Summer Viewing Part 1   Leave a comment

The 1st installment of our summer viewing schedule.   The   2nd installment  will be posted on July 31st.    The Riverbend Youth Company reviews will be split  up  into two different posts as well.   The first installment will  be posted on    August 7th and the second on  September 8th.

Seeing  Barefoot  In The Park at the  Majestic Theatre  this   June  made me reminisce  about  being in this show at the   Barn  Playhouse 11 years ago.   I was part of the moving  company which essentially was involved in the  scene  change in Act  1  when   they move the furniture into  the Bratter’s   apartment.   This  is love  story  on two  different  fronts..   one relationship  dynamic is between the main characters  Corie  and  Paul   Bratter  (  Sierra  Jones and Jarrod Rouleau) and  Ethel  Banks   and   Victor  Valasco   (Allan S  McPhereson)      My favorite scene is the scene where   Ethel   and Mr. Valaseco are paired  up on the  blind date and the hilarity that ensues.

Barefoot  In The  Park   ran at the Majectic  Theatre  June 22-24th.     To end  our season subscription we will be seeing  Moonlight and Magnolias on  August 11th.


Now to  a throw back to the   80s.  Flashdance   is  a musical based on the  80s film of the same name.    Favorite musical numbers included  What A Feeling,  Gloria,  Justice, A Million To One.  I Love Rock and Roll and Manhunt.   Notable perfomances   were by   Lori Coyle,   Ana Gabirllea  Chibolga, Elliot  Owens, Kyra  Freedman and Dale  Byrd.

Flashdance was directed by Alan  Kaplan,  Music  Directed by  John   Carey and Choreographed by  Loren  Hallet and Margaret  Windler.  It was performed at the North End  Montersorri School in Manchester July  6th-15th.


I always love going  back to the New London  Barn Playhouse every year  to see what the current   interns have in store and as an alumni  I am   impressed  by    what  I see.     I was  very excited to introduce myself  to a new  musical this summer and see  Little Women.   The musical is based on the book  by  Louisa May Alcott and it was fun to see all the characters  come to life.  (Admittedly I never finished the book and  still have  200 pages left to read.)  The  score was comprised of both  lightheated and thought provoking songs.   Some favorites included   Delighted.  Off To Massachusetts  Astonishing,  The Most Amazing Thing, Something  Are Meant To Be,  Five Forever  and   The Fire Within  Me. 

Notable  performances were by  Amy  Agostino  (Aunt March/Mrs. Kirk),  Elliot Cunningham (Professor Behr),  Talia  Susakauer (Jo March),  Sam Person  (Beth March/Rodrigo 2) and Andrew  Nellin  (Laurie  Laurence) but the whole cast was very talented.

Little Women ended it’s run on July  8th.   If you get the chance to  go to  New London   this summer  be sure not to miss  42nd Street (July 18th-August 5th), Newsies  (August  8-19th)  Murder   For 2 (August 22nd-September 2nd) and  the Spotlight Series  (July 23rd and August 13th  @ 5pm and  7:30pm.)




Actorsingers Day Part 2   Leave a comment

Back to back reviews of Actorsingers shows once again !

First off on Friday night we saw Damn Yankees. It was our second time seeing it. We previously saw it performed by Riverbend Youth Company in 2011. Previous Teen Actorsingers shows we have seen include Legally Blonde and last year’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Notable Performances were by Sam Cohen ( Joe Boyd/ Joe Hardy), Katie Manchester ( Lola), Joel Michael King ( Mr. Applegate), Alyssa Saunders ( Commissioner. She was awesome in her debut with Actorsingers),Gabriella Nevarerte ( Doris) Evelyn Duggar ( Gloria Thorpe) and Hailey Sullivan ( Sister). One fellow reviewer found it hard to find one stand out performance because everyone was so talented. Favorite Musical Numbers included Heart ( there were beautiful harmonies in this one),Good Bye Old Girl,Near To You, Shoeless Joe From Hannibal, MO,Those Were The Good Days and Two Lost Souls.

Damn Yankees ended their run this afternoon at 2pm at Court Street Theatre in Nashua and was directed by Matt Ziolenko, Music Directed by Christie Conticchio and choreographed by Logan Higgins. Congrats to all on a fabulous show. It was a home run!

Review Contributors: Patty Helbig, Matt Smith,Laura Vitale; Jo-Ann Zall

Another fantastic Actorsingers show Sister Act ran at Keefe Auditorium on Mother’s Day weekend. Sister Act is one of my favorite movies and when I heard it was in the Actorsingers line up I was very excited!

Notable Performances were by Ashley Swanson, Maria Hendricks,Philip Laks, Martha Daniels Holland, Teddy Hendricks and James Middleton. There lots of funny moments and lots of emotional moments as well though out this show.

Notable musical performances included Sunday Morning Fever,Take Me To Heaven,The Life I Never LED,Bless Our Show, Raise Your Voice And Sister Act.

Bless Our Show somehow made me think about when we are backstage at a PTA play saying the mantra. Don’t ask me how or why I thought of that but I found some way to connect the lyrics to that.

Apologies for this review being so late! Congrats to cast crew and production team on a a wonderful performance.

Review Contributors: Patty Helbig, Danielle Poirier, Matt Smith

Posted July 16, 2018 by theatretechdiva in Actorsingers

Catching Up!   Leave a comment

Little Mermaid? In the books!  Chorus concert? In the books!  Now  it is time to catch up on reviews.

We  saw A  Few Good Men at the Amato Center on March 17th.    I like to  introduce myself to a new  play  every once in awhile.  Was this one of my favorites?  Probably not but it was still good.    Notable performances were by   Patrick McCarty, Roger Hurd,  Anja Parish and Amy Agostino.

This show  ran at the Amato Center   May  8th-18th.    Next  up at MAP we will be seeing  The   Norman  Conquests  in July.

Before Little Mermaid Tech week began we saw our final  Dinner Theatre show at the Majestic Theatre  which was  called Dial M. for Murder.   This was a fun  murder mystery comedy that  kept everyone guessing.  The cast was small and everyone  was equally talented.    Dial  M for Murder was performed at the  Executive  Banquet  Facility in  Manchester  April  6-8th.   Next up at the Majestic  we will be seeing Barefoot  In The Park  on June 23rd.

Last weekend we saw three shows in a row  42nd St at the  Amato Center, Bye Bye Birdie at  Windham Actors  Guild and  Shakespeare In Hollywood at  Community   Players of Concord.   It was my first time seeing 42nd Street and   I think it was by far one of my favorite shows that Riverbend  has done recently.   Notable performances were by   Helen  St. Cyr,  Grace Bonner, Doug Pedroza,  Ben Erdody and Zac Barnaby.   I was blown away  by the tap dancing in this show.    My favorite songs were  Go  Into Your Dance,  We’re  In The Money, You’re Getting To Be  A Habit With Me,  Lullaby  Of Broadway and Young  And Healthy.

Good luck to all the seniors!  I will miss you all so much next year.  The memories we have shared together on stage  are  fond ones.

Notable performances from the  Palace Theatre production of 42nd Street were  by  Stuart Harmon,  Alison Duarte, Maria Logan,  Trisha  Hart  Ditsworth and  Brandon  Keith Rogers.      We saw this  production on   opening  night   Friday June 2nd.     Our friend  Pam from chorus who was there that night too was equally as impressed by   the talent of the actors.

This is my  third time being transported to Sweet Apple  Ohio and my first time  seeing a show at Windham Actors Guild.  I have previously seen this  show  at Peacock Players in 1997  (   dug out  the program whilst   helping my parents clean out their Amherst  house in an old box of  stuff  I had kept) and in 2006 when  the AMS  Theatre  Club performed  it and my sister was Mrs. McAfee.   Bye Bye Birdie has always been one of my favorite musicals.  The  music is very catchy and has you  dancing in your seat.    Stand out performances were  by  Colin Malete  ( Conrad  Birdie),  Patrice  Doherty (Gloria Rasputin),  Jesse Drake (Albert Petersen)  Kelli Laughlin  (Kim  MacAfee),  Kaitlin  Smith  (Rosie Alvarez) and  Joel  Michael  King  (Hugo   Peabody)   While the dialogue was referenced I was disappointed that  the song A  Mother Doesn’t  Matter Anymore was not in this version of the show.   Favorite musical  numbers included   A  Lot Of Livin To Do,  Put On A Happy  Face,  Rosie,  A Healthy Normal American  Boy   and Spanish Rose.

 Patty Helbig  also contributed to this review.


We   last saw  Shakespeare  In Hollywood   about 5 summers ago put on  by  Milford Area Players.  This show is set  on a   Hollywood  soundstage and follows the antics as to characters from  Shakespearean times are transported to  a modern day film set of  the Shakspeare     play A  Midsummer  Night’s Dream.    We were laughing the whole entire time.     All performers in this production  were incredibly talented and it was hard to pick a favorite character.

Shakespeare In Hollywood was performed at The Concord  City  Auditorium   May 4-6.


Stay tuned  for a review of Sister Act which  ran at   Keefe Auditorium May 11-13th.


Guest reviews of  The Little Mermaid and   Anything Goes at Pinkerton Academy are also coming your way soon! 🙂



Adversity   Leave a comment

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elizabeth  Kubler Ross

I rarely get personal on this blog.. in fact  I try to avoid it since it supposed to be  professional.    I’d like to step away  from that for a second though.

Note: Names have been omitted from this blog post.

Today I have chosen to talk about adversity. I’ve overcome a lot of it to get to where I am today.   The end of last   year  and beginning of this year I  overcame my  fair share of  it and it relates to theatre and music.

In  November   there was a shake up among the  ranks for the original directors of the production were let go.It was  appropriately    refered to as Mermaidgate.  The  Board of Directors  of the PTA let them go  because of creative differences. The Board never offered an explanation or apology which I find to be frustrating. The thing that bothered me the most and still bothers me is how  the PTA Board of Directors was so deceitful  and dishonest in what they  did  to Sue and Pam.  There were many people who did not audition  because of what happened..  essentially splitting apart a family.

Despite the reservations that I had   I decided to audition.  The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite  Disney movies of all time and I did not want to pass up my shot to  be in this play. I am so glad that  I did.      This show  was so much fun to be  a part of . They always are.  We had an  amazing cast.    It was great to meet new people too. This was my absolute favorite show out of the ones   I have done with the PTA. I already miss the show and everyone in it very much.     Best way to beat post show depression? Watch DVDS of past shows that I borrowed from John Sauter.  I need some new fan fiction plot line ideas after all!

Right  now though I am at  a crossroads.    Because of what has happened  I am not sure if  I can continue to be a part of a group where the board  does not have respect for the hard work that was  put into the production. I   have a lot of respect for everyone in the PTA group and so much love for everyone too.    I really hope that  there will be a new  Board Of Directors instated  that will be able to start over   fresh with the PTA play  put creative differences aside and focus on the main goal of  the  play which is to raise money for the Amherst Schools. .   What happened definitely left a bitter  taste in my mouth.  I am glad I was able to put that aside and still enjoy the play with an awesome  group of  people that has become like a second family to me since 2011.

The  next  example of overcoming adversity   has to do with Souhegan Valley Chorus.   It is no secret that  I have had issues with getting along with my chorus director for the past couple years.   I have a lot of respect for my director and she knows that. I struggled for awhile with   focusing in chorus.  I was upset at myself for a long time and this really  distracted my enjoyment in chorus and having fun. I  also openly admit that I didn’t  really want to disclose my disabilities because  I did not think they would outwardly affect my singing.   This was a factor in me not feeling included as well.   We had a special meeting on  February 13th about inclusion.  That helped  me to feel a lot better.   I guess  I was afraid to disclose my disabilities to everyone because   I didn’t think that it was necessary to do that.    Singing is a passion of mine and it has been for many years.  My  vision  impairment definitely  had a negative impact on my performance though I think.. maybe I would have been able to get  help if  I had mentioned something sooner. Lesson learned.

These are two examples of how  I have overcome adversity  recently.  I have  learned a lot of lessons from these experiences.

Guest Reviews  Coming Soong

The Little Mermaid   Amherst PTA   Laura Vitale

Anything Goes  Pinkerton Players   (Pinkerton Academy Spring Musical)   Christie Conticchio

Update:  I decided to step away from chorus for the next semester so I can focus on the musical theatre cabaret I am doing at work.  I also need to refocus my mindset so I can actually start enjoying chorus again and work past all the anxiety I have been dealing with & focus on wedding planning .I am hoping to return in the spring. As for the PTA play next year’s  show is Mulan Junior which be  a show for 8-18 year olds. I might work backstage or take the year off so I can go watch  the show.



Grease Is The Word   Leave a comment

To preface this  guest review by  Katie Mayo   the musical Grease premiered on  Broadway in 1971.  It’s most recent revival was  in 2010.  The movie starring  Olivia  Newton John and  John Travolta  came out in 1978 and celebrates it’s 40th anniversary this year.  Katie also talks about what  she likes about the film version in this post.    The Palace Theatre production of Grease ended its run on March 18th.

Her favorite song in the film  is Grease  by Frankie  Valli. She also likes Hopelessly Devoted To You, Summer  Nights and Beauty School Drop Out because they  were performed on Glee.   The  songs in the play are the same as the movie.  She did not like Alma Mater Parody song.  She thought that the acting was cute and that the roles of Sandy and Danny were  very well acted by   Jesse Corbin and Alex Leveque.


While  I missed the Place Theatre production  I have seen  Grease  previously  at  Peacock  Players,Souhegan High School, Pentucket Regional High School and Interlakes Summer Theatre.  I have always felt that  the  subject matter  of Grease is not too appropriate for high school theatre because of some of the content.   It has always one of my favorite been my favorite musicals and movies.  Like  Katie   I like  Hopelessly Devoted To You,  Beauty School  Drop Out  and Summer  Nights.  I also like  There Are Worse Things  I  Could  Do and You’re The  One That  I Want.   There is a fan theory I have  read that  Grease is actually Sandy reliving a fantasy in her mind as  she gasps for air after drowning at the  beach and  then she dies at the end.  That really  ruins the whole musical for me.   Thankfully, while it sounds very logical it is just a theory.


I have also heard  some negative  reviews of Grease  at the Palace Theatre  but opted not to share those.


Posted April 2, 2018 by theatretechdiva in Palace Theatre

R& H Cinderella   Leave a comment

There are moments that make me most proud to be  an alumni of the SHS Theatre Department.  I  graduated 14 years ago this  June if you can believe it.   Last night’s performance of Rogers and Hammerstien’s Cinderella  was a fine example of that.   This year’s senior class is  chockfull of talent  and they will be greatly missed next year.   Notable performances were  by    Katie  Giannakopolous  (Fairy Godmother) Helen St. Cyr  (Cinderella), Christos Nasssiopolious  (Prince  Christopher      Is his name the Greek equivalent of  Christopher?)   and  Sean Corrigan ( Lionel)  Other standouts were   Evmorfia Alton  ’20 Stepmother, Alyssa Saunders ’20, Stepsister  Joy,  Lucy Stover 19  Stepsister Grace   Kelly Frasca   Queen  Constantina  *What year is she?  It is not listed in the program.)  and    Alex  Dube 18′   King  Maximillian.

Did you know that Boys and Girls   Like You and Me was cut from  Meet Me  In St. Louis?  Well, now you have   learned something new!    I feel  that this song is  a  better fit for Cinderella.    Having been involved in Meet  Me  In St,  Louis   and having seen the film  I can’t see how that song would have fit with the time period and Cinderella is  a much more modern piece of theatre.

(Personally  I am not a fan of  Meet  Me In St. Louis. We’ll save that discussion for another time.)

Boys and  Girls  Like You  and Me was one of my favorite songs from  Cinderella,  others included  The Sweetest  Sounds, 10  Minutes Ago,  A Lovely Night  (  I liked the harmonies best in this one), Stepsisters  Lament,  It’s Possible  and There’s Music With You.

What I felt sets apart  this version apart from the originally  Disney version  is that   Prince  Charming  actually has a name..  Prince  Christopher.    When  I first saw this show performed in 2012 by  Riverbend Youth Company  Alumni   I thought that this  character had much more depth and the character was much more developed then  than  the Disney movie counterpart.

(I have found a first dance song for my wedding in 10 Minutes Ago!)

If you did not get  the chance to see  Cinderella this weekend you missed out on  a truly fabulous production.   It was  performed  March 23-25th at Souhegan High School. Directed  by  Jennifer Stover, Assistant Directed by  Anna Quinlan 18′ Music Directed  by Kim Whitehead and choreographed by Amy Mcguigan.  The orchestra was conducted by Carl Benevides.

I  think There’s  Music  In You  is perfectly fitting of this year’s  seniors.   Some  I have known for  short time  and others  who  I have known since     I first started doing the PTA  Plays in 2011 when they  were in 5th grade.    There is  so much talent both on stage and behind that I will miss seeing on stage and performing with next year.  Memories will be held on to fondly by us all and  I know that in their next chapter they  will be successful.


Posted March 26, 2018 by theatretechdiva in High School Music and Theatre

Under The Sea Analysis   Leave a comment




Poster design by Sophie Linkroum

Hello Friends,

I have decided to  kill two birds with one stone  and combine my analysis of  Under  The Sea with  talking about my  experience in The Little Mermaid  thus far.  Shameless plugging for the PTA play.


Let my start off  by saying that  The Little Mermaid has always been  one of my all time favorite Disney movies.  It came out in  1989   with  Jodi   Benson  voicing  the lead   character  Princess Ariel.    In our   A  Night The Oscars  Showcase in 2016 my  fiancé Matt sang  Under  The Sea  for his solo and it was  a  crowd  pleaser which bought the house down. Many people were disappointed he did not try out for Sebastian when auditions came around in January   but I understood the reason why he didn’t audition and I think others did too.   Under  The Sea is sung  by  Sebastian  the  Crab  trying to convince Ariel not to  go up to the human world  “The human world is a mess.. life under the sea is better than anything they’ve  got up there.”   It is a very fun  high energy piece.


Rehearsals  for The Little Mermaid are going great so  far.  I have to admit  all of the drama centered around Pam and Sue being  let  go as directors  almost made me decide to not audition but then  I thought “This is not a shot  I want to throw away. ”  I am in the Under The Sea  ensemble so  I am in Under The SeaKiss The  Girl, the opening  number when King Triton’s daughters have their  concert  and a few other crowd scenes in Act II.     We are at the point the   rehearsal  process when  we are  doing full  run throughs and things  have  been going well.  It  is  fun to see all the other numbers  I am not in coming together.  We have amazing leads   who  I am excited to be  working with.   Some of them are  Sophie Linkroum (Ariel),  Russ Arrowsmith (King Triton),  Laura Millar (Ursula),  William Desharnais  (Prince Eric) and Michael Steadman (Grimsby)

Our directing   team  this year is  Sharron and Ben April, Lauren Busa and Tiffany  Jacobs and Amy  Mcguigan.      4 weeks are left  until the show opens  and I am so excited to move into  Souhegan after Easter.


Get your  tickets now for  Little Mermaid because you do not want to miss it!

Posted March 22, 2018 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Souhegan Valley Chorus