Saturday, October 31, 2009

In the Wings: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Meet Jordan Friend.


Jordan Friend plays Charlie Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the second production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The show is based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip "Peanuts."

Jordan explained why he auditioned for the show.

"I had listened to a couple of songs and really enjoyed them," he said. "Plus it's 'Peanuts' and I really like those comics."

Jordan said Charlie Brown is very modest and a little bit shy although he is a nice guy. He enjoys the scenes that bring out these characteristics.

"One example is a scene when he is looking at the Little Red-Haired Girl and he isn't sure if he wants to talk to her or not," Jordan said. "He feels, 'Why shouldn't she look at me? But I'm not as good as I could be.'"

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs from Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 8 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m.; the show on Sunday afternoon begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Friday, October 30, 2009

In the Wings: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Meet Elena Escudero.


Elena Escudero plays Snoopy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the second production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The show is based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip "Peanuts."

Elena auditioned for the show because it has sentimental value.

"My parents met during a production of this show in Richmond, Virginia," she said. "My mom had just moved to Richmond, and she was playing piano and my dad was designing the lighting. I brought them together."

Snoopy has many wonderful character traits, but loyalty may be the best.

"Snoopy is Charlie Brown's best friend, even when no one else is," Elena said.

Elena concluded by describing a scene from the show that the audience will enjoy.

"Snoopy has a monologue called 'The Red Baron Melodrama," she said. "Snoopy is alone on stage and an unidentified voice is providing sound effects along with the piano. Basically, Snoopy enacts a scene of chasing the Red Baron."

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs from Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 8 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m.; the show on Sunday afternoon begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In the Wings: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Meet Amanda Walker.


Amanda Walker plays Lucy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the second production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The show is based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip "Peanuts."

Amanda auditioned for the show because she had never acted in a musical with a small cast.

"I had never done a show like this before," she said. "There are only six people in the cast, and I thought it would be really fun to be involved because the actors get really close in a small cast."

Lucy is a very strong character who says whatever she feels, Amanda said.

"Lucy usually gets what she wants because she's very forceful," she said.

Amanda concluded by describing a moment in the show the audience will enjoy.

"The last song, 'Happiness,' is one that the audience will remember," she said. "It's a nice, sweet song and a good way to close the show."

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs from Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 8 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m.; the show on Sunday afternoon begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In the Wings: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Meet Marcos Cisneros.


Marcos Cisneros plays Linus in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the second production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The show is based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip "Peanuts."

Marcos auditioned for the show because he wanted to experience being part of a team.

"I had never really been involved in a large team effort or organization," he said. "Civic Theatre always has been a more intellectual way of expressing myself. It also has the team aspect to it; it's very team-oriented. I wanted to get that experience."

Marcos described Linus as a genius.

"He's portrayed as being smart in the comic strip but throughout this show he is revealed as being brilliant," Marcos said.

He concluded by suggesting two songs that an audience will especially enjoy.

"Sally's number, 'My New Philosophy,' is one of my favorites. It's a big, Broadway-esque song," Marcos said. "Also, Snoopy's 'Suppertime' is really big. And the dancing is beautifully done."

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs from Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 8 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m.; the show on Sunday afternoon begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In the Wings: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Meet Annie Ellis.


Annie Ellis plays Sally in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the second production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The show is based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip "Peanuts."

Annie explained why she auditioned for the show.

"I had listened to some of the music and thought it was really cute," she said. "I also had a lot of friends who were auditioning. They convinced me to audition too."

She said Sally, one of the youngest characters in the musical, also is one of its quirkiest.

"Sally is very random," Annie said. "She has a lot of random monologues during which she talks about obscure things. She also is kind of mean to her brother, Charlie Brown."

Annie concluded by describing what it is like to be involved with Civic Youth Theatre.

"You get the chance to work with a lot of really great directors who have a lot of experience," she said. "It's really fun because you get to do a variety of shows and learn a lot of acting techniques."

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs from Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 8 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m.; the show on Sunday afternoon begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Monday, October 26, 2009

In the Wings: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Meet Aaron Brehm.


Aaron Brehm plays Schroeder in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the second production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The show is based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip "Peanuts."

Aaron has acted in four other Civic Youth Theatre shows, but wanted to audition for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown because it is different from the others.

"I wanted to try a musical. It's my first, except for the summer camp production of The Pirates of Penzance Junior," he said.

Aaron explained that Schroeder is a very focused character.

"Schroeder is all about music, especially Beethoven," he said. "He's very caught up in that. It's his whole life."

Aaron concluded by explaining why he enjoys being involved with Civic Youth Theatre.

"It's really fun," he said. "There are a lot of fun people who work and volunteer with the theatre. And the people who act in a show are a lot of fun."

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs from Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 8 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m.; the show on Sunday afternoon begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In the Wings: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Meet Laurie Russell, the co-director.


Laurie Russell co-directs You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the second production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The other co-director is Melanie R. Buchanan. The show is based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip "Peanuts."

"The show takes a lot of vignettes from the 'Peanuts' comic strip," Laurie said. "It doesn't include all the characters. There are only six: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Sally and Schroeder. The songs are based on some of the themes that Schulz presents in the comic strip."

Laurie explained what she enjoys about the Civic Youth Theatre program.

"Civic Youth Theatre brings together kids from different schools," she said. "When they are at Civic, these kids are no longer in the 'Battle Ground group' or the 'Klondike group.' They all work together to put on a show."

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs from Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 8 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m.; the show on Sunday afternoon begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Tour of Terror: In the Civic Theatre lobby











The 2009 Tour of Terror continues two more weekends, Oct. 23-24 and 30-31. For the schedule of tours, including mini-tours and bus tours, please call (765) 423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/

Grant Fredericks' poster design for The Trip to Bountiful


Grant Fredericks designed the poster above for Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's production of The Trip to Bountiful.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grant Fredericks' poster design for Crossing Delancey


Grant Fredericks designed the poster above for Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's production of Crossing Delancey.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grant Fredericks' poster design for A Thousand Clowns


Grant Fredericks designed the poster above for Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's production of A Thousand Clowns.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Grant Fredericks' poster design for Rumors


Grant Fredericks designed the poster above for Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's production of Rumors.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Grant Fredericks' poster design for The Boys Next Door


Grant Fredericks designed the poster above for Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's production of The Boys Next Door.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tour Director Paul Addison on WLFI Noon News


Paul Addison, Director of the Tour of Terror, appeared on the WLFI noon news today to promote the annual event.
The Tour of Terror opens this Friday and runs every Friday and Saturday through Halloween.
Full Tours are each night at: 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00 and a special Midnight Tour.
Mini-Tours are each night at: 7:30 and 8:30
Bus Tours are each Saturday at 6:45 and 8:45

Mini Tours are $10
Full Tours are $13
Midnight Tours are $15

Tickets are available by calling 765-423-7529
or on line at http://lafayettecivic.tix.com
You can also purchase tickets at the door. Beware though, many tours will sell out, so do not wait till the last minute.

Announcing the cast of A Christmas Story


Director John David Collier has announced the cast for A Christmas Story, the second production of the 2009-2010 MainStage Season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

The cast includes:

  • Ralph - Michael Greenan
  • Old Man - Kit Klutzke
  • Mother - Heather Owen
  • Ralphie - Layton Laukins
  • Randy - Cameron Avery
  • Schwartz - Spencer Anderson
  • Flick - Timmy Ewing
  • Esther Jane - Riley Anderson
  • Helen - Jessica Lazarz
  • Scut Farkas - Ross Klink
  • Miss Shields - Jane Hampton
  • Santa Claus - Arliss Jeffries

A Christmas Story will open Friday, December 4 and run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, December 20 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 8 p.m.; Sunday afternoon performances will begin at 2:30 p.m. There also will be a performance Thursday, December 17 at 8 p.m.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call Civic Theatre's office at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Civic Theatre nominated for Journal & Courier Readers' Choice Award

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is one of the finalists in the 2009 Readers' Choice Awards from the Journal & Courier - Lafayette and West Lafayette's daily newspaper.

Civic Theatre is one of five nominees for the "Best Live Theater Venue" award in the Entertainment & Leisure Category. The others are Elliott Hall of Music, Lafayette Theater, The Long Center for the Performing Arts and the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater.

To cast your vote in the 2009 Readers' Choice Awards, visit the voting page on the Journal & Courier's Web site here. Voting ends at 7:59 a.m. on October 13. The winners will be announced in a special section of the Journal & Courier on November 12.

In the Wings: The 7th Annual Tour of Terror


For the seventh year in a row, Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is proud to bring stories of fiendish fires, beastly beheadings, awful accidents, monstrous murders and much more to audiences during the Halloween season.

Tour of Terror begins Friday, October 16 and continues through the following dates:
  • Saturday, October 17

  • Friday, October 23

  • Saturday, October 24

  • Friday, October 30

  • Saturday, October 31
Each night there will be full-length walking tours beginning at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 11 p.m. Mini-tours, lasting less than 60 minutes, will be held at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. each night. Bus tours – which include stories outside the downtown Lafayette area – are available on Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. There also will be a Midnight Witching Hour tour each night.

The Tour of Terror is a walking tour of downtown Lafayette that visits sites of horrible accidents, mayhem and murder. The stories are historically researched and told in a theatrical way for the education and entertainment for those on the tour. Each tour is led by a talented and knowledgeable tour guide and accompanied by a lantern-wielding follower. Terror Tourists are invited to warm up in the Monon Depot Theatre lobby with complimentary treats and hot apple cider.

Tickets for full tours, including the bus tours, cost $13 per person. Tickets for the mini-tours cost $10 per person. Tickets for the Midnight Witching Hour tours are $15 per person. Tickets are available by visiting the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 313 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette, calling the office at 765-423-7529 or visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com/. Tickets also can be purchased the night of the tour at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette on a first-come, first-served basis.

The 2009 Tour of Terror is generously sponsored by Hippensteel Funeral Service and Crematory and Pets Remembered Cremation Services.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Announcing the cast of The Exonerated

Director Rachel Lambert has announced the cast for The Exonerated, the second staged reading of the 2009-2010 Staged Reading Series at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen.

The cast includes:
  • Delbert - Oge Agulue
  • Kerry - Steven Saltsman
  • Sunny - Trish Peterson
  • Robert - Allias Jones
  • David - Nico Caldwell
  • Gary - Greg Seiters
  • Georgia / Kerry’s Judge / Darla - Mickala Hinnant
  • Sandra / Sue / Female Lawyer / State Attorney / David’s Defense - Bobbie Sue Ferrell-Brey
  • White Cop 1 / Kerry’s Defense / Jesse / David’s Prosecution / Voice-Over Inmate / Cellmate / Ex-Boyfriend / Farmer - Matt Webb
  • White Cop 2 / Rhodes / Sheriff Carroll / Kerry’s Prosecution / Robert’s Judge / Southern White Guy / Jeff - Alex Manich
  • Deputy / Court Attorney / Doyle / White Guard / Robert’s Prosecution - Collin McShane

The staged reading of The Exonerated will be held Tuesday, December 8 at 7 p.m. in the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. It is a Pay What You Can Event. A second staged reading will be scheduled in December on the Purdue University campus.

For more information about the staged reading, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette’s office at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette’s Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One Size Fits All Improv presents The "WLFI vs. The World" Show this Saturday


When it comes to good news, there's a lot in Lafayette and West Lafayette. An example: One Size Fits All Improv returns to Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette this Saturday.

Even the theme is newsy: The "WLFI vs. The World" Show

That's right, one team will be WLFI folks who will compete against another group of OSFAers for the audience's love and approval on Saturday, October 10 at 8:00 p.m. at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette.

An M.C. calls the plays, the audience gives suggestions and heck, you may even be invited on stage.

The M.C.:
Steve Martin

The WLFI Entourage:
Baron Brendel

Nathan Caldwell

and Adam Kurtz

The Representatives of The World:
Martin Fernandez

Bill Ross

and Laurie Russell

Tickets are $4 at the door the night of the show. There will be no highlights at 11 so get to the theatre early for your tickets!

The "WLFI vs. The World" Show: It's Improv from where YOU live.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Create one-of-a-kind Halloween costumes with Civic Theatre



Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette has a large collection of period clothing, hats and wigs that can be mixed and matched to create one-of-a-kind costumes for Halloween and other occasions.

Officer Manager Bob Sauers asks that people who are interested in renting a costume from Civic Theatre call 765-423-7529 to make an appointment to look through the costume shop; appointments must be made for 4 p.m.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Share Your Thoughts: Our Town


Now that Our Town has closed, share your thoughts about the production.

What will you most remember about the show? What were your thoughts about the performances? The design? The story and theme? What were the standout moments?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

These are a few of my favorite MUSICAL things...

Part two, the musicals, or should I say the Musicals! (with jazz hands!)

It is pretty well known that I am not a huge musical fan. It is not that I look down on the art form, it is more that I simply prefer plays. Some musicals are trite and silly and pointless, but let's face so are many "straight plays" and there are plenty of musicals with lots of heft.

Again, this list is subjective and should be fun. These are shows that are my favorites because of how they touched me personally and emotionally. Some are shows I have seen, others shows I have worked on. So with no further introduction:
1 -- Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg with a libretto by Alain Boublil, and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Talk about heft. Victor Hugo's novel is enormous, 1200 pages in the English translation, and deals with many subjects, religion, politics, poverty, all those great dinner conversation issues. It also speaks of redemption, and morality as opposed to "following the rules." Giacomo Puccini an Italian composer attempted to adapt the book to opera from only to give up. The musical (originally in French before the hugely successful English translation premiered in London) has changed the world. The sheer spectacle of the story, and its battles and multiple locations has given high expectations to anyone who followed. Indeed the next show from Les Miserables creators, Miss Saigon, had a helicopter on stage. But all that aside, I love the music and most importantly I love the story. It is a story that is told well and with much power.

2 -- West Side Story book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim oh and throw in original choreography by Jerome Robins, this show had it all. Based on the story of Romeo and Juliet, the show is wonderful. The music is rich and full (as one would expect from Leonard Bernstein) and the whole show is thrilling. Of course there are issues. Stephen Sondheim has admitted that before the show, he had never met a Puerto Rican. The stereotypes and some of the writing reflect a more insulated and euro-centric way of looking at things. The film got a little better, and as I understand it this most recent revival even better. In fact many parts of the show are translated into Spanish, to give a more realistic voice to the Sharks. I have done the show once, although only as a Master Electrician, and would love to revisit it some day.

3--Ragtime book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. Talk about scope and size, the original production on Broadway closed despite selling more than 90% of every house, the show was just too big. I love the music and the story, one of my all time favorites. There is a revival set to open this October, perhaps this will be a little scaled back and the show can last longer.

4-- Pippin with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson. Pippin is another favorite show that I was lucky enough to do. I was Master Electrician of a production my senior year at IU and fell in love with the show. Pippin without a doubt has been influenced by its original choreographer, Bob Fosse. The music is typical early Schwartz, but the story and structure is not. About as Brechtian as a musical comedy can get, Pippin ends with three characters on a bare stage with no costumes singing with not a single musician.

5 -- Cabaret book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander. A dark world of Nazis, sin and corruption, all mixed with a wonderful score and humor abounding. I will not get into the plot or style too much as I do not want to influence any feelings towards what will be a spectacular production by Kate Walker in the spring. However, if the movie is all you know of this show, forget it all. The movie has one thing going for it, Joel Grey, the rest should be forgotten.

6 -- The Music Man by Meredith Wilson. Another show about redemption. I have said many times that I could go my whole life without seeing Music Man again and be fine. That is because I have seen and done The Music Man more that any other two shows put together. That being said, I am still delighted by the music. Of course the show was made in many ways be the extreme talent of Robert Preston. I have seen many wonderful actors play Harold Hill, but I have to admit, the film version (the original, not the embarrassment that was the Matthew Broderick version) exemplifies Harold Hill.

7-- Into the Woods music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. One of the few popular and successful Sondheim shows, Into the woods is wonderful. The overall theme of Children will Listen resonates with me so much more today as a parent than it did when I was in college (back when the show was new).

8--The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas book by Texas author Larry L. King and Peter Masterson and music and lyrics by Carol Hall. Based on the true life of a Texan madam and the house of ill repute that she ran (Called the Chicken Ranch) this is not your typical family musical. The movie with Bert Reynolds and Dolly Parton is horrible, please do not base any feelings for the show based on that (or any other really). The country music score is also not my typical choice of music, but all that aside, the show is just fun. I was on crew when we did the show in college, a couple of decades ago, and loved it.

9--You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown music and lyrics by Clark Gesner. Who doesn't love the Peanuts. The music is catchy, the show is cute, but this is far from the grand large shows that make up the majority of Musical Theatre. Although I really do enjoy the show, this one is for purely personal reasons. I ran sound on a great production several years ago, my wife was the pianist and conductor. We had met prior to the show, but got to know each other better during this show. It was during the run that she asked me to help her move, a thank you dinner after the move eventually led to our dating and now coming up on 8 years of marriage. I am so thrilled that she is Music Director of the upcoming CYT production of this show and cannot wait to see what comes of it.
On a much less important impact, the director of the show was a man named John Glenn (no not the astronaut) who is also directing the production of The Syringa Tree that I will be lighting next month. So the show led to my marriage, and eventually a paid gig, not too bad for one show.

10 -- Honk! book and lyrics are by Anthony Drewe and music is by George Stiles. I did a production in Richmond. Both that production and the one done by Civic Theatre were delightful and enjoyable. The music is wonderful, the story is amazing and sales are hardly ever successful. Sadly this is a show that just doesn't seem to ever get traction, which is profoundly sad because it is a wonderful show.

There are many, many honorable mentions, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Full
Monty, The Song of Mulan, King Island Christmas, Floyd Collins, Little Shop of Horrors... For someone who doesn't care for musicals, there sure are a lot of them that I love.