Archive for the ‘Amherst PTA’ Category

Top Favorite Songs from shows seen or performed in 2018   Leave a comment

Top 40 Favorite Songs from shows seen or performed in 2018
Songs are not listed in order in which performances were seen.
*SVC Spring Concert
&Plus Company Musical Theatre Cabaret

**SVC  Holiday  Concert

1. Under The Sea The Little Mermaid

2. Some Things Are Meant To Be Little Women

3. A Lot Of Livin To Do Bye Bye Birdie

*4 Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story Hamilton

5.  No Time At All  Pippin

6.Something To Believe In Newsies

7. We’ve Got To Stick Together It’s A Wonderful Life The Musical
8. Writing Down The Story of My Life Junie B. Jones
9. One Step Closer The Little Mermaid
10. 10 Minutes Ago R & H Cinderella
11. Fly To Your Heart Peter Pan JR
12. Lullaby  Of Broadway   42nd Street
13.  Manhunt   Flashdance
14. Shoeless Joe From Hannibal MO Damn Yankees
15. Kiss The Girl  The Little Mermaid
*16 The Whistling Gypsy
17. Benjamin’s Calypso Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
18. The Life  I  Never  Led Sister Act
&19. Almost There The Princess And The Frog
20. There’s Music In You R&H Cinderella
**21.  We Need A  Little Christmas  Mame
22. What Makes The Brave Man Brave Peter Pan Junior
23 Unwritten Natasha Bedingfield Off The Page An All Dance Production
24. Corner  Of The Sky  Pippin
25. One More Angel In Heaven Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

26. Kickball Tournament Junie B. Jones
27. Still Hurting The Last 5 Years

28. Two Lost Souls Damn Yankees

29.The Wheel Tuck Everlasting

30.Astonishing Little Women
31. Go Into Your Dance 42nd Street

32 Stepsister’s Lament R&H Cinderella

33  The Turtle Tango  Alice  In Wonderland

34  The Palace  Music  Hall  Alice In Wonderland

35.  Be The Hero   Big Fish

36. Red White  And  True Big Fish

&37 Once Upon A December Anastasia

38 My George Bailey It’s A Wonderful Life The Musical

**39. African Noel

40 Bless You George Bailey It’s A Wonderful Life The Musical

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Posted December 16, 2018 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Uncategorized

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas   Leave a comment

Another crossover  post for   the Rechoired   Reading  Blog since Meet Me  In St. Louis was the PTA play in 2013 and this week’s featured song in my  Songs Of Christmas Past  series  is   Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.   The song was written by  Hugh Marti n and    The setting for this scene is on Christmas Eve when  Tootie  the  youngest Smith child is  upset because this is their last Christmas in  St,  Louis.  This song   was sung by  Judy Garland  in the movie version which  came out in  1944.     In the play Esther Smith was played  by Margaret  Windler and Tootie Smith was played by Ashley Ross.       Earlier in the show the  Mr. Smith who was played by Roger Hurd finds  out he has gotten a promotion at  his  job    and the  family will have to move to New York.    Naturally this upsetting for the rest of the family especially with the   Worlds Fair coming up in the spring.   I mentioned in my    post about R &H Cinderella that MMISL  is not my  favorite play and here is why..   basically  the  whole base  of the story is that the family is going to move and then they do not end  moving.    There is a marriage  proposal at the end of the show  for the oldest Smith daughter  Rose  who was played  by  our  SVC director Jenn Erdody.

Did you know that  the  lyrics of this song  had to be changed from the original  version to fit the  movie?   Judy Garland   and other people on the films directorial did not like them that they though they were too depressing. I have posted the original lyrics below

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It may be your last
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Pop that champagne cork
Next year we may all be living in New York
No good times like the olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows
From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Do  you blame Judy Garland for feeling this way?   I do not.. not in  the least  bit!  If  I had been  in her shoes  I would have wanted the lyrics  changed too.

Frank Sinatra came out with a modified  version of this song in 1957 which is the version   I am  much  more familiar with.   The lyrics were changed to    hang  a  shining  star  upon the highest bough.   Other variations  of this song  have been performed  by  Bing  Crosby, Doris Day,  The Pretenders,  James Taylor and   Luther Vandross.  A more recent version by Sam Smith  was performed in 2014.

SVC performed  this  song   in   our 2014  Christmas In Hollywood    Concert with solos by  Naomi Cohen and Bryan Higgs.

 

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.

 

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Under The Sea Analysis   Leave a comment

 

 

tlmposter

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

Stress Management   Leave a comment

Have  a little reprieve from seeing shows for a couple weeks.   Time to reflect.

Last  night  I went to  a class at Catholic  Medical  Center about  Mindfulness and Stress Relief  techniques with  Matt and Jeff.   Patty suggested it  to us and  I am so glad she did.   I have had my  share of stress and anxiety in the past  ten months or so  I  definitely needed new methods on  to manage it better.

We  got  a sheet on feeling  vocabulary at the seminar and here are some words that  stood out to me  on this list.

:

Aggravated and mad:  Mostly at myself for how I handled the situation of a friendship ending and how  I handle rejection from failed auditions. Example  of failed audition: When  I did not do well at the audition for Souhegan Valley Showcase last year or just how   I deal in general with   rejection when I fail an audition such as in the past when  I’ve auditioned for  Stagecoach Productions and Actorsingers.

 

Nervous: Because I thought how  I was acting  was affecting  how a certain person thought about me.

Now  I know this  was sort of ridiculous because I know this person  likes me. Was she mad at me? Nope.  I have no idea why I thought she would’ve been.

Sad: Especially because Dan and Gerry passed away and   I have constantly been thinking of how much  I miss them.  My  dog was put to sleep on Thursday too.

Anxious: See above notes about a friendship ending.

Unfocused: Because of all the feelings  I mentioned above which  I why I had to  take a break from SVC this semester and just focus on Wizard Of Oz. Last year  I realized   a huge part of my problem that  I was being  pulled in too many different directions between chorus,   the play and SVC  Board Of Directors.

Frustrated: Because tech week can be stressful and  I lost my cool a few times during Wizard Of Oz.

Grateful:     High School graduation has passed.  I have actually been kind of sad because  I am going to really   miss  Naomi and Matt next year as they are the two  kids  who are graduating  who  I’ve grown the closest to.  I know that they will meet amazing new people on their journey to their next chapter and can’t wait to hear where it’s going to take them.   I am also  grateful for my friends and family who helped me through my stressful time as I dealt with all these various emotions.

 

During the class  I was able to take  a  step back and reevaluate things.   I realized that all this negativity gets me nowhere  especially since  typically I am  a really  positive person .  Time   to turn the negatives into positives.   The 1st part of 2017 has been  a learning  curve and a time for growth and change for me. Here’s  to the next six months being  more happy!

 

Thank you again  Patty for recommending this class.  It was incredibly helpful.

 

 

Wizard Of Oz Article   Leave a comment

The following article will not be published in local newspapers until after the PTA play is over.    I couldn’t wait that long to post  it here because  personally   I feel it is one of my best articles… and probably one of the last publicity  articles  I will write for the PTA t00.   Naomi is  just  THE BEST!

Souhegan High School Senior  shares PTA Play Memories

by Janine Leffler

 

 

The classic and iconic tale Wizard Of OZ will be performed by the Amherst PTA this April.  I recently  spoke with Naomi Cohen, a senior at Souhegan High School who will be playing Dorothy.  She reflected on her past PTA performances and the progress of Wizard Of  OZ rehearsals up to this point.

Cohen has been in the PTA play for the past seven years being in every show since 2010 except for CATS.  When asked why she auditioned for Wizard  Of Oz  she said, “The PTA Play has been part of my spring for so long it felt weird not to do it.   I decided to audition because this would be my last PTA  Play before  going to college.” She went on to say, “There are so many memories of my first PTA play, Children  Of Eden;  having my makeup done back stage, Sophie Linkroum waltzing by with her hair in curlers and saying, “This is a zoo!” and me answering with something witty or getting to eat lettuce on stage which is something  I didn’t think happened during shows.”  Naomi remembers looking up to Sophie Linkroum  and is honored this year to be the lead character, Dorothy, in the hope younger kids will look up to her.

 

When asked what she likes about Dorothy’s character she responded  “Dorothy is quite obviously a dreamer. She’s protecting Toto with every ounce of herself even if it means running away from home to do so. She’s friendly and loving with a touch of teenage brat which makes her so much more interesting, rather than the sweet character we’ve all come to know.”  She went on to say, “It is hard for me to choose a favorite scene. I love the Munckinland scene because it is so iconic and the kids are so fun to work with.  I also like the Jitterbug scene because it is a fun dance number.  There are so many bucket-list moments for me in this show;  I get to lie down on stage, carry a live dog, eat and I am even lifted up at one point.”

Cohen encourages people who have never auditioned for a  PTA play by saying the  following,  “A wonderful thing about the Amherst PTA is that we they include everyone we they can and you get to know so many people in a different way.  Who knew that the town’s teachers had such lovely voices or that your next door neighbor was a tap dancer extraordinaire?”   When asked why people should come see Wizard Of OZ  she said, “It’s a classic.  It’s a family show which supports your community.  There are a million reasons but please come support the arts!”

 

Cohen is still awaiting word on where she will attend college next fall and hopes to study music education where ever she goes.   This show has been a dream come true for her in every way. We wish Naomi the very best of luck in her future endeavors. Your star will shine wherever you go.

 

Wizard Of OZ runs at Souhegan High School April 20-23rd with evening performances at 7pm and matinees at 2pm.  The show is directed by Vouli Anthimoudi and Sharron April, music directed by Karina Allayne and Laura Millar and choreographed by Loren Hallet. You won’t want to miss this magical show!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted March 20, 2017 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Uncategorized

15th Annual NH Theatre Awards   Leave a comment

Shows  I saw or performed in   during 2016 that were nominated  for NH Theatre Award

Full List of NHTA Winners can be found here: http://nhtheatreawards.org/results/

Actorsingers

Spamalot

Best Costune Design  Allison Sklarz  Top 10

Best Lighting  Design   Mike O’Keefe  Top 10

Best  Musical  Direction     Judy Hayward   Top 10

Jessica Dee  Top 3  Best Supporting Actress   Lady Of The Lake

Colin Malette  Top 3  Best Actor  Patsy

Mike  O’Keefe   Best Sound Desinger Top 10

Joe Paoni     Best Actor   as Drew   Top 10

Britney Lynne Stanley  Best Choreography  Top 10

Rock  Of Ages

James Middleton  Best Supporting Actor  Lonny  Top 10

Melissa Runde    Best Supporting Actress    Justice Charlier  Top 10

Best  Costume Design  Allison Skalarz  Top 10

Ashely Swanson  Best Actress  Top 10

 

New London Barn Playhouse   Shrek The Musical

Matt and I adjudicated this show  for  a regional theatre award   The Moss Hart Award at the  end of July.   I was very happy to see that  the people  that I  reviewed so highly in my   adjudication for the Moss Hart Award  won New Hampshire Theatre Awards.  That was a very proud  New London Barn Playhouse Alumni moment for me.  I am always so impressed every year when  I go up there to see what  the current interns are working so hard on.    All awards on  by  both  actors  and  production team were well deserved.

 

Amherst PTA  Shrek was nominated for 8 awards last night.  I was  so incredibly   blessed  to have been among the cast of so many talented people many who  I have worked alongside on stage and backstage for  the past several years.   Eric Skoglund  won for best supporting actor for  playing  Lord Farquaad and  I was so excited and  happy for him  when  I heard his name  called.  He really deserved that award.   It was  my first year working with him and he was awesome to work with.  I also was honored to perform on stage  at the awards show  in Ballad  Of  Farquaad  number…it was a new experience for me  and admittedly   I was nervous because it was my first time performing in the NHTAS.   Overall it was  fun and  I was happy to be a part of it and perform with my  fellow Shrekkies one last  time to honor an amazing show that had so much personal meaning to me.

Last night was  a beautiful  celebration of all  community and professional  theatre productions around the state.   The president of the Theatre Awards said so eloquently  in  her closing statements  at the end of the awards show  how the theatre is a safe and accepting place for everyone.   I  could not agree with her more about that.  I feel like ever since I got involved with doing  shows with the PTA  six years ago I have found my home and my family.  These people  have watched me grow and supported me  in my craft….especially in this new experience with performing at the NHTAs.   A recent article  I read states that the Trump Adminstration wants to get  rid of the National Endowment For The Arts which  is money for theatre comes  from.  This makes me fearful about the future of theatre.

Congratulations to all top 3 winners and finalists. You are amazing and I am proud to know all of you!

 

Here is a link to the speech   I mentioned above.:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-granite-stage/you-are-the-storytellers-the-dreamers-you-are-the-players-who-say-this-stage-thi/1325032007553730