Top 30 Favorite Songs List from Shows Seen or performed in 2016   Leave a comment

The NH Theatre Awards nominations were announced yesterday. Here is my list of top 30 favorite songs from shows seen or performed in 2016. What a great year in NH Theatre it has been.
30. You Won’t Succeed On Broadway Monty Python’s Spamalot
29. KansasLand Curtains
28. The title song from Footloose comes in at number 28. This song always makes me want to get up and dance.
27. Shine Like The Sun 9 T0 5
26. We’re Not Gonna Take It Rock Of Ages I just wanted to point out that I will be using this song in my protest poems unit for my poetry class at Plus Company.
25 Written In Stars AIDA I did not get to see AIDA at Peacock Players but was lucky to see this performed at the Holiday Stroll. It is one of my favorite songs by Elton John.
24. I Want The Good Times Back The Little Mermaid This song was performed in our spring concert for Souhegan Valley Chorus. I think it is fantastic and have been meaning to download it. I unfortunately did not get to see The Little Mermaid when Peacock Players performed it.
23. Proud Of Your Boy Aladdin Jr This was put on by Riverbend Youth Company back in January. This was a very powerful song and really pulled at the heart strings.
22. There You’ll Be This was one of my favorite songs from our Souhegan Valley Showcase in June. It is from the movie Pearl Harbor which I have never seen.
21. Friend Like Me Aladdin Jr This has hands down always been my favorite song from Aladdin.
20. Spanish Panic Once Upon A Mattress This was Nashua South’s musical last spring. It is a very fun dance number.
19. Everybody Say Yeah Kinky Boots My mom took me to NYC to see Kinky Boots for my 31st birthday. This was one of my favorite songs from the show.
18. Let’s Go To The Movies Annie I mean of course this would make the countdown! How could it not? Annie is one of my favorite musicals which is of course why it is my favorite song that we sang in the Showcase.
17. Won’t You Charleston With Me? The Boyfriend This one of my top favorite songs from Souhegan’s musical last year.. another fun dance number.
16. Almost Paradise Footloose A beautiful love song that pulls at the heart strings.
15. Forever Shrek The Musical This number was very fun to be in.
14. Never Fall In Love With An Elf Elf The Musical
This was one of my favorite songs from Elf. It is sung by Jovie and is about her choice of relationships.
13. Taylor The Latte Boy I love Naomi Cohen… that is all! ūüôā
12. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life Monty Python’s Spamalot To be fair I heard of this song before I even saw the play because it was in Souhegan Valley Chorus concert in 2014 when their theme for the spring concert was Broadway. Yay for throwbacks.
11. Don’t Stop Believing Rock Of Ages This song got me through some pretty difficult times when I was looking for a job. I now have two awesome jobs at Plus Company and Gateways Community Services.
10. Freak Flag Shrek The Musical This is my top favorite song from Shrek The Musical. I feel the message behind it is very important about standing up for what you believe in. It elicited many a powerful discussion in my poetry class at Plus Company the past couple of semesters.
9. Under The Sea The Little Mermaid My boyfriend Matt rocked his solo in Souhegan Valley Showcase.
8. Morning Person Shrek The Musical This was my favorite number from Shrek out of the numbers I was not in. I really want to make this song the alarm clock ring tone on my cell phone.
7. Show People Curtains I feel this song represents the core of being involved in theatre and the strong relationships I have formed with people I do shows with. I have a lot of love for the people in my theatre family which I know is reciprocated.
6. Consider Yourself Oliver This was my favorite song from Oliver.. I especially love the tap dancing flash mob section.
5. 12 Days Of A Regifted Christmas This is a parody of 12 Days of Christmas that we sang in our chorus concert last weekend.
4. Agony Into The Woods This song is hysterical.
3. OOM PAH PAH Oliver I may not drink a lot in reality but it is fun to pretend to drink on stage.. it was always really fun to waltz too. ūüôā
2. I’ll Believe In You Elf The Musical This song is in Act 1 of Elf The Musical and is sung by Emily and Michael Hobbs. I feel the lyrics in this song are very powerful because it really brings home the point of how much strain is in the family dynamic because Walter works all the time.
1. Somewhere West Side Story Honestly West Side Story has so many amazing songs and it is hard to choose just one song that is my favorite. This song gives me chills whenever I listen to it and Katie Gianakoplios stole that scene with her solo. My other favorite songs from West Side Story include I Feel Pretty, Tonight and America.

Holiday Happenings   Leave a comment

Lots of ground to cover here!!!

November 26th was the Nashua Holiday Stroll which is something I look forward to every year. At the stroll Alex Preston performed (seeing him again Friday night at Union Coffee house.. what can I say I’m a groupie) and then headed to Peacock Players for a double bill of performances. It started off with the Spotlight Musical Theatre Troupe. They sang a variety of Christmas songs including River and My Grown Up Christmas List. This was followed by Technical Difficulties Improv Troupe which I always enjoy watching. My favorite games include Questions Only and Gibberish.
December 4th was the Messiah Sing which Souhegan Valley Chorus participates in. Next year I hope our schedule will allow Matt and I to participate in it, I always love going to this because of the great job at all the soloists do. The Messiah Sing is perfomed at the Congreagational Church in Mt Vernon the first weekend in December
Last Sunday, December 11th was our Holiday Concert for Souhegan Valley Chours. I have to say that this concert was my favorite one so far. We were joined by SHS ACapella Group and Jackie O’Dowd accompanied us on violin for December Rose and All Through The Night. My favorite songs that we sang this semester were Sing With The Angels, 12 Days Of A Regifted Christmas, Flowers In Winter ( fun to know that two members of our chorus are descendants of John Greenleaf Whittier.) and All Through The Night! This spring I am taking the semester off from SVC so I can focus on the PTA Play but look forward to rejoining in the fall.
Last night and tonight Matt and I went Sonya and Jen to see Elf at Riverbend Company and Peacock Players. Some people may think we’re a little crazy for seeing the same show twice in the same weekend but due to a schedule change at the last minute we could not see Elf at Peacock Players last weekend. Notable performances in the Riverbend performance were by Kyra Whitehead (Emily Hobbs), Jack Vore (Santa Claus) Taylor Ciotti (Charlotte Dennon) , Danny Solari (Beuddy) Kiara Shattuck (Ms. Greenway) and Shelby Brown (Jovie)
Notable performances in the Peacock Players productions were by Bailey Jamieson (Buddy), Alex Imhof (Mr. Greenway), Lakeland Galinson (Michael Hobbs), Lillie Ellers (Jovie) Caitlin Johnson (Emily Hobbs) Alex Nick (Santa) and Kyle Kashibawa ( Fake Santa)
Favorite Musical Numbers included Happy All The Time. I’ll Believe In You and Never Fall In Love With An Elf.
Both performances of Elf Jr have one performance left.
The Riverbend Youth Company performance Directed by Laurie Toupin, Music Directed by Kim Whitehead and Choreographed by Madison Calabria has a 2:30pm performance at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts
The Peacock Players performance directed by Andrea Underhill, Music Directed by Sarah Evans and choreographed by Cristina White.
Congrats to both casts and crews of Elf
Prior to seeing Elf my mom and I had a great mother/daughter afternoon seeing A Christmas Carol at the Palace Theatre with SVC friends. I am always so impressed by these the productions especially by the set design! Notable performances were by Stuart Harmon (Marley and Ghost of Christmas Present), George Phiel (Scrooge), Marc Willis (Mr. Fezziwig) Megan Quinn (Mrs. Fezziwig and Dakatoa Dutcher (Fred)
Favorite Musical Numbers were Fum Fum Fum (ironically I remember the Acapella Singers singing this in one of our Christmas concerts in high school), Fezziwig’s Christmas Ball and All Alone.
A Christmas Carol runs through Dec 23rd at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. You won’t want to miss it. Performances are at 2pm and 7:30pm. A Christmas Carol is directed and choreographed by Carl Rajotte, Music Directed by Joel Mercier. Congrats to the cast and crew on great performance!

Have a SparkleJollyTwinkleJingely Christmas Everyone and a fabulous start to 2017 too!

Show 100 for Riverbend   Leave a comment

Wow!  How time flies.   I have been involved with Riverbend Youth Company since 2009.  It  is now 2016 and  West Side Story marks   the 100th show.   What a  milestone in which to achieve. There are so many seniors in the group this year who it has been my pleasure to share the stage and work backstage with over the years.  There will be a notation of a few seniors in particular at the end of the review.

West Side Story has always been one of my favorite musicals.  I think the intrigue in it lies in the fact that is  a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet and that has always been my favorite  Shakespeare play.  It is just the helpless romantic in me   I suppose.    Riverbend shows never cease to impress me and West Side Story is no different!

Riverbend is filled to¬† the brim with so many talented actors¬† so it is¬† SO ¬†hard to solidly choose a favorite.¬†¬† Katie Giannakopolous blew me away with her Somewhere solo… what an amazing¬† Riverbend Youth Company debut.¬†¬† I really got chills during that song! ¬†I look forward to seeing more from her.¬† Matt¬† Katsiganis and Ellie Sacco were¬† amazing¬† as Tony and Maria¬† (not to mention they are a super cute couple in¬† real life)¬† Other standouts included¬† Ben¬† Erdody as¬† Riff,Ethan Reeves as¬†¬†¬† Bernardo, Doug Pedroza as¬† Chino¬† Anna¬† Quinlan as Anita. Tom Partridge¬† as Doc¬† (another Riverbend¬† debut) and Lindsey¬† Murch as Rosalita.¬† Favorite musical numbers included¬† Gee¬† Officer¬† Krupkee, Tonight,¬† One Hand One Heart and I¬† Feel Pretty.

West Side Story has  three more performances  2 tomorrow at 2:30 and 7:30 and one  Sunday  at 2:30 at the Amato Center for The Performing Arts  in  Milford.    West Side Story is co-directed  by Jennifer  Erdody and Dale  Byrd, music directed by  Karina  Bertrand,  choreographed by  Liz Calabria and costumed by  Julia  Bucklin and Mickey  Katz.   Please do not miss this show. You will completely regret it if you  do.  Congratulations to everyone on a great show and to everyone involved with Riverbend on  West Side Story being the 100th show.

 

*Review over..please pardon the sentimentality of what is to come.*

As I said at the beginning of the post this group of seniors is a particularly¬† special group who¬† I have¬† grown fond of over the years because¬† I have worked with them¬† on¬†¬† many shows.¬† I am also in Souhegan Valley Chorus with¬† Bryan Whittier and Naomi Cohen.¬†¬† Four particular seniors in¬† West Side Story are incredibly special to me because they were in my mom’s¬†¬† Princess¬† K.I.M The Musical¬† play when they were freshmen.¬† I have watched them grow as performers and technicians and have grown¬† along with them in my own right.¬† They make me smile, they make me laugh.¬†¬† I am¬†beyond¬† happy and grateful to know them.¬†¬† It will¬† not be¬† the same without them next year.. not at all.

Something’s coming that is truly great for them all.¬† I know they will do amazing in the next chapter of their lives.¬†¬† I hope they will not forget¬† me because¬† I am for certain not going to forget them.

Cassidy, Matt , Naomi and Stephen  I love you guys!

Posted November 4, 2016 by theatretechdiva in Uncategorized

Into The Woods   Leave a comment

I   do love me some Sondheim!    Last night  Matt and  I saw   Into The Woods  put on by  the Riverbend  Youth Company  Alumni.  Please get to the Amato Center of The Performing tonight as it is their last show.   You do  not want to miss it.

Every time¬† I see¬† I see¬† a Riverbend Youth Company production¬†I am constantly amazed¬† by the talent in the company.¬† I have been¬†¬†working on RYC productions since 2009 and have watched many of these kids¬†¬† develop into the talented actors that they have become.¬†¬† I have also worked with¬† quite a few of them¬† in the PTA plays.¬†¬† Notable performances were by¬† Annie Ferac0 (Jack’s Mother) Kat Feraco¬† (Witch). Helen St Cyr¬† ( Little¬† Red Riding Hood), Matt Katsiganis¬† (Rapunzel’s¬† Prince), Nicole Sprague (Rapunzel),¬† Kayla Bullwinkel (The Narrator), Alyssa¬† Lederhos (Cinderella) ¬†Ethan Reeves (The Baker)¬†¬† and Amy Butenhof ( The Baker’s Wife)

The songs¬† were a good¬† mix of¬† humorous and thought provoking. Favorite included A Very Nice¬†Prince (Lederhos and Butenhof), Agony (Katsiganis and Liam Conway) , It Takes Two (Reeves and Butenhof), Witch’s¬† Lament¬† (K. Feraco), Any Moment¬† Conway and Butenhof),¬† Your Fault¬† (Katie Swonger,St.Cyr,Reeves, K. Feraco and Lederhos), No More (Reeves and Michael Robicheau) and No One¬† Is Alone¬† (St. Cyr and Lederhos) .

Into The Woods¬† is directed by¬† Devereaux¬† Merchant, music directed by¬† Karina Bertrand and costumed by Jennifer¬† Belanger. As¬† I mentioned at the beginning¬† of the¬† review¬†¬† there is one more performance¬†¬† tonight at¬† 7:30pm¬† at¬† the Amato¬†¬† Center of The Performing Arts in¬† Milford.¬† Don’t miss it.¬† Congrats to cast,crew and production team on a fantastic show.

 

I am so excited because this fall RYC is doing  West Side Story and that is one of my all time favorite shows.   Looking forward to the first week of November.

 

 

End of  Summer and  Fall  Viewing Schedule

August 25th   She  Kills Monsters Riverbend Youth Company Alumni

September 30th   The Curious Savage  Nashua Theatre Guild

October 22nd  Beauty And The Beast  Manchester  Community Theatre Players

October 30th   Rock Of Ages  Actorsingers

November 5th  West Side Story  Riverbend Youth Company

November 11th Aida  Peacock Players

Milford  and Souhegan Fall  Play performance dates have not been announced yet.

Planning to see¬† A Christmas Carol at The Palace Theatre with one of¬† my cousins.¬† Haven’t¬† decided what day we are going¬† yet.

December  9th   Elf The  Musical    Peacock  Players

December 16th  Elf Junior  Riverbend Youth Company

This schedule is subject  to change due largely in part to budget and schedule.

Reviewing The Situation   Leave a comment

Yes, of course the title of this post¬† is also¬†¬† a¬† title of song from¬† Oliver.¬† I will get to that in a second….

 

Since Shrek  ended I have been keeping busy with Souhegan Valley Chorus.  Matt and I did not perform in the spring concert   because of a conflict  with a family wedding but made up for it by singing in the   performance at Granite Square Apartments on May 24th.  The performance was then followed by the end of the semester potluck  at the Congreational Church  Parish Hall.      Souhegan Valley Showcase was last Saturday and that was a lot of fun. Our theme was  A Night At The Oscars and we sang songs from  movies  such as Annie. Lord Of The Rings, Beaches ( which  I rented from the library and will be watching tomorrow),James Bond and Pearl  Harbor.

Favorite Songs that we sang in  Chorus This Year

  1.  Nuttin  For Christmas
  2.  Wizards  In Winter
  3. 12  Day of Christmas     Straight Note Chaser is coming to Portsmouth  Music  Hall at the beginning of August!!
  4.  I Want A Hippopotmus For  Christmas
  5. I’ve Got¬† My Love To Keep Me Warm
  6. That’s Christmas To Me
  7. The Christmas  Waltz
  8. Comedy Tonight
  9. You Raise Me Up
  10. Lydia The Tatooed Lady
  11. I Love A Choral Medley
  12. The Deaf  Old Woman
  13. ¬†I Want The Good¬† Times¬† Back¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Can¬† I please just mention for one¬† second how¬† AWESOME¬†¬†¬† Rachel¬† Cerrulo is?¬† She’s awesome!¬† ūüôā
  14.  Taylor The Latte  Boy
  15. ¬†Let’s Go To The Movies¬†¬† Annie
  16. Under The Sea  The Little Mermaid
  17. Happy Working Song Enchanted
  18.  A Whole New  World Aladdin
  19. There You’ll¬† Be
  20.  The Wind Beneath  My Wings
  21. Cref Volant

I  Love SVC!

 

Post show depression¬† really hit me hard after Shrek and to top¬† things off¬† it was bought to my attention (which I am grateful for of course) that¬† I was¬† trying to plan to many events with¬† the¬† Shrek cast. Sometimes¬† I don’t¬† realize when I am getting to in people’s faces and¬†¬† it was good to be made aware of it.

The reason why this¬† post is titled¬† Reviewing The Situation is because of the fact¬† that¬† I¬† find myself¬† constanly¬† reviewing¬† many different¬† facets of¬† certain situations.¬† Weather it’s how I handle¬† certain social situations or my budget.¬† Often¬†¬† I try to overschedule¬† activities but¬† them¬†¬†¬† I realize that just leads to over exhaustion for me and the rest of my friends.¬† I am also¬† constantly reviewing¬† my show viewing schedule and sometimes budger and schedule does not allow me to see everything… Little Shop Of Horrors and Billy¬† Elliot¬† are fine examples.¬† Maybe¬† it’s because I have so many friends¬† who are in shows that I¬† want to support but then¬† I feel bad when¬† I can’t make it to the show.

willywonka candygrams for Curtains

Then there is the matter of buying candy grams at Riverbend Youth Company shows.¬† I try¬† to do this at every Riverbend Youth Company show¬† I go to.¬† I took my mom to see Curtains for Mother’s Day and when¬† I told her¬† how many candy grams I was buying¬† I instantly regretted¬† deciding to buy so¬† many…. sure they are only a dollar each but that adds up after awhile¬† I have to¬† reevaluate this situation especially hard since¬† I¬† really do not have¬† too much extra money to be spending to begin with and also since I know so many kids in the cast.. it’s¬† like¬† ugggh…

 

 

Thursday night was the DVD viewing¬† party for¬† Shrek at Jenn Fichera’s house.¬†¬† It was a lot of fun and¬† it was refreshing to go swimming¬† especially after it has been so hot out.¬† The DVD¬† came out great as always and it was so great to see everyone.¬†¬† On¬† July 9th we are going over Karina’s house and¬† I am so excited for that party.¬†¬† It will be a great¬† way to see everyone before¬† I go away on vacation the following week. During which time¬† I will be not be on the internet.

 

I am in¬† Oliver with Friends OF The Amato Center (hene forth¬† the title of the Entry)¬† We have such a great cast and¬† I am so excited. Many of my cast mates from Shrek are in Oliver so¬† I am excited to work with them all again and meet new people too.¬† It’s going to be a great summer!!¬†¬† Character development¬† fan fiction coming soon

 

Summer Viewing Schedule

6/30  Shana Stack

7/10   9 To 5  Interlakes Summer Theatre

7/24  Studio 2  at Stark Park  in Manchester

7/31  Shakespeare  In The Park  Romeo and Juliet   at Greeeley  Park

August  5th   Into The Woods Riverbend Youth Company  Alumni

August 12th¬†¬† One¬† Flew¬† Over The Cuckoo’s¬† Nest¬† Milford Area Players

August 14th  Footloose Interlakes Summer Theatre

August 25th    She  Kills Monsters  Riverbend Youth Company Alummi

August  26th  Burt Bacharach  Concert in  Warner (family birthday outing)

August 27th   Bat Boy The Musical  Actorsingers Fringe Project

 

I am ushering at a majority of these shows.

Posted June 25, 2016 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA

2016 Seniors Reflect on Experiences With Riverbend Youth Company   Leave a comment

Local  High School Seniors reflect on experiences with  Riverbend Youth Company

by Janine  Leffler

 

 

Spring has sprung and high school graduation  is upon us.   The Riverbend  Youth Company  performs  Curtains next  weekend and  I spoke recently  to  two seniors in  this  show   about their experiences in  productions at the Amato Center.

 

Julie Leone is¬†¬† homeschooled¬† from¬† Temple¬† New Hampshire. Curtains is her second production at the Amato Center following¬† last Fall’s¬† Friends Of The Amato Center production¬† of¬† Mary¬† Poppins.¬† When asked why she auditioned for Curtains she stated ” I had never heard of the show, but after reading about it, I decided that it seemed super fun and I wanted to audition! Plus the whole cast would be people my age, and I figured that would make it even more fun (I was right).”¬†¬†¬† Leone has had a wonderful experience so far in Curtains and went on to explain, ” I felt very welcomed last year when I was cast in Mary Poppins, and that feeling has only grown as I‚Äôve gotten to know so many awesome people.”¬†¬† When asked what her¬† favorite song¬† in Curtains is she stated, ¬†‚ÄúShow People‚ÄĚ is definitely my favorite song because it‚Äôs so true for all of us as theatre people! We sing; ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs an honor and a joy to be in show business!‚ÄĚ and I truly feel that way. Plus the choreography is awesome.”

Leone heads off  in the fall to Sante Fe College hoping to later  transfer to  University of  Florida where she hopes to major in English and minor in theatre

 

Meghan¬† McKnight¬† is a senior at Souhegan High School in Amherst.¬† She has been in¬† many productions at the Amato Center and her favorite roles include¬† Glinda in Wizard Of Oz,¬† Greek Chorus in Legally Blonde The Musical and¬† Mrs. Cratchit in Scrooge The Musical.¬†¬†¬† McKnight plays¬† Bambi in Curtains and when asked about her character¬† she stated,¬† “This character is unique because she is the comic relief of the show. Although I have played characters similar to her, someone who is girly and flighty, Bambi is a little different. She has her own spunk and is one of my favorite characters in the show. (not just because I play her)”.¬† Leone and McKnight¬† share similar sentiments about their favorite song in the show being Show¬† People, “This is my favorite because it really is a true representation of how people in theater are. It is a fun number, and has lots of dancing which is one of my favorite parts about being in theater. ”

McKnight heads off this fall to Emmanuel College in¬† Boston where she will study¬† Elementary Education.¬† She shared the following sentiments about her experiences at the Amato Center, ” Doing theater at the BGC is one of my favorite things in the world. It has impacted me from the very beginning and that is why I‚Äôm going to miss it so much. I have been a crew member, an actor and an audience member for seven years and this is the best place to do what I love. I have learned everything from how to sing and dance but also life lessons I‚Äôll never forget. ”

 

 

 

 

Why should you come see Curtains?¬†¬† McKnight¬† stated,¬† ” People should come see Curtains because it‚Äôs a show about theater people, it‚Äôs funny and dramatic. It has every character you will love and hate. It‚Äôs also a murder mystery so you can guess who did it along the way, while listening to some great singing and watch some fabulous choreography. ”¬† Leone adds,” The cast and production team have all worked so hard to pull this together, and it‚Äôs going to be a great show!”

 

Curtains  runs at the Amato  Center for The  Performing Arts  at 56  Mt Vernon Street in  Milford. Evening performances are at 7:30pm on May 5th,6th and 7th and 2pm on May 7th. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Come solve the mystery and enjoy the show.

 

For the seniors McKnight, Leone, Megan Dillon, Benny¬† Gottwald and¬† Max Ayotte, I leave you with the following quote from Newsies, “Arise and seize the day.”¬† Good luck to you all in the future. You will be greatly missed next year and thank you for¬† all you have given to Riverbend.

 

Local  High School Seniors reflect on experiences with  Riverbend Youth Company

by Janine  Leffler

 

 

Spring has sprung and high school graduation  is upon us.   The Riverbend  Youth Company  performs  Curtains next  weekend and  I spoke recently  to  two seniors in  this  show   about their experiences in  productions at the Amato Center.

 

Julie Leone is¬†¬† homeschooled¬† from¬† Temple¬† New Hampshire. Curtains is her second production at the Amato Center following¬† last Fall’s¬† Friends Of The Amato Center production¬† of¬† Mary¬† Poppins.¬† When asked why she auditioned for Curtains she stated ” I had never heard of the show, but after reading about it, I decided that it seemed super fun and I wanted to audition! Plus the whole cast would be people my age, and I figured that would make it even more fun (I was right).”¬†¬†¬† Leone has had a wonderful experience so far in Curtains and went on to explain, ” I felt very welcomed last year when I was cast in Mary Poppins, and that feeling has only grown as I‚Äôve gotten to know so many awesome people.”¬†¬† When asked what her¬† favorite song¬† in Curtains is she stated, ¬†‚ÄúShow People‚ÄĚ is definitely my favorite song because it‚Äôs so true for all of us as theatre people! We sing; ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs an honor and a joy to be in show business!‚ÄĚ and I truly feel that way. Plus the choreography is awesome.”

Leone heads off  in the fall to Sante Fe College hoping to later  transfer to  University of  Florida where she hopes to major in English and minor in theatre

 

Meghan¬† McKnight¬† is a senior at Souhegan High School in Amherst.¬† She has been in¬† many productions at the Amato Center and her favorite roles include¬† Glinda in Wizard Of Oz,¬† Greek Chorus in Legally Blonde The Musical and¬† Mrs. Cratchit in Scrooge The Musical.¬†¬†¬† McKnight plays¬† Bambi in Curtains and when asked about her character¬† she stated,¬† “This character is unique because she is the comic relief of the show. Although I have played characters similar to her, someone who is girly and flighty, Bambi is a little different. She has her own spunk and is one of my favorite characters in the show. (not just because I play her)”.¬† Leone and McKnight¬† share similar sentiments about their favorite song in the show being Show¬† People, “This is my favorite because it really is a true representation of how people in theater are. It is a fun number, and has lots of dancing which is one of my favorite parts about being in theater. ”

McKnight heads off this fall to Emmanuel College in¬† Boston where she will study¬† Elementary Education.¬† She shared the following sentiments about her experiences at the Amato Center, ” Doing theater at the BGC is one of my favorite things in the world. It has impacted me from the very beginning and that is why I‚Äôm going to miss it so much. I have been a crew member, an actor and an audience member for seven years and this is the best place to do what I love. I have learned everything from how to sing and dance but also life lessons I‚Äôll never forget. ”

 

 

 

 

Why should you come see Curtains?¬†¬† McKnight¬† stated,¬† ” People should come see Curtains because it‚Äôs a show about theater people, it‚Äôs funny and dramatic. It has every character you will love and hate. It‚Äôs also a murder mystery so you can guess who did it along the way, while listening to some great singing and watch some fabulous choreography. ”¬† Leone adds,” The cast and production team have all worked so hard to pull this together, and it‚Äôs going to be a great show!”

 

Curtains  runs at the Amato  Center for The  Performing Arts  at 56  Mt Vernon Street in  Milford. Evening performances are at 7:30pm on May 5th,6th and 7th and 2pm on May 7th. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Come solve the mystery and enjoy the show.

 

For the seniors McKnight, Leone, Megan Dillon, Benny¬† Gottwald and¬† Max Ayotte, I leave you with the following quote from Newsies, “Arise and seize the day.”¬† Good luck to you all in the future. You will be greatly missed next year and thank you for¬† all you have given to Riverbend.

 

 

 

This article will be in the Milford Cabinet and Amherst Citizen later this week.¬† It can also be found¬† on Amherst Patch.¬†¬†¬† Curtains is the last Riverbend show¬† I will be helping out with publicity for. I have covered many great shows at the Amato Center over the years but have recently realized my schedule is too busy and¬† I can’t commit to¬† doing publicity anymore.¬†¬† I won’t be going too far though since I plan to help out with the productions in other ways. It has been a pleasure serving¬† RYC as publicist for the past 8 years.

 

Shrek Article   Leave a comment

Shrek. A show with a Personal Connection

by Janine  Leffler

In¬† 2013¬† I saw¬† Shrek¬† The¬† Musical at¬† Peacock¬† Players and¬† I remember leaving the theatre¬† that evening considering¬† how¬† I can connect the musical’s theme of¬† acceptance to my own life experiences. When I first found out this year’s Amherst PTA play was going to be¬† Shrek¬† I was beyond excited.¬† Once I was cast as a¬† Villager and Skeleton and later the Moon,¬† I was even more excited, especially to work with the directing team¬† Roger Hurd, Jenn¬† Fichera, Karina¬† Bertrand and Vouli Anthmidou.

 

How do¬† can I connect¬† the message of Shrek to my own life?¬† Gather round friends.¬† It’s story time.

 

I grew up with many disabilities and overcame a¬† lot of¬† challenges to get to where I am today.¬† I was bullied and treated unfairly all throughout school because I was different.¬†¬† One specific incident in high school, thankfully, changed people’s mindset and things got easier for me.¬†¬† I am now telling my story to children at schools in the community and encouraging them to stand up for¬† people who are different and encouraging those with a disability to stand up for themselves.¬†¬†¬†¬† What makes us special makes us strong.

 

At the opening scene of Shrek we see Shrek and Fiona being sent away by their parents. Fiona to a tower and Shrek to a swamp …both at¬† 7 years old.¬† In a way Shrek spends his¬† whole life being bullied¬† and running away from tormenters, which is why he feels he is better off alone.¬† ¬†When Fiona is rescued by Shrek she is first shocked at first to realize that he is not the handsome prince that she expected.¬† She later realizes how¬† much they¬† have in common¬† (music¬† cue:¬† ‚ÄúI Think¬† I Got You Beat‚ÄĚ)¬†¬† and that it is what‚Äôs inside¬† that matters, what not the material things treasured by Lord Farquadd .¬† It is Shrek’s heart and his love for Fiona that truly matters.

 

Which character is my favorite in Shrek?¬† Probably Gingy, played by Patricia¬† Helbig because he ends up inspiring the rest of the Fairytale Creatures to stand up¬† to Lord Farquadd.¬† ‚ÄúFreak¬† Flag‚Ä̬† is my favorite song and the one I can relate to the most because of all the experiences¬† I have had.

 

If anyone  were  to ask me  which character I can relate to the most from  Shrek  I think that would  be a more difficult  question to answer.   Throughout the rehearsal process as I have watched the leads Jennifer Erdody  (Princess  Fiona), Dale  Byrd  (Shrek),  James Middleton  (Donkey) and  Laura  Millar (Dragon) grow into their characters, I find myself relating to each character for different reason, however what ties  each  character to each other is the   bigger theme of wanting  to be accepted.

 

I would now like to take a moment to thank the directors for choosing this wonderful show.  I have really enjoyed being in it and I think because of the personal connection  I have to the story,  it is my favorite show I have participated in with the PTA….and that’s my story.

 

 

This  article will be in  local newspapers and on local  Patch  sites.

Posted April 5, 2016 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Uncategorized