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Limelight Review - June, 2019 

Cast Announcement: Is He Dead?  Is he dead poster

Mariemont Players, Inc. announces the cast for the first production of its 2019-2020 season, Is He Dead? Michele Mascari makes her MPI directorial debut with the comedy by Mark Twain adapted by David Ives.

The cast includes: 

Nick Young - Francois Millet/Daisy Tillou 

Ryan Bowron - Chicago

Jimmy Jackson – O’Shaugnessy 

Darren Lee - Dutchy 

Katie Jensen
 - Marie

Cat Cook - Cecile/Lefaux

Roscoe Mlinek - Papa Leroux 

Petrina Barresi - Mme. Bathilde

Tara Pettit - Mme. Caron

Ray Lebowski
 - Andre Bastien

Danny Davies - Charlie, Basil, Claude, King of France, Policeman

The (silent) roles of the Sultan of Turkey and the Emperor of Russia will be played by a series of special guests who will vary through the run.

“I’m excited to work with this cast,” Mascari said. “We have a nice mix of people I’ve worked with before and people I’m just meeting. We have some Mariemont stalwarts and some people these audiences will be seeing for the first time.

“I know we will laugh a lot while putting this show on its feet. You can’t help laughing with this material. Comedy is difficult, but we are up to the challenge and will have audiences laughing with us in September.”

Is He Dead? presents a fictional version of the great French painter Jean-François Millet as an impoverished artist in Barbizon, France. He stages his own death with the help of his colleagues to increase the value of his paintings, then dresses as a woman – ostensibly his sister, the Widow Daisy Tillou - to keep his secret safe. Is He Dead? combines elements of burlesquefarce, and social satire; it features devices like cross-dressing, mistaken identities and romantic deceptions to tell a story that raises questions about fame, greed and the value of art.

Is He Dead? opens Sept. 13 in the historic Walton Creek Theater (4101 Walton Creek Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45227) and runs through Sept. 29. 

Tickets are $20 general admission and $15 for students and are available online at www.mariemontplayers.com or by phone at 513-684-1236. 

Broadway Bound PosterUpcoming auditions

We are excited to announce auditions for our November production: Broadway Bound  by Neil Simon, directed by Jerry Wiesenhahn!

Synopsis: Part three of Neil Simon's acclaimed semi-autobiographical trilogy finds Eugene Jerome and his older brother Stanley trying to break into the world of show business as professional comedy writers while coping with family tensions, parental pressures, and maybe even…love? When their material is broadcast on the radio for the first time, some things about the family portrayed in the sketch seem very familiar...

Audition Dates: Sunday, July 14th and Monday, July 15th

Audition Times: 7:00pm - 9:00pm, by appointment on the half hour. Please reserve your time via this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090D44AFAB2FA2FE3-broadway

Audition Requirements: Bring headshot and resume. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.

Rehearsal times: Rehearsals will begin on Tuesday, October 1st from 7-9:30pm and will occur every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (unless there are cast conflicts) until tech week. 

Production Dates: Friday, November 8th-8pm, Saturday, November 9th-8pm, Sunday, November 10th-2pm, Thursday, November 14th, 8pm, Friday, November 15th, 8pm, Saturday, November 16th, 8pm, Sunday, November 17th, 2pm and 7pm, Thursday, November 21st, 8pm, Friday, November 22nd, 8pm, Saturday, November 23rd, 3pm and 8pm, Sunday, November 24th 2pm

Description of Characters

Eugene Morris Jerome - The play's narrator and the focal character of the Eugene trilogy. Carefree, witty to a fault, and quick to joke, he is 23 years old and working in the stock room of a music company before his brother and writing partner, Stanley, helps them both to break into the world of showbiz. While he maintains his affable and seemingly care-free nature, Eugene cares deeply about everyone in his family, especially for his parents. Neil Simon wrote Eugene as his own self, the playwright's semi-autobiographical analogue in the work.

Stanley Jerome - Eugene's older brother. At 28 years old, he is neurotic, high-strung, and constantly obsessing and worrying over the details. He brokers the first opportunity for he and his brother to show their material to NBC Studios and co-writes the sketch with his brother; the two constantly bicker and play as they attempt to write their first big comedy sketch.

Ben Epstein (mid-late 70s/early 80s) - Father of Kate, grandfather to Stanley and Eugene. A born socialist and ardent follower of Trotsky, he lives with his daughter and her family in Brighton Beach. Stan and Eugene find Grandpa, in his age, to be one of their greatest goldmines for accidental comedy. He cares deeply for his daughters and their families, but due to his upbringing and beliefs is not an affectionate man.

Kate Jerome (early-mid 50s) - A strong woman through and through, Eugene and Stanley's mother has done her best to take care of her father, Ben, while raising her boys and keeping a wary eye on her husband. She values family, and familial experiences - such as the simple act of sitting down and eating together as a family. She knows her boys are grown men, but will never not see them as her babies.

Jack Jerome (mid-late 50s) - The father to Eugene and Stanley, he's a tough nut for certain. Having worked as a clothier for many years, making ladies raincoats, he's become a bit numb to the monotony of life. Like Ben, he is not an affectionate man, masked by his exhaustion and his own self-provided frustrations.

Blanche Morton (early 50s) - Kate's (now) well-to-do sister. She has remarried, and her second husband built himself up to afford a home on Park Avenue and the finer things in life. Ben is at odds with Blanche when she comes to visit - he can only focus on Blanche's giving in to capitalist society.


Out of SternoOut of Sterno
 - Thank you!

By Dan Maloney

Thank you to the MPI Artistic Committee and Board for believing in this show and giving me the opportunity to stage it. It was a tremendous blessing for me to bring it to MPI audiences, and I am eternally grateful for your trust and support. 

Obviously, I need to thank the cast: PatriciaJuliaDarrenPatrick, and Bill. You all were an inspiration to work with. Patricia, I can’t think of anyone else who could have taken on this role. Your energy is incredible, and the way your character developed throughout the show was a joy to behold. Julia, you’re amazing in every respect. I couldn’t be happier that you were able to get back onstage with this production, and you knocked it out of the park! Darren, I’ve really enjoyed your easy-going nature and commitment to the role. Pat, wow, thank you for stepping in and handling every character like you had been with us since Day 1. Finally, Bill, you’re far and away one of the best actors I know – your sense of humor and reactions in the moment are unparalleled. I wish the audience could have seen some of the work you were doing in rehearsal. You are in our thoughts and in our hearts.

Behind the scenes, Becky Mullins was undeniably awesome as our stage manager. Becky, you have a wonderfully calming presence, and it’s so great to be able to rely on you for so many different things. Love having you around. Also, thank you to Aimée Ward and Liz Wyan executing lights/sound. We didn’t make it easy on you with the number of cues, even throwing in projections, but you both rose to the occasion and were a pleasure to have around.

The set for this show was something out of a cartoon – exactly what we needed to tell this story! Dan Dermody did a fantastic job designing it and coming up with the wild color-scheme. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. Bill Pauly, along with his crew of Art Kibby and Paul Greene did a wonderful job of bringing the set to life and getting it up in a timely fashion. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: the quality of our shows would not be the same without the hard work that goes into our sets. In addition, Art was an enormous help getting the projection up and running on short notice – including the idea to hide the projector with a cloud. Genius!

Vicki Rafferty did an outstanding job with props – some of these props like the papier-mâché toilet – were unlike anything you could just go and pull off the shelf in the prop room. They all fit and told the story as well as I could imagine. Vicki was a huge boon, too, in terms of painting the set – even staying till past 2 AM one night finishing the floor! She also did a great job with the lobby display.

Once again, Peggy Stouffer was back designing costumes for me, and her work is second to none. We have a great rapport together, and she pulled out all the stops on this one. Peggy, I’m thrilled you were able to finally use looks you’ve thought about for years and thank you especially for working with Pat at the last minute to get him costumed. Furthermore, thank you for stepping up and leading the reorganizing of the costume room!

Narissa Lee, a new face to our theater, was unbelievable backstage. I was anticipating needing three or four people backstage – and Narissa took care of it all single-handedly – even pulling $40 cash out of her pocket to use as a prop. She immediately had the complete trust of the actors and the production team! Even took the time to trim my eye brows at one point! Thank you!

Photography for this one was tag-teamed by Kristy Rucker and Tracy Moser – and they gave us wonderful lasting memories of the production. Jackie Miesle killed it promoting this show on social media for us. Art Kibby and Pat Kramer put together a great promo video. As always, Teresa Johns did a wonderful job with the program art and laying out the program. Tom Peters had the thankless task organizing the ushers, and Betsy Farro continues to make MPI patrons feel at home. Thanks also to Steve Farley and Kim Woods for the beauty chair and helping with last minute additions to the set. In addition, there are several people who provided me with differing levels of feedback and support, including Norma NiinemetsEd Cohen & Dee Anne BryllAmy Steir, and Amanda Shumate.

Finally, I need to thank our patrons. Thank you for supporting live theater. You are our heroes.

Strike Crew

Thank you to everyone who helped with strike for Out of Sterno !

Karly Danos

Patricia Mullins

Julia Hedges

Becky Mullins

Risa Williams

Darren Courtney

Elizabeth Molloy

Susan Smith

Dee Ann Bryll

Dan Maloney

Vicky Rafferty

Steve Winslow

Jay Benson

De’Vohn Jackson

Betsy Bowers

Pat Kramer

Dan Dermody

Bill Pauly

Art Kibby

Erich Misner

 

Save the date image

 

 

Grease posterCurrent Show

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Come relive the high romance of past “Summer Nights” with Danny Zuko, Sandy Dumbrowski, and the rest of the gang in this rollicking musical that became the soundtrack of a generation.

Grease runs July 12-28 and is directed by Tom Peters, assistant directed/stage managed by Sara Krehbiel, produced by Zach Riggins, and choreographed by Jackie Miesle.

For tickets, call Betsy at 513-684-1236 or visit www.mariemontplayers.com

 

 

 


All Around Town

  • Linda Callahan will reprise her role as Gingy in The Drama Workshop’s ACT 2019 Convention excerpt performance of Love, Loss and What I Wore. Excerpt date: Thursday, June 20, 2019 @ 7:30pm.
  • Jim Waldfogle will play Carl Lundeen Sr. in the Beechmont Players production of A Nice Family Gathering. Production dates: July 26-August 3, 2019.
  • Valeria Amburgey will play Sylvia Charles (Nana) and CJ Bossart will play Tom O’Grady in The Drama Workshop’s production of Nana’s Naughty Knickers. Performance dates: August 9-25, 2019.
  • Kathie Labanz will play Daisy in Cincincinnati Landmark Productions’ Driving Miss Daisy at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts. Performance dates: September 5-29, 2019.
  • Jennifer Keith will play Donna Sheridan, and Mary Ann Smith Adrianna Boris will perform in the ensemble of the Footlighters Inc. production of Mamma Mia. Performance dates: September 12-28, 2019.
  •  Jay Dallas Benson will play Frederick Treves, Arny Stoller will play Carr Gomm/Conductor, Burt McCollom will play Ross/Bishop Walsham How/Snork, and Sally Fint will play Streetwalker/Pinhead/Princess Alexandria in the CenterStage Players production of The Elephant Man, directed by Tom Peters. Performance dates: September 27-29, October 4-6, 2019.
  • Lon Nease will play Charles Condomine and Betsy Bossart will play Elvira in The Drama Workshop’s production of Blithe Spirit. Performance dates: October 11-27, 2019.
  • Dan Maloney will direct the Footlighters Inc. production of Spitfire Grill. Production dates: November 7-23, 2019.

ACT/OCTAFest - Save the Date!

OCTA image

ACT/OCTAFest 2019 is set for June 20-22! Online registration is open!

Online Registration here: http://actcincinnati.org/registration.html

ACT 2019 Convention – Schedule of Events:

Thursday, June 20, 2019

5:00pm – Registration Begins

7:30pm – Excerpts Begin: Love, Loss and What I Wore — The Drama Workshop

8:30pm – First Date — Footlighters Inc.

9:30pm – The Last Days of Judas Iscariot — The Village Players of Ft. Thomas

Friday, June 21, 2019

5:00pm – Registration Begins

7:15pm – Excerpts Begin: Over The Tavern — Beechmont Players

8:15pm – The Foreigner — Mason Community Players

9:15pm – Savannah Sipping Society — Fairfield Footlighters

10:15pm – Out of Sterno — Mariemont Players

Saturday, June 22, 2019

7:00am – Registration Begins

9:00am – Excerpts Begin: Nativity on the Square — Tri-County Players

10:00am – Musical of Musicals — Cincinnati Music Theatre

11:00am – Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike — CentreStage Players of Ohio

12:00pm – Ordinary Days — INNOVAtheatre

LUNCH BREAK

2:15pm – Rose’s Dilemma — Milford Theatre Guilde

3:15pm – Sherwood — Sunset Players

4:15pm – Almost, Maine — Stagecrafters Inc.

7:00pm – Banquet

8:00pm – Awards

 

IMPORTANT ACT/OCTAfest NOTES/ADDRESSES:

  • Excerpts will be held at Miami University Hamilton, Parrish Auditorium – 1601 University Boulevard, Hamilton, Ohio 45011
  • The Banquet and Awards will be held at Blue Ash Embassy Suites (off Reed Hartman) – 4554 Lake Forest, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242
  • The deadline for pre-registration is June 18th. After that date, you will need to register at the door.
  • Hotel Reservations: Can be reserved through JUNE 8online (here) (ACT Room Block), or by phone at 1-800-362-2779 or 513-733-8900
  • Remember to tag #ACTOCTA2019 in all of your social media posts!

For more information on the annual ACT Convention, visit the ACT Cincinnati website!

 

June, 2019 Play Reading Report

By Anna Nixon

Our faithful readers joined us to read “The Golden Age” by A.R.Gurney. Only three characters – but what great people!

Isabel: an elderly but impecunious lady who has led an amazing life, both real and in her imagination, we suspect.

Virginia: her beloved granddaughter who worships her grandmother despite the fact that her drinking and behavior have nearly bankrupted her. They live together in an elegant old house where Virginia lovingly cares for Isabel.

Tom: a young writer who has discovered some of Isabel’s past and wants to know more for his book about her, especially where F.Scott Fitzgerald fits into her life story, not to mention all the other famous characters like Freud, Picasso, Verdi, Michelangelo and Bertrand Russell. An amazing list!

Our readers: Linda CallahanKaren RokichJoyce and Art KibbyLaura HovlandKaren ZauggMaris RyanJohn Nixon and yours truly. Thank you everyone and Joyce, too for special brownies.

Next reading: Tuesday, June 18th. @ 7:30 pm
 

MPI Culture - Who We Are

Mariemont Players recently developed a Culture Statement and Code of Conduct, both summarized on the back/second page of our Membership Form. We believe that stating our shared values and who we are as a community will strengthen and foster our organization and our members. 

Membership

MPI Membership Renewal – Please stay and play with us for another year!

The 2019-2020 membership year will begin July 1st and we hope you will renew! If you haven’t sent your renewal ($15 for individual or $25 for family), please do so as soon as possible so you can continue to receive the Limelight Review, party invitations, and other news!See the membership form for more information.

Is He Dead? Cast Announced