Tag Archives: Ogunquit Maine theatre

The International Hit Sensation Mamma Mia! Kicks off the Ogunquit Playhouse’s 85th Anniversary Season

Runs From May 17th through July 1st

The Ogunquit Playhouse kicks off its 85th Anniversary Season with the international smash hit Mamma Mia!, dazzling audiences on stage from May 17 to July 1. Over sixty million people from around the globe have fallen in love with the characters, the enchanting story and ABBA’s timeless music which makes Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show! This sunny, funny, international sensation unfolds on a Greek island paradise when on the eve of her wedding, a young woman’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited twenty years ago. Non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers, along with the magic of ABBA’s hit songs that include “Super Trouper,” “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Thank You for the Music,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” and “SOS,” combine to make this enchanting show a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget!

A cast of Broadway veterans will headline the show including Kate Chapman, Jodie Langel, Angie Schworer, David Engel, Fred Inkley, and star of stage and screen Patrick Cassidy.

Starring as Donna is Jodie Langel, who is making her Ogunquit Playhouse debut. Langel has performed on Broadway and National Tours as Cosette in Les Miserables, as the youngest ever Grizabella in CATS, and as the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Her many regional theatre credits include Evita as Eva Peron, and Funny Girl as Fanny.

Angie Schworer returns to the Ogunquit Playhouse to star as Tonya. Schworer was last on the Ogunquit stage as Roxie in 2010’s Chicago and as Irene in 2007’s Crazy for You. On Broadway, Schworer has appeared alongside Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane as Ulla in The Producers, and received an Astaire Award nomination for her performance in Catch Me if You Can. She’s been seen on television in “Law and Order,” “CSI,” “As The World Turns,” and “Smash.” She has also appeared in the film version of The Producers.

Starring as Rosie is Kate Chapman, who hails from Broadway to make her Ogunquit Playhouse debut. Most recently, Chapman starred in the cast of Mary Poppins on Broadway, and was a part of the original 2006 revival cast of Les Miserables. Chapman starred as Ms. Claus for five seasons on the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and was a part of the ensemble in the films Chicago and Nine.

Briana Rapa is making her Ogunquit Playhouse debut as Sophie, following her international tour as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Patrick Cassidy

Star of stage and screen, Patrick Cassidy makes his Ogunquit Playhouse debut as Sam. A veteran of Broadway, film and television, Cassidy most recently appeared in A Little Night Music at A.C.T. in San Francisco and starred opposite Patti Lupone in Annie Get Your Gun. He also had the honor of recreating the role his father, Jack Cassidy, originated on Broadway in the Dallas Theater Center’s production of It’s a Bird It’s a Plane It’s Superman. Cassidy won the 2002 National Broadway Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in Elton John’s Aida, and was nominated for an Emmy for his performance on the TV Miniseries “Dress Grey.” In addition to his lauded performance as Julian Marsh in 42nd Street, Cassidy originated the role of Balladeer in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins at Playwright Horizons, and appeared in Lady in the Dark at City Center’s Encores! On television, Cassidy has guest starred on “Law & Order SVU,” “Castle,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Without a Trace,” “According to Jim,” “CSI Miami,” and “ER,” among many others.

Returning to the Ogunquit Playhouse to star as Harry is David Engel, who was last seen at the Playhouse as Gomez in the 2014 hit, The Addams Family. Engel most recently appeared on Broadway in Putting It Together and Seussical, as well as the original production of La Cage aux Folles. Engel created the role of Smudge in the original New York production of Forever Plaid, and again in Plaid Tidings and Forever Plaid: The Movie. In addition to his work on the stage, Engel shared an on-screen romance with RuPaul in the award winning musical short film Zombie Prom.

Fred Inkley stars as Bill in his Ogunquit Playhouse debut after his lauded tenure as Valjean in Broadway’s Les Miserables. Inkley received a Helen Hayes and Jeff Awards nomination for his performance as Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as well as a Jeff Award nomination for his touring performance as Valjean in Les Miserables. Inkley appeared as a Guest Artist for the Boston Pops in 2013.

Box Office: 207.646.5511




The Hunchback of Notre Dame

An Epic Hit At The Ogunquit Playhouse

Reviewed by Bobby Franklin

Quasimodo (F. Michael Haynie) Photo: Gary Ng
Quasimodo (F. Michael Haynie)
Photo: Gary Ng

As I waited for the curtain to rise for the opening of The Hunchback of Notre Dame I was fascinated by what I could see of the set for this production. I read in the program notes it was designed by Adam Koch exclusively for the Playhouse. I have seen Mr. Koch’s work before and have been impressed, but his work for this production was beyond impressive, it was positively breathtaking.

Ladders, a movable staircase, giant cathedral doors, five large bells, a choir loft, cauldron, revolving stage upon the stage, all appearing and disappearing seamlessly from scene to scene. This, combined with superb lighting, created a visual epic that held the audience spellbound during the entire performance.

But sets alone do not make for a hit play. While drinking in the creative genius of Mr. Koch, something else began to happen on stage. An incredible story, dark yet touching, unfolded. This story was told by actors with talent who were playing at the top of their game.

As the play opens we see the word “Fate” in large letters over the stage. This word would stay with us as we watch events unfold and it will haunt us with the question: How much do we control our own destinies? One that mankind has struggled with throughout the ages.

Theatre is illusion, and when F. Michael Haynie first appears on stage we see him transformed into the part of Quasimodo right before our eyes. It is a stunning moment when he turns to face the audience, his face with just the right lighting, no makeup, and he is suddenly in full character. It is one of those moments in theatre that is never forgotten. Mr. Haynie goes on to give a full and outstanding performance for the rest of the evening. In a stage populated with talent, he shines.

Quasimodo is the illegitimate nephew of Claude Frollo the Archdeacon of Notre Dame. He took in his brother’s out of wedlock child, and to shelter him from the world, confined him to the belfry of the church where he serves as bellringer.

Frollo (Bradley Dean) Photo: Gary Ng
Frollo (Bradley Dean)
Photo: Gary Ng

Frollo, powerfully portrayed by Bradley Dean, is tormented by his feelings of guilt when he begins to feel lust for the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda portrayed by the very talented Sydney Morton. Mr. Dean takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster as he elicits feelings of warmth, pity, sadness, and anger in his descent into a darkness from within the soul of Frollo.

The magnificent score written by Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken was originally created for the Disney film. It has been since updated with some songs removed and others added. Many of the songs heard in Ogunquit are being performed on stage for the first time. Some high spots among the many are The Bells of Notre Dame, the touching Out There sung from the tower by Quasimodo, the beautiful duet Someday performed by Esmeralda and Captain Phoebus played by Christopher Johnstone who was last seen on the playhouse stage in South Pacific. His voice is as wonderful now as it was then.

Chopin (Paolo Montalban) Photo: Julia Russell
Chopin (Paolo Montalban)
Photo: Julia Russell

I also want to mention the very strong performance of Paolo Montalbano as Clopin, the king of the gypsies. He also plays the roll of narrator. Along with the gargoyles who come to life only to Quasimodo and serve as a sort of Greek Chorus, the story flows continually.

There is a thirty-two member chorus that occupies the choir loft that is perched high up and to the back of the stage. Their magnificent voices fill the theatre. The Playhouse recruited local talent for the chorus from such groups as the Seaglass Chorale, and they are all first class.

This production is something a bit different for the Playhouse as it has only been performed at two venues in the United States, and this run is being directed for the Ogunquit Playhouse by Shaun Kerrison. It is not a touring company show. Under the artistic direction of Brad Kenney, the Playhouse has become a major player in regional theatre. I believe there is a very strong likelihood this production will move on to Broadway. It is that strong. I hope Mr. Kerrison follows it there.

This play is dark in many parts. It will touch your emotions and make you think about how cruel humans can be to each other and wonder why. It will cause you to look at yourself and, perhaps, question some of the quick judgements we all make about people because they are different. The play does not answer these questions, but I believe it will open many eyes so that we all take the time to be more thoughtful before passing judgement on our fellow human beings.

We can take charge of our fate, but we must grasp our hopes and believe in the good we all have to offer.

See this play. You will be delighted by such a beautiful evening of theatre. You will also leave pondering so much more.

Through August 6th.
For information: OgunquitPlayhouse.org 207.646.5511

Let It Be – A Celebration of the Music of The Beatles

Kicks Off The Ogunquit Playhouse 2016 Season

Let It Be - A Celebration of The Beatles (Photo Paul Coltas)
Let It Be – A Celebration of The Beatles
(Photo Paul Coltas)

You know summer is fast approaching when the Ogunquit Playhouse opens its doors for the season. This year they are are kicking off an exciting season with Let It Be – A Celebration of the Music of The Beatles. The show will run from May 18 to June 11 and promises to be an exciting evening of music from the Fab Four.

The tribute show follows the Beatles from their beginnings in Liverpool’s Cavern Club through the heights of Beatlemania, to their later masterpieces. Let It Be includes forty of the Beatles’ greatest hits including “Twist and Shout”, “She Loves You”, “Yesterday”, “Come Together”, as well as the title tune “Let It Be”.

Let It Be has played London’s West End and Broadway and will now get the full Ogunquit Playhouse treatment, so i am sure you will not be disappointed.

The cast of Let It Be includes Michael Gagliano, who has is spent the last 15 years perfecting his performances of the Beatle’s music on some of the world’s biggest stages from Liverpool’s Cavern Club to the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, as well as on television all over the world; Neil Candelora, who as a six year old he saw a recording of The Beatles performing on The Ed Sullivan Show and decided to learn to play guitar left handed; JT Curtis, who made his Broadway debut in Let It Be and has performed with several Beatles tribute acts from Los Angeles to New York; Chris McBurney, who also reprises his role from the Broadway production of Let It Be and has toured as a drummer and multi-instrumentalist all over North America, Europe and Japan with numerous acts, while continuing to perform and record in New York.

The Music Director for Let It Be is Daniel A. Weiss, a New York City based musician who was most recently seen music directing and arranging for a sold out performance of West End Recast in London, a concert featuring many of the West End’s finest singers. Mr. Weiss was the assistant musical director and associate conductor for the original Broadway company of Rent.  He has a multitude of Broadway credits for both conducting and/or performing, including Let It Be, Motown the Musical, Godspell, Hair, Taboo, Hairspray and Brooklyn.

Contact the Playhouse for tickets including information about season packages.

Go to:www.ogunquitplayhouse.org or call 207-646-5511