Posts Tagged ‘Ghent’

Ghent Playhouse Offers Jerry Herman’s Biggest Hits; Tom Detwiler Directs “Jerry’s Girls” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Jerry's Girls

By Larry Murray

The Ghent Playhouse presents Jerry’s Girls, a musical revue of Jerry Herman’s biggest Broadway hits. Tom Detwiler is directing the production with opening night set for 8pm tonight (Friday, March 13).

If the winter blues have you down, chase them away by seeing Jerry’s Girls, a lively revue of the best-loved show tunes by Jerry Herman, who has delighted Broadway audiences since 1961 with shows like Milk and Honey, Hello Dolly!, Mack & Mabel and La Cage Aux Folles, to name a few. In addition to the title songs from these shows, also hear favorites like “I Won’t Send Roses,” “Bosom Buddies,” “I Am What I Am,” “Whatever He Ain’t” and “It Only Takes a Moment.” The music, the costumes, the lights and the incredible talent on stage will have you humming and smiling as you leave the Playhouse.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Tom Stoppard Comedy Headed for Ghent Playhouse as “Heroes” Opens Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
John Trainor, George Filieau and William Sanderson in “Heroes” (photo: Daniel Region)

John Trainor, George Filieau and William Sanderson in “Heroes” (photo: Daniel Region)

The Ghent Playhouse, off Route 66 in Columbia County, will present Heroes, Tom Stoppard’s translation of Gerald Sibleyras’ play Le Vent de Peupliers, directed by Cathy Lee-Visscher. The comedy opens Friday (January 23) and will play through Sunday, February 8.

The story: In 1959, at a French retirement home for ex-servicemen, three WWI veterans spend their days sharing past glories, irritating each other and gossiping about unbearable fellow “inmates.” Only the genius of Tom Stoppard can take such a bittersweet crawl-to-the-end-of-life scenario and turn it into a hysterical romp, as the Great War heroes plan their escape.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

The Pantaloons’ Annual Treat in Ghent: “Ali Baba and the Four Tea Thieves” [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

the Pantaloons

Theater review by Gail M. Burns

In these days when wages are stagnant, money is tight and the rabid consumerism of the late 20th century has lost all its luster, we are being encouraged to spend what disposable income we have on experiences, rather than objects. At the Ghent Playhouse, a $20 investment buys you one of the best holiday experiences available – a ticket to the Panto! And this year’s offering – Ali Baba and the Four Tea Thieves – is a gift that will keep on giving as you fondly recall the groaningly bad, er, good jokes, the hilarious costumes, and the wonderful songs.

What is a Panto? Well, it is a British theatrical tradition for the holiday season. Basically you take a familiar fairy tale or folk tale, have all the men play the women and the women play the men, add lots of new and (hopefully) witty lyrics to well-known tunes, and ignore the plot completely. There is lots of audience interaction – you get to boo the villians and sing along a bit and shout “He’s right behind you!” and such – and there’s a healthy mixture of topical humor on current events along with good old fashioned schtick. Only the most conservative and humorless of folks can fail to be amused by the goings-on.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Madcap Time Again as the PantoLoons Take Ghent Playhouse Stage [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
The Pantoloons take a bow in last year’s panto “SleepFrog” at The Ghent Playhouse. (photo: Daniel Region)

The Pantoloons take a bow in last year’s panto “SleepFrog” at the Ghent Playhouse. (photo: Daniel Region)

Opening Friday (November 28) and running through Sunday, December 14, the Ghent Playhouse will present the PantoLoons’ fifteenth production. This year, the madcap troupe will present “Ali Baba and the Four Tea Thieves,” a new, heretofore untold, version of the Two Thousand and One Nights story of Ali Baba. The number of PantoLoons in the company necessitated this adaptation, thus Four Tea Thieves instead of Forty. Thus tea becomes the prize commodity instead of oil, leaving plenty of room for commentary on today’s mores.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Noël Coward’s “Fallen Angels” Opens 40th Ghent Playhouse Season Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Mark Fingar as Willy Banbury tries to discern what Cathy Lee-Vosscher as Julia Sterroll and Christina Reeves as his wife, Jane are talking to in the Ghent Playhouse production of “Fallen Angels”.  (photo: Daniel Region)

Mark Fingar as Willy Banbury tries to discern what Cathy Lee-Vosscher as Julia Sterroll and Christina Reeves as his wife, Jane are talking to in the Ghent Playhouse production of “Fallen Angels.” (photo: Daniel Region)

For the first production of their 40th season, the Ghent Playhouse presents the very funny Noël Coward comedy Fallen Angels. Directed by Kate Gulliver, this is the 1955 version of Coward’s comedy.

This is the third Noël Coward comedy that Kate Gulliver has directed for the Playhouse. Previously she directed Private Lives and Hay Fever. Gulliver describes the play as “Set in the heady freedom of the 1920s, Fallen Angels is a frothy tale of two London ladies whose pre-marital indiscretions with a French lover come back to complicate their now happily-married lives. The cast of characters is led by a hilariously superior maid who knows everything about everything, and betters her betters at everything from playing the piano to speaking French.” Add a few martinis and several bottles of fine champagne, and this dryly witty 1920s romp comes very close to slapstick.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Gritty Play “Grapes of Wrath” Set for Ghent Playhouse [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Kevin Barhydt as Tom Joad and Tom Detwiler as Reverend Jim Casey in the Ghent Playhouse’s production of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” (photo: Daniel Region)

Kevin Barhydt as Tom Joad and Tom Detwiler as Reverend Jim Casey in the Ghent Playhouse’s production of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” (photo: Daniel Region)

It’s the classic saga of displaced heartland Americans during the Dust Bowl Depression and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is about to get a realistic and timely production at the Ghent Playhouse in New York. Performances dates are May 23-25, May 30-June 1 and June 6-8. The novel was adapted for the stage by Frank Galati and the Steppenwolff Theater Company. For those who know the Steppenwolf company, that means it is not simply on-stage emoting that will be going on, but fingernail dirty, authentic storytelling from the heart of America. Joe Phillips is directing the gritty production.

Renowned first as a novel, and then as a prize-winning motion picture, the story of the Joad family and their flight from the dust bowl of Oklahoma is familiar to most. Desperately proud but reduced to poverty by the loss of their farm, the Joads pile their few possessions on a battered old truck and head west for California, hoping to find work and a better life.

John Steinbeck (1902–1968) was a distinctly American writer who penned 27 books, and The Grapes of Wrath (1939) won a Pulitzer. 2014 is the 75th anniversary of its publication. He is also fondly remembered for East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Frank & Fiona, Bob & Terry, Plus William & Mary in Ayckbourn’s “How the Other Half Loves” in Ghent [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 17th, 2014
Christina Smith, Sam Reilly and Todd Hamilton as Teresa, William and Bob in “How the Other Half Loves” at The Ghent Playhouse. Photo Daniel Region

Christina Smith, Sam Reilly and Todd Hamilton as Teresa, William and Bob in “How the Other Half Loves” at The Ghent Playhouse. Photo Daniel Region

The Ghent Playhouse will present Alan Ayckbourn’s wickedly funny play, “How The Other Half Loves” opening on Friday (March 21) and playing through April 6. The production’s director is Sky Vogel, who directed the Playhouse’s smash hit musical “Urinetown” in 2012.

Ayckbourn’s play deals with the interlocking lives of three couples: Frank is an upper-level manager in a nondescript business office. He is married to Fiona. The two of them are comfortable in life, though Fiona is a bit bored. Frank, it should be added, is a bit dim. Bob and Terry are a young couple with an infant child. Bob works for Frank. Terry spends her days writing letters to newspaper editors trying, without much success, to right one or more of society’s wrongs. She could be a better mother. Bob is sleeping with Fiona. Bob could be a better husband.

In an attempt to provide cover for a late night rendezvous, Bob tells Terry he has been out offering counsel to a co-worker, William, supposedly distraught because his wife, Mary, has been having an affair. This seems a little more than odd considering Mary is mousy, plain and meek. William, himself no prince of partying, may also be up to sexual shenanigans. At least so suspects Frank, who, as mentioned, is not the sharpest cheddar in the pantry.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“SleepFrog” Unleashes Panto-Madness at the Ghent Playhouse [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
The Cast of SleepFrog. L to R: Judy Staber, Nellie Rustick, Tom Detwiler, Michael Meier, Paul Murphy, Joanne Maurer, Mark “Monk” Schane-Lydon, Cathy Lee- Visscher, Sally McCarthy, Paul Leyden.

The Cast of SleepFrog. L to R: Judy Staber, Nellie Rustick, Tom Detwiler, Michael Meier, Paul Murphy, Joanne Maurer, Mark “Monk” Schane-Lydon, Cathy Lee- Visscher, Sally McCarthy, Paul Leyden.

Theater Review by Gail M. Burns

I am coining a new word – Pantoloonacy. The troupe who write and perform the annual British-American Pantos at the Ghent Playhouse style themselves the Panto-Loons, and therefore it is only proper that I spell my avid fandom for their annual efforts accordingly. This year they are presenting a mash-up of Sleeping Beauty and The Frog Prince titled SleepFrog, and while they have not succeeded in blending the two tales as brilliantly as when they magnificently merged The Three Bears and The Three Little Pigs in Menageries a Trois, their Loonacy shines through, and I hear the seats are selling out.

In case you still don’t know what a Panto is, it is a British holiday tradition where you take a familiar story, have everyone cross-dress, and proceed to merrily shred the plot while inserting a pile of topical humor and songs. Under British-born Judy Staber’s guidance, the Panto-Loons have made this artform (and I use the term “art” very loosely) the must-see of the season in Columbia County.

With a script that calls for six fairies (of the winged variety) and two frogs, costume designer Joanne Maurer, who also plays King Posterium, has once again turned out a pile of colorful, hilarious costumes that transform men and women into women and men and animals and supernatural beings of all shapes and sizes.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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