February 26, 2010 / Posted by TRW
The 2009 International Thespian Festival, in Lincoln, Nebraska, featured the All-Ohio Thespians in an absolute knock-out production of ALL SHOOK UP. This amazing show brought down the house as over 2000 Festival attendees rocked, rolled and stomped their feet to the irresistible beat of Elvis Presley music and Joe DiPietro’s Shakespeare infused story.
ALL SHOOK UP performed in the coveted opening night slot on the main stage of the Festival. This yearly event, attended by over 600 schools from around the United States and rest of the world, is the most prestigious and influential gathering of high school musical theatre departments.
Author Joe DiPietro personally contacted the All-Ohio Troupe with this message:
I want to wish you the very best of luck in your production of my show, “All Shook Up.” It’s a show that has entertained people all over the world, and I’m thrilled that you’re now part of this theatrical tradition. Rock on-Joe DiPietro
ALL SHOOK UP has had hundreds of productions world-wide as theatre organizations everywhere embrace this sure-fire hit. The show that puts the shake in Shakespeare intertwines a wonderfully wacky plot with elements of the Bard’s comedies (12th Night & As You Like It) and the best of the King’s musical movie stories to make a brand new theatre experience! After playing Broadway in 2005 and touring the world over, ALL SHOOK UP has now become a community and high school theatre favorite.
Milan Paurich of Vindy.com in Youngstown, Ohio, wrote of the Youngstown Playhouse production in October of 2009, “ALL SHOOK UP which uses the Elvis Presley songbook as its raison d’tre…has become a touring and regional theater sensation. It’s the references, in his (DiPietro’s) script — Footloose, Grease, Hairspray, Cry Baby, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, ad infinitum… (and) the clever way he scrambles all those disparate sources together that make ‘Shook Up’ such a certifiable hoot.”
Youngstown Playhouse director Mary Ruth Lynn, in an interview with Milan Paurich, said, “Chad, the roustabout, is a cross between James Dean and the Fonz, whose magical touch seems to break the chains and bring everyone to life…Love stories abound. Natalie loves Chad, Chad loves Sandra, Dennis loves Natalie, Sylvia loves Jim, Jim loves Sandra, Chad drops Sandra and loves Ed — who’s actually Natalie disguised as a man. Sandra comes to love Chad only to discover his words are actually those of Dennis and Jim and Sylvia end up together. As for the town’s sheriff, the mayor, her son and Sylvia’s daughter, I’ll let you find out what happens to them when you see the show. It’s a true highlight of the evening!”
For high schools and community theatres, ALL SHOOK UP offers that perfect storm of great music, great story, great comedy and tons of great roles for girls and boys alike. This review from the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California, of Performance Riverside’s production of ALL SHOOK UP captures the wildly successful phenomenon: “The show’s enormous energy and off-the-charts happiness practically insist on making the audience dance in the aisles, and all the way home!”
Check out ALL SHOOK UP on TRW’s showpage and get ready to shake things up on your stage this season!
Categories: Show News | 4 comments
February 23, 2010 / Posted by TRW
Hillcrest High School in Midvale, Utah presented the Utah high school premiere of CURTAINS, November 18-21, 2009, with a super production featured in StagePage on Jan. 28th. TRW’s Broadway blockbuster features a book by Rupert Holmes, based on a concept by Peter Stone, with a classic score from the legendary Kander and Ebb.
CURTAINS played over 500 performances on Broadway, and received eight 2007 Tony® Award nominations including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Actor (A Winner for David Hyde Pierce), Best Actress, Best Featured Actress, Best Direction and Best Choreography. Kander and Ebb’s amazing score is perfectly woven into the fabric of the unfailingly clever book.
CURTAINS is set in the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theatre is host to the opening night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage the entire cast & crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical theatre fan! While solving the mystery-he also solves the show within the show.
When I heard about this production from our licensing agent, Julie Abdelahad (who many of you know as the very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly customer service rep here in our NYC office), I was intrigued by the sheer number of cast members: 230! As I investigated this high school musical I found far more inspiration, dedication and pursuit of excellence than I had ever imagined. I was delighted that Hillcrest High School producer/director Paul Winkelman allowed me to get a close-up view of his production through the words of his production team and cast.
I found the words of one young actor really captured the spirit of Hillcrest’s musical experience: “Hillcrest is a very unique and amazing school. The students are from ALL walks of life and just about every different background; and all these very different people have the opportunity to be in the musical if their heart so desires. At Hillcrest, if you audition, you are automatically in the chorus. This provides students that would never have opportunity otherwise to perform in front of thousands and be a part of something bigger than just school or a sports team, but be part of a family. This year we had nearly 200 students in the Curtains cast. From football players to kids in band, we had it all. In our cast, it didn’t matter what had happened or was happening in our lives. We shared one thing no matter what; we love to perform and that’s what united us. Those nights that we got to perform together were unforgettable. We got to dance and sing side by side with our best friends in front of thousands of people, just doing what we love. What could be better than that?” These uplifting words came from Bayli Baker who played the plum role of Georgia Hendricks.
I recently spoke with Winkleman, music director Renae Dalgleish, choreographer Heidi Clark Hansen, theatre director Josh Long, orchestra director Kristi Pehrson about their production.
FS: What factors did you consider when making the decision to produce CURTAINS for your school’s musical?
PAUL WINKLEMAN: When choosing a musical for our school we always look at size of cast, what the students can learn from the experience, options for show based on student talent, community response, musical numbers, difficulty of orchestration, size of the orchestra, sets, lighting, and budget. Hillcrest High School has a reputation of the highest quality from its fine arts department, especially its musical production. Curtains was newly released for performance and Hillcrest High School was the first high school in Utah to perform it.
HEIDI HANSEN: Choosing the show involves a number of factors: If the production will uplift and be educational for the student and the community; does the show have multiple roles/aspect that would meet the needs of our diverse student population and abilities; would the show be successful in all aspects-educationally, financially, artistically…
RENAE DALGLEISH: We felt it would be an exciting thing for our students to be the first high school in Utah to perform Curtains. We knew it would be a challenge and felt our students would be up for it!
JOSH LONG: We liked that it was new and fresh, it had a lot of interesting characters, and lots of opportunity for dancing!
FS: Do you think your cast enjoyed rehearsing the show?
PAUL WINKLEMAN: In general I feel the students had a great experience. Like most students, rehearsals get long and they get tired of the process. We used positive reinforcement and explained many times the payoff of the performance will be greater than the sacrifice of the rehearsals. You could hear a lot of laughter from the cast as they developed the choreography and learned the music for the numbers. As they got more familiar with the show the more they understood the importance of their roles whether it be a lead or a chorus member. Rehearsing a cast of 230 plus students is very different than a cast of 30 students but this is what makes Hillcrest High School unique!
FS: I’ve had some big casts over the years, but…230?! Amazing! Sort of a Cecil B. DeMille version of the show…Heidi, from your perspective, did the cast grow artistically through the Curtains process?
HEIDI HANSEN: I know they did… they manifested it through verbal, physical, and written means. Most importantly, they learned how to use and perfect their talents and abilities, they learned to work hard and to work together. They learned how to be excellent and that is success and joy at its best.
RENAE DALGLEISH: I know they fell in love with the show by the end! Of course after rehearing anything for the millionth time the kids complained , but I think most of them trusted that we pushed them because we know they were capable of being the greatest!
FS: Were they familiar with the show?
PAUL WINKLEMAN: Most of the student, faculty and community had never heard of the musical Curtains-this was a two-edged sword. Interestingly, the local professional company in one of the cities close to Hillcrest was producing Curtains at the same time and we had to receive special permission to do our show from them. We had many comments from the community who had seen both the professional and our version, and everyone felt our version was professional and enjoyable to watch. You may say well that is because they were watching their own child in this production but the comments came from individuals that would come to the Hillcrest productions because of reputation not that they had members of their families in our show. I was the only person in the production staff that had seen the Broadway production of Curtains.
HEIDI HANSEN: I had never seen it… so it was a pleasure for all of us to do a refreshing, new show.
RENAE DALGLEISH: And all of us were excited to do something new!
FS: How did audiences respond to the show?
PAUL WINKLEMAN: The response to the show was great!!! There were rave reviews on this production. As I mentioned, Hillcrest High school is known for high quality productions. Many felt this production was one of the best they had seen…The energy with performers on the stage and in the aisles was electrifying and the audience loved the show.
HEIDI HANSEN: They really loved it, and I received a lot of feedback about how refreshing it was to see a musical they weren’t familiar with. Also the audience really enjoyed the humor. It was really entertaining and engaging.
JOSH LONG: Definitely. Very, very positive. I heard so many comments about how fun it was to see a new story- a story they didn’t know.
FS: Your commitment is really evident from your enthusiasm. I have huge respect for all the amazing high school drama departments out there that provide this experience for so many kids…
PAUL WINKLEMAN: As a production team we feel it is very important that the students receive the opportunity to be creative, be trained in dance, singing, and acting. And for the orchestra to be challenged and the stage crew learn the art of building, lighting, sound-but more than that, we teach life skills, working with others, collaboration, commitment, dedication, problem solving, hard work and what the theme of the show is and what lessons are addressed. We saw growth in every one of these cast members. The pride these students took with them was worth every blood, sweat, and tear we as a the production team felt. Watching these students develop from the beginning of the process to the end was amazing!
FS: Anything else stand out in your mind you’d like to add?
PAUL WINKLEMAN: Working with Theatrical Rights was a joy. Everyone was so willing to support and help. I loved that this licensing company understands issues within education and their communities and are able to adapt the script and music so it will be appropriate to produce in a education setting. THANK YOU!
FS: You are welcome, Paul. And thank you all for talking with TRW today.
In addition to this interview, some of the many cast members from the Hillcrest production offered their comments via email. I found their impressions of the show and the whole experience of participating in their high school musical experience to be very heartfelt, moving and utterly refreshing. Here’s a sample of what these wonderful young actors wrote:
My thanks to the entire cast for sharing their comments with TRW’s StagePage. For more information on licensing CURTAINS, go to:
—Fred Stuart for TRW StagePage
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February 22, 2010 / Posted by TRW
Direct from Broadway to the East Bay
The Diablo Theatre Company in Walnut Creek, CA, opened their production of CURTAINS February 12th at the Lesher Center for the Arts and is playing to sold-out houses and earning rave reviews. “The Diablo Theater Company more than lived up to its tagline promise of bringing their patrons ‘the music and magic of Broadway’ in Friday night’s opening of Curtains. With a book and additional lyrics by Rupert Holmes and music and lyrics by the legendary team who created Chicago and Cabaret, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Curtains delighted the audience and had them laughing and applauding – well – from the moment the curtains parted.” -Broadway Magazine
Check out a promo video for this super production at http://www.dloc.org/index.php
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February 10, 2010 / Posted by TRW
Theatrical Rights Worldwide is the exclusive home of Nickelodeon’s Live On Stage collection of musicals. We’ve licensed hundreds of productions of our Nick favorites, BLUE’S CLUES LIVE! THE MOST SPECTACULAR PLACE, BLUE’S CLUES LIVE! BLUE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY, and RUGRATS: A LIVE ADVENTURE. These stage musical adaptations of Nick’s beloved TV shows have played around the world and brought thousands of kids and their families into theatres everywhere. And in 2010, we’re releasing a new to the stage Nick title that will take theatre for young audiences to the next level! Stay tuned for this exciting new release announcement soon, or…visit our website and check out the Nickelodeon’s Live On Stage section for the inside scoop…
Performing arts organizations are always looking for ways to bring new audiences into their facilities. Theatre that is aimed at pre-schoolers and very young kids is an ideal way to get new groups of people into your theatre. Parents that see an ad for a Nickelodeon show at your theatre will bring their kids. And older siblings. And friends. As these new customers enter your theatre they are closer to discovering ALL the great shows you do.
Recently, I talked with Jim Roberts and Joe Zingo of the renowned Actor’s Cabaret of Eugene, Oregon, about their 2007 production of Blue’s Clues Live! The Most Spectacular Place.
The Actor’s Cabaret of Eugene (ACE) opened their first season in 1979 and have since presented over 350 productions. The Artistic Director at ACE is Joe Zingo, a retired South Eugene High School teacher of 29 years. The Executive Director and Producer is Jim Roberts.
They were enthusiastic to relate the amazing response to the production.“When we produced BLUES CLUES, we found a completely new audience. The children ranged from 2 years to 7. It was great to watch them all react, sing and try to help find the clues along with the cast. Most had never seen any live performance before, and they LOVED the show,” said Zingo.
“Those parents who watched BLUES CLUES on TV with their children, loved the opportunity to share BLUES CLUES LIVE with their kids, since there are so few shows written for pre-schoolers,” Roberts added. “We also had teenagers who thought of it as ‘nostalgic’ when they started watching and really got into the show. We have had many return for other shows since then, both with and without their children.”
The Nickelodeon Live On Stage Collection from TRW comes complete with scripts, scores and a Performance CD that makes rehearsing and performing a snap. And included in each license is a title-specific TOOL KIT book that provides resources direct from NICKELODEON that cover costumes, sets, props and marketing plans that have helped make the collection a smash hit at box offices worldwide.
“The show (BLUE’S CLUES) sold out very quickly and we had to add performances! We could have run for many more week-ends if our schedule would have permitted,” Zingo continued, ” We were turning people away at the door when we ran out of tickets to sell, a problem every theater loves to have. Everyone showed up ready to see their childhood TV show, LIVE, or present BLUES CLUES to their children for the first time. Whatever their reasoning for buying the tickets they loved what they saw. It was a great theatrical experience for everyone.”
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