September 10 through October 18, 2009
I'll be directing this, the second full professional production of THE PORCH, which began its life as BEYOND BELIEF and which ran most successfully last season at the Stoneham Theatre. I like the Majestic very much. Producing Director Danny Eaton has established a terrific venue for playgoers, who can arrive to the theatre early enough to enjoy a light meal in the cafe which is part of the theatre facility. Really looking forward to this, as old friends Ellen Colton and Cheryl McMahon return to reprise the roles of Alma and Marjorie, joining Barb McEwen, J.T. Waite and Stuart Gamble.
August 8 through 30, 2009 - various times
This is an opportunity to see both THE PORCH and JERRY FINNEGAN'S SISTER at the same theatre in the same month. Artistic Director Stephanie Voss Nugent directs both plays, written twenty years apart. In the photos below, from left to right, are Tinka Darling, Mary Shapiro and Carol Davenport in THE PORCH, and Dan Beaulieu and Abi Lansner in JERRY FINNEGAN'S SISTER.
June 18 - 27, 2009
I had a great time directing four old (well, some of them are old) friends, Buzz Roddy, Denise Cormier, Sandra Blaney and Sara Whitcomb, in this 1969 Neil Simon hit, which held up amazingly well forty years later. The houses and the laughs were big, which is what Summer Theatre is all about. Most of the time.
July 9 - 18, 2009
For the third consecutive summer, I visited the terrific Winchester Little Theatre in Winchester, Virginia to see their production of my adaptation of ALICE IN WONDERLAND (directed by Sara Gomez). As always, the work was superb, the people fantastic, and the experience wonderful. Below is a photo of me and the cast.
February 11 through March 8, 2009
Cindy Williams and Eddie Mekka (Shirley and Carmine of LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY) were wonderful in MeadowBrook's 2009 staging of KONG, which had been produced successfully thus far at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston and at New Century Theatre. I was fortunate enough to direct the show, and the rehearsal period was terrific, with Cindy, Eddie and the rest of the cast meticulously working on the timing and bits necessary to pull off this big show. What a treat on Opening Night (actually late afternoon) to do this show in front of 500 audience members, who laughed throughout.
The Cast and Crew of Meadow Brook Theatre's KONG'S NIGHT OUT. I'm seated center, between Eddie Mekka and Cindy Williams.
July 10-19, 2008
Victoria Ryles directs this odd combination of fairy tale and Fox News Special, for the terrific Winchester Little Theatre in Winchester, Virginia. Friend Sara Cutshall from the old Mount Holyoke Days connected me with the theatre, and it's been a wonderful collaboration. Also produced recently by Boston's Makeshift Theatre, and by the Dracut Public Schools.
July 30 through August 10, 2008
This is the first play I ever directed, back with The Garrett Players in...oh, I don't know...1974 or something like that. It was also one of the first plays I performed in at the Mount Holyoke College Summer Theatre. It's a chestnut, but an extremely well-written one, and a blast for actors. My New Century cast was extraordinary, with old friends Phil Kilbourne, Steve Brady, Dave Mason, the late, great Van Farrier, James Emery, Margery Shaw, Tom McCabe, Sandra Blaney, Sam Rush and many others .
May 15 through June 1, 2008
My play BEYOND BELIEF, successfully delivered first at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, then via New Century Theatre at CityStage in Springfield, evolved into this newly-titled, freshly adapted, full-realized play, featuring five of Boston's most accomplished actors, Ellen Colton, John Davin, Cheryl McMahon, Sheriden Thomas and Richard Snee. The terrific Stoneham Theatre proved to be the perfect location for this very funny, very moving play. (At least I'm told it's very funny and very moving. What do I know?) Read what the CRITICS had to say.
Our biggest DHS challenge to date, and the results were impressive. Lee Grande has established a remarkable music department at Dracut High, and the students were absolutely up to the task taking on this extraordinarily difficult musical. Once again, our performers were awarded many nominations for North Shore Music Theatre Spotlight Awards, and Kevin Dubuc, our Thenardier, took home the Best Supporting Actor citation. Also, the NSMT staff surprised all the participants on show day with an impromptu audition for their upcoming DISNEY HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2 production, selecting two students from the many who auditioned to be in the show in 2009. Not surprisingly, the two students selected were our own Lana Herzig and Kerri Rachal.
April 5 through March 3, 2008
Once again, Andy Rhodes' terrific Makeshift Theatre Company brought one of my plays for young audiences alive, in Boston and Arlington. They did a tremendous job with this adaptation, in which the ugly stepsisters are named "Gwyneth" and "Paltrow."
February 2 through March 1, 2008
Can't say enough about Andy Rhodes and his fantastic troupe of performers. This script is a particular favorite of mine, and the Makeshift folks did it up proud.
November 23 through December 22, 2007
I had the honor of directing Neil Casey in this one-man tour de force based on the great Frank Capra holiday film, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Read the REVIEWS.
New Century Theatre, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts--June 21-30, 2007
This was my first crack at directing my crazy homage to the brilliant 1933 film, KING KONG. I always wondered what might be going on the hotel room NEXT TO the room where the Faye Raye character is whisked from the bed by the Mighty Kong. And KONG'S NIGHT OUT is the result. After a successful run at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston where the play was directed by Spiro Veloudos, this second excursion featured two of the Boston performers--Ellen Colton and Lordan Napoli--plus some of my favorite New Century Theatre actors, many of them friends for many years, such as Phil Kilbourne, Buzz Roddy, Lisa Abend, Brian Smith, and Dave Mason. The show also featured emerging New Century actors Mark Leahy and Katrina Ylimaki. For further info, please visit the NEW CENTURY THEATRE web site. (POSTER AND PHOTOS FROM THE NEW CENTURY THEATRE PRODUCTION. "DAISY" PHOTO BY JON CRISPIN.)
Makeshift Theatre, Boston and Arlington, Massachusetts--April-June, 2007
Andy Rhodes' energized and talented Makeshift Theatre takes on one of my nuttier creations, the classic fairy tale SLEEPING BEAUTY presented as if it were a fast-breaking Fox News story. I know--it ain't Disney, but then if anybody wants Disney, the video is readily available. Check the MAKESHIFT THEATRE web site for specific information. I can't wait to see this one. Don't let the poster below fool you--it's still running in June, in Arlington.
Dracut High School, Dracut, Massachusetts, March, 2007T
This one turned out to be a stunner. For years, I'd avoided doing this wonderful musical, because I never thought we'd find a high school kid who could play Tevye. Well, we did, and Lee Grande and Phyllis George did their usual magnificent jobs of musical direction and choreography and the show was a smash hit. In fact, the production was nominated for eleven Spotlight Awards at the second annual North Shore Music Theatre Spotlight Awards celebration. We didn't win many, but we won two big ones--Best Actor for our Tevye , Christian Hoots (presented by the original Broadway "Annie," Andrea McArdle), and...wait for it...Best Musical, presented to us by Broadway veteran Ben Vereen. There's detailed information and there are photos as well on the NORTH SHORE MUSIC THEATRE web site.
Theatre De Mathurins, Paris, France--September, 2006- February, 2007
Well, yeah, Paris. It ran for six months, and then went on tour for another few months. If you Google the title, you'll find a video or two of the production, which appeared to be funny, even in French. One of the actors is Ceclila Cara, who is a very attractive young singer of some repute. The other is Arthur Jugnot, who, from what I can see from the various videos, is an extremely funny man.
Makeshift Theatre, Boston and Arlington, October-November, 2006
Andy Rhodes great new troupe for Young Audiences continues to produce my MISDIRECTED THEATRE series, opening this season with SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. They perform at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline and the Regent Theatre in Arlington.
Stoneham Theatre, Stoneham, Massachusetts--November 25- December 23, 2006
I'm happy to be making my directorial debut for Weylin Symes and the Stoneham Theatre. This, of course, is the stage adaptation of the modern classic movie which has become a holiday staple approaching the popularity of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Well, maybe it's not quite in that cult category yet, but the story of Ralphie and his Christmas Quest for the Red Ryder Air Rifle is beloved among many. Our production features Mark Cartier, Bob Murphy and Lisa Tucker.
New Century Theatre, June 15-July 2, 2006
This is a brand new adaptation of Henry James' classic ghost story, which I directed in Theatre 14 at Smith College, home of New Century Theatre. New Century was co-founded in 1991 by yours truly and Sam Rush, and the theatre is now in its 16th successful season on the Smith campus.
The cast, featuring Birgit Huppuch, Jeannine Haas, Patrick Tangredi, Phil Kilbourne, Laura Lezon, Becca Stevens and Seth Olsen, was wonderful. Please visit the website of New Century Theatre! (PHOTOS BY JON CRISPIN.)
April 6, 7, 8, 2006
Dracut High School, Dracut, Massachusetts
Nine years and counting. That's how long I've been working with Lee Grande and Phyllis George to stage the annual musical at Dracut High School. This year, we take on the Disney juggernaut, and we're adding a matinee on Saturday to accommodate the family audience certain to flock to this delightful musical expanded from the classic animated film.
May 5-June 3, 2006
Spiro Veloudos of the Lyric Stage Company of Boston and his energetic new plays guru Rebecca Low have helped me develop the script (as has good friend Michael Dell 'Orto), and the play closed the 2005-6 season at the Lyric. It turned out to be a terrific working experience, and audiences had a great time watching the antics of cast members Larry Coen, Ellen Colton, Tim Smith, Steve Gagliastro, M. J. J. Cashman, Laura Napoli, Chris Loftus, Rachel Harker and Sarah Abrams. For further info about the play, contact me.