Tag-Archive for ◊ musical theater ◊

• Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Kitchen Theatre To Present Musical Encore Production — Lampert & Pressgrove’s TONY & THE SOPRANO returns for the holidays

The Kitchen Theatre Company is pleased to present an encore presentation of Rachel Lampert & Larry Pressgrove’s original musical TONY & THE SOPRANO, just in time for the holiday season. This hit musical comedy from our 2005-06 Season will return to the Kitchen on November 20 and run through December 14 [2008]. TONY & THE SOPRANO is a musical valentine to opera, Italian food, and mothers that’s sure to please audiences of all ages.

The story takes place in the closely-knit neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Thirty-five year old Tony fixes cars and still lives with his mother, Rose. His life seems to be one dead end after another, and he’s not the only one who is feeling stuck. His best friend Vinny is opening the restaurant of his dreams, but his new waitress Isabel keeps breaking plates, and a local mobster is breathing down his neck for his payback. Latchkey kid Carol is adrift. But when Rose’s attic apartment is rented to Julliard music student Frances, everyone’s life begins to change. Opera wafting down from the top floor starts everyone singing their own lyrics to the classic melodies of Verdi, Mozart, Rossini and more. This delightful musical tale of changing lives and finding love attests that music is the food of love.

“I love when music and laughter fill the Kitchen Theatre, and comedy rules in this play,” says Rachel Lampert, Artistic Director of the Kitchen and book and lyric writer for TONY & THE SOPRANO. “It’s been great fun to revisit the script and the score and add a few new things. And to get this great cast back together is a joy!”

The original production featured a cast of local favorites, and nearly all of them will be back. Erica Steinhagen plays Frances with winning Midwestern charm and a beautiful soprano voice. Her real-life husband Joey Steinhagen plays the good-natured but going nowhere Tony. Susannah Berryman, fresh from her role as Winnie in Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS at the Kitchen, plays Tony’s worried Italian mother Rose. Jessica Flood returns from her new home in Iowa to play the part of Isabel, a bad waitress with a mysterious secret. Jesse Bush is Tony’s pal Vinny, and Robert DeLuca is the neighborhood heavy, Carmine. They are joined by Kitchen newcomer Charlotte Senders, a 7th grader at Trumansburg Middle School, who is playing the part of Carol, and Sophie Potter, a 9th grader at Ithaca High School, who is the standby understudy for that role.

Rachel Lampert, also the Artistic Director of the Kitchen Theatre, is the author of PRECIOUS NONSENSE, an original musical featuring songs by Gilbert & Sullivan. She has also written musicals for family audiences and several non-musical plays and adaptations. Larry Pressgrove has served as music director of numerous Broadway tours and shows, including, most recently, title of show, for which he was also the arranger and performance pianist. TONY & THE SOPRANO was the first collaboration between Lampert and Pressgrove. Since then, the pair has written three other musicals: THE ANGLE OF THE SUN, COMFORT FOOD, and BED NO BREAKFAST, all of which premiered at the Kitchen. THE ANGLE OF THE SUN was chosen to be part of the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it was performed with original cast member Jesse Bush and Broadway actress Amanda Watkins.

Music Director Richard Montgomery (BED NO BREAKFAST, COMFORT FOOD, PRECIOUS NONSENSE, THE ANGLE OF THE SUN) will be at the piano every night. Set design is by Dan Meeker (THE ANGLE OF THE SUN, TWO ROOMS), lighting design by E.D. Intemann (A MARRIAGE MINUET, THE TWO OF YOU) and costume design is by Jon Donk. Preeti Nath is the stage manager.

TONY & THE SOPRANO will run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the family-friendly time of 7:30pm with matinees on Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 4pm. The play is appropriate for everyone age 8 and above. TICKETS: $21-$36; CALL 607. 273-4497; VISIT Ticket Center, Historic Clinton House, 116 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY; or CLICK www.kitchentheatre.org and buy online! SUBSCRIPTIONS: Subscription order forms available at KTC Administrative office, 116 N. Cayuga St, Ithaca, by calling 607. 272-0403, or at www.kitchentheatre.org. Subscribers enjoy ticket exchange privileges and premiere seating before single tickets go on sale to the public on August 1. For Group Rates, please call Marta at (607) 227-8063. For more information on the Kitchen Theatre Company, visit www.kitchentheatre.org

Bold, intimate, engaging…Kitchen Theatre Company (KTC), now in its 18th season, is downtown Ithaca’s critically acclaimed and nationally recognized year-round professional theatre with four performance series (Main Stage, Family Fare, Kitchen Counter Culture, Kitchen Sink). KTC is the first not-for-profit recipient of the David R. Strong Memorial Small Business of the Year Award from the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce. KTC provides an engaging mix of regional and world premiere plays and musicals to Central NY in an intimate 73-seat theatre that encourages a bold relationship between audience and actor. The theatre is located in the historic Clinton House, a renovated hotel in Downtown Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is located on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in central New York. Kitchen Theatre Company receives public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the Tompkins County Room Occupancy Tax Fund. The Kitchen Theatre Company also receives support from the Shubert Foundation.

TONY & THE SOPRANO is sponsored by Tompkins Trust Company and Gateway Commons.

MORE DETAILS on the FORUM: SHOW TIMES http://canaaninstitute.org/mikesmusic/viewtopic.php?p=2135#2135

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Author: Lesley
• Friday, October 03rd, 2008

Music is integral to many productions at the Kitchen Theatre, from musical theater pieces to plays with original scores by local composers.  This season has two musicals in store–Tony & the Soprano and Gutenberg! the Musical! Another play, I Become A Guitar, in which one of the central images is the making and tuning of a beautiful Spanish guitar, is likely to have an original score.  More on that one when I know the details for sure, but here’s a little about the first of the two musicals:

Tony & the Soprano was written by Rachel Lampert (book & lyrics) and Larrry Pressgrove (music).  Lampert is the Artistic Director of the Kitchen, where she has written numerous plays and musicals for

Tony and the Soprano

adult and family audiences.  Pressgrove lives in NYC but has collaborated with Rachel on three other musicals at the Kitchen:  Comfort Food, The Angle of the Sun (which made it to the New York Musical Theatre Festival last year), and last season’s popular Bed No Breakfast.  Currently he is performing on Broadway as the pianist and music director for [title of show], a quirky, funny musical about making a musical.

Tony & the Soprano was first produced on the Kitchen’s 2005-06 season.  Now Lampert & Pressgrove are revisiting it, adding new songs & lyrics.  And this time it will be performed with a live musician rather than with the pre-recorded tracks used last time.  Richard Montgomery will music direct and accompany the show.  Almost all of the original cast is returning, which is a wonderful thing, because they are a fantastic group:  Joey & Erica Steinhagen, Jessica Flood, Jesse Bush, Susannah Berryman, and Robert DeLuca.  The only cast member not returning is Sophie Reppert, who is now too old to play the part of 12-year-old Carol.  We’re holding auditions for that part this coming week.

I don’t want to write too much for my first ever blog entry, but I do want to say a few words about the musical itself.  Tony & the Soprano takes place in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, and it’s really the story of the people in that neighborhood.  The soprano of the title is an opera student at Julliard, played by Erica Steinhagen, who moves into the neighborhood.  I won’t give away the story, but it is funny and romantic.  And there’s fabulous music and singing.  What’s not to like?!

You can read more about the Kitchen and Tony & the Soprano at www.kitchentheatre.org

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