November 12, 2009

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Chicago and Psycho Beach Party
Directors talk about two of the many shows opening this weekend

By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

“All that Jazz”
Director Joe Vago said his Chicago cast is one of the best he’s worked with in 18 years. Leads in this Best Foot Forward Productions performance include many locally recognizable names. Cast members have experience with several companies in the area, including professional work with the Palace Theatre and Yellow Taxi Productions.

That professional work ethic and training has come in handy during rehearsals, as actors have come in well prepared, off book — and can dance, Vago said.

Best Foot Forward is a community company, though, and one of the challenges Vago faced was losing actors and crew along the way to work requirements, which could be a sign of economic times, he said.

Cabaret singers Roxie Hart (Ashley Hughes) and Velma Kelly (Kellie Haigh), charged with murdering their lovers in 1924 Chicago, vie to capitalize on their notoriety and for defense skills of attorney Billy Flynn (Stuart Harmon). Dance numbers have their own distinct styles, based on different performers of the era or the Vaudevillian stage, Vago said.

Tajoura Davis plays prison matron “Mama” Morton. Gary Evans, Allan Hunter, Michael McCarthy, Katie Proulx, Melissa Runde, Andrea Pickering, Amy Jaskolka, Sophie Carpenter, Meredythe Leonard, Karen Ostrowski, David Lemay, Jim Rogato, Christian Hodge, Rich Sparks and Chris Turcotte also perform.

Kellie Haigh choreographs. She also choreographs for the Palace, and was most recently seen in Sweet Charity. Frank Rene musically directs. Vago recommends catching this show because it’s hard to get the rights to it. Groups are frequently turned down, so who knows when it will be produced in this area again, he said. (Extra bonus: Central High’s 1,400-seat theater has some of the most comfortable theater seats around, he said.)

One of the great things about this musical is that every song is one people can leave the theater humming.

“Most of the time you’ll have a musical that has one or two great numbers. In this show almost every single song has that great quality to it,” Vago said.

Chicago, the 1975 musical from John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, runs Friday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 14, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m., at Central High School’s McAllaster Hall, 207 Lowell St., Manchester. Tickets cost $15, or $12 for students or seniors. Visit www.BestFootForwardProductions.org.

Gidget goes mental
Jessica Goodman and Lisa DeFazio direct Psycho Beach Party, for Ghostlight Theater Co. of New England. The community troupe offers three performances at the Capitol Center for the Arts, as part of its Spotlight Café series.

Chicklet is trying to learn to surf in 1960s Malibu, but she suffers different personalities when she sees the color red. Playwright Charles Busch originally titled it “Gidget Goes Psychotic,” but there were probably rights issues, Goodman said.

Victoria Hogan goes through at least five personalities as Chicklet during show, including a dominatrix, a radio personality, a checkout girl and a male model, Goodman said. One of her personalities is responsible for a rash of attacks on the beach where people are being shaved from head to toe, Goodman said.

One of the surfers who went to medical school decides to try hypnosis to discover what caused Chicklet’s multiple personalities during a big luau scene at the end. Marc Pelletier, Dylan Gamblin and Steven “Dingo” Ihde also perform.

A live band for the show call themselves the Asylums and provide a soundtrack featuring some of their own tunes and some classic ’60s and surf songs. They’ll also offer some pre-show entertainment, Goodman said. 

Ghostlight will be using rear projection as part of the set, which is going to allow for some “pretty neat special effects,” including a unique flashback scene, Goodman said.

This is Ghostlight’s first time at Spotlight Café, which according to the Capitol Center is “A place to discover fresh, exciting work in a hip, scintillating, club-style atmosphere.” The Café is held in the function hall, with a cash bar and concessions available. 

Psycho Beach Party contains adult language and content (leave the kids at home). See it Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7 or 10 p.m., or Sunday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., in the Spotlight Café at the Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main St., Concord (www.ccanh.com, 225-1111, www.gltne.org). Tickets cost $20.


Steven “Dingo” Ihde, Dylan Gamblin, Victoria Hogan and Cory Cocchiaro in Psycho Beach Party. Photo courtesy Lisa DeFazio.

11/5/2009 Coming up

10/29/2009 Curtain calls
10/22/2009 Stephen Schwartz comes to Stockbridge
10/15/2009 Curtain calls
10/8/2009 Return to Laramie
10/01/2009 Page to stage returns
9/24/2009 Curtain calls
9/17/2009 World War II and hair salon
9/10/2009 Curtain calls
9/3/2009 Curtain calls
8/27/2009 Curtain calls
8/20/2009 Letter from backstage
8/13/2009 Curtain calls
8/6/2009 Curtain calls
7/30/2009 Finding direction
7/23/2009 Theater on the grass
7/16/2009 Germany, France and England
7/9/2009 The Bard and Disney!
7/02/2009 Robots!
6/25/2009 Curtain calls
6/18/2009 Altered souls
6/11/2009 Curtain calls
6/4/2009 Curtain calls
5/28/2009 This one time at theater camp ...
5/21/2009 Curtain calls
5/14/2009 Curtain calls
5/7/2009 Review:Actorsingers produces The Producers
4/30/2009 Journey to and through Motherhood
4/23/2009 Concord does the Full Monty
4/16/2009 Courtroom drama
4/9/2009 Scotland- bound
4/2/2009 Curtain calls
3/26/2009 The original sitcom
3/19/2009 Palace to produce The Producers
3/12/2009 British farce and new romantic comedy
3/5/2009 Curtain calls
2/26/2009 Serious stories
2/19/2009 Curtain calls
2/12/2009 On Golden Pond writer honored
2/5/2009 Divorce and death
1/29/2009 Red carpet?
1/22/2009 Curtain calls
1/15/2009 Money, powqer and family
1/8/2009 Offer your two cents
1/1/2009 Tapping into the spotlight
12/25/2008 Curtain calls
12/18/2008 BIg things that come in envelopes
12/11/2008 Curtiain calls
12/04/2008 Remains of an affair
11/27/2008 Ballet — not for the faint of heart
11/20/2008 Mary's new home
11/13/2008 Company, Secret garden and Doubt
11/6/2008 That Broadway sound
10/30/2008 Curtain calls
10/23/2008 Busy theaters
10/16/2008 All in one weekend
10/9/2008 Merrimack Rep at 20
10/2/2008 Curtain calls
9/25/2008 Curtain calls
9/18/2008 Stage sports
9/11/2008 Second Life to the rescue
9/4/2008 Curtain calls
8/28/2008 Tennessee Williams at Weirs
8/21/2008 Change for the moment
8/14/2008 Curtain calls
8/7/2008 Wicked experience
7/31/2008 Merry tales
7/24/2008 Review: the great outdoors
7/17/2008 Curtain calls
7/10/2008 Musical monsters
7/3/2008 Curtain calls
6/26/2008 Curtain calls
6/19/2008 Summer stock
6/12/2008 Curtain calls
6/5/2008 This one time, at drama camp...
5/29/2008 Curtain calls
5/22/2008 Making it big
5/15/2008 Curtain calls
5/8/2008 Curtain calls
5/1/2008 Forging ahead
4/24/2008 The Bard, condensed
4/17/2008 'Balance' in Bedford
4/10/2008 Curtain calls
4/3/2008 Singing for a cause
3/27/2008 These aren't recitals folks
3/20/2008 Albee at MRT
3/13/2008 Murder and rhinos
3/6/2008 Murder and rhinos
2/28/2008 The art of theater criticism
2/21/2008 Breaking the cycle
2/14/2008 Curtain Calls
2/7/2008 NH Theatre awards sixth year
1/31/2008 Elvis fans and ghost stories
1/24/2008 Building an audience
1/17/2008 Curtain Calls
1/10/2008 Fate of Annicchiarico
1/3/2008 A little confidence
12/27/2007 Stage notables in 2007
12/20/2007 If all they want for Christmas is two good seats ...
12/13/2007 Summer stock vs. southern NH
12/06/2007 Curtain Calls
11/29/2007 Curtain Calls
11/22/2007 Broadway composer and actress hit Granite State
11/15/2007 One-man play turns audience into students
11/8/2007 Curtain calls
11/1/2007 First times
10/25/2007 Curtain Calls
10/18/2007 Curtain Calls
10/11/2007 American History
10/04/2007 Active in the community
9/27/2007 Stringing single
9/20/2007 Curtain Calls
9/13/2007 Free range
9/6/2007 Curtain Calls
8/30/2007 Curtain Calls
8/23/2007 Curtain Calls
8/16/2007 Curtain Calls
8/9/2007 Curtain Calls
8/2/2007 That deaf, dumb and blind kid
7/26/2007 Potty humor
7/19/2007 Ease on down the road
7/12/2007 Jekyll vs. Hyde
7/5/2007 If it's free, it's for me
6/28/2007 Transformations
6/21/2007 Curtain calls
6/14/2007 No really, you'll get it
6/7/2007 Curtain calls
5/31/2007 Curtain calls
5/24/2007 Putting the camp in camp
5/17/2007 Curtain Calls
5/10/2007 Curtain Calls
5/3/2007 Curtain Calls
4/26/2007 Still going strong
4/19/2007 Vietnam the the Palace
4/12/2007 Confluence
4/5/2007 First look
3/29/2007 Reluctant star
3/15/2007 In a town far away
3/8/2007 Curtain calls
3/1/2007 Into the future
2/22/2007 But will it play in New Hampshire
2/15/2007 Curtain calls
2/8/2007 Family affair
2/1/2007 Curtain calls
1/25/2007 Curtain calls
1/18/2007 Curtain calls
1/11/2007 Curtain calls
1/4/2007 Fork in the road
12/28/2006 Standout performances of '06
12/21/2006 Curtain Calls
12/14/2006 Players remember Peter Bridges
12/07/2006 Young talent
11/30/2006 Lighthearted farce for the holidays
11/23/2006 Curtain Calls
11/16/2006 Good theater
11/9/2006 Preview roundup
11/2/2006 Access to the ancients
10/26/2006 Aida on a Nashua stage
10/19/2006 Children of a Lesser God brilliantly played
10/12/2006 A true love triangle
10/05/2006 Curtain Calls
09/28/2006 Bringing people back to life
09/21/2006 Getting judged
09/14/2006 Long strange journey
09/07/2006 Curtain Calls
08/31/2006 Curtain Calls
08/24/2006 Putting kids in charge
08/17/2006 Curtain Calls
08/10/2006 All theater, all summer
08/03/2006 A Jesus musical, reworked
07/27/2006 A match made in Maine
07/20/2006 Variations on a theme
07/13/2006 I Hate Hamlet
07/06/2006 Serious theater
06/29/2006 L.A. in Peterborough
06/22/2006 Da Vinci to Rube Goldberg
06/15/2006 Peter Bridges remembered
06/08/2006 From Hairspray to monkeys
06/01/2006 Special Theatrics
05/25/2006 Live Brit-com
05/18/2006 Evil stepsisters earn the yuks
05/11/2006 A message to mom
05/04/2006 Meet the cast
04/27/2006 'I hope i get it'
04/20/2006 Find yourself in Yonkers
04/13/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
04/06/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
03/30/2006 Cabaret is Mnchester bound
03/23/2006 A 42nd Street detour
03/16/2006 Actor-director wants your ideas
02/23/2006 Yellow Taxi's Theater Festival opens March 1
02/16/2006 Herding CATS
02/09/2006 An†actors' studio
02/02/2006 A thing about love
01/26/2006 Spring theater season warming up
01/19/2006 Gearing up for the big night
01/12/2006 This Phantom is not a menace
01/05/2006 Jim Kelly, sci-fi writer and alternate historian
10th anniversary at Capitol Center
10 Ways To Survive The Audition
A Chorus Line
A Figaro Worth Cheering
A 'Living Newspaper' on stage
A tale of two wives
A Tribute To Music
Actorsingers Deliver On Superstar
Beauty and the Beast
Bedford Off-Broadway Gets Spooky
Being The Beatles, 1964 The Tribute
Bringing NYC to Wilton
Creating the venue from antiques
Crimes Of The Heart
Curtain to rise on Dana Center
Dana Center Takes Center Stage
Ensemble elevates Palaceís Godspell
From stage to the silver screen
Great play, too bad itís over
Greater Tuna
Humble Boy
Itís cabaret, hear it sing, joke, tease
It's Child's Play
Jesus Christ Superstar
Kids Tackle Edgar Allan Poe
Local boy hits the big time, doesnít lose his head
Lowell theater opens with a winner of a satire
Madco welcomes Boston actor-director
Meet John Sefel, Director
Meet Suzanne Delle, Yellow Taxiís driver
Music Man to run three weekends
New Thalian Players
Palace announces 2005-06 season
Peterborough Playersí Solidarity is solid gold
Plaid
Plaid (II)
Playing with manís best friend
Proud of the Peacock
Racy, crazy blast at the Palace
Reviving His Passion
Robert Dionne, The man behind the Majestic
Rosemary Dann
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
Short-Attention Span Theater
Side Show
Sideshow slips sideways
Spending The Summer On Stage
Stages of learning
Steel Magnolias
Suessical: The Musical
Theater Of The Imagination
Theater Kids Without A School
Theater in the park draws big
The Drawer Boy
The Festival
The†Five best shows of 2005
The Prisoner Of Second Avenue
The Russian/American Kids Circus
The Senator Wore Pantyhose
The Tony Awards, they're grrrrreat
The Warmth Of The Cold
Three nights, three shows at the Palace
Tosca

Under the Caribbean with the little mermaid

Wake up to Ďnight Mother