11147232_10152902839482253_7570681949470908727_nIvoryton – The summer season opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse with the US professional premier of one of the UK’s most popular shows, Calendar Girls.  Adapted by Tim Firth from his smash hit Miramax film of the same name, it is based on an inspiring true story about a group of extraordinary women who persuade one another to pose au natural for a charity calendar to raise money to help support a cancer unit.

Ivoryton Playhouse is following the lead of these amazing women and will be producing a calendar of the theatre’s Calendar Girls with a portion of the proceeds going to support local cancer charities:  Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, Little Wonder, Valley Shore YMCA – Hope is Power Program and Middlesex Hospital‘s Center for Survivorship and Integrative Medicine.

The girls (and guys!) showing off their assets in the calendar are:  Jacqui Hubbard, (Playhouse Artistic/Executive Director and director of the production); Beverley Taylor (Ivoryton’s Company Manager), Vickie Blake, Danielle Bonanno, Erik Bloomquist, Victoria Bundonis*, R. Bruce Connelly*, Lily Dorment*, David Edwards*, Katrina Ferguson*, Maggie McGlone Jennings, and Maria Silverman*.

The July 2015 – June 2016 calendars will be available for purchase from the Ivoryton Playhouse for $20.00.  Photography was donated by Chris Devlin Photography (http://devlinphotography.com) and the calendar printing is sponsored by Essex Printing.

Calendar Girls is a dazzlingly funny, shamelessly sentimental and utterly captivating play – one of the best- selling comedies in British theatre history.

Calendar Girls opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on June 3rd and runs through June 21st, 2015. 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 $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 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.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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JacBevredcarpet044eUS Premier of the Number 1 UK comedy
Calendar Girls
by Tim Firth
at the Ivoryton Playhouse

Ivoryton – The summer season opens in Ivoryton with the US professional premier of one of the UK’s most popular shows, Calendar Girls.

Adapted by Tim Firth from his smash hit Miramax film of the same name, it is based on an inspiring true story that is both poignant and hilarious.  A group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire Women’s Institute, spark a global phenomenon by persuading one another to pose au natural for a charity calendar with a difference!  As interest snowballs, the Calendar Girls find themselves revealing more than they’d ever planned!

Dazzlingly funny, shamelessly sentimental and utterly captivating, this is one of the best- selling shows in British theatre history. It will make you laugh, cry and walk out singing Jerusalem!

The fundraising phenomenon of the Calendar Girls was inspired by the death of Angela Baker’s husband, John Richard Baker, an Assistant National Park Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, who died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 54 in 1998. During his illness Angela’s friends began to raise money, initially with the aim of purchasing a sofa for the visitors’ lounge in the hospital where John was treated. Nothing could have prepared them for the way their original calendar took off (selling 202,000 copies in its first year). To date they have raised over £3 million for Leukemia & Lymphoma Research, the UK’s leading blood cancer charity.

The Ivoryton Playhouse will also be using this opportunity to raise awareness for several cancer charities. Wednesday, June 3rd at 7:30 is Cancer Survivor Night – half price adult ticket price for those individuals who have survived the challenge of cancer. Participating organizations include Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, Little Wonder, Valley Shore YMCA – Hope is Power Program and Middlesex Hospital‘s Center for Survivorship and Integrative Medicine.

Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic/Executive Director, is directing the production and is also stepping on stage in the role of Annie. Beverley Taylor, Ivoryton Company Manager, will be joining her in the role of Chris.

“We are both Northern English lasses” says Hubbard, “I spent four years trying to get the rights to produce this wonderful play and though directing and performing at the same time will be a challenge, I knew I had to do it. These women are in our bones and it will be a rare treat to get to step in front of the curtain for a change”.

Joining them on stage are Vickie Blake, Danielle Bonanno, Erik Bloomquist, Victoria Bundonis*, R. Bruce Connelly*, Lily Dorment*, David Edwards*, Katrina Ferguson*, Maggie McGlone Jennings, and Maria Silverman*.

Set design is by Tony Andrea, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Cully Long.

Calendar Girls opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on June 3rd and runs through June 21st, 2015. 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 $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 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.

Pictured: Jacqui Hubbard and Beverley Taylor
*denotes member of Actors Equity
Members of the press are welcome at any performance.
Please call ahead for tickets.
Generously sponsored by PCI Medical

 

CALENDAR GIRLS opens on June 3rd and runs through June 21st.

For tickets visit  www.ivorytonplayhouse.org or call the Box Office at 860 767 7318

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We’ve moved!  No not the theatre – the Ivoryton Playhouse Administrative Office has moved!  We now have a lovely new space at 22 Main Street, Centerbrook!  All telephone numbers and extensions are the same.  Come and visit our new offices!

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Last Chance at Love is Not Just a Walk in the Park
By Lauren Yarger – Connecticut Arts Connection

When an 80-year-old man spots an attractive older woman at the local dog park, can the spark of romance be ignited in their lives, or is love just a dying ember?

Joe DiPietro’s funny and moving play The Last Romance gets a satisfying run at Ivoryton Playhouse, where the Tony-Award-winning playwright is a favorite: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and All Shook Up were both popular successes there and the musical Memphis, will play the Ivoryton stage in August.

For Ralph Bellini (a perfect Chet Carlin) it’s love at first sight when he sees beautiful Carol Reynolds (Rochelle Slovin who looks fabulous for her 70+ years) with her little Chihuahua mix, Peaches (Roxy, the understudy for “Bruiser” on the national tour of Legally Blonde owned by William Berloni and handled by Theresa Stark). The widower contrives to meet her at the dog park and tries to woo her with tails of his long-ago audition for the Metropolitan Opera. (The Hartt School’s Stephen Mir plays Ralph’s younger self in the octogenarian’s mind and in flashbacks, where he sings parts of great operas.)

Carol is reluctant at first, but soon is won over by Ralph’s charm. His controlling sister, Rose (Kate Konigisor) doesn’t think the romance is a good idea, however, and fears she won’t have a place in his life any more if he gets involved with Carol. Rose has been taking care of her brother (and controlling his life) since moving in after he had a memory lapse and was found wandering. Now, she keeps tabs on his every moment  —  it’s no wonder her estranged husband of 22 years left her for another woman. Adding to Rose’s angst is recent communication that her husband wants to divorce.

Carol plans to take Ralph to the famed  La Scala opera house in Italy – a place he and his late wife dreamed of visiting – but Rose might throw a wrench in the plan. Will the couple be able to enjoy what both know is the last romance they ever will experience?

DiPietro gives us layered characters (excellently directed by Maggie McGlone Jennings). Carlin’s engaging personality instantly wins us over. He gives a top-notch performance as Chet struggles with mortality, unexpected feelings and responsibility toward his sister. Konigisor (the artistic director of Shakespeare with Benefits) isn’t afraid to show off her character’s offensive side – “Shuuuuut uuuuup,” she yells at the dogs in the park – but also brings out Rose’s vulnerability. Slovin, returning to the stage after 30 years as founding director of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, is a bit stiff.

William Russell Stark designs the dog park, flanked on either side by sets for smaller scenes. Costume Designer Vickie Blake has Carol very elegantly dressed for a trip to the park.

The show comes together well with fully developed characters, the beautiful opera singing and DiPeitro’s humor woven throughout the moving story.

The Last Romance plays at Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main St., through May 10. Performances are Wednesday and Sunday at 2 pm; Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets: $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children. (860) 767-7318; www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.

 

===================================================================

CONNECTICUT
Regional Reviews by Zander Opper

The Last Romance
Ivoryton Playhouse

The Last Romance, Joe DiPietro’s bittersweet comedy-drama, is receiving a lovely and touching production at the Ivoryton Playhouse. With an excellent cast of four and supple direction by Maggie McGlone Jennings, The Last Romance tells a fanciful tale of an eighty-year-old man’s attempts at finding love later in life and what happens when he does meet a woman, in the park. Ralph is played by the terrific Chet Carlin and the object of his affection is the beautiful and luminous Rochelle Slovin, as Carol.

As these two actors enact this possible “last romance,” it is truly a thing of wonder, both in watching such skilled performers at work and in seeing how these two people try to make a connection that could drastically change their lives. With fine support by Kate Konigisor and Stephen Mir, The Last Romance goes from grand opera to a cute onstage dog as it spins its tale of the chance of love happening later in life. And while it is a somewhat slender play, it still proves to be a real pleasure and can certainly be recommended.

One of the privileges of this production is seeing such talented actors onstage. Chet Carlin brings a sly wit to the character of Ralph, as well as a vulnerable generosity of spirit. A masterstroke by the playwright is that he shows the audience Ralph as he was as a young man, played by the handsome and rich-voiced Stephen Mir.

In his youth, Ralph auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera, but, because of various misconnections, never succeed as an opera singer. Having Stephen Mir serenade the audience with arias from grand opera in between scenes adds a richness to the play. And the moments when both actors playing Ralph stand and speak together, with Stephen Mir representing the promise of what could be and Chet Carlin showing what has become of him, can be heart-stopping.

These moments only enhance the main story of how Ralph meets and attempts to romance the initially hesitant Carol, played by the lovely Rochelle Slovin. I would be loathe to give away what ultimately happens between these two characters, but there is a real joy in watching such experienced performers together onstage. Rochelle Slovin imbues her role with both a hard exterior and also a tenderness that can take your breath away. Chet Carlin matches her multi-faceted performance with a portrayal of a man slowly opening himself up to a happiness that could have passed him by. If nothing else, The Last Romance does a good job of exploring the story of a pair of lovers, both in the twilight of their lives, and dramatizing it with such warmth.

Still, there is much more to The Last Romance, including Ralph’s sister Rose, played by the amusing Kate Konigisor, who earns the biggest laughs in the play. Against a beautiful set by William Russell Stark, the production follows the romance between Ralph and Carol, then, whenever things start to feel little thin, the rich performances and director Maggie McGlone Jennings’s expertise add depth and pleasure. The Last Romance, by Joe DiPietro, is the perfect play for a lovely evening out and, considering its small cast, should be a natural for regional theatres everywhere.

The Last Romance continues performances at Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, CT through May 10, 2015. For tickets, please visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org or call the box office at (860) 767-7318.

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Our thanks to Outthink for producing these terrific videos for us!

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6_little_shop_of_horrorsAuditions in Ivoryton and New York

Little Shop of Horrors
by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman

– Equity Open Auditions by Appointment

Ivoryton Playhouse Ivoryton, CT SPT $450.

Executive/Artistic Director: Jacqueline Hubbard

Director: Larry Thelen

Musical Director: Robert Tomasulo

First rehearsal: September 8th;
First performance: September 23rd;
Close: October 11th, 2015

Equity Open Auditions by appointment:
Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
Noon – 8pm
(break 2-3pm)

Rehearsal Studio
22 Main Street
Centerbrook, CT 06409

New York Open Auditions by Appointment
Thursday, May 14th
11am – 4:30pm

Pearl Studios
500 Eighth Ave, Room 1205
New York, NY 10018

Prepare a song from the show or in the style of.

Please bring a picture and resume, stapled together. Call 860-767-9520 ext 203 for appointment

Looking for:

PRINCIPALS:

AUDREY Bleached-blond, Billie-Dawn-like, secret love of Seymour’s life. She has poor self-worth and education, but incredibly good looks and a sweet and vulnerable demeanor.
Female, 25-35 yrs old
Range: G#3 – D5

CRYSTAL, RONNETTE and CHIFFON African-American street urchins, acting as the occasional Greek Chorus. Young, hip, and smart, these girls are the only ones who have a grip on reality.
Female, 20-35 yrs old
Range: Ab3 – F5

MR. MUSHNIK The seasoned owner of the failing East Side flower shop and Seymour’s nosy boss. He is profit-driven, greedy, and manipulative.
Male, 55-65 yrs old
Range: G2 – F4

ORIN SCRIVELLO An egotistical dentist with a passion for leather and sadistic tendencies. Audrey’s abusive boyfriend, who is targeted by Seymour.
Male, 30-40 yrs old
Range: G2 – G4

SEYMOUR KRELBORN An insecure, put-upon florist’s clerk and eventual hero. He is a genuine, well-meaning man who is taken for granted because of his clumsy ways and poor social skills.
Male, 25-35 yrs old
Range: A2 – G4

THE PLANT (AUDREY II) Puppet. An anthropomorphic cross between a Venus flytrap and an avocado, the plant has an appetite for human flesh that is appeased by Seymour. Puppeteer doubles as other sizes of the plant.

VOICE OF THE PLANT An actor/vocalist located offstage. The voice is that of a conniving, street-smart ‘villain.’ A funky Rhythm and Blues voice is best.
Male, 20-50 yrs old
Range: G2 – G4

Theatre’s mailing address: Ivoryton Playhouse, PO Box 458, Ivoryton, CT  06442

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Press Release
April 6th, 2015

A crush can make anyone feel young again!

The Last Romance
by Joe DiPietro

Couple on park bench

Rochelle Slovin* (Carol Reynolds) and Chet Carlin* (Ralph Bellini) in “The Last Romance”

Ivoryton:  On an ordinary day in a routine life, an 80-year-old widower named Ralph decides to takes a different path on his daily walk — one that leads him to an unexpected second chance at love. Relying on a renewed boyish charm, Ralph attempts to woo the elegant, but distant, Carol. Defying Carol’s reticence — and the jealousy of his lonely sister Rose — he embarks on the trip of a lifetime and regains a happiness that seemed all but lost.

Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro’s The Last Romance, a bittersweet romantic comedy with a little Puccini and a smidgen of dog treats, opens in Ivoryton on April 22nd.

DiPietro recently won two Tony Awards for co-writing the musical Memphis, which also received the 2010 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and which will be opening in Ivoryton in August this year. DiPietro is an Ivoryton favorite; his shows I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest-running musical revue in Off Broadway history), and the Broadway musical All Shook Up were both popular successes at the Playhouse.

Directed by Maggie McGlone Jennings, the cast includes Chet Carlin* as Ralph, whose Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and the National Tour of Sir Peter Hall’s As You Like It; Kate Konigisor*, the Artistic Director of Shakespeare with Benefits as Rose; Stephen Mir as the Young Man and Rochelle Slovin*, making her Ivoryton debut as Carol and reigniting a theatre career after spending the past 30 years as the Founding Director of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.  The set design is by William Stark, lighting design by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Vickie Blake.

The Last Romance opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 22nd and runs through May 10th.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 $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 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 Anne Hudson

Members of the press are welcome at any performance.
Please call ahead for tickets.

Generously sponsored by Essex Meadows and The Clark Group

Bill Stark set design-page-0

 

A rendering of the beautiful set for The Last Romance as created by Set Designer William Russell Stark

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Announcing a competition for the commission of an Outdoor Art Icon that “reflects the history and celebrates the culture of Ivoryton Connecticut.” Public work project for the town of Essex CT.

Click on the red link below for more information and application form (open as a word document):

Artists Call Ivoryton Icon March 2015

20150120_PLOT_Ivoryton Village Art Installation-1 JPEG

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During the run of a production the hours are:

Wednesday:  12:00noon – 8:00pm
Thursday:  3:30pm – 8:00pm
Friday:  3:30pm – 8:00pm
Saturday:  11:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday:  11:00am – 4:00pm

103 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT  06442

Tel:  860.767.7318

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