Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Opening this Friday at the Rockaway Theatre Company - Damn Yankees

The Washington Senators have heart -
I have a few walk-ons and one line. Next - Hamlet.
- I'm not in this scene - too old to be on the baseball team.
I wonder why so many teachers are involved in the RTC - and in community theater productions in general - maybe a place to be creative, given the general rigidity of the teaching environment.

Shows this Friday, Saturday eve and Sunday matinee at 3. Next weekend the same, with an additional Sat. matinee. (718) 374-6400. http://www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org/ticket-reservation-section/.

Some of the kids in the show - I'm too old for this pic too

Here are some of my columns in The Wave on the show.

To be published Nov. 14 at www.rockawave.com
Memo From the RTC: Damn Yankees Diary
By Norm Scott

Tuesday, November 11
Hell Week began last night at the Rockaway Theatre Company in prep for opening night of “Damn Yankees” this Friday. That means a grueling week of late night rehearsals for the entire cast, including the young kids and teens. I find it hard to imagine how all the people who work full-time jobs, many of whom have to travel from Brooklyn and mainland Queens, manage to handle the load. The enthusiasm was still pouring out even at 11:30PM, even from people with tiny roles. I don’t think it is just love of theater but love of the process of theater. I have a miniscule role, which affords me the opportunity to observe almost every aspect of the process – and I can’t get enough of it. The tech stuff – moving scenery smoothly from scene to scene and how coordinated all of this has to be through the masterful hand of stage manager Nora Meyers is fascinating. After Nora makes her first appearance less than two weeks before opening, so many aspects of the show begin to come together. Some first-timers involved with the RTC may have been scratching their heads even a week before opening asking, “How are we going to be ready?” But by late Thursday night of Hell Week things will be working as whip is snapped by the production team of Director John Gilleece, Producer Susan Jasper, Musical Director Richard Louis-Pierre, Lighting Director Andrew Woodbridge – wait ‘till you see the special effects – and Choreographer Nicola DePierro – who actually managed to get me to dance in “How to Succeed…”

The band made its first appearance last night and the rough spots still must be worked out. The show has some great musical numbers – like “You Gotta Have Heart” and “What Lola Wants, Lola Gets” and as usual, actors with great voices at the RTC deliver. As a matter of fact, there is so much demand coming from talented people who want to perform at the RTC, John Gilleece felt the need to double cast for the key roles of the devil and Lola. John wants to expose RTC theater goers to a constant influx of new talent. Newcomers Erika Brito and Michael Whelan join RTC regulars John Panepinto and Katherine Robinson. So, you’ll all have to see the show twice as each performer brings their own style to the performances. This weekend, John plays the devil while Katherine will be performing at the Friday and Saturday night performances, with Erica doing the Sunday matinee.

I will be in all 7 performances, working like the devil to remember my one line – the devil asks me for the score and I say “4-3, Washington.” I’m tempted to change it to, “4-3, Republican Senators.”

Read Norm’s other column, School Scope, “Ferry Follies” and his devil of a blog ednotesonline.org.

Here is my Oct. 24 column on Damn Yankees when I wasn't aware Erika Brito was sharing the role with Katherine.

Those Darn Yankees

By Norm Scott

Katherine Robinson is playing the role of the seductress Lola in RTC’s upcoming Damn Yankees. Katherine Robinson is playing the role of the seductress Lola in RTC’s upcoming Damn Yankees. Having just returned from 10 days of perfect weather in Sicily, I totally missed what was happening in the sports world and there were some surprises.

So I write this as the World Series is about to start in a few hours between Kansas City and San Francisco. Anyone seen a sign of our local teams anywhere near the playoffs this year? Well, no worries. You can catch the Yankees at the Post Theater in Fort Tilden in the upcoming Rockaway Theatre Production of Damn Yankees.
As he often does, Director John Gilleece has a cast of thousands, including yours truly with a walkon as a sports reporter.
My dream is to wear a “Lindsey Nelson” (the late Mets announcer), a loud-as-you-can-get sport jacket.
John even managed to rope in RTC Master Builder Tony Homsey to also play a sportswriter.
I was on Tony’s set-building crew as we put together the dugout and the stands and we chewed the fat while chewing tobacco and talking about our motivation for the role.
I imagine most people know the basic story. How a Washington Senators (first in war, first in peace and last in the American league) fan and Yankee hater Joe Boyd/Hardy sells his soul to the devil for a chance to beat the Yankees. I firmly believe the people running the teams that beat out the Yankees did just that this year.
Have you seen Buck Showalter since Baltimore lost to Kansas City? The devil (Mr. Applegate) uses seductress Lola, who will be played in most performances by the stunning Katherine Robinson, to lure Joe into temptation.
Who wouldn’t be lured into temptation by Katherine?
Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets and she wants you all to come see her on one of these dates: Nov. 14, 15, 21, and 22, at 8:00 p.m. Matinees: Nov. 16, 22, 23 at 3:00 p.m.
You can call the RTC at 718-374- 6400 or visit the website at www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org.

1 comment:

  1. Sicily! That's where I am from. What were you doing there? Hard anybody goes there on the late fall. What city in Sicily did you go to? Tell us or me at least about your trip to beautiful Sicily my home.


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