Players Pen – August 15, 2018

Does anyone else feel that summer is flying by?  Everyone on the Peninsula Players campus can hardly fathom that tonight, August 15, is opening night of the fourth show of our 83rd season.  Over the past few weeks everyone has been hustling.  It takes a small army, or artisan village, to produce fully staged theatrical works. 

While “The Drowsy Chaperone” was in performances, our company members totaled 58, including musicians, actors, painters, carpenters, administrators, directors, cooks, costume artisans, production and administrative interns. 

During the days, our scene, costume and properties shops are busy preparing for our next production. Last week, the carpenters arrived to lunch covered in saw dust, the stitchers built fashionable 1957 dresses and the props team gathered and crafted set dressings for a Manhattan penthouse, including a collection of snow globes and 1950s furnishings.

In the evenings, these hard working and dedicated craftspeople, artisans and interns greet patrons in the parking lots, distribute tickets, usher or work behind the bar, Will Call window or concession stand.  Our production interns then help run the show by working backstage as dressers, operating the light board, follow spots or help shift scenery, props or fly the scenery in and out.  They help make the magic happen and we applaud them for their steadfastness.

The Box Office continues its steady pace of tickets sales. Last week “The Drowsy Chaperone” closed Sunday afternoon, August 12 to a sold-out house.  I hope you got a chance to enjoy the toe-tapping tunes and light humor of this delightful musical.  The laughs continue in our new Broadway comedy, “Living on Love.” This sparkling comedy by Joe DiPietro, who wrote “I Love You, You’re Perfect… Now Change,” is based on the last play written by Garson Kanin, the playwright of the delightful-screwball comedy “Born Yesterday.” 

Kanin’s main characters live in the world of classical music, just as the characters of our recent comedy Ken Ludwig’s “Lend me a Tenor.”  Knowledge of classical music or opera is not essential to enjoy the foibles of the characters.  Over the top egos, romantic escapades and rambunctious carryings-on are all traits of situational comedies enjoyed by the masses.

While we say goodbye to a majority of the musical’s cast, we gain actor Matt Holzfeind and Melanie Keller who will start rehearsals for “Salvage,” our final play this autumn.   Mary Nickson, Drew Humphrey and Dena DiGiacinto return to New York, Tim Monsion to Los Angeles, while Sean Fortunato, Elizabeth Haley, James Harms, Meghan Murphy, Erin Parker and Barbara Robertson return to Chicago to work on their next projects.

Matt Crowle, who directed “The Drowsy Chaperone,” spent the run of the musical in rehearsal as an actor with five members of his cast preparing for our new offering, “Living on Love.”  Karl Hamilton and Jason Richards who were the gangster-pastry chefs, Dan Klarer played various roles including the superintendent and Ericka Stephan, who was the bride, Janet, join newcomer Mary Ernster, who recently performed on Broadway in “War Paint” with Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole. 

Mary and Karl are cast as world-famous and temperamental artists, Vito and Raquel De Angelis. To supplement their flamboyant lifestyle, Vito is to write his memoirs.  In true Kanin screwball-style, Vito becomes enamored with his female ghostwriter so Raquel decides to hire a handsome one of her own! 

Join us as the sparks fly, silverware is thrown and romance blossoms!  A post show discussion will be held Friday, August 24 with the creative team and cast.  A pre-show seminar will be hosted by ghostwriter Patricia Skalka on Thursday, August 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the theater.   Visit our website to learn more or call the Box Office at (920) 868-3287.  We hope you will join us by the bay, where the sun sets, the curtain rises and the stars shine!