Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Little Theater That Could: Rockaway Cafe: The Comeback - Final perfomances this weekend

UPDATED with links:

The press will race to New Jersey to cover anything related to Sandy recovery, but other than the local paper, The Wave, no one outside of Rockaway seems to have noticed the awesome talent demonstrating one of the clearest signs of Rockaway's comeback.
Here are a few numbers from the brilliant choice of music focused on the storm and the recovery using Credence Clearwater Revival, Billy Joel and The Beatles, amongst others. https://vimeo.com/71311581

I was rocking right along at both performances I taped as one of the videographers at the Rockaway Theatre Company - (I even acted on their production of "The Odd Couple" -- no I was not capable of playing Oscar or Felix and luckily had the role with the least amount of lines. ) I'm going back Friday night to tape it again. I never get tired of the work of the RTC and even worked with chief carpenter and set designer Tony Homsey in helping rebuild the stage -- he even let me use the nail gun -- and I didn't kill myself.
Last October they put on a fabulous Simon play, "Brighton Beach Memoirs" which closed the day before Sandy hit the theater so hard it couldn't reopen until last week in a spectacular and moving way. Here is another clip that if you have time this weekend (Fri, Sat at 8 and Sunday at 1) come on down. tickets at: www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org. Or email  me and I'll hold them for you. The best $20 ($15 if a senior) you will spend this weekend. By the way, NYC teachers play a major role at the theater from basically running it to acting and the band consists mostly of NYC teachers. Another clip to whet your appetite.  https://vimeo.com/71167899

And finally, my article for this week's Wave where I hope to do a regular column on the RTC.
Rockaway Theatre Company Update
By Norm Scott
For The Wave, to be published Friday, August 2, 2013
The little theater company that could came roaring back to life over the past two weeks, bringing a good chunk of Rockaway comeback spirit with it with its opening production “Rockaway Café – The Comeback” at its refurbished theater which sustained serious Sandy damage. Susan Hartenstein in last week’s Wave (Hallelujah Rockaway Theatre Company! http://www.rockawave.com/news/2013-07-26/Columnists/From_The_Artists_Studio.html ) captured the spirit of the RTC and its unique Fort Tilden WWII vintage theater. “Rockaway Café is our story,” Hartenstein wrote. “A story told with great humor and poignancy. Cleverly weaving contemporary rock and pop songs and standards with original choreography, and based on an original concept by Susan Jasper and John Gilleece, we are taken from disaster to aftermath to daunting struggles to hard-fought triumphs and exuberant hope for the future. Opening night the waves of emotion and pleasure flowing back and forth between the talented cast and the highly receptive audience and the bonds within those groups were palpable.”
For an all-volunteer operation - from carpentry, set design, costumes, music, acting, dancing, singing, management, creativity – just think of an applicable word and apply to RTC – to not only come back so soon, but to do it with such verve and vigor while also rebuilding the theater is beyond remarkable. And the great band lead by Jeff Arsberger does not get mentioned often enough. They can play at my Bar Mitzvah in my next life anytime. Never forget the amazing local talent we have here in Rockaway and our extension in South Brooklyn where between the areas most performers seem to come from. 
Nancy Re Cregan in a letter last week said, “The show features great "storm" songs like "Umbrella," "Bad Moon Rising," and "Let the River Run" just to name a few. There is also an original version of "I Will Survive" that recaps the strong character of Rockaway, Breezy, and Broad Channel.” The words were written by RTC stalwart Susan Jasper.
Here are links to some video I shot at the Friday and Saturday performances last weekend featuring some of the dynamic talent (young, teen, young adult, adult, and my generation – old.) 
I dare you to watch them and not come to one of the 3 performances left this weekend: Fri., Sat at 8PM, Sunday at 3PM.
Reserve tickets at: www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org.
Soon after Sunday’s performance, new sets will be built and rehearsals will begin for the next show, Boeing, Boeing, opening September 20.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating).