Monthly Archives: April 2017

Now on stage….
Biloxi Blues
By Neil Simon
At the Ivoryton Playhouse

Ivoryton – The Ivoryton Playhouse is leaving behind the music of Ol’ Blue Eyes and heading south to the steamy bayou country of Biloxi, Mississippi with the opening of Neil Simon’s BILOXI BLUES on April 26th. This semi-autobiographical play details his experiences as a young man in boot camp before he was shipped off to serve in the Second World War.

BILOXI BLUES is the second chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound, and is the only one in which Eugene is not the central character. BILOXI BLUES won the Tony Award when it opened on Broadway in 1985 and ran 524 performances.

Neil Simon’s hit play follows the adventures of Eugene Morris Jerome and his fellow Army inductees as they struggle through basic training near Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1943. An aspiring writer who sees himself as an outsider observing the craziness around him, Eugene hopes to somehow remain “neutral … like Switzerland” but finds himself having to make tough choices.

BILOXI BLUES is a comedy with real depth about young men growing up, learning about life and how to live together and finally, going off to war. These men are universal soldiers – facing the same fears, anxieties, and loneliness that grip all young recruits about to encounter the ultimate test of combat. Mr. Simon brings his great sense of humor and humanity to every word of this magnificent play.

A film was also made of the play starring Matthew Broderick and directed by Mike Nichols with screenplay by Neil Simon.

BILOXI BLUES is directed by Sasha Bratt and features Zal Owen* as Eugene, Alec Silberblatt* as Arnold and Mike Mihm* as Sergeant Toomey. Cast also includes Andee Buccheri, Conor M. Hamill*, Ethan Kirschbaum, George Mayer, Moira O’Sullivan and Chandler Smith. Set design is by Glenn Bassett, lighting design by Tate R. Burmeister and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

BILOXI BLUES opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 26th and runs through May 14th  2017.  Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Photo by Ivoryton Playhouse

*denotes member of Actors Equity
Members of the press are welcome after April 27th.  Please call ahead for tickets.

Call our box office at 860.767.7318 to purchase individual tickets or follow this link to purchase online.

 

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“Her Song”

WWW.STANDUPANDSPEAKOUTMUSICAL.COM

Bullying in our schools has become a nationwide epidemic and a topic of discussion for all Boards of Education.

STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT  is addressing this frightening issue with a new PSA musical,  “HER SONG”.   The musical will highlight the severity of bullying while it educates and entertains our audience.  A primary goal is to educate adults on what to look for: Is your child being bullied? Could your child be the bully? What do I do?  Who do I go to?

The group has been rehearsing once a week since Jan 22.  At the first rehearsal (with a cast of 30) Colin Sheehan asked “How many of you have been bullied”?  28 raised their hands.  Two had to change schools, and one of the adults in the cast still has scars from being bullied in 6th grade and having to change schools!  One student actor shared:

“As I stepped into the audition I felt an immediate connection with all the other kids and adults around me. I felt that we were all here for the same reason- to help change lives of other people. I too was a victim of a bullying, and just to do this show is an amazing way for me to express myself and my feelings towards this epidemic. Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others. I would like to thank my family for their continuous support, Michelle Natalino, Nick Fradiani Sr., Colin Sheehan and most importantly Jill Nesi. Music is such a huge outlet for kids to express themselves and be who they are! “Stay strong, because things will get better. It may be stormy now, but won’t rain forever”

Another participant added:

“We’re all in this together, and using our pain or misunderstanding to hurt others is not the answer.  This life is more fun when we got through it side by side.  Everyone has been bullied, and at times, been the bully.  I had to leave the public school when I was in 6th grade because of bullying. Being a part of HER SONG has been very special.  Watching these young kids share their experiences and create a space for everyone to exist in freely is wonderful.  Bullying is scarier than ever, especially in this social media age. People don’t need to hurt the way they do and I want to be a part of the solution, or at least the conversation.”

PRODUCER: JILL NESI – 4 time Emmy Nominated Songwriter

DIRECTOR: COLIN SHEEHAN – Events, Benefits, & Theatre Producer/Director
Les Miserables, “The Wendy Williams Show”, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show”, R Family Vacations & Seaview Productions

MUSIC COMPOSED BY: JILL NESI & NICK FRADIANI SR.

CHOREOGRAPHER: MICHELLE  NATALINO

School performances:

Thursday May 11th       10:00am & 12:30pm
Friday May 12th             10:00am & 12:30pm

Public performances – tickets $15 all ages:

Saturday May 13th         11:00am & 2:00pm
Sunday  May 14th           7:00pm

For more information about these shows at the Ivoryton Playhouse, follow this link.

If you would like to know more information or become involved in Stand Up and Speak Out please email jillnesi@aol.com

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Interesting article in the Washington Post with a mention of one of our Playhouse family members – David Pittsinger.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/style/wp/2017/04/19/american-opera-star-takes-on-americas-answer-to-opera/?utm_term=.9978ed78a091

 

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