Friday, November 30, 2018

Memo from the RTC: Doubling Up on Pippin By Norm Scott

Last weekend to see the show.

Memo from the RTC:  Doubling Up on Pippin
By Norm Scott

Taking a break from my video taping duties at the Rockaway Theatre Company, I finally got the chance to see the super hot production of Pippin from an orchestra seat last Saturday night and then went back to the Sunday matinee to watch the spectacular opening 15 minutes (and get a slice of pumpkin pie) before heading home to watch the depressing Jets and Giants games. I never should have left. But I will be going back at least once this weekend to tape the finale and help the magnificent cast and crew celebrate at the cast party. I expect that party to go on and on into the late hours with some very creative variations of the show tunes being performed as the evening flows on.

I can’t tell you how many people raved about Erech Holder-Hetmeyer’s Broadway quality performance as the Leading Player, with more than a few saying, “Why isn’t he on Broadway?” Did choreographer and dancer Gabby Mangano capture Bob Fosse? Watch Erech do a number with Gabby and Ashley Ann Jones as just one example of many superb performances by enormously talented dancers. Oh, those dancers and acrobats! I wish I could mention them all but there are so many, I would be over my word count. I only have room for the featured actors.

Max Lamadrid as Pippin does not take a back seat to Erech and RTC great Catherine Leib as Fastrada is riveting every moment she is on stage (as always.) What can I say about Brian Sadowski as Charlemagne? Brian was our waiter (along with Evan Hanson Broadway bound’s Andy Feldman) in his first RTC show just over two and a half years ago in Follies and he is so loved the RTC has not done a play without him since. Comedy, drama, musicals. He can do them all. 

Marisol Velasquez as grandmother Berthe is capable of stealing any scene she is in. And she does it again in her third RTC production. Newcomer Melody Portnoy as Catherine, Pippin’s charming love interest, comes to us from the NY Film Academy. Michael Breslin (Theo) joins the main stage out of the children’s workshop where he will be appearing in the upcoming Wizard of Oz. His “bite me” line is priceless – and a bit shocking.

Nathan Reder as Lewis, is a rising star in both main stage and teen workshops productions where he will be playing the Scarecrow. Nathan, a senior at Midwood HS, has a lot of potential as an actor – and compared to so many other RTC teens, he is a newbie. But the RTC crowd loves him and so do our two cats, who are not happy to see him go when we return from our travels. His mom is also one hell of a yoga teacher at  Hot Yoga Rockaway Beach.

Note: Saturday 3PM matinee performance added.

Evenings November 30, December 1 at 8pm
Matinees December 1 at 3PM and Dec 2 at 2pm

Tickets may be purchased the web.

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