Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Featuring the Songs of Neil Sedaka
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Book by Erik Jackson and Ben H. Winters
Wednesday, September 26 -
Sunday, October 14

Wed & Thurs 7:30pm / Fri & Sat 8:00pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm

Leah Monzillo* plays Marge Gelman with her love interest Del Delmonaco played by Christopher DeRosa*

Set at a Catskills resort in 1960, this is the sweetly comic story of Lois and Marge, two friends from Brooklyn in search of good times and romance over one wild Labor Day weekend.

The score showcases 18 Neil Sedaka classics, including “Where the Boys Are”, “Sweet Sixteen”, “Calendar Girl”, and, of course, the chart-topping title song.

 

Sheila Coyle plays Lois Warner shown with Brett Bainer and Brandon Mauro

 

 

Book by Erik Jackson and Ben H. Winters
Music by Neil Sedaka
Lyrics by Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield, and Philip Cody
Orchestrations/Vocal Arrangements by Tom Kitt
Conceived by Marsh Hanson and Gordon Greenberg
Creative Consultation by Neil Sedaka

Generously sponsored by Outthink.

*members of Actors Equity

Photos courtesy of Anne Hudson

 

 

 

In order of appearance:

 

Melanie Souza* (Esther Simowitz) is excited to make her Ivoryton Playhouse debut!  Fresh off the production of 9 to 5 The Musical at Theatre by the Sea where she played Roz, Melanie is a native Rhode Islander who now calls Sarasota, FL home. Favorite regional credits include: 42nd Street (Maggie Jones), Midlife the Crisis Musical, Stepping Out (Dorothy), Gypsy (Mezeppa/Miss Cratchitt), Suddenly Last Summer (Sister Felicity), Beauty & the Beast (Madame de la Grande Bouche), Chicago (Mama Morton), The Full Monty (Joannie Lish) & Les Miserable. Proud member of Actors Equity. www.melaniesouza.com

 

Christopher DeRosa* (Del Delmonaco) is stoked to be part of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.  Christopher was last seen in the title of role of Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Summer Theater of New Canaan. Some of Chris’s favorite credits include John Deacon in The Great Pretender (Starring Hugh Panaro), Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza, Tony in Master Class and Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. Chris is a proud member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

 

R. Bruce Connelly* (Harvey Feldman) appeared last at the Ivoryton Playhouse as Barney Cashman in Last Of The Red Hot Lovers and in Hairspray – the Broadway Musical. Other roles here include Max Bialystock in The Producers, the title role in Barnum, Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Finian in Finian’s Rainbow, Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace, Willie Clark in The Sunshine Boys and Max Prince in Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Other roles elsewhere include J.M. Barrie in The Lost Boy at the Helen Hayes Theatre, Murray Burns in A Thousand Clowns and title roles in The Man Who Came to Dinner, Scapino!, Uncle Vanya, The Music Man and half the town in Greater Tuna. Since 1993, Bruce has played Barkley, Jim Henson’s Muppet dog on Sesame Street for which he has been honored sixteen times by the National Academy of Television and Radio at the Daytime Emmy Awards.

 

Scott Scaffidi* (Gabe Green) is thrilled to be making his debut at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Scott has worked regionally with Geva Theater Center, Cohoes Music Hall, Playhouse on Park, and Rochester Children’s Theater.  He also played the role of John in Yellow Line Theatricals production of John and Jen in New York at the Secret Theater.  He recently directed Merrily We Roll Along at his alma mater, Nazareth College and will next be directing Rocky Horror Picture Show in Hartford.

 

Sheila E. Coyle (Lois Warner) is thrilled to be making her Ivoryton debut! Most recent credits NY credits include,  National B’way Tour: Rent, Workshops/Readings; Nightmare Alley, Jawbreaker the Musical, PUNK. Some of her favorite regional roles include Hair (Sheila), Sugar the Musical (Sugar), Celebration (Angel), Twelfth Night (Viola)! You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Lucy).  She can be seen year round traveling Nationally and Internationally with The Manhattan Dolls, a swing style vocal trio.

 

Leah Monzillo* (Marge Gelman) is very excited to make her Ivoryton Playhouse debut! This is her second time playing the role of Marge and couldn’t be more thankful to share the stage with her good friend, Chris! Some other credits include: Man of La Mancha (Aldonza), 25th Annual….Spelling Bee (Rona), The Full Monty (Vicki), Joseph….Dreamcoat (Narrator), Winter Wonderettes (Missy), All Shook Up (Miss Sandra), and has appeared in several readings of new musicals in NYC. Leah is originally from Florida and has been very fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to travel the world performing.  She also has 12 years of piano under her belt, and competed for several years.  For more information please visit www.leahmonzillo.com.

 

Brett Bainer (Backup Singer) is very excited to be returning to the Ivoryton Playhouse after dancing it up in Hairspray! Recent credits include Zanna, Don’t (Zanna), It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman! (Max Mencken).  Brett is a recent graduate of AMDA in New York City.

 

 

 

Brandon Mauro (Backup Singer) currently lives in New Haven where he is finishing up his theatre degree at Southern Connecticut State University. He recently worked with the Ivoryton Playhouse as part of the ensemble of Oliver! this past summer and is thrilled to be back! Previous credits include Hanschen, Spring Awakening, Albert Peterson, Bye Bye Birdie, Beethoven, Dog Sees God, Duke Orsino, William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and Chuck Cranston, Footloose. Brandon has also stage-managed various theatrical productions including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Old Saybrook High School ), Street Scene (SCSU), and Dead Man’s Cell Phone (SCSU).

 

 

Directed by:  Jacqueline Hubbard

Musical Director:  John Sebastian DeNicola

Choreography:  Caitlin Collazo

Stage Manager:  T. Rick Jones*

Set Design:  Tony Andrea

Lighting Design:  Marcus Abbott

Costume Design:  LisaMarie Harry

Hair Design:  Joel Silvestro

* member of Actors Equity

Join us for an opening night reception with the cast following the performance on Friday, September 28.  Light refreshments will be served.   

Press Release – 09/10/12

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do Featuring the Songs of Neil Sedaka
at The Ivoryton Playhouse

Sheila Coyle and Christopher DeRosa*

Ivoryton: Neil Sedaka has had an incredible career. He has written scores of worldwide pop hits for himself and other artists. A major influence on many of today’s musicians, Sedaka is best known for his major hit song “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” which is listed as one of the 50 most-played songs of the 20th century.  Set at a Catskills resort in 1960, this endearing story presents most of Neil Sedaka’s most popular songs spun together in a light-hearted tale of mistaken identity, friendship and love.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do is the story of Lois and Marge, two friends from Brooklyn in search of good times and romance over one wild Labor Day weekend. Marge’s fiancé has called off their wedding.  Her best friend, Lois, is determined to cheer her up and find her a new man, so they head for the Catskills and Esther’s Paradise Resort.  They fall for the seductive charms of the resort’s crooner heartthrob, Del DelMonaco, while true love in the form of geeky cabana boy and secret songwriter, Gabe, waits forlornly in the wings. Add a healthy dollop of Borscht Belt shtick with comedian – emcee, Harvey Feldman and his secret love, Esther, and you have the perfect recipe for a great night out!

Melanie Souza* as Esther Simonwitz and R. Bruce Connelly* as Harvey Feldman

Journey back to a more innocent time and relive summers gone by with all the trials, tribulations of teenage life and love. Baby Boomers will rejoice with this musical journey down memory lane! The score showcases 18 Neil Sedaka classics, including “Where the Boys Are”, “Sweet Sixteen”, “Calendar Girl”, and, of course, the chart-topping title song.

Directed by Jacqui Hubbard, choreography by Caitlin Sailer and musical direction by John DeNicola. The set design is by Tony Andrea, lighting design by Marcus Abbott, and costumes by LisaMarie Harry. Cast includes Christopher DeRosa*, Leah Monzillo*, Sheila Coyle, Scott Scaffidi, Melanie Souza* and R. Bruce Connelly*.

Marge and Lois are best friends looking for love in Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Breaking up Is Hard To Do opens in Ivoryton on September 26th  and runs through October 14th. 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 $40 for adults, $35 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.

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

*member of Actors Equity

Photos courtesy of Anne Hudson.

Generously sponsored by Outthink.

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Did You
Know

Neil Sedaka has had an incredible career - having scores of worldwide pop hits for himself and other artists. Cited as a major influence by "piano rock" legends such as Elton John and Ben Folds, Sedaka was one of the first singers to multi-track his voice to make it fuller. BMI has listed "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" as one of the 50 most-played songs of the 20th century.