SPAMALOT OPENS THIS WEEKEND! CALL NOW FOR RESERVATIONS
You don't have to be Monty Python fan to experience the wild, wacky, witty new musical SPAMALOT, Hamilton-Gibson Productions summer musical. . It's loosely based on Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail by the creators of the original film. The basic plot centers on King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table as they search for the Holy Grail, the alleged chalice that Christ used at the Last Supper. In true Monty Python tradition, the characters are over-the-top and everything and everyone is spoofed.
“We're thrilled to have such a talented cast, “ said Thomas Putnam, director of the production. “A third of the actors are new to the HG stage and they bring a wonderful dynamic to the show.” King Arthur is played by Dr. Adam Brennan, professor of music at Mansfield University. “Adam has played in the orchestra for a few of our productions, but has never been on the stage,” said Putnam. His knights are played by Josh Adams of Liberty, Vince Nance of Mansfield, Brian Delp of Wellsboro, and TJ Harris newly graduated from MU. Patsy is played by Tioga resident Matthew Huels. The Lady of the Lake is played by Sydney Blade who was last seen on the HG stage in the dramatic 33 Variations.
A talented chorus of six women and 13 men play a number of different roles and sing the big production numbers. Maia Stam returns as the choreographer; intern TJ Harris is the assistant director; and intern Corrine Evans is the tech chief. All three perform in the show as well.
The music is a lot of fun, said Putnam. Everyone—including the audience—will probably join in on “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!” even if they have never heard it before; it's that catchy.”
The musical is described as “lovingly ripped off” of the film and follows the basic dialogue. A few of the scenes in the latter part of the film have been replaced with updated new ones. Monty Python material could be described as occasionally bawdy, and due to some of the language and spoofing of certain subject matter HG is suggesting that families may consider not bringing younger children. “Monty Python has a long British-humored tradition of spoofing everything, and audiences should be aware of that,” said Putnam.
Performances of the show will be at the Black Box of the Deane Center on July 18, 19, 20, 25, 26. Tickets are $18 for adults, and $7 for students/children for July 18, 25, and 26. First Saturday rates apply: $12 for adults; with Students/Children admitted free of charge. Sunday, July 20 is a pay-what-you-can admission. Sponsored by Ward Manufacturing. For more information, call Hamilton-Gibson Productions at570.724.2079 or email email@example.com. Like HG on Facebook!
SPAMALOT IS CAST!
Hamilton-Gibson Productions' summer musical Monty Python's Spamalot has been cast, announced HG board of directors president Deb Sawyer. “We're thrilled to be able to present this hysterical, witty new musical for our local audiences.”
For those who are not familiar with the show, it is “lovingly ripped-off” from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail which was released in 1974. Like the film, it follows a non-traditional and highly surreal strand of humor, though at its core can be considered a very silly mockery of Arthurian legend, specifically the well-known story of Arthur and the Round Table. Spamalot differs from the film in many ways, but especially in its parodies of Broadway theater itself. Spamalot won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2005 and received 14 Tony Award nominations, more than any other show that season.
The cast for this Hamilton-Gibson Productions show includes Adam Brennan, professor of music at MU as the lead role of King Arthur. He is assisted by his side-kick Patsy played by Tioga resident Matthew Huels. Knights include Josh Adams of Liberty as Sir Robin; Vincent Nance of Mansfield as Sir Lancelot; TJ Harris of MU and most recently seen on the HG stage in Dancing at Lughnasa, as Sir Galahad; and Brian Delp of Wellsboro as Sir Bedevere. Sydney Blade of Troy will play the main female lead The Lady of the Lake. Not Dead Fred and Prince Herbert will be played by Wellsboro student Cody Losinger. Other roles are played by Craig Evans, Herb Johnson, Titus O'Neil, Nathan Wilcox, Richard Fisher, Steve Marshall, Ed Sholonski, Andrew Pfisterer, Jack Chambers, Ian Brennan, Tom Reindl, Steve Bickham, Caleb Evans, Levi Holliday, Susie Achey, Corrine Evans, Laura Helfrich, Jodie McCracken, Kimberly Robinson, Mary Kay Robinson, Emily Scranton, Maia Stam, and Audrey Zuchowski.
The production is directed by Thomas Putnam, choreographed by Maia Stam, with assistant director TJ Harris, and tech supervisor Corrine Evans. Costumes will be created by Michele Comes, Jackie Clarke, Cindy Evans, and O'Neil.
The performances are July 18, 19, 25, 26 at 7:30; and July 20 at 2:30. Reservations are now being taken for what is shaping up to be a very popular show in the Black Box of the Deane Center. The entire production is sponsored by Ward Manufacturing. Reservations can be made by calling the HG office at 570724.2079 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. HG encourages everyone to like them on facebook.
PLANS FOR HG FALL STRATFORD FESTIVAL TRIP ANNOUNCED
The iconic musical Man of La Mancha, The Beaux’ Stratagem, a comedy, and Crazy for You, a musical comedy add up to lots of laughs and excitement for those with valid passports lucky enough to sign up for the three plays scheduled for Hamilton-Gibson’s 15th annual theatre excursion to the Stratford Festival of Canada.
As part of its ongoing educational and cultural outreach mission, Hamilton-Gibson Productions is conducting the three-day, three-play theatre trip to Stratford, Ontario on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3, 4 and 5.
Stratford is home to North America’s largest and most celebrated classical repertory theatre. The Stratford Festival of Canada offers world-class theatre in a comfortable, friendly small city atmosphere.
Although October is five months away, Larry Biddison, Hamilton-Gibson’s coordinator of theatre excursions and board secretary, insists that it isn’t too early to plan for this trip. “Right now people have the opportunity to juggle their work schedules, and those who don’t have current passports have time to apply.” He noted, “It takes four to six weeks to get a passport.”
Biddison, who retired after 30 years as an English professor at Mansfield University, has conducted excursions to Stratford for many years. “Since about 1980, many students, faculty, friends and family have enjoyed the Stratford experience with me. The fare is consistently stimulating and of high quality. In fact, seasoned playgoers regularly remark that the caliber of acting, costuming, and music equals that of top Broadway productions. And they always enjoy discovering interesting restaurants and shops as they explore Stratford’s streets and lanes.”
Crazy for You, a 1992 musical comedy based on a book written by Ken Ludwig, is the compelling story of banker Bobby Child who has gone to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on a derelict theatre and instead falls in love with the owner’s daughter, Polly Baker. Will he be able to reconcile the demands of duty and love and his own dreams of dancing? Among the gems in this dynamic musical’s dazzling score are “I Got Rhythm,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” “Someone to Watch Over Me” and other music written by George Gershwin who died in 1937 and/or lyrics by Ira Gershwin who died in 1983. The Gershwin tunes were adapted for Crazy for You from the Broadway shows, Girl Crazy, Treasure Girl, Oh, Kay and Ladies First, and films, A Damsel in Distress and Shall We Dance.
Written in 1707, The Beaux’ Stratagem is a late Restoration comedy that has become a classic in its genre. In a desperate bid to repair their ruined fortunes by pursuing wealthy women, Mr. Archer courts the unhappily married Mrs. Sullen while Mr. Aimwell dallies with her sister-in-law, Dorinda. But the two beaux aren’t the only ones with larcenous designs nor do they realize that their own hearts might be susceptible to ensnarement.
A hit on Broadway in 1965, Man of La Mancha has a plot and music that stirs the imagination. It is based on the seventeenth-century Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Awaiting trial by the Inquisition, poet and playwright Cervantes is assailed by his fellow prisoners, who try to seize the manuscript of his masterpiece, Don Quixote. His inspired response: a challenge to join him in staging his stirring tale of Quixote’s obsessive quest to attain an impossible dream.
H-G excursionists to the Stratford Festival will experience performances in two of Stratford’s main stage theatres. The Beaux’ Stratagem and Crazy for You will be staged in the Festival Theatre and Man of La Mancha in the Avon Theatre.
The Festival Theatre is in itself a spectacle and, for some, a shrine. Designed by Tanya Moiseiwitsch for the inaugural 1953 season, its unique thrust stage was first used for a production of Shakespeare’s Richard III, directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie and starring Alex Guinness. Since then, many now famous actors of stage, film, and television have performed there.
The Avon Theatre, a restored vaudeville and movie house with a proscenium stage, is perfect for more conventionally produced plays. Entirely modernized, its traditional design, complete with orchestra pit, reminds audiences of the older Broadway theatres in New York City.
The small city of Stratford combines country charm with urban amenities, pleasing visitors not only with its hospitality but also with its picturesque setting. No one ever forgets the graceful swans on the Avon River, which flows past the Festival Theatre and into the downtown shopping district of quaint Victorian buildings. Information about the city and the plays are available on the web at www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com.
Benedict’s motorcoach departs from Whitneyville at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, with pickups along the way, and returns around 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5. Benedict’s provides shuttle service from the hotel to the Festival Theatre. The venerable Albert Street Inn, now offering elevator service, is within easy walking distance of the Avon Theatre, restaurants, and shopping.
The Stratford trip is open on a first-come basis to adults and to children accompanied by adults, all having valid passports adult $110; minor $80) or passport cards ($30; $15).
The per person package price of $460 per person includes Benedict’s motorcoach transportation, premium reserved seating for the three plays, and two nights’ accommodation (double occupancy) at a modest hotel catering to theatregoers. A reduced price is available for those wishing to see two shows. Single occupancy options are also available. Space can be reserved with a $125 per person deposit. “And the sooner the better,” according to Biddison. The balance is due by August 15.
Addition details can be found here.
For more information or to make reservations, contact Larry Biddison at 570-724-4586.
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