11/21/14 6:00am
11/21/2014 6:00 AM
The first performance of 'Godspell' is scheduled for Friday at the (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Performances of ‘Godspell’ are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Jamesport Meeting House. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

“Godspell” is a musical retelling of the Gospel According to Matthew, in which Jesus shares parables with his followers. It seems fitting, then, that this year’s annual production by Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre — temporarily homeless due to renovations at the high school — would land in the historic Jamesport Meeting House, which has its own history of religious services and has had numerous “resurrections” of its own over the last 275 years.  (more…)

11/12/14 6:00am
The first performance of 'Godspell' is scheduled for Friday at the (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

The first performance of ‘Godspell’ is scheduled for Friday at the Jamesport Meeting House. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Riverhead Faculty and Community Theater will present the Stephen Schwartz musical “Godspell” for two weekends at the Jamesport Meeting House.


09/05/14 7:00am
09/05/2014 7:00 AM

Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre will hold auditions for the Stephen Schwartz musical “Godspell” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, at Jamesport Meeting House at 1590 Main Road.

Actors are asked to sing 16 bars of a ballad from a show other than “Godspell” and perform a comedic monologue or a joke. Come prepared to dance. Belters may sing 16 bars of a belt song in addition. Those with special skills or talent are invited to demonstrate.

If you are unable to attend the audition, email a video of 16 bars and a monologue or joke to director Anita Boyer at anita.boyer@gmail.com.

For information, contact producer Jan McGoey at torjlm@yahoo.com or 466-0838.

03/07/14 8:00am
03/07/2014 8:00 AM

Former Riverhead teachers Nancy Yakobiszyn-Auletti and George Moravek, co-founders of Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre, in recent years found themselves far away from Eastern Long Island, in separate states. Both decided to move back last year, saying they each missed their friends and community. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photo)

Decades after they helped found the Riverhead Faculty Community Theatre in Riverhead schools, two close friends from the group found themselves living just hours apart — and nearly 1,000 miles from the East End of Long Island.  (more…)

10/05/13 10:00am
10/05/2013 10:00 AM

KEVIN WOOD COURTESY PHOTO | Tech. Sgt. Kevin Moos surprises his kids with an onstage appearance at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall.

The Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre’s recent production of “Last Stop … Broadway” had a surprise ending at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall.

And it had nothing to do with the plot.

At the conclusion of the play, when the full cast was being introduced to the audience, one additional introduction was made — for someone who wasn’t a performer.

Technical Sergeant Kevin Moos had just returned that Friday afternoon from a six-month tour of duty in southwest Asia as a security forces member for the 106th Air National Guard in Westhampton, where he is a reservist.

His introduction to the audience came as a particular surprise to three of the cast members: his kids.

“It’s the first time they’ve seen me in seven months,” Tech. Sgt. Moos said after his big appearance. “It was very moving.”

His oldest daughter, Kyra, 13, “was three people away when I popped out from backstage, and she just ran up and hugged me,” he said. His other two children, daughter Kaelin, 12, and son, Connor, 8, were in the audience and also ran up on the stage when they saw him, he said.

“It’s great to be recognized, but I wasn’t looking for that,” Tech. Sgt. Moos said. “I was all teary-eyed and everything, so I didn’t really want to display that to the community.

“But it was really nice. I got a standing ovation.”

Tech. Sgt. Moos said he had communicated with the show’s producer, Christine Springer, on Facebook and told her he’d be arriving that afternoon,

“She didn’t want me to upset the cast by showing up an hour before opening night,” he said. “So at the end of the show, they introduced me to the audience and I surprised my children on stage.”

Tech. Sgt. Moos has been with the 106th in Westhampton for more than 20 years.

He had left for training on Feb. 10 and headed out a month later on a tour of duty in Southwest Asia.

He said he’s home “indefinitely” now and hopes to retire soon.


09/18/13 2:00pm
09/18/2013 2:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Young performers rehearse a number from ‘Grease,’ part of Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre’s musical revue ‘Next Stop: Broadway.’

Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre will present its musical revue ‘Next Stop: Broadway,’ from Sept. 20-22 at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall.

RFCT’s second youth musical, has a cast of 60 actors, ages 8 to 16, and chronicles the train ride of a starlet and another passenger heading to Manhattan with dreams of performing on Broadway.

11/15/12 2:32pm
11/15/2012 2:32 PM
Doralee Rhodes, played by Kimet Speed, confronts her boss, Mr. Hart, played by James Zay).

JOHN NEELY PHOTO | Doralee Rhodes, played by Kimet Speed, confronts her boss, Mr. Hart, played by James Zay).

Many great (and not-so-great) movies have had their origins on the stage. Hollywood saw the popularity of classics like “Camelot” and “Fiddler on the Roof” and brought them to a wider audience via film. But sometimes this oft-repeated process reverses, as with “The Lion King” and “Hairspray.” This is also the case with “9 to 5,” which is based on the 1980 film starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, and is Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre’s current offering.

Set in what appears to be the late ’70s, most of the action takes place at a large, impersonal corporation. The show opens with high energy to the foot-stomping “9 to 5.” Everyone is waking up and heading to their dreary jobs at Consolidated Industries. During this number, we meet our three leading ladies. Judy is beginning her first day at Consolidated, having had to find a job after her husband squanders their money and leaves her for his secretary. Violet, office supervisor and widowed mom, takes Judy under her wing. Doralee is the buxom secretary constantly dealing with the lecherous Mr. Hart.

We watch as these women slowly find a bond in their struggle against the tide of chauvinism. When they finally decide to fight back, will they go too far? If you haven’t seen the movie, you just might be surprised.

The book is written by Patricia Resnick, with music and lyrics by the indomitable Dolly Parton, who played Doralee in the movie. Due to Ms. Parton’s often caricaturish appearance, it’s easy to forget what a truly talented songwriter she is, and this is a play full of wonderful songs, some haunting and some hilarious.

Director Michael Horn has put together a lively and enthusiastic cast, but his true stroke of perfection is the casting of his three leading ladies.

Jan McKenna is perfect as the ambitious Violet. She is professional and strong in her business suits, yet shows her vulnerable side when pursued by a colleague. Her duet “Let Love Grow,” with Joe, played earnestly by Brandon Hollborn, is particularly sweet.

As Doralee, the role Ms. Parton created for herself, Kimet Speed is hilarious in her “double Ds.” But she also wears her heart on her sleeve, as she does singing “Backwoods Barbie,” and she moves us.

Jayne Freeman, as Judy, conveys both innocence and strength, and is a standout among standouts. Her solo, “Get Out and Stay Out,” nearly brought down the house.

Another standout is Laura Nitti as Roz, the office busybody who is obsessed with Mr. Hart. She had the audience in tears of laughter (at least I was) during her performance of “Heart to Hart,” during which she shares her romantic fantasies.

James Zay plays the obnoxious Hart with just the right touch of slimy arrogance. The always enjoyable Rebecca Mincieli portrays Maria, a secretary who is undeservedly fired. Will someone give this young woman a lead role, please? Patti Hausch turns in a believable and hilarious performance as Margaret, the office lush.

The supporting cast is equally on target: Rick Sicoli, Meagan Schmid, Susan Ehlers, Alecki Lui, Glenn Abramowitz, Rowland Hautsch, Peter Dunbar, Amanda Mouzakes and Siri Fink. The ensemble is also great — synched and in the moment and believable: Kathleen Colihan, Kathryn Wever, Corinne Araneo, Pat Speed, Peter Nolan and Tony Peraza.
Anita Boyer’s choreography is packed with diversity and fun, and it’s worth noting as almost being a distinct character of its own — as is the tight orchestra led by musical director Marguerite Volonts. This orchestra is one of the best I’ve heard locally in a long time.

All the elements have come together for a super-fun evening of musical comedy. Congratulations to Mr. Horn and producer Patti Hautsch for a sure-fire hit.

Performances continue at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 17, at Riverhead High School. General admission, 15; students, $5 (at door only).

Jan McKenna (left) as Violet Newstead and Jayne Freeman as Judy Bernly.

JOHN NEELY PHOTOS | Jan McKenna (left) as Violet Newstead and Jayne Freeman as Judy Bernly.

Brandon Hollborn and Rebecca Mincieli.

Brandon Hollborn and Rebecca Mincieli.

Laura Nitti as Roz Keith and James Zay as Franklin Hart Jr.

Laura Nitti as Roz Keith and James Zay as Franklin Hart Jr.

From left: Kimet Speed, Jayne Freeman and James Zay.

From left: Kimet Speed, Jayne Freeman and James Zay.