logoIn the Wings
The Newsletter of The Concord Players
August 2015                                                Robert Runck, Editor


The Players much-acclaimed production of The Comedy of Errors will be performed the last two times on the lawn of the main library at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, August 1-2. For details, see the Players' website



Players Craig Howard, Cathy Merlo and Janet Ferreri are now appearing in the Moonstruck Theater's production of the musical Xanadu! Final weekend through August 2, at the Amazing Things Art Center, 160 Hollis Street in Framingham. For info go to moonstruck

   Player Johnny Kinsman is appearing in The Merry Way for the Anthem Theatre Company of Boston, at TheatreLab@855 in Boston University's College of Fine Arts Building, 855 Commonwealth Ave., 1st floor, August 13-23. General admission tickets $25.



Don't forget to send in your membership form! You know that yellow piece of paper that came in the mail that you put in a pile to look at later and haven't thought about since? Well, go dig it out, fill it out, and mail it in! If we get it by September 1, your name and contact info goes into the all-important member directory and you get to see your name in print. Who doesn't want that?? You can get a family membership for just $25. Really, where else can so little money buy your entire family so much joy? As a member, you get the following cool stuff:

* Annual Membership Directory

* Ticket discounts

* Showbus programs with group tix & travel

* Newsletters and Audition Announcements

* Performance and Special Events Mailings

* Invitations to our Fall Preview

* Annual Meeting in the Spring

* Educational Workshops

Do it today!

Email Corinne Kinsman if you have questions: 




We have a fabulous 2015-2016 theater season: Follies, directed by Donnie Baillargeon; Proof, directed by Nancy Curran Willis; and Amadeus, directed by Kirsten Gould. For just $55 you can see all three shows, a savings of almost 20% over regular box office prices. Plus you pick your dates and seats up front and can relax knowing you won't have to beat the rush later. And if you need to change dates later, we can do that, too. Subscribers also get a StageSource Circle of Friends card, giving you ticket discounts at almost 50 theaters in the Greater Boston and MetroWest area. If you love theater (and of course you do--you're reading this newsletter!) this is a deal you cannot miss. You can order online at our website and click on Subscriptions.



Donnie B. "The show chooses me," says Donnie Baillargeon, director of The Concord Players' upcoming production of Follies. "It's a visceral reaction. I have to feel it." Feel it he did, at a Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's dazzling musical spectacle. When the character of Heidi sang "One More Kiss," Follies reached out and clutched Baillargeon by the heart. He'd been chosen.                       (continued next column.) 


The song is a poignant lament of faded youth and love lost, but Heidi knows the grief will pass. "One more kiss before we part, not with tears or sigh. All things beautiful must die." Baillargeon hears hope in these lyrics. "We all have to let go of the past in order to move forward," he says, "there's always another road to take." It's an unusually optimistic view to take of a show so full of regret and heartbreak, but it's the message Baillargeon thinks the audience will take home with them. "All of the characters are changed by the end of the show. They finally shed their younger selves to make room for who they've become and start to make new choices. And that's the point, I think. As long as you're alive, you have a choice." 

    Potent emotional content is not new for this versatile director/actor/producer whose directorial credits include Next to Normal and Sweeney Todd along with more traditional musical comedy. In 2011 he brought the riotously funny The Drowsy Chaperone to the Concord Players' stage, garnering 13 DASH award nominations and 4 wins, including best leading actor in a musical for his talented husband, David Berti.

    Directing Follies will be a welcome challenge for this Sondheim devotee. His very first role was Bobby, in the composer's Company. That performance gave him a special appreciation for Sondheim's mastery as a lyricist. "With a playwright, every word is sacrosanct," he explains. "With Sondheim the music and patter of the lyric leave no question about the character's intention." This is especially important in Follies, where the characters are quite literally appraising the narrative of their lives with words and music. 

    Donnie's sensitivity to Sondheim's lyrical precision informed his casting for Follies. "It was a little scary at first," he recalls, "the show hasn't been done in community theatre for a long time so a big buzz developed about the auditions." That buzz resulted in over 85 of the region's finest actors showing up to try out. And how does he know who's right for the part? 

"Mostly instinct," he says, and a response to what they bring to the character when they

step on the boards. Sometimes it's instantly clear, as in the case with Kathy Lague, who has been cast in the part of Heidi. Donnie remembers, "she came out and sang with such a clear, clarion, enunciated sound. It brought me to tears."

    After casting, the process is organic; a collaboration between director and players until the vision is fulfilled. Who's vision? Mostly his, but adapted and evolving as the characters develop and the story unfolds. One of the reasons he moved from acting to directing is the expanded artistic control. There might be more meat in the acting, but when directing you can decide on all the courses. 

    He'll be able to design a feast for the Players' production of Follies. "I love working with The Concord Players," he says. " It's not just that the people who work here are all seasoned professionals, the audiences are cultured, educated and sophisticated. It's satisfying to create a production for an audience who will appreciate it so broadly."

    The cordial, socially relaxed Baillargeon becomes intensely passionate when talking about theatre: the art of it, the work of it, and myriad emotions evoked by it. It is clear he will infuse that passion into this production of Follies, one of Sondheim's most formidable works. Of course he will. It chose him.

--Linda McConchie


Follies runs November 6-21. Tickets will go on sale early fall. Don't want to wait? Get a subscription and choose the best seats for the season.