, Megan Hammes, Michael Robicheau, Liam Conway, Katy Osterholtz, the Cohen sisters, and Bryan Whitter, were among the most well-known, but other teenagers made for good roles. Most of them wore basic modern clothes in public places, and Alyssa’s pink outfits set off her blonde wig very well.
Overall: 8: Good choice for a musical to send the seniors a fond farewell, along with the younger teenagers because for some, it’s their favorite.
Review by Matt Smith
Side Note from Janine: I have worked on many shows through out the past couple years through both PTA and Riverbend Youth Company with quite a few of this years seniors. OMG you guys I am going to miss doing shows with you but have no doubt in my mind you are off to do fabulous things in college. Love to Megan, Alyssa, Mike , Hannah, John & Annie.