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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Check out your local Valley Courier, Harbor News, Source or other Shore Publishing newspaper this week and discover two full page articles on the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Journalist Amy Barry provides a full page article, special to the Living section, on our Centennial Season that features an interview with Playhouse Executive Director Jacqui Hubbard.  Further on in the publication, you can find a full page theatre review of The Irish…and How They Got That Way.  Reviewers Bob and Karen Isaacs call the show “A Rollicking Good Time”.  Thanks to Shore Publishing for this great support!

Check out zip06 to read the articles:

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So, you think running a 100 year old Playhouse is easy?  This was Monday……

8:00am      Set up rehearsal room

9:00am      Rehearsals start for How The Other Half Loves – six actors including 
                    Playhouse Executive Director Jacqui Hubbard and Company Manager
                    Beverley Taylor
                    Phones start to ring for The Irish tickets – last week of performances!
                    Audition announcement for The Producers gets posted on line – character
                    breakdown consists of 16 characters – hundreds of phone calls expected

12:00pm    Production meeting for Barefoot in The Park with director Bruce Connelly

1:00pm     Actors start to arrive for Barefoot in The Park auditions

2:00pm    Auditions for Barefoot in the Park – 60 actors in five minute intervals
– 8:00pm

The next time you see Jacqui Hubbard or Beverley Taylor – give them a hug.  Better yet, come and see them perform in How the Other Half Loves opening April 13.  They deserve your support!!

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Michael McDermott is currently starring in The Irish...And How They Got That Way

With the Playhouse reaching 100 years old and the realization that I am getting to be a part of the tradition and celebration of “A Century on Stage”, my mind goes back to but only 6 years ago when I walked up the frontsteps to this great building.  This historic place has housed so many talented people, burning to create and bring forth passion, imagination, laughter, tears and honor the gift and opportunity that any performer gets when graced with the chance to be on stage. 

Returning to the Playhouse now for the fourth time – and at such an exciting time – fills my heart with gratitude and joy.  There is an electrifying feeling in the air for the Playhouse this year.  Led by an incredible and devoted staff, I feel all the “stars” have lined up to carry this historic place into the next century.  I wish to offer thoughts of love, a playful heart, excitement, passion, respect and homage to a place that has given just that back to it’s amazing audience – grateful patrons who fill the seats to share in all the magic that happens here every night, every year.

So to the Ivoryton Playhouse, I wish you many great opening nights and stellar runs.  To all who get to perform here in the next 100 years, bring your heart and soul to its’ stage.  It’s the least we can do for her, for she has certainly never let us down.

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BUY THIS NOW!  The new REM album, Collapse Into Now, is their best in a decade.  Yay!  REM is back and they are rockin’! Collapse is the band’s 15th studio release and is full of roots-rock brilliance.  A true return to form.  Stand out tracks include “Mine Smell Like Honey”, “UBerlin” and “Oh My Heart” is a sweet ballad that brings back memories of “Losing My Religion”.  Love it!

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Photos courtesy of Anne Hudson.

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The Ivoryton Playhouse has the perfect present for St. Patrick’s Day, tied with a big green bow, and you don’t have to travel to Galway Bay or Killarney to open its magical contents. Until Sunday, April 3, you’re invited to wear your green shamrocks for Frank McCourt’s delightful musical history lesson “The Irish..And How They Got That Way.”

A quartet of talented singers and dancers will lead the parade of almost three dozen grand Irish ballads and pop tunes: Morgan Crowley, all the way from Dublin, along with Annie Kerins Michael McDermott and Kathleen Mulready. You can temporarily change your name to Kelly or Paddy or Clancy, but this fine troupe will have you wanting to dance a jig before you can say “Molly Maguire and Mrs. Murphy” three times fast.

The wonderful world of the Irish will come to life as you learn about the land of the wee little people where dreamers and music makers, seafarers and storytellers grew in abundance. When the potato famine strikes in the 1840’s, this hardy people set off for new and distant shores, many of them landing in the promised land of America.

Their welcome, on the non-existent streets paved with gold, was much less than they could have hoped for, as the message “No Irish Need Apply” blocked and hindered their progress for decades. Yet these same sturdy folk are credited with building canals and railroads, roads and sidewalks, and fighting for their new country in a hundred patriotic ways.

Their story is told in the glorious music that marks their progress forward and upward, musical numbers like “The Rose of Tralee,” “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “Danny Boy,” “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye,” and ending with a rousing “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Some names of famous people of Irish descent are sprinkled throughout like Oscar Wilde, Eugene O’Neill, Roy and Walt Disney, James Joyce, James Cagney, Bing Crosby and John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The legacy from the Irish is rich and textured as penned by Frank McCourt.

For tickets ($40, seniors $35, students $20, children $15), call the Ivoryton Playhouse 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318. Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Save Saturday, May 21 for a gala birthday party as Ivoryton Playhouse celebrates its 100 years of great theater. Call 860-767-9520 for more information.

Prepare to go across the pond to the Emerald Isle, without the need to pack your bags, renew your passport or purchase traveler’s checks. Faith and begorra, you’ll have a fine trip.

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We love a parade…

Don’t forget to stop by the Essex Go Bragh Parade and Festival happening in downtown Essex tomorrow, Saturday, March 19. The Parade, sponsored by the Ivoryton Playhouse, steps off from the Essex Town Hall at 12:00noon and works it way down to The Gris. Malachy McCourt will be the Grand Marshal and the cast of The Irish…and How They Got That Way will be singing along the way.

The Playhouse will have an information booth located at the Village Provisions (right near the beer tent!!!) and Malachy will be signing copies of his latest book from 12:30pm. Limited edition Playhouse centennial T-shirts will also be on sale. Make sure you stop by and say hi to all the Playhouse crew!

See you at the parade!

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Saw the show last night–great, wonderful, fabulous!!!  The four cast members really give their all; great voices, great expressions — a lively show with the absolute best rendition ever of “Danny Boy”.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Connie Kupchunos

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The Irish is a delight!

The Irish…And How They Got That Way opened with a matinee performance today and the audience loved it!  There was rapturous applause and loud cheers as the cast ended the show dancing down the center aisle.

Dublin born, Morgan Crowley charmed the ladies after the show and stayed in the lobby for ages talking to glowing audience members. 

One woman said with a huge laugh, “I loved it!  I’m not even Irish – I’m Jewish – and I just loved it”!!

Don’t miss this Irish-astic show!

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Irish opens tomorrow!!

Our 2011 season opens tomorrow!  Everyone is so excited to be back in the theatre in anticipation of the opening of The Irish and How They Got That Way tomorrow.  Dress rehearsals are going really well and tickets are selling even better!  What a lovely cast, too.  So friendly.  The official opening night is Friday – curtain up at 8:00pm.  After the show, stay for some nibbles and a drink and meet the cast and Malachy McCourt.

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