06/09/13 6:31pm
06/09/2013 6:31 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy students Patrick O'Brien, Nicole Chiuchiolo and Danielle Allen celebrate after their three Teeny Award wins.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy students Patrick O’Brien, Nicole Chiuchiolo and Danielle Allen celebrate after their three Teeny Award wins.

McGann-Mercy High School senior Nicole Chiuhiolo stood near the red carpet at Southold High School, waiting to be photographed in her blue dress as she held her glass prize for best Lead Actress in a Drama.

Her fellow cast members had just won awards for best supporting actor and actress for their work in the school’s production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Nearby, a camera crew was interviewing her friends.

“My hands are still shaking!” Nicole said.

The 11th annual Teeny Awards brought the glitz and glamour of an awards show to the North Fork Sunday afternoon to honor high school theater productions from across the East End.

SEE PHOTOS FROM THE CEREMONY

The ceremony, produced by East End Arts, highlighted scenes from some of the 17 participating school’s theater productions, including “Summer Nights” from Southold High School’s version of “Grease.”

The packed auditorium cheered as each nominee was read. When the award was announced, the winner’s cast seated in bunches around the room would scream in delight.

“I think the performances today really showed these kids are not only incredibly talented, they are skilled,” said show coordinator and professional actress and singer Morgan Vaughan. “I really believe that together, we can make the East End of Long Island the home of the best high school theatre in the United States.”

See below for a full list of winners from the North Fork:

DRAMA

Lead Actress in a Drama

• Nicole Chiuchiolo, McGann-Mercy, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Supporting Actor in a Drama

• Patrick O’Brien, McGann-Mercy, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Supporting Actress in a Drama

• Danielle Allen, McGann-Mercy, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

COMEDY

Lead Actor in a Comedy

• Sean Mannix, Shoreham-Wading River, Don’t Drink the Water

Supporting Actress in a Comedy

• Gwyn Foley, Mattituck, Are Teachers Human?

MUSICAL

Supporting Actor in a Musical

• Matthew Drinkwater, Greenport, Guys & Dolls

Supporting Actress in a Musical

• Lea Giambruno, Shelter Island, Legally Blonde

JUDGES’ CHOICE AWARD

This award is for a particular scene, musical number, dance number, or group that the judges feel stands out enough to warrant special recognition.

This year, the recipient is The Greek Chorus from Shelter Island’s Legally Blonde.

STAGE MANAGEMENT RECOGNITION

The following students are all recognized for their invaluable contributions as STAGE MANAGERS:

• Mariah Brengel, Shoreham-Wading River

• Ian Byrne, McGann-Mercy

• Quinn Carey, McGann-Mercy

• Helen Chen, Mattituck

• Jaclyn Conway, Southold-Greenport Co-Production

• Jaclyn Conway, Southold

• Mayra Gonzalez, Mattituck

• Melissa Hickox, Mattituck

• Julie Lindell, Shoreham-Wading River

• Anne O’Rourke, Mattituck

• Stephen Spinelli, Shoreham-Wading River

• Jerilyn Toole, Riverhead

• Sean Walden, Greenport

• Rachel Williams, Riverhead

TECHNICAL DESIGN RECOGNITION

• Savannah Calderale, Southold, Grease – Set Design

03/19/13 12:44pm
03/19/2013 12:44 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The works of William Shakespeare were performed at Jamesport Meeting House this past weekend.

On Friday and Saturday evening, Northeast Stage presented “Shakespeare: Tales and Tempests” at the Jamesport Meeting House.

Led by A.D. Newcomer, a small group of actors performed material from six Shakespeare plays, using minimal costuming and set decoration in an effort to allow the workshop participants to experiment and play.

All proceeds from the production go to support the Jamesport Meeting House and Northeast Stage’s annual free Shakespeare in the Park in Greenport.

12/16/12 4:26pm
12/16/2012 4:26 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Members of the Living Water Full Gospel Church sing during Sunday’s annual Christmas pageant.

The Living Water Full Gospel Church held its 21st annual Christmas pageant featuring singing and dancing by members of the congregation Sunday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Pastor Rick Saladon (right) hands out raffle tickets at Sunday’s pageant.

“The Wonder of Christmas” included about 100 performers, ushers, stage techs and crew, said pastor Rick Saladon, who was selling 50/50 raffle tickets dressed as “Buddy” from the movie Elf. The show featured tap dancing and singing performances of more than a dozen songs.

A portion of the show’s proceeds will go to help those less fortunate members of the community, said senior pastor George Dupree. Pastor George said the church has raised more than $80,000 in the 21-year run of the show.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Donna Cortese and Josie McSwane tap dance during the holiday pageant.

A moment of silence was held as the show began to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut on Friday. In a prayer before the show, Pastor George asked God to bring “grace…wisdom, understanding, consolation and help” to those affected by the tragedy.

It might seem odd to be celebrating the holiday season after such a tragedy, he said, but added that now is when it is most important to have faith.

“It is so vital and so necessary to show God and the light of God’s love to the world,” he said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Pastor Rick’s last name as Thompson. His name is Rick Saladon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | “Silver Bells” was one of the many holiday tunes sung Sunday afternoon.

 

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.

11/12/12 3:59pm
11/12/2012 3:59 PM
The "On Golden Pond" cast, from left: Noah Ludlow, Thomas Cardisco, Rusty Kransky, Che Sabalja, Marion Stark and Bill Kitzerow.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO
The “On Golden Pond” cast, from left: Noah Ludlow, Thomas Cardisco, Rusty Kransky, Che Sabalja, Marion Stark and Bill Kitzerow.

What is more pleasant than visiting a glimmering pond in the woods, pinkish at dawn, golden all the afternoon and russet at dusk? Its placid surface seems created for contemplation.

In 1978, a 27-year-old Ernest Thompson used such a setting for his pleasant, placid play that he surprisingly titled “On Golden Pond.” It is a lovely play, as unsurprising as its title and it is given a lovely, unsurprising presentation at North Fork Community Theatre in Mattituck.

Aristotle said drama depends on plot, but many distinguished people dispute him. There is no plot in “On Golden Pond.” It is all character and ingratiating conversation.

The father, Norman Thayer, is a crusty, crotchety senior, suspicious of foreigners (especially Jews), but as well played by Rusty Kransky, his tongue-in-cheek sharp wit allows him to get away with it — or did 34 years ago when the play was first produced.

Ethel, his honest and sensible wife, is played by Marion Stark with abundant good humor and charm. In one of the sweetest moments of the play, while Thayer is busy insulting people to keep them at a distance, Ethel tells him, “You are the sweetest man in the world and I am the only one who knows it.”

Their daughter, Chelsea, beautifully played by Che Sabalja, calls her father Norman, but her mother Mom. She complains gently that her father never made any close contact with her. When she comes for a visit, she brings her fiancé, honestly played by Tom Cordisco, and her prospective stepson, 10-year-old Billy, well played by Noah Ludlow.

The youngster is the one who finally thaws Thayer’s heart to genuine affection and Norman learns to live anew. This may sound like TV-style tidiness, but the audience is charmed and cheered by it. The director, Robert Horn, and the cast escape a disastrous dive into what one critic called “the deep end of weepitude.”

Whatever the play, brand new or a classic, an actor’s greatest magic is the ability to surprise. The turns an actor’s emotions can take, the waves of nostalgia a line washes over us, a scene nudging a memory or two of our own — these are the actors’ secret weapons. At one point in the play, Ethel and Chelsea surprise and elate us by breaking into an old camp song. It comes seemingly out of nowhere with utter naturalness. Charlie, the mailman, delightfully played by Bill Kitzerow, also surprises with his manic laugh and spaniel-like desire to please.

The movie, based on the play “On Golden Pond,” featured Henry Fonda and his daughter, Jane. Over the years, these two stars had made no secret of their estrangement, but they became reconciled during this filming, much in the same way Thayer and Chelsea did. Jane’s father died shortly after.

The American master of nature writing, Henry David Thoreau, shared with the character Thayer a poor opinion of his fellow men and avoided them when he could. He wrote: “I went to Walden Pond to front the essential facts of life and see if I could learn what it had to teach. We must learn to re-awaken ourselves by holding an infinite expectation of the dawn.” It’s a good reminder after the havoc of Hurricane Sandy.

Performances continue through Nov. 18. For tickets, visit nfct.com.