Sunday, July 16, 2017

Memo From the RTC: “The Producers” Attract International Cast

We are officially into HELL Week - full rehearsals every night starting tomorrow before opening Friday night. (I reported in a previous Memo from the RTC: Memo from the RTC: Adolph Hitler Coming to Rockaway).

I have a small role, playing the judge near the end of the play in Act 2. So you might think I can sit back and enjoy the show, but instead I am fully invested during the entire show in moving scenery between scenes. I will never get to see the entire show as the audience does, other than scenes from the wings and I can't watch the scene before I appear in as I am outside waiting to load in my props.

This is one of the funniest shows I've seen with a cast that delivers on every level.

Come on down:
Here are the dates and times:
Friday, Saturday nights - July, 21, 22, 28, 29, Aug. 5, 6 at 8PM.
Sunday matinees - July 23, 30, Aug. 6 at 2 PM
Thursday eve, July 27 at 8 PM ( possibly the best time to get tickets.)

Ways to get tickets:

Here is my latest column from Friday's WAVE:

Memo From the RTC: “The Producers” Attract International Cast
By Norm Scott

Veronika Bochynek , Craig Evans, Masumi Iwai
The Rockaway Theatre Company has developed quite a stable of talent over the years, some involved for a decade or more. They have become local RTC stars. We have watched an entire generation of performers, some of them so young we were able to watch them grow up before our eyes. And many of them are involved in the upcoming production of “The Producers.”
Jeremy Plyburn

But one of the impressive things about the people running the RTC is how they are always seeking out new talent. When new faces show up at the Rockaway Theatre Company to act, sing, and dance in the various productions, I’m always interested in the process that led them to the Post Theatre in Fort Tilden, especially those originally from outside Rockaway.

Newcomer Craig Evans, who plays Leopold Bloom (Matthew Broderick in the play and Gene Wilder in the movie), comes to the RTC, locally, from his home in Arverne by the Sea, but internationally, from western Canada, a nation that sends us a lot of talent. Craig fits that mold perfectly as someone who can play leading male roles in musicals (he can sing, dance and act). Craig is an experienced and former professional performer who has appeared off-Broadway and once held an Actors Equity card. Having a talent who is local to Rockaway bodes well for future projects. From what I’ve seen at rehearsals he will be a big hit.

Also new to the RTC is Craig’s co-star, West Virginia native Jeremy Plyburn, who plays Max Bialystock. (Nathan Lane in the play and Zero Mostel in the movie). OK, so though technically West Virginia is not international, don’t quibble. I only got to speak to Jeremy briefly but discovered he did a lot of community theater around his home town of Huntington WV and in NYC has done a lot of comedy club work. That makes perfect sense after watching Jeremy delivering a laugh a minute while doing Max. Physically he is tall and thinner than the Max type and at first I thought he didn’t quite fit the physical type but he plays so well into it. And that fat suit he wears really works. Watching Jeremy and Craig work together would make you think they were a long-time team instead of having just met for this play.

There two new female dancers coming from far and away in the production.
Dancer Masumi Iwai is from Nagoya, Japan, the 3rd dancer from that nation we’ve had at the RTC over the past two years. Masumi lights up the stage with her dancing and big smile. She is learning English very fast, especially with the jokes in “The Producers” coming fast and furious.

Veronika Bochynek is an elegant dancer from Stuttgart, Germany. A play with some of the cast putting on heavy German accents must give her quite a kick. She is a music educator and is working on a thesis related to historical roots of tap-dancing, which she also practices assiduously by taking classes. RTC audiences will notice her right away.
The RTC is also thrilled to have back another Japanese dancer, the spectacular Atsushi Eda, who has appeared in Guys and Dolls and last year’s La Cage Aux Folles. Atsushi’s dancing is so athletic, it is hard for the audience to take their eyes off him when he is on stage. Atsushi recently had a role in a regional theater production in New Jersey.

That the RTC is attracting such professional level talent is quite an achievement for an outer, outer borough operation. The RTC is one of the great features Rockaway has to offer.

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