Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review: 9 to 5 The Musical

Friday Night I had the pleasure of attending 90 Miles off Broadway's production of 9 to 5: The Musical. 9 to 5: The Musical is a musical based on the 1980 movie of the same name, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton. It features a book by Patricia Resnick, based on the screenplay by Resnick and Colin Higgins. The musical premiered in Los Angeles in September 2008, and opened on Broadway in April 2009. It received 15 Drama Desk Award nominations, the most received by a production in a single year, as well as 4 Tony Awards nominations. The Broadway production however was short-lived, closing in September 2009. A national tour of the US launched in 2010, followed by a UK premiere in 2012.

This production was charming and funny, upbeat with lots of laughs. This production was directed by Phillip Corso with musical direction by Lisa Danner. Overall an absolute delight for the senses. It was opening night, and although not flawless on the technical side, as some numbers were oddly lit and there were some microphone issues, the overall show is like a bottle of wine ... it will get even better with time.The central trio of the show Violet (Kim Lupinacci), Doralee (Kristen DelVecchio), and Judy (Dianna Waller) were perfect combo, with strong vocals and wonderful comedic timing. Frank Hart Jr. (Joe Eriole) was just as expected. Roz (Jody Bayer) delivered. The rest of the cast was as strong as the central roles and were energetic and charming.

I enjoyed the production so very much and wish I had time to see it again next weekend. I encourage everyone to get out to this not-to-be-missed production. Showtimes are May 3&4 at 7:30pm and May 5 at 2pm at New Paltz High School.

Get tickets now!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Auditions! 9-5: The Musical

Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton
Book by Patricia Resnick
Director Philip Corso
Musical Director Lisa Danner

Audition Dates:
The New Paltz Reform Church
92 Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY

January 25th @ 7:00 to 9:30pm
January 26th @ 12:00 to 4:00pm

January 27th @ 12:00 to 1:00pm we will see new people who
could not make the first two audition dates by appointment only.

Call Backs:
January 27th @ 1:00 to 4:00pm

Show Dates and Location:
April 26th, 27th
May 3rd, 4th and 5th
Otto Grassel Auditorium
New Paltz High School
South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz
For your audition: Please prepare any song that shows off your vocal range. A pianist will be provided. We will have the 9 to 5 score if you wish to sing from the show.o 50's)
A widow and a mother of a teenager. Practically runs the office.
Act I
"9 to 5" – Violet, Doralee, Dwayne, Judy and Ensemble
"Around Here" – Violet and Ensemble
"Here for You" – Franklin
"I Just Might" – Judy, Doralee and Violet
"Backwoods Barbie" – Doralee
"Heart to Hart" – Roz and Ensemble
"The Dance of Death" – Judy, Franklin and Ensemble
"Cowgirl's Revenge" – Doralee, Franklin and Ensemble
"Potion Notion" – Violet, Franklin and Ensemble
"Joy to the Girls" – Judy, Doralee, Violet, Franklin and Ensemble"Shine Like the Sun" – Doralee, Judy and Violet

Act II
Entr'acte – Orchestra
"One of the Boys" – Violet and Boys
"5 to 9" – Roz
"Change It"– Doralee, Violet, Judy and Ensemble
"Let Love Grow"– Joe and Violet
"Get Out and Stay Out"– Judy"Finale: 9 to 5" – Company

If you have any questions about the show or auditions contact
Philip Corso at 914 474-5794.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Carrie the Musical: A Review

I went with a good friend to see Carie the Musical (off-off broadway) in NYC today. It was an enthralling production.

Carrie: The Musical is a musical with a book by Lawrence D. Cohen, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and music by Michael Gore. Adapted from Stephen King's novel Carrie, it focuses on an awkward teenage girl with telekinetic powers whose lonely life is dominated by an oppressive religious fanatic mother. When she is humiliated by her classmates at the high school prom, she wreaks havoc on everyone and everything in her path. Francis X. Clines, in The New York Times (March 2, 1988) noted that Carrie is "Mr. King's carmine variation on Cinderella".

It was a superb production. The sound effects, the music, the score and lighting (oh my, the lighting!) all combine to make a story that is riveting. The entire cast was amazing. Every person had a moment to shine, and boy did they all take that opportunity. Vocally I loved the show, the songs were emotional and memorable. The choreography was sharp and very visually interesting. Did I mention how AMAZING the cast was? It's worth mentioning twice.

The set was minimalistic, as was the furnishings. It suggested aptly a time and place without being bulky. Scenes flowed quickly from one to another seamlessly. What was spectacular was the lighting design - a simple white cross projected signified some of the more religious moments in the show. projections of candle flames suggested much more depth to the scene. Very well done.

The highlight of the show was the destruction scene at the prom. First, the dumping of the blood - was all done with lighting effects, projected over the entire stage, then Carrie was hit with a red spotlight - a very effective technique. Then the choreography of the cast was beautifully timed to the music and
Carrie's gestures with these grotesque contortions as Carrie loses control over her talent and takes it out on her tormentors. The fire is also suggested through sound and the lighting projections over the whole stage of flames. It was amazing and breathtaking. Emotionally tragic, of course, as you know what is going to happen and you keep hoping it will turn around.

The final scene Carrie enters drenched in stage blood which provides the continuity from the previous scene and the end - will leave you in tears.

I would go see it again. It was superb, the kind of musical theater theater draws you in at the beginning of the show and doesn't let you go until the last bar of music.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hairspray: A Review

Last night a friend and I made the trek out to see Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop's  Hairspray at the Rivoli Theater. It was about an hour and a half ride for us, but the trip was totally worth it. What a charming production!

Hairspray is a musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray. The songs include 1960s-style dance music and rhythm and blues. In 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, plump teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show. When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight. She then launches a campaign to integrate the show. Hairspray is a social commentary on the injustices of parts of American society in the 1960s.

The musical's original Broadway production opened on August 15, 2002 and won eight Tony Awards. It ran for over 2,500 performances and closed on January 4, 2009. Hairspray has also had U.S. national tours, a London West End production, a UK tour and numerous foreign productions and was adapted for a 2007 musical film.

Highlights of the show include an amazing ensemble with very strong command of the sometimes complex harmonies. Edna Turnblad played by Joseph Jervais was an absolute delight to both listen to and watch. He had great delivery of lines with perfect comedic timing. Penny Pingleton played by Heather Stevens was a hidden gem in the show. I especially enjoyed Rebecca Patterson DaCosta (Motormouth Maybelle), Walter Chilsholm (Seaweed), the Dynamites and the Council. Tracy was adorable, Link handsome and Corny Collins ... exactly what you would expect.

Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now, Welcome to the 60's, The Big Doll House, Big, Blond and Beautiful, and You Can't stop the Beat were all delightful numbers. The choreography was crisp and fun to watch.

The costuming was bright, cheerful and exactly what one would expect stepping back into 1962. The band was wonderful. Lighting was a little dim at times and there seemed to be some issues with the microphones. I love the score for this show, it is full of numbers that will leaving you dancing in your seat, and humming the tunes on the way home.

Overall a wonderful production which I encourage you to go see. They have two more performances - August 13 @ 8pm & August 14 @ 2pm. Tickets can be ordered at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Into the Wood Auditions

Into the WoodsDragonFly Performing Arts announces auditions for INTO THE WOODS, the musical

DragonFly Performing Arts will be holding auditions for Into the Woods on Sunday, January 30th from 4pm to 8pm at DragonFly Performing Arts Center,  473 Main Street in Cairo, NY.   All parts are open. 

Roles are:

Strong actor, good singer, good-hearted man    A flat - E flat

Excellent singer and actress, comic timing, determined and patient, drives the play forward    B flat - D

Strong singer, moves well, comic timing, beautiful yet awkward and clumsy A - D

Some group singing, seemingly no interest in his daughter's well-being, in one scene
Good singer, good actor, brother, pompous and self-absorbed  -  B flat - D flat

Good singer, in one scene - B flat - D

Good actress, good singer, selfish, mean and nasty  -  G - D

Good actress, good singer, step-sister to Cinderella, spoiled brat -  E - G

Good speaking voice, fiesty and fierce, may be doubled with Cinderella's Mother - Non-singing

Good actor, excellent singer, capable of transitioning from a simple boy to a more grown-up young man - A - D

Good actress, strong speaking voice, some singing -  C - C

Good actress, strong voice, pushy, bratty and spoiled - B flat - C

Good actress, good singer, step-sister to Cinderella, spoiled brat - E - G

Good part for young child, moves well - Non-singing

Strong speaking voice, can be doubled with Narrator role - Non-singing

Engaging, charismatic, strong speaking voice, some singing, may double as Mysterious Man - G - B

Excellent singing voice - C - A

Good singer, good actor, brother, pompous and self-absorbed - B flat - D flat

Featured role, good singer - C - D

Good actress, strong singer, mysterious, mischievous, mother to Rapunzel - B flat - C

Strong speaking voice, can be doubled or played by female - Non-singing

The director will be Rita Carver, Artistic Director.  This Emmy Award winner has worked professionally in the Theatre for almost 20 years. She has worked in Broadway Theatre - both on and off, Regional Theatre, Dance and Opera - both American and European. Productions include An American Daughter, Once Upon a Mattress, A Delicate Balance, The Sisters Rosensweig, Guys and Dolls, The Pointer Sisters’ Ain’t Misbehavin’, and Paper Moon.

Ms Carver has been teaching for fifteen years.  Recent schools where she has taught include New York University, SUNY Fredonia, Dutchess Community College, and Westchester Community College.  Other teaching opportunities have been at industry trade shows as well as many articles in trade magazines.

  Ms. Carver won an Emmy Award for her work on the “2000 Sydney Olympics.” She also won an Emmy nomination for the “Montel Williams Show” as well as a Silver Axiem Award.  She won a Silver Axiem Award for “Elmo’s World.”  She is also under contract with Focal Press to write a new textbook for Theatre classes.  Ms. Carver holds an MFA from New York University.

DragonFly Performing Arts, a 501(c)3 corporation, is dedicated to bringing Theatre and the Performing Arts to the youth and community of Greene County.  Ms. Carver  said, “Whether on stage or off, DragonFly is committed to bringing the very best in theater to the youth of Greene County, and the community at large.  Training in the performing arts is not only an exciting activity, but an opportunity for any individual to be creative and confident members of our community.”

All rehearsals and performances will be in Cairo, NY.  Rehearsals begin in early May, with performances June 10-12 and 17-19.  For more information, contact DragonFly Performing Arts at 947-6306 or check out their web site at

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dragonfly Arts offering Theater Classes

DragonFly Performing Arts announces a new array of theater arts classes, available now to area students, both young and old.
DragonFly Performing Arts in Cairo, which is now offering youngsters a Circus Arts course, today is also announcing spring classes in a host of other theatrical skills instruction for those from 8 to 80 looking to ham it up in front of an audience, or apply their new skills on back stage crafts.

Under the guidance of Artistic Director Rita K. Carver, DragonFly presents an instrument for artistic expression and human understanding for students and audiences alike.

"The classes we offer have consistently attracted eager and enthusiastic groups of students,” Ms Carver said, adding, “They show wonderful progress, and many continue to re-enroll as they perfect and improve their skills. We have been very fortunate that our own students have effectively applied their new-found experience and knowledge in many of DragonFly's on-going theatrical productions."

 The circus comes to town with the CIRCUS ARTS class, where youths from 8 to 12 can learn juggling, basic tumbling, falls, and slapstick techniques. They even get to design your own personal clown makeup.

 For those interested in created theatrical scenery, there’s SCENE STUDY, an opportunity to develop an intensive focus on scene work. One scene per two students will be dissected and analyzed. 

One cannot fully appreciate theater without some knowledge of SHAKESPEARE. This course introduces students to the themes and language of Shakespeare's anthology.  There will be an in-depth study of scenes from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" that helps students to understand the historical significance of the play while relating the script to current trends.  Here’s an opportunity to understand the timelessness of Shakespeare and his relevance to modern audiences.

To complete the picture, DragonFly also has courses in STAGE MANAGEMENT and DIRECTING, two key off-stage roles that are essential to creating a successful theatrical production.  Students learn what is required of a stage manager, what is needed to prepare for rehearsals, how to organize a play book and how to call a show. Hands on experience with a DragonFly production is part of the program. Would be directors learn how to break down a script to see what is required, define character development, and prepare for auditions. 

For more information, fees, class schedules and a registration form contact DragonFly Performing arts at PO Box 1224, Cairo, NY 12413, 518-947-6306 or check out their web site at  Deadline for registration is March 1, 2011.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lack of Theatre

This time of the year is crazy. There is a lot of great theater to see, and I have so many shows I want to go to - but with the Holidays upon us, and a new job - things are very busy.


Nov 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Nov 14, 20, 2010 at 2:00 PM

County Players Falls Theatre
2681 W. Main St
Wappingers Falls, NY

Promises, Promises

Nov 12, 13, 19, 20, 2010 at 8:00 PM
Nov 14, 21, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Trinity Players
Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center
12 Vassar Street
Poughkeepsie, NY

Mid Hudson Valley Theater Blog

Community Theater in the Mid Hudson Valley of New York. Information on shows, auditions, and our general adventures onstage, backstage and in the audience.