CP Newsletter April 2018

logo In the Wings
The Newsletter of The Concord Players, May 2018

From the Oscar-winning team of Alan Manken and Stephen Schwartz comes the lushly scored re-telling of Victor Hugo's epic story of love, acceptance, and what it means to be a hero.

Set in the famous 15th century Paris cathedral, Quasimodo, the unlikely hero, must save Esmerelda, the beautiful and kind gypsy girl, from the evil archdeacon Frollo.

The Concord Players are thrilled to be the first community theater in the Boston area to present
The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Our production runs for two more weekends (through May 12th).  Seats are available for all performances - don't miss your chance to see it!

Click here for a behind-the-scenes video (courtesy of CCTV), and here for a slideshow of photos from
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Act 1, Sc. 1:  Elizabeth looked up sharply.  As the first woman to rule England, and with enemies raising armies to oust her, she was always alert to possible danger.  She peered out from the fringe of her luxurious dark tresses to... wait a minute... that's not right.  Elizabeth had red hair.  It was curly red hair.  There was no fringe, no dark tresses.  It was Curly. Red. Hair.

And there you have it.  The hair's the thing.  Imagine watching a play in which the Virgin Queen had a raven bob, or picture Desdemona sporting a platinum 1950s bouffant.  Imagine The Hunchback of Notre Dame with monks in dreadlocks or a gypsy enchantress with a tight French twist.  It just wouldn't work.  Hair defines the character as much as anything the playwright puts on the stage, and that's why Concord Players' hair designer Marc Capizzi worked so hard for authenticity in the group's current production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

"Like all aspects of a production the first step is research," he says.  "One has to research the many aspects of the era in which the play takes place.  I find the best resource is portraits/paintings.  They provide the most accurate images of the time." 

Once he has a picture of the period and the look, he sets to work.  Whether it's with a wig, or by shaping the actor's own hair, the designer's task is to make the actor (and the audience) see the character.  "It's important for the actor to wear the wig and not have the wig wear the actor," Capizzi explains.  "If the actor is uncomfortable, it will pull the audience's focus away from the story, and then the designer hasn't done his job."

Marc Capizzi (left) with director Nancy Curran Willis (center) and Quasimodo actor Daniel Monopoli (right)

Marc has brought fastidious attention to detail in his work for this production. Monks will have the short fringed hair we expect of a medieval cleric but soldiers are different. Some have shoulder length pageboys, typical of the time with bangs, others have unruly manes.
And what of Esmeralda, the gypsy woman whose beauty intoxicates any man who sees her? She is crowned with glorious locks of dark, cascading curls. Those curls happen to belong to the actor who plays Esmeralda, but they aren't enough for Marc. He's adding extensions to augment the character's exotic allure, an allure that is central to the way the story unfolds.
Marc's meticulous care for this one aspect of the Concord Players' production reflects all the designers' commitment to the show. They are all following the lead of director Nancy Curran Willis who wants to convey Victor Hugo's story with authenticity. "It's my goal to create a production where the powerful story of the original book stands out as much as the powerful and soaring score," she says. "In story-theater format we will tell the dark side, the true side, of the Hunchback story."
The creative team has taken her direction to heart. Faithful Parisian congregants might well have fallen to their knees in awe when entering the majestic Notre Dame in medieval times Audiences to this show may well want to do the same when they enter the Players' Notre Dame designed by Brian Harris.
Costumers Kathy Booth and Pat Kane and their team built not only monk's robes, but the intricate and varied wardrobes of medieval Parisians as well, from the highest born to the lowest supplicants. Colorful gypsy costumes splash on the stage with the same vivacity as the dancers who wear them.
And then there is the music. The magnificent, soaring, heart-stopping orchestrations of ecclesiastical sound that carry the audience through both the holy and the profane. Music director Don Boronson has gathered some of the regions finest voices to render the music in a chorus and cast whose collective sound is both transcendent and transformational.

Concord Players' production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame will be faithful to the values that Victor Hugo advanced in his story, and to the period in which he placed it.  For just a few hours, audiences will be transported to 15th century Paris, where, within the sacred walls of a great cathedral, we will see ourselves reflected in a timeless, all-too-human tale

--Linda McConchie

Long-time Concord Players actress Bette Cloud died peacefully in Concord on March 30, 2018. She appeared on the Players' stage in five productions, starting in 1968.  Her most recent credit was for the title role in Madwoman of Chaillot.  In 1970 she directed a short play by G.B. Shaw entitled Passion, Poison, and Petrification

Formerly an resident of Sudbury, she had moved to a senior-living apartment at Newbury Court in Concord.  She enjoyed regular appearances with the Traveling Troupe, where every role showcased her prominent stage presence.

Bette Cloud in
Madwoman of Chaillot

Aboard the Newbury Court bus headed for a recent Shear Madness matinee in Boston, she cheerfully recalled having previously played Mrs. Shubert (professionally) in that same long-running production.  But at the theatre that afternoon, an unfortunate tumble landed her at Tufts Medical Center with a broken hip and related complications.  She is being fondly remembered as the lovely British lady with the wonderful accent, fantastic style, big personality, and generous heart.

--The Traveling Troupe


May 18, 19, and 20, 2018, Friday and Saturday at 8p.m. and Sunday at 2p.m. The Concord Orchestra Pops: Heroes and Villains.  Six by George (Gershwin arr. by Hoffer), with vocalist Jeffrey Korn.  Selections from My Fair Lady.  Table seating, refreshments for purchase.  Tickets $25/$10.  Call 978-369-4967 or buy on-line at www.concordorchestra.com.

June 7, 9, and 10, 2018, Thursday and Saturday at 8p.m. and Sunday at 2p.m.  Opera51's fully staged and costumed production of Faust by Charles Gounod, with chorus and orchestra conducted by Alan Yost.  Lead roles will be sung by Chris Eaglin, Robin Farnsley, and Michael Prichard.  Tickets are $30/$25 seniors and students.  Call 978-369-7911 to reserve or purchase tix on-line.  Click here for more information.