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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

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Guest Review Willy Wonka Jr   Leave a comment

Thank you to Jeanie Walton for this review of Willy  Wonka Jr performed  by AMS Theatre Club.

Review: AMS Willy Wonka Jr

If you are looking for a wild adventure, complete with beauty, magic, and eerie mystical fun: Amherst New Hampshire’s Middle School play Willy Wonka Jr. will not disappoint! Director Jenn Fichera brings this play vividly to life, as detailed, glowing costumes and stage sets burst into your view with every scene.

Jack Vore’s version of the infamous Willy Wonka perfectly captures the character who looms over everything. He brilliantly displays a reclusive character, simultaneously showing a tender side while somehow being “stranger-danger” creepy all at the same time. Many on broadway have not done a better job in capturing the many layers of this iconic lead role.

Grandpa, played by Jenn Koruc is enthusiastic and hilarious, and perfectly nails this character’s sense of charm, curiosity and propensity to get into trouble. Her natural talents and gifts in performing, ignite the characters around her, and the scenes she is in literally lifts the audience into the world of Charlie Bucket.

The casting for this play is superb. Each character brings out the very essence of who their character truly is, and they do it with flair, originality, and talent; from the sincere and hopeful in Charlie; played by Charlie Powers, the southern charmless in Violet, played by Sophia Dube, the never-ending gluttonous nature of Augustus Gloop, played by Miles Biskovich, the distracted and disrespectful Mike TV played by Taylor Ciotti, and the “deliciously bossy” and incredibly spoiled Veruka Salt played by Autumn Fichera, all literally, set the stage on fire with their talent. Each of these characters, and the kids who flawlessly play their parents, perform their roles seamlessly, and with energy that set the stage aglow with humor and severe warnings on who you do not want your children to grow up to be!

The middle school children who played parents, and grown ups were so believable it was difficult to remember that everyone in the play was actually only in 8th grade or younger. The voices between children who played boys-and sometimes sang high, and girls who played men-who sometimes sang low, helped to set an illusion to the play that fit the bill of weirdness and unpredictability that left the audience in awe.

The ensemble cast, including the children and many oompa loompas, can not be applauded enough. Their amazing focus on detail, and ability to always stay in character added an air of magical eeriness that leaves the audience transfixed into a realm that does not release you until the last curtain call. A truly magnificent performance by all! Congratulations to the entire cast and crew, and to Jenn Fichera (Director) Kim Whitehead (Music Director), Lauren Hallet (Choreographer) and Sharon April (Producer) for producing a wildly entertaining version of Willy Wonka Jr!

 

Posted March 18, 2018 by theatretechdiva in Uncategorized

Posting Schedule Update   Leave a comment

Greetings Readers-

Wanted to announce  a  change in my posting schedule so people are not left hanging by a thread waiting for an update.

Due to my schedule with Little Mermaid  rehearsals getting busier  I have decided to combine my February and  March  reviews in to one post which will be posted on March 25th.

The combined  entry will  combine the  reviews for the following shows

  Complete Works Of William Shakespeare Abriged Peacock Players
Peter Pan Junior Riverbend Youth Company
Beer For Breakfast Majestic Theatre
Rogers and Hammerstien’s Cinderella Souhegan High School Spring

Due to scheduling we will not be going to the SHS Pops Concert on Feb 22nd. We will be going to the Spring Concert on May 16th instead.

Posted February 17, 2018 by theatretechdiva in Uncategorized

Top 45  Favorite Songs of 2017   Leave a comment

Top 40 Favorite Songs of 2017

Several of these songs have been in previous countdowns throughout the year. They are listed in  no particular order.

Key **PBS Great Perfirmances ++SVC Spring Concert +++SVC Showcase *SVC Holiday Concert

1. You’re Never Fully Dressed With Out A Smile Annie

2.Get Me To The Church On Time My Fair Lady

3. Grow Old With You The Wedding Singer

4.  Notice Me Horton Seussical

5. **Vanilla Ice Cream She Loves Me

6. Bring On Tomorrow Fame

7. Folsom Prison Blues Million Dollar Quartet

8.++ I Know It’s Today Shrek The Musical

9. NYC Annie

10. Over The Rainbow Wizard Of Oz

11. Turkey Lurkey Time Promises Promises

12. Be Like Meryl Streep Fame

13. Move That Thang The Wedding Singer

14.+How Can I Keep From Singing

15.**12 Days To Christmas She Loves Me

16*Hark The Herald Angels Sing

17. God Help The Outcasts Hunchback Of Notre Dame

18.++Bali High South Pacific

19.Merry  Old Land Of Oz Wizard Of Oz

20. Heaven Help Me /I’M Free Footloose

21. We Go Together Grease

22. +L O V E

23. King Of New York Newsies

24.  Desert Island Top 5 Break Ups High Fidelity

25. Breaking Free High School Musical

26. Evermore Beauty And The Beast Live Action Movie

27  Pulled  The  Addams Family

28. Santa Fe Newsies

29.*Carol From An Irish Cabin

30 The Juggernaut The Wild Party

31. +++Jersey Boys Medley

32. ++Somewhere That’s Green Little Shop Of Horrors

33. Bushel And A Peck Guys And Dolls

34. Can You Feel The Love Tonight  Lion King Jr

35. Show Off The Drowsy Chaperone

36. Walk The Line Million Dollar Quartet

37. Summer Nights Grease

38.++The Wizard And I  Wicked

39   Crazier Than You  The Addams Family

40.  Love Is Always  Lovely  In The End  The  Drowsy Chaperone

41. Out There The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

42. I Just Can’t Wait To Be King  Lion King Jr

43. I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face My Fair Lady

44. As We Stumble Along  The Drowsy Chaperone

45. Wouldn’t It Be Loverly My Fair Lady

Posted November 27, 2017 by theatretechdiva in Uncategorized

Loving RYC    Leave a comment

There is a lot of ground to cover with these reviews so I am going to divide things up by Company. We’ll first start with Riverbend Company which recently put on The Wedding Singer and High School Musical.
The Wedding Singer  is one of my favorite Adam Sandler movies so I was so excited when I heard the Riverbend Alumni Company was doing it. The Alumni Company was first started in 2010 and is comprised of current high school students and college kids who are home from the Summer. Past shows included The Producers,Damn Yankees,Rogers And Hammerstien’s Cinderella, Anything Goes, Shrek The Musical and Into The Woods.  Did you  also know that Alyssa Lederhos who played Julia is a distant cousin of Drew Barrynore who played Julia in the film? I just found this out myself the night of the performance and thought it was a fun fact to share. Notable Performances were by Matt Katsiganis ( Robbie Hart), Jill Tokac ( Holly). Alyssa Lederhos ( Julia), Ethan Reeves ( Sammy) & Annabelle Meysynski ( Rosie) Favorite Musical Numbers were. it’s Your Weddung Day,Grow Old With You, Somebody Kill Me,Come Out Of The Dumpter, Awesome, Saturday Night In The City and  Move That Thang.

Wedding Singer was directed by Megan Dillon, musical Directed by Kim Whitehead and choreographed by Meghan Mcknight, it ran from August 4-6 at the Amato Center  For The Performing Arts! Great job to cast,crew and production team.

Contributors to this review:  Kerri Goolsby,Patty Helbig, Jen Roy, Matt Smith, Sonya Walcott 
Next up is High School Musical which had its opening night performance last night.  There are lots of high energy  numbers in this piece but also a great mix of ballads.    For some reason I thought of Summer Nights from Grease during the opening number Start Of Something New  because  for some reason the similarities can be drawn since Danny & Sandy & Troy & Gabriella both meet during school  vacation and also quite similarly Sandy and Gabriella are both the new girls in school trying to find where they fit in.   Notable Performances were by Evmorfia Alton ( Gabriella Montez),Ryan Quinlan ( Troy Bolton),Ellie Noble ( Ms. Darbus), Adani Dugnay Webster( Taylor Mckessie), Garret Robinson ( Ryan Evans)’ Mackenzie Ozaroff ( Sharpay Evans) and Brennan Parker ( Kelsi Neiksrn) Favorite Musical Numbers included Breaking Free, Start Of Something New, Bop To The Top,What I’ve Been Looking For ( Reprise) Stick To The Status  Quo and I Can’t Take My Eyes Of You.

High School Musical has one more performance this afternoon at  2:30pm at the  Amato Center For  The Performing Arts. It is  directed by Anna Quinlan, music directed by Kacie Leach and choreographed by Lily Ayotte
Contributors to this review: Jeff Hayward, Danielle Poirier, Matt Smith

Posted August 20, 2017 by theatretechdiva in Uncategorized

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.

 

 

Remembering Dan.   Leave a comment

“So  I say  thank you for the music

The songs I’m singing

Thanks for all the  joy they’re bringing

Who can live without,  it  I  ask it in all honesty

What would life be?

Without   a song or  a dance what are we?

So I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me.”

~ Thank You  For The Music  Mamma Mia

I have been having so much trouble coming up with the words to properly capture  how I feel  about  Dan Wolaver passing away.  I couldn’t speak at the services today because  I did not feel  I was ready to talk yet about how much he has meant to Matt and I.   Listening to the song  Thank You For The Music from Mamma Mia   (quoted above) finally allowed me to gather my thoughts.

I joined  SVC in  Fall 2014 and Matt joined the following  fall semester in 2015.   Everyone   was very welcoming to us  especially  Dan.    We both have found a second family  within the chorus and are so happy for all the friendships we have made.  Dan’s guidance  was  very important to both of us.  The last time  that that I saw him  he came over to my apartment with  suggestions for songs we could use for  future duet auditions and also gave us  an arrangement of  I’m  A  Believer from Shrek The Musical that can be used as a quartet.    Unfortunately we could  not audition for the  Showcase since we will be going to   at a wedding  but we are planning to audition for the Milford Pumpkin Festival talent show in September. Name of quartet is to be announced but of course it will be  a Shrek related quartet name.    Our audition and performance if we get chosen will be  dedicated to Dan’s memory.    Dan also  put a poem  I wrote  called Angels On My  Shoulder to sheet music which  I hope to be able to perform at some point.  Matt  also  added that  Dan got  him involved with reading music and what  the terminology meant and is  grateful for that.

So yes indeed, Dan  thank you for the music and all you have done for SVC.   Everyone in SVC will miss you very much but  I think Matt and I will miss you the most of all. We love you.