SPOTLIGHT ON MADI SHAER
The Secret Garden,
a musical about grief, loss and renewal will open on the Concord
Players' stage beginning April 26, 2019. Based on the 1909 novel by
Frances Hodgson Burnett, the show which has been described as
"enchanting" and "inspirational", opened on Broadway at the St. James
Theater in 1991. It won three Tony Awards before closing in 1993.
Secret Garden tells the story of 11-year old Mary Lennox, an English
girl living in India who loses her parents to a cholera outbreak. Sent
to live with distant relatives in Yorkshire, England, Mary finds her new
situation inhospitable. Her uncle Archibald is an angry, embittered
man, having lost his beloved wife Lily. Her cousin Colin's birth was the
cause of Lily's death, and he has been an invalid since then. Now
confined to a wheelchair, he is almost never away from his dark, lonely
room. The house is Gothic, dark, neglected and disturbing. As one
character laments in song, "there's something wrong in that house."
and spoiled by her socialite parents, Mary finds her new surroundings
dreadfully bereft of welcome or comfort. Seeking solace, she finds it in
the estate's garden, overgrown and also sadly neglected. Mary finds it a
magical place, and soon it begins to beckon to her and her cousin with
The Players' production is directed and choreographed by Julia Deter (Concord Players' choreographer for Kiss Me, Kate), with music direction by Ben Oehlkers. "The Secret Garden is
a beautiful and poignant coming of age story, appealing to young and
old alike," says Deter. "It is rife with themes of rejuvenation,
companionship, and selflessness as the root of happiness and health. The
story is told lyrically through a hauntingly beautiful score, peppered
with a childlike innocence and charm. And of course," she adds, "as with
any good coming of age story, there is a hint of magic to be found."
Madi Shaer of Needham, a
newcomer to the Players, leads the production with a luminous presence
and lyrical soprano. She brings a breadth of experience to the role of
Mary Lennox that belies her tender age. Professionally trained as a
vocalist, and with a formidable dance portfolio, she has held lead roles
in some professional productions that include Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol, Gypsy, Billy Elliot, and Carousel among others. She's even played Young Cosette in Les Miserables, and held the title role in Annie.
parts require British accents of the actors, and some of them need
dialect training. Not Madi, she's already got "English Accent" on her
resume, along with "ukelele," "trapeze" and "gymnastics." Her experience
and versatility bring a depth to the role that few others so young
is "excited", in her word, to be on the Concord Players boards for this
production and says she is very grateful to the show's creative team
for the opportunity.
cast members are also singing the praises of this production. Andrew
Swansburg, a dancer, singer, actor, and Concord Players member who has
played a wide range of characters for the Players, is cast in the role
of Lieutenant Shaw in this production. "...What a bonus," he says, "when
you are doing a show with gorgeous music - and you get to hear these
incredible voices sing every rehearsal."
of the production's most popular songs include: "I Heard Someone
Crying", "Come to My Garden", and "How Could I Ever Know?" The Players'
production of The Secret Garden
runs from April 26, 2019 to May 11, 2019. For more information and tickets head to the Concord Players website.
PATRIOTS DAY PARADE
Calling all Players and Patriots!
The Concord Players
will be participating in Concord's Annual Patriots Day parade on Monday,
April 15th (weather permitting). Volunteers are needed to march in the
parade, which begins at 9:00am at Stow Street, proceeds through Concord
Center to the Old North Bridge and back through town, followed by a
luncheon at the Hunt Recreational Center. Please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrea Roessler) if you can join us.
Further information regarding costuming and muster time will follow to
AUDITIONS FOR FUNNY GIRL!
The first production of our 100th season!
by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merill, book by Isobel Lennart from an
original story by Miss Lennart. Directed by Brian Kelly (Spamalot, The Producers, Noises Off), music direction by Brendan Kenney, choreography by Katie Alexander, and produced by Susan Tucker.
Funny Girl is
the bittersweet, classic musical drama about Vaudeville's sweetheart,
Fanny Brice. The musical tells the story of the comedienne who
started out as a bit player on the Vaudeville stage, but worked her way
up to stardom as one of the most acclaimed members of Ziegfeld
Follies. Funny Girl follows Fanny's rise to fame and
highlights her comedic and musical prowess. It also explores her
amazing, yet strained relationship with her husband, Nick Arnstein, a
professional gambler. Funny Girl is witty, glamorous, and
a general spectacle that portrays some of the most vibrant characters
in Broadway history and their strong, but strained relationships.
It features some of Broadway's most treasured music, such as "People"
and "Don't Rain on My Parade".
Auditions for Funny Girl
be held on Wednesday, May 8th and Thursday, May 9th, both at 7:00pm at
51 Walden. Callbacks are scheduled for Sunday, May 12th, beginning
at 6:00pm. Auditions will be held by appointment only; the
SignUpGenius form is available via our website
Performance dates are November 8th, 9th, 10th (matinee), 15th, 16th, 17th (matinee), 22nd, and 23rd, 2019. Check our website
for further information.
|CP ANNUAL MEETING RECAP
Annual Meeting for the Concord Players was held on March 24.
President Jay Newlon welcomed all attendees and reviewed some of the
highlights of the past year: Shakespeare on the Lawn, Malone Dies, the Greater Boston Theatre Expo, a staged reading of A Christmas Carol,
participation in the 51 Access event Hurly Burly Extravaganza, and the
work of the Players' Traveling Troupe. Vice President Andrea
Roessler reviewed our mainstage productions from the past year (Noises Off, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Princess Party, Arcadia and The Country House).
Paul Murphy outlined the exciting activities planned for upcoming
centennial year, and Craig Howard presented next year's slate of
plays: Funny Girl, Barefoot in the Park, and Steel Magnolias. Entertainment was provided by The Traveling Troupe and we were treated to a sneak peek of our upcoming production of The Secret Garden.
Elections were also held for next year's Board of
Directors. Welcome to our new/returning Board Members:
Connie Benn (Treasurer), Nick Miller (member-at-large), Tracy Wall
(Centennial), and Carol Antos (member-at-large). They will be
joining continuing members Jay Newlon (President), Brian Kelly
(Vice-President), Andrea Roessler (Vice-President), Amanda Casale
(Secretary), Paula McNabb (EMACT representative), Charlie Atherton
(Finance Committee), Craig Howard (PDSC), Susan Tucker
(member-at-large), and Corinne Kinsman (Membership). Thanks to
all our Board Members for all the hard work they do.
CONCORD PLAYERS MEMBER NEWS
We have many new members to add this month from the cast and production team of The Secret Garden.
Also, two current members from the show have renewed their membership
for next season (thanks Cal and Melissa!). Welcome, everyone:
Perry Albert, Brian Bakofen, Michael Chateauneuf, Ryanne Hammerl, Kelly
Hodge, Agatha and Ben Oehlkers, Madi Shaer and her family, and David
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels:
A few Concord Players performers will be traveling to the French Riviera to appear in the Arlington Friends of the Drama
production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
coming May. The cast includes Heather Pruiksma in the role of
Christine Colgate, Craig Howard as Andre Thibault, and the ensemble will
include Kelly Duffy, Jocelyn Hesse, and Joel Hersh. Tech staff
will also include Linda Burtt and Karen Burum.
City of Angels:
The Flyleaf Theater Company
has announced the cast of its final production, City of Angels
to hit the St. Johns Black Box in Shrewsbury at the end of June!
Concord Players members include Brendan Kenney as Music Director, Brian
Kelly as propsmaster, and Brad Amidon, Mel Bisso, Amanda Casale, Joel
Hersh, Joshua Wright, and Lydian Yard in the cast.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT 51 WALDEN
April 5 at 7:30 p.m.:
Voilinist Sarah Whitney presents Beyond the Notes
guest artists PUBLIQuartet, a creative and mind-bending string quartet
from NYC. This is a unique and interactive concert experience
which includes questions chosen at random from the audience. More
information and ticketing is available here
April 6 at 7:00 p.m.:
Opera Gala to raise funds for Opera51's production of Carmen
June 7, 8, and 9. The Gala will be held in the parish hall of
Trinitarian Congregational Church at 54 Walden St., Concord, across the
street from 51 Walden. Light fare, drinks, a silent auction, songs
performed by the cast of Carmen
, and a talk given by a guest speaker. Tickets $50 a person. Call (978) 369-7911 to reserve or purchase on-line
April 12 and 13 at 8:00 p.m.: The Concord Band Spring Pops Concerts featuring jazz artists Amanda Carr and John Stevens. Click here
for more information. Friday concert sponsored by Rotary,
email@example.com. For Saturday concert, e-mail the Band at
firstname.lastname@example.org or buy on-line.