Tag Archives: Ogunquit Playhouse

“42nd Street” To Run At The Ogunquit Playhouse From June 19 through July 13

Tap Dancing Extravaganza, 42nd Street to Open at the Ogunquit Playhouse

Come and meet those dancing feet! The ultimate tap-dancing, show-biz musical sensation, 42nd Street celebrates Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make magical musical theatre hits the Ogunquit Playhouse stage June 19 through July 13. The Ogunquit production is staged by Tony Award-nominee Randy Skinner, the creator of the Broadway revival and recent West End production of 42nd Street. The tap-dancing extravaganza stars Broadway’s Rachel York as Dorothy Brock, Steve Blanchardas Julian Marsh, Jessica Wockenfussas Peggy Sawyer, Con O’Shea-Crealas Billy Lawlor, and features Emmy-Award-Winner Sally Struthers as Maggie Jones. The Ogunquit production of 42nd Street also features the Lawrence Olivier-nominated and Tony-nominated costumes by Roger Kirkalong with Douglas Schmidt’sTony-nominated sets.

Rachel York

The delightful and dazzling show tells the story of aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer who leaves her small town for the big city and soon lands her first job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. Mayhem and mirth ensue when just before opening night the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star? The musical 42nd Street isbased on the novel by Bradford Ropes withbook byMichael Stewart and Mark Bramble. The score by Harry Warren(music) and Al Dubin (lyrics), is chock-full of Broadway standards, including “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me,” “Dames,” “We’re In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle off to Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street.”

Rachel York returns to the Ogunquit Playhouse as Dorothy Brock, the quintessential Broadway diva. Ms. York last dazzled Playhouse audiences as the Lady of the Lake in Monty Python’s Spamalot. She was most recently seen on Broadway in the musical Head Over Heels, and is best known for her critically acclaimed Broadway performances in City of Angels, Les Misérables, Victor/Victoria (Drama Desk Award) with Dame Julie Andrews, and for her portrayal of Lucille Ball in the CBS TV movie, Lucy. Ms. York has stunned audiences of the stage, screen, and concert halls across the country through her numerous National Tours, regional theatre appearances, concert performances, and TV guest-starring roles.

Sally Struthers

Two-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Sally Struthers joins the cast as Maggie Jones. Ms. Struthers is best known for her role as Gloria in the groundbreaking TV series, All in the Family as well as reprising that role in the series spin-off, Gloria. She also appeared on Fox television series 9 to 5, and in recurring roles on the CBS’s Still Standing and the CW network’s Gilmore Girls. Sally Struthers has performed many roles at Ogunquit Playhouse including Punky Olander in Grumpy Old Men the Musical, Evangeline Harcourtin Anything Goes, Duchess Estonia Dalworth in Nice Work If You Can Get It, Mama Morton in Chicago, and Paulette in Legally Blonde.

Broadway veteran, Steve Blanchardstars as the notorious Broadway director Julian Marsh. He is probably best known for his portrayal of Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in both the Broadway production and First National Tour. Other credits includeFred in A Christmas Carol, Lancelot in Camelot with Robert Goulet, Pulitzer in Disney’s Newsies, and Pa in Little House on the Prairie. Joining the cast as the starry-eyed chorus girl, Peggy Sawyer is Jessica Wockenfuss who also performed the role in the North Shore Music Theatre’s 2017 production. Off-Broadway, she has been seen in Hey, Look Me Over!, and Me and My Gal. Her National Tour credits include Jersey Boys, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, The Little Mermaid, and Monty Python’s Spamalot. ConO’Shea-Creal will make his Ogunquit Playhouse debut as Billy Lawlor. His Broadway credits include Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Side Show, and he has performed in many National Tours including Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins as Bert, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas with Randy Skinner, and Something Rotten.

The Ogunquit Playhouse production of 42nd Street includes one of the largest casts to ever hit the theatre’s stage. It featuresRyan K. Bailer as Pat Denning, Cliff Bemis as Abner Dillon, Megan McLaughlin as Annie, Kilty Reidy as Bert Barry, and JakeWeinsteinas Andy Lee. The ensemble includes Danielle Aliotta, Emily Applebaum, Willie Beaton II, Allison Blanchard, Quinten Patrick Busey, Brittany Cattaruzza, Alex Drost, Liz Friedmann, Patrick Heffernan, Alex John Johnson, Tommy Joscelyn, Trent Kidd, Ryan Koerber, Brianna Latrash, Lily Lewis, Elizabeth McGuire, Andrew Muylle, Melissa Schott, andKristen Welsh.

For ticket information visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org or call the Ogunquit Playhouse Box Office at 207-646-5511

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Jersey Boys Kicks Off Ogunquit Playhouse 2019 Season

Ogunquit Playhouse Season Opens with the Multi-Tony Award-Winning Musical “Jersey Boys”

Runs From May 15 Through June 15

The Ogunquit Playhouse 2019 season kicks off with Jersey Boys! The multi-Tony Award-winning, international sensation that performed to sold-out houses during its run in 2018, is back by popular demand May 15 through June 15. The cast that BroadwayWorld exclaimed to be “the closest you’ll ever get to having seen Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons,” also returns to the Ogunquit stage – Jonathan Mousset (Frankie Valli), Matt Magnusson (Tommy DeVito), Andy Christopher (Bob Gaudio), and Matthew Amira (Nick Massi).

Follow the incredible story of four guys bound by one dream, who worked their way from the streets of New Jersey to the heights of stardom. Jersey Boys takes audiences on an exhilarating journey with the electrifying performances of the golden greats that took these hometown boys from Jersey all the way to the top of the charts: “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Dawn,” “My Eyes Adored You,” and many more. If you missed it last year, don’t miss your chance to see this blockbuster show – you’re sure to leave exclaiming, “Oh, What a Night!”

Starring as Frankie Valli, lead vocalist of The Four Seasons is Jonathan Mousset. His phenomenal performance, falsetto, and range was described as astounding by the Portland Press Herald last season. Mr. Mousset has performed in many regional theatres across the U.S. in such shows as Newsies, In the Heights, and Godspell. He has also performed in concerts at New York City venues including 54 Below, the Times Center, and the Town Hall. Matt Magnusson returns to play charming bad-boy Tommy DeVito, the lead guitar player of The Four Seasons, who serves as the show’s primary narrator and founding member of the band. Mr. Magnusson has numerous regional theatre credits including Grease, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Ring of Fire. 

Reprising his role from last season as Bob Gaudio, the sensible and poised songwriter behind The Four Seasons is Andy Christopher. He has performed as Buddy Holly in the National Tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and in many regional theatres across the U.S. including Bucks County Playhouse, Flat Rock Playhouse, West Virginia Public Theatre, The Muny, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Great Lakes CFA, Fulton Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre, Casa Mañana, and the Ogunquit Playhouse where he got his start in 2012. Matthew Amira also returns to the Playhouse after his highly regarded portrayal of The Four Seasons bassist Nick Massi. Mr. Amira also performed at the Ogunquit Playhouse in the 2016 production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. His many regional theatre credits include Madame Defarge, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, and South Pacific among others.

The Ogunquit Playhouse production will once again be helmed by Award-winning director, writer and producer Holly-Anne Palmer. Ms. Palmer is the lead Producer and Creative Director of theglobal hits Wine Lovers the Musical, PROHIBITION, and Holiday Happy Hour. She has numerous Broadway credits including Jersey Boys, Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays, Bring It On: The Musical, Dracula, Walking With Dinosaurs, and Cover Girls. Her many Off-Broadway and regional credits include the 25th Anniversary Production of Steel Magnolias at Le Petit Theatre, Gentleman’s Wish and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? at Barrow Group, Platforms at TASC, Autophobia at Ars Nova, Inventing Avi Aviv at Abingdon Theatre, Oklahoma! for the Reagle Players, and for the Ogunquit Playhouse 2009 production of All Shook Up starring Sally Struthers.

www.ogunquitplayhouse.org

Box Office 207.646.2402 

Video From Last Year’s Outstanding Run. This year Jersey Boys plays from May 15 through June 15:

The Ogunquit Playhouse Announces Lineup For 2019 Season

Jersey Boys!, 42nd Street, Cabaret, and Murder On The Orient Express With More To Follow

The legendary Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to announce a sensational lineup of shows for audiences in 2019. For the first time in over a decade the Playhouse will stage a non-musical play in addition to five musicals, including the return of the multi-Tony Award-winning, international sensation Jersey Boys; the quintessential tap dancing extravaganza 42nd Street; and the iconic and powerful jazz musical Cabaret. The play that will ignite the stage with murder and mystery is the beloved Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Closing out the season is a hilarious musical comedy that will be announced soon and a Tony Award-winning, smash hit musical which will be announced in May. 

“As we head into our 87th season, we are delighted to present an exciting lineup of musicals for our audiences,” stated Bradford Kenney, Ogunquit Playhouse Executive Artistic Director. “I am very excited to produce my first play here at the Playhouse. I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and we have carefully chosen one of her most thrilling murder mysteries, a brand new play adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig. It will be seen here for one of the first times anywhere, live on our stage this summer.”

Season ticket subscription packages are on sale now and the only way to guarantee the best seats for the best price to these exciting shows! Prices start at only $250 for a five-show package and $150 for a three-show package. Gift certificates are also on sale online and through the Box Office. Individual tickets are on sale exclusively for Ogunquit Playhouse members the week of Monday, March 4. Individual public ticket sales begin Monday, March 11 with prices starting at $36. 

It’s just too good to be true! The season kicks off with the return of the multi-Tony Award-winning, international sensation that performed to sold-out houses during its run at the Ogunquit Playhouse in 2018, Jersey Boys! The hit show is back by popular demand May 15 through June 15. Returning to the Playhouse stage as The Four Seasons are Jonathan Mousset (Frankie Valli), Matt Magnusson (Tommy DeVito), Andy Christopher (Bob Gaudio), and Matthew Amira (Nick Massi). Follow the incredible story of four guys bound by one dream, who worked their way from the streets of New Jersey to the heights of stardom. Jersey Boys takes audiences on an exhilarating journey with the electrifying performances of the golden greats that took these hometown boys from Jersey all the way to the top of the charts: “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Dawn,” “My Eyes Adored You,” and many more. Don’t miss your chance to see this blockbuster show – you’re sure to leave exclaiming, “Oh, What a Night!!”

Come and meet those dancing feet! The ultimate tap-dancing, show-biz musical sensation, 42nd Street celebrates Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make magical musical theatre, on stage June 19 through July 13 and featuring Emmy Award-winner Sally Struthers. The Ogunquit production will be staged by Randy Skinner, the creator of the Broadway revival and recent West End smash hit. Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city and soon lands her first job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. Mayhem and mirth ensue when just before opening night the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star? The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We’re In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street.” Be sure to shuffle off to Ogunquit for this delightful and dazzling musical!

Decadent nightlife meets dangerous times at Berlin’s alluring Kit Kat Klub in Cabaret, on stage July 17 through August 10. The Ogunquit production is based on the searing Sam Mendez musical recently revived on Broadway and is set in the cabaret underworld on the eve of Hitler’s rise to power. This unforgettable musical tells the story of Cliff Bradshaw, a young American writer newly arrived in Berlin, who falls in love with cabaret singer Sally Bowles. Their romance sizzles amid the back room culture of the cabaret and the tumultuous atmosphere of pre-Nazi Germany. Cabaret is a raw and powerful jazz musical that explores the dark life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. The show has had numerous Broadway and London revivals and is the winner of multiple Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score for Kander and Ebb’s compelling musical numbers which include, “Willkommen,” “Money,” “Tomorrow Belongs To Me,” “Maybe This Time” and “Cabaret.” Come to the Cabaret, your table’s waiting!

All aboard! The exotic Orient Express is hurtling down the tracks… to a murder! Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express hits the stage August 14 through August 31 with a train full of suspects and an alibi for each one. It’s the perfect mystery for detective Hercule Poirot, n’est-ce pas? Wax your mustache and hold on to your passport! Newly adapted for the stage from Agatha Christie’s masterpiece by two-time Tony-nominated playwright Ken Ludwig, the beloved mystery unfolds in a fresh and thrilling way. This exciting play will take audiences on a suspenseful, thrilling ride aboard the legendary Orient Express! Don’t go off the rails – hop on board today!

Closing out the season is a hilarious musical comedy on stage from September 4 through September 14 that will be announced soon and a Tony Award-winning, smash hit musical that will run from September 18 through October 27, which will be announced in May. Stay tuned – you won’t want to miss them!

“Elf The Musical” Opens At The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH

The Ogunquit Playhouse Announces the Cast and Creative Team for the Holiday Production of Elf The Musical at The Music Hall

The Music Hall and the Ogunquit Playhouse are thrilled to announce the cast and creative team of Elf The Musical, on stage November 28 – December 16 at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Based on the beloved film, Elf The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole and raised as one of Santa’s elves. Eventually Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to embark on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. 

The Ogunquit Playhouse production is helmed by Broadway director/choreographer Connor Gallagher and features an all-new set designed exclusively for the Ogunquit production at The Music Hall by acclaimed scenic designer Jason Sherwood. Leading the professional cast are New York and Broadway veterans Steven Booth as Buddy the Elf, Diana Huey as Jovie, Jen Cody as Deb, Lothair Eaton as the Macy’s Manager, Annie Edgerton as Emily Hobbs, Blake Hammond as Santa, Philip Paul Kelly as Mr. Greenway, and Christopher Russo as Walter Hobbs. The role of Michael will be played by Calvin Middleton. 

Steven Booth (Buddy)

Steven Booth stars as Buddy. Mr. Booth recently starred as Charlie in the first National Tour of Kinky Boots, and as Richie in the first National Tour of Happy Days. On Broadway he has performed in School of Rock, Glory Days, and Avenue Q, and for regional theatres has performed in the Signature Theatre’s production of Glory Days, Avenue Q at the Wynn Las Vegas Theatre, Capitol Repertory’s Edges, North Shore Music Theatre’s Three Musketeers, and Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s Pippin.

Diana Huey co-stars as Jovie. Ms. Huey most recently starred in the first National Tour of The Little Mermaid as Ariel. She has performed in numerous New York and

Diana Huey (Jovie)

Regional productions including Girlstar, Jasper in Deadland, James and the Giant Peach, Spring Awakening, Avenue Q, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog, Rent, Mame, and Signature Theatre’s Miss Saigon for which she won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress. 

Portraying Deb is Jen Cody. Ms. Cody has starred in numerous Broadway productions including A Christmas Story, Shrek, Pajama Game, Taboo, Urinetown the Musical, Seussical the Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Grease, and CATS. Off-Broadway her credits include Cleopatra, The Wild Party, Judith of Bethulia, and Henry and Mudge. In film her voice can be heard in many animated films, including her Annie Award-winning role as Charlotte La Bouff in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.  On television she has performed in CBS’s Instinct, Bull, Unforgettable, and Blue Bloods, and provided voiceover work for Shrek Live, American Dad, Phineas and Ferb, and Mickey and the Roadster Racers among many others. Ms. Cody was last seen on the Ogunquit Playhouse stage in 2012’s Damn Yankees, 2009’s All Shook Up, 2006’s Cinderella, and was the Choreographer for the 2016 and 2015 smash-hit Million Dollar Quartet. 

Lothair Eaton joins the cast as the Macy’s Manager. Off-Broadway Mr. Eaton starred in the original company of Nunsense A-Men, and in the UK Tour of 5 Guys Named Moe. In Regional theatres he has starred in Trav’lin 1930’s Harlem Musical, When Pigs Fly, Sunday In The Park With George, and Show Boat. Additionally, he starred as Papa the Old Steam Train in the Germany, Las Vegas, New Zealand and UK Tour of Starlight Express. 

Portraying Emily Hobbs is Annie Edgerton. Ms. Edgerton has starred as Rosie in Mamma Mia! on Broadway as well as in the first two National Tours. She has also performed on Broadway in Kinky Boots, and in numerous Regional and Off-Broadway productions including Fly Me to the Moon, Comedy of Errors, King Lear, Les Miserables, Legally Blonde, Babes in Toyland, Showboat, and Betrayal, among others.

Blake Hammond joins the cast of Elf The Musical as Santa. On Broadway he has performed in numerous productions including Sister Act, Elf The Musical, Billy Elliot, Disney’s The Lion King, Hairspray, The Music Man, Kiss Me Kate, and On the Town, and Off-Broadway in When Pigs Fly, Carnival, and Do Re Mi. Mr. Hammond has also starred in the National Tours of Something Rotten, Cinderella, The Addams Family, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Mr. Hammond was most recently seen on the Ogunquit Playhouse stage as Harry in 2018’s Grumpy Old Men the Musical. Additionally he has performed at the Playhouse in 2015’s Sister Act and 2009’s Guys and Dolls.

About The Music Hall

The Music Hall is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus—one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, designated an American Treasure for the Arts by the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures Program, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner, recently named “best performing arts venue” by Yankee Magazine and the recipient of the NH AIA award for design excellence. 

For tickets visit http://www.themusichall.org or call The Music Hall Box Office 603-436-2400.

Oh What A Night With “Jersey Boys” In Ogunquit

Jersey Boys

At The Ogunquit Playhouse

Through October 28

The Ogunquit Playhouse

Ogunquit, Maine

ogunquitplayhouse.org 

207-646-5511 

Reviewed by Bobby Franklin

Photo credit: Gary Ng

Jersey Boys debuted in 2005 and was an immediate hit. I am probably one of the few people who had not seen it before taking it in at the Ogunquit Playhouse the other night. As the old saying goes “Good things come to those who wait”, and what I witnessed was beyond good.

Of course, being of a certain age, I was very familiar with the music of the Four Seasons. Their unique sound was something I grew up with and have never tired of hearing. That music is all included in Jersey Boys, along with the very interesting, and very 1950’s, story of how the group came to be. It is a story that takes us from the street corners of New Jersey to clubs, bowling alleys, the back seats of cars, recording studios, and the Brill Building. Disc jockeys, gangsters, loan sharks, and record producers are all part of the story. 

Director Holly-Anne Palmer points out in the program that a Rashomon approach is taken to telling the story, with each member of the group taking a turn giving their version of events. The segments where each member takes over the narration are divided by season, with wisecracking Tommy DiVito (Matt Magnusson) starting things off in Spring. He is followed by song writer Bob Gaudio (Andy Christopher) in Summer, Nick Massi (Matthew Amira) bringing us Fall, and Frankie Castelluccio, make that Frankie Valli (Jonathan Mousset) ending with Winter. Each actor brings us the differing personalities of the four members of the group along with the varying views of events each had. It makes for a fascinating story, or perhaps I should say stories.

While the tale of the four young men from New Jersey who escaped from a criminal past and dealt with financial troubles, conflicts among themselves, and family tragedy, is told with much depth, emotion, and humor by these fine performers, it is the music that evokes a tremendous audience response. No, this is not a tribute band performance, and don’t get me wrong, the story is a major part of what makes this so good to see. The songs contain even more power when enhanced by learning how it all came to be.

I was very much taken with the constant energy displayed during the production. Set changes happened without a pause as props were moved on and off the stage without the action skipping a beat.

…a super high energy evening of music and theatre.

Nearly three dozen songs are performed and each one is enhanced by the amazing lighting and framing the production team has put together. The colors are amazing. Neon style signs, wonderful costumes, and terrific choreography add a strong touch of the spectacular to songs such as , Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, and Rag Doll.  Jonathan Mousset really brought the house down with Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You. In fact, the audience leapt to its feet after many of the numbers during the show. I could feel the anticipation people had before each song began, and their excitement as soon as the first few notes were played. This is a super high energy evening of music and theatre. 

Photo credit: Gary Ng

Jersey Boys brings us back to a different time without getting overly nostalgic or sappy. While the story is predictable, what works here is the way the actors give us the strong insight into each of the character’s personalities. By the end of the play you will have experienced how we all see things through our own individual lens. It is also interesting to see how people with so many differences can still work together to accomplish great things. There was a synergy between the cast and the audience that filled the theater with excitement all evening.

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons had a very original sound that has held up through the decades. While their music is in the “Golden Oldies” category, there is nothing moldy about it. Listening to it performed live reminded me of just how fresh and original it still is. 

The Ogunquit Playhouse is closing out its 86th season, one of its best, in great form. Jersey Boys is not to be missed. You would be hard pressed to see a better production of this very exciting play anywhere. I do know tickets have been selling strong for this all summer. Fortunately, it runs through October, so you can take advantage of the off season rates if you want to stay in Ogunquit. Fall is a beautiful time in southern Maine.

When it comes to summer in Ogunquit Let’s Hang On To What We’ve Got! And there’s no better way to do that than with Jersey Boys. 

 

“Jersey Boys” Comes To The Ogunquit Playhouse

Northeast Regional Premiere

Runs September 5 Through October 28

The multi-Tony Award-winning, international sensation that took Broadway and the world by storm, makes its Northeast premiere at the Ogunquit Playhouse, on stage September 5 through October 28. Jersey Boys takes audiences on an exhilarating journey behind the music of mega-stars Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The musical was penned by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe. It follows the incredible story of four guys bound by one dream, who worked their way from the streets of New Jersey to the heights of stardom. Audiences around the world have gone wild over the electrifying performances of the golden greats that took these hometown boys from Jersey all the way to the top of the charts: “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Dawn,” “My Eyes Adored You,” and many more. 

Jonathan Mousset

Starring as Frankie Valli, lead vocalist of The Four Seasons is Jonathan Mousset. He has performed in many regional theatres across the U.S. in such shows as Newsies, In the Heights, and Godspell. Mr. Mousset has also performed in concerts at New York City venues including 54 Below, the Times Center, and the Town Hall. Matthew Guy Magnusson makes his Ogunquit Playhouse debut as Tommy DeVito, lead guitar player of The Four Seasons. Mr. Magnusson has numerous regional theatre credits including Grease, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Ring of Fire. 

Performing as Bob Gaudio, songwriter behind The Four Seasons is Andy Christopher. Mr. Christopher has performed as Buddy Holly in the National Tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and in many regional theatres across the U.S. including Bucks County Playhouse, Flat Rock Playhouse, West Virginia Public Theatre, The Muny, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Great Lakes CFA, Fulton Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre, Casa Mañana, and the Ogunquit Playhouse where he got his start in 2012. Returning to the Playhouse to star as Nick Massi, The Four Seasons bassist is Matthew David Amira. Mr. Amira was last seen at the Ogunquit Playhouse in the 2016 production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. His many regional theatre credits include Madame Defarge, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, and South Pacific among others.

207.646.5511  ogunquitplayhouse.org 

Sally Struthers and Hal Linden To Appear In “Grumpy Old Men The Musical” At The Ogunquit Playhouse

To Run  August 8 to September 1

Fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a grumpy ride! The Ogunquit Playhouse is proud to produce the U.S. premiere of the new musical-comedy, Grumpy Old Men the Musical on stage from August 8 to September 1 — just in time to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the hit film that starred Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret. This hilarious new show was penned by Dan Remmes, with music by Neil Berg and lyrics by Nick Meglin. Director for the Ogunquit production of Grumpy Old Men the Musical is Matt Lenz.

Two aging neighbors, Max (Ed Dixon) and John (Mark Jacoby), have been feuding for more than fifty years until the beautiful and charming Ariel (Leslie Stevens) moves in across the street — raising the rivalry to new heights! Get ready for non-stop laughs when two great masters of comedy step on stage – Emmy and Golden Globe winner Sally Struthers, and the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Hal Linden will team up with a cast of Broadway veterans to add to the fun! Don’t miss this laugh-out-loud story of family, friendship, love and romance in a fresh new musical that’s guaranteed to delight!
“We are thrilled and proud to produce the U.S. premiere of this hilarious new show. We are most excited to share Neil Berg’s fantastic musical score that is in an upbeat Broadway style. And, the work of Dan Remmes and the late Nick Meglin is a very adult and hysterical production that is perfect for our audiences. Because of the themes of family, romance and hilarity, all wrapped up in a fun uplifting musical, we hope we have created something new that will have a long life in the U.S. and beyond,” stated Executive Artistic Director Bradford Kenney.

Hal Linden

The Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to announce that that star of stage and screen, Hal Linden joins the cast as Grandpa Gustafson. Perhaps best known for his portrayal of police precinct captain Barney Miller in the hit television series of the same name that aired on ABC from 1975 to 1982, Mr. Linden has earned multiple Golden Globe, Emmy, and Tony nominations over his career. He hosted ABC’s “FYI,” a sixty-second information series in the 1980s, for which he received two Emmy Awards. His third Emmy in 1984 was for his portrayal of a rabbi on the CBS series “Schoolbreak Special.” In 1971, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in The Rothschilds, and to date, he has performed in more than 20 Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.
Two-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award-winner Sally Struthers joins the cast as the new-to-town Punky. She is probably best known for her role as Gloria in the groundbreaking TV series All in the Family. She has also starred in the Fox television series 9 to 5 and her own CBS series Gloria, as well as recurring roles on the CBS comedy Still Standing and the CW network’s highly acclaimed Gilmore Girls. Ms. Struthers joined the Gilmore Girls cast for Netflix’s new four movie limited revival,

Sally Struthers

which premiered in the fall of 2016, and recently guest starred in the acclaimed IFC comedy series Maron. Sally Struthers has performed many roles at the Ogunquit Playhouse including last season’s Bullets Over Broadway as Eden Brent, as Evangeline Harcourt in Anything Goes, the Duchess Estonia Dulworth in Nice Work If You Can Get It, Mama Morton in Chicago, Paulette in Legally Blonde and as Felicia Gabriel in The Witches of Eastwick.
Ed Dixon and Mark Jacoby lead the cast of Grumpy Old Men the Musical as the two feuding (and very grumpy) neighbors. Portraying Max is Ed Dixon, who won the 2017 Drama Desk Award for Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose, which he wrote and starred in. On Broadway he has been featured in Anything Goes, Mary Poppins, Sunday in the Park with George, and Les Miserables, among others. Mark Jacoby joins Grumpy Old Men the Musical as John. On Broadway he has performed in Elf, Sweeny Todd, Man of La Mancha, Ragtime, The Phantom of the Opera, and Show Boat for which he received Tony, Outer Critics, and Joseph Jefferson Award nominations. Recently he starred in the 2017, Oscar-nominated film, The Post.
For info: www.ogunquitplayhouse.org 207.646.5511

“An American in Paris” The Ogunquit Playhouse July 11 Through August 4 

The Regional Premiere of An American in Paris to Open at the Ogunquit Playhouse 

 One of the most captivating musicals ever to be adapted for the stage, An American in Paris, makes its regional premiere at the Ogunquit Playhouse July 11 through August 4. This exquisite musical is inspired by the Academy Award-winning film that starred Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron and features music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin with book by Craig Lucas. The Ogunquit Playhouse is proud to be the first regional theatre in the U.S. to produce this new musical, which won four Tony Awards in 2015. The stunning combination of iconic music, timeless love story, breathtaking ballet, energetic tap dancing and an all-new design created exclusively for the Ogunquit Playhouse results in a spectacular musical that includes the Gershwin songs “I Got Rhythm,” “Liza,” “’S Wonderful,” “But Not for Me,” “Stairway to Paradise,” and orchestral music including “Concerto in F,” “2nd Prelude,” “2nd Rhapsody,” “The Cuban Overture,” and “An American In Paris.” 

An American in Paris tells the romantic story of World War II veteran Jerry Mulligan (Clyde Alves) who, hoping to start a new life, chooses newly-liberated Paris to make a name for himself as a painter. His life becomes complicated when he falls for Lise (Julie Eicher), a young Parisian shop girl, only to learn he is not her only suitor. This lavish new musical is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet, and into the arms of a story you’ll never forget.

Starring as Jerry Mulligan is Broadway’s Clyde Alves in his Ogunquit Playhouse debut. Mr. Alves’ numerous Broadway credits include Bullets Over Broadway, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes, Wicked, Hairspray, Oklahoma!, On The Town, for which he received an Astaire Award nomination, and The Music Man, for which he won an Astaire Award for his performance as Tommy. 

Co-starring as Lise, the mysterious Parisian shop girl who catches Jerry’s attention, is Julie Eicher who is also making her Ogunquit Playhouse debut. Ms. Eicher was in the National Tour of Phantom of the Opera, and has performed at Lyric Opera of Chicago in Carousel, and Theatre by the Sea in Young Frankenstein. She has also performed with the Nashville Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Ballet Neo, and Artisan Dance Company as well as on television’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” This fall she will be joining the National Tour of Miss Saigon.

www.ogunquitplayhouse.org   207-646-5511.

“Oklahoma!” At The Ogunquit Playhouse Is More Than Okay

Oklahoma!

Directed by Fred Hanson
Through July 7
The Ogunquit Playhouse
Ogunquit, Maine
ogunquitplayhouse.org
207.646.5511

Stephen Mark Lukas and Cast
(Photo: Gary Ng)

It has been seventy-five years since Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein collaborated on their first play and changed musical theatre forever. Oklahoma!, with a bit of refreshing, has held up well and the latest production now playing at the Ogunquit Playhouse gives this great work the respect it deserves.

The play about the growing pains of the soon to be 46th state takes place, with the exception of the final scene, in one day. There are two romantic stories, the one between Curly (Stephen Mark Lukas) and Laurey (Taylor Quick), and Ado Annie (Chessa Metz) and Will (Colby Dezelick), as well as the conflicts that arise as two groups, the cowboys and the farmers have to learn to live together and share the land. There is also the matter of Judd (Timothy John Smith), the brooding and scary loner, who doesn’t fit in.

As the overture plays, beautiful scenes are projected on the curtain that give us a sense of the vastness of the Oklahoma territory. The opening scene, which was a departure from usual theatrical formula at the time in which the play first hit Broadway, shows Aunt Eller (Susann Fletcher) churning butter while, from offstage Curly begins singing Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’, which is as effective now as it must have been in 1943.

The sets which include a cabin, windmill, cornfield and a backdrop that seems to go on forever are constant reminders of the vastness of and challenges faced by those building a community on this new land.

The Farmer and the Cowmen
(Photos: Gary Ng)

The score is still as fresh as the morning dew on the cornfield. Stephen Mark Lukas and Taylor Quick in the leading roles combine the acting chops and voices that their parts demand. It is said that Rodgers and Hammerstein would cast singers who could act rather than the usual model of finding actors who could sing. I’m not sure what formula was used here, but it certainly works.

This production is based on the 1998 London revival, which ironically did not transfer directly to Broadway because Actors Equity demanded only American actors be allowed to play in it. The choreography by Susan Stroman is the same used in that revival, and is led here with some additions by choreographer Ginger Thatcher who has worked with Stroman. It is important this was handled well as Oklahoma! is as much a dance piece as it is the musical, and Ms Thatcher gets it done darn well.

The dream sequence ballet ending Act I is breathtaking.

The dream sequence Out Off My Dreams-Ballet ending Act I is breathtaking. Ms Thatcher along with this amazingly talented cast have given audiences a scene that will be talked about for years. Atmospheric, emotionally jarring, and just magnificent. At the performance I attended the audience was in awe as they stepped out for intermission.

The play, that at moments teeters on the brink of sentimentality but never goes over the edge also has a dark side to it. The character Judd who comes across as creepy and threatening, and with good reason, never fits in with the others. In all of the pieces I have read about the play I have not read any that show sympathy with him. In this production Timothy John Smith gives us all of the darkness of Judd, but also an undercurrent of how things may have been different if the others had made an effort to understand him. I’m reminded a bit of Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny. Could a sympathetic ear have made a difference? After all, early in the play it is Curly who shows a dark side when, in jealously over Judd’s escorting Laurey to the box social, he visits Judd and attempts to convince him to commit suicide (Poor Judd His Daid). While the song is funny it is also quite disturbing, and the Calibanish Judd sees through it. Not exactly an invite to join in with the community. Mr. Smith brings more complexity to this character then I have seen before, and he does it very subtly. Quite impressive.

All of the musical numbers are memorable with People Will Say We’re In Love, The Farmer And The Cowmen, The Surrey With Fringe On Top, and the finale Oklahoma! being particularly outstanding.

Taylor Quick and Stephen Mark Lukas
(Photo: Jay Goldsmith)

Oklahoma! is a wonderful musical but it is more. The story has many levels to it, and it is one that can make us think about the challenges of working together to build and maintain a community. In a way we are all farmers and cowmen who have to work on being friends. It is also a reminder that being able to get along does not mean not having differences, but instead to respect those differences. It also means striving to understand the outsider.

With cornfields that literally reach out to the actors, an unbeatable score, a cast that abounds with talent, lighting and scenery that are beyond impressive, this is a theatre experience not to be missed. Director Fred Hanson has pulled it all together and the Ogunquit Playhouse stage is the perfect theater to witness it in.

Every so often I like to remind my readers that the Ogunquit Playhouse is not summer theatre. It is a full blown theatrical company that rivals Broadway in quality. As is seen in Oklahoma!, you get top talent with a production team that knows how to out on a play. And, it all takes place in a beautiful and comfortable theater. If you haven’t been before, don’t hesitate to take a drive up to beautiful Ogunquit, Maine and see for yourself. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein would be pleased. You’ll leave the theater saying “Oklahoma!, You’re Okay!”

“Oklahoma!” Opening At The Ogunquit Playhouse

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! Bursts Onto the Ogunquit Playhouse Stage Just in Time to Celebrate its 75th Anniversary! 

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s great American classic Oklahoma! bursts onto the Ogunquit Playhouse stage June 13 to July 7. The Playhouse is thrilled to create an exciting new production of this beloved classic as part of its 75th Anniversary since first opening on Broadway. This groundbreaking musical was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration, and in many ways their most innovative, having set standards for musical theatre that are still being followed today. The lively musical features the timeless classics, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “The Surrey with the Fringe On Top,” “I Cain’t Say No,” “People Will Say We’re in Love” and of course the triumphant “Oklahoma!”

“Now, with Oklahoma! celebrating its 75th Anniversary, it seemed the perfect time to bring this beloved classic to our stage. The Ogunquit Playhouse production will feature the original designs from Cameron Mackintosh’s London and Broadway revival of Oklahoma!, and Susan Stroman’s choreography, which will be tailored for our production by Susan Stroman’s Associate Ginger Thatcher. Our show will be helmed by Fred Hanson, who together with an outstanding cast will create a fresh, lively and exuberant Oklahoma!,” stated Executive Artistic Director Bradford Kenney.

The high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys living in Western Indian Territory at the turn of the twentieth century, provide the colorful setting for Curly, the confident cowboy, (Stephen Mark Lukas) and Laurey, the beautiful, head-strong farm girl, (Taylor Quick) to play out their love story. Throw in a fierce rival vying for Laurey’s attention, one flirtatious fiancée, a reluctant suitor, magnificent choreography and one of the most beautiful musical scores ever written and you have a recipe for a rip-roaring good time! 

Individual tickets are on sale now with prices starting at $52. Three and four-show packages are also available for the current season. Gift certificates are also on sale. For tickets visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org, the Box Offices located at 102 and 10 Main Street, Ogunquit or call 207-646-5511.