Monday, June 17, 2019

Memo from the RTC: Newsies News, Franky and Johnny The Nothing Podcast

For publication Friday, June 21, 2019

Memo from the RTC:  Newsies News, Franky and Johnny The Nothing Podcast
By Norm Scott

With the set 90% complete, the Newsies (incredibly youthful) cast and crew finally got to rehearse at the theater. As a newly added incredibly non-youthful member to the cast, I attended my first rehearsal on Saturday, joining a few more old fogies. I was offered a small roll apparently because they were running out of old men to cast.

RTC is over two decades old and is continuously renewing itself with many of the productions being directed by former teenage performers now grown up, taking on increasingly major roles. Frank Caiati who is now in his mid-thirties and began at the RTC when in high school, was the first to break out into directing years ago and has been a major force at the RTC for many years and will be directing The Great Gatsby in September (auditions are July 7 and 9). Catherine Leib, another star actor, dancer and singer at RTC will be directing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for the final show of the year.

What is so impressive about this Newsies production is another key RTC 2nd generation member,  Director/choreographer Gabrielle Mangano, who has wowed us with her choreography and dancing for over 15 years, is firmly in charge. James Dalid, another 2nd or even 3rd generation, is assisting. Some of the kids in the production look to be 10 years old – in 20 years they will be 4th and 5th generation directors.

I knew nothing about the play until Saturday and was pleasantly surprised, as a progressive activist, to see how relevant it is to today’s times despite being set in 1899. Exploited newsboys go on strike and many social issues are raised. So this should be fun.

Performances: July 19, 20, 26, 27/Aug 2, 3 at 8PM. Matinees July 21, 28, Aug. 4 t 2 PM. Tickets – Adults $25, Seniors/children $20.

Franky and Johnny at the Clair de Bensonhurst
Speaking of key RTC people, John Panepinto, who has had leading and support roles in many productions over the past 8 years and will be joining Frank Caiati as the assistant director of Gatsby, has begun a partnership with Frank in a new podcast along with other RTC vets. They are funny and astute. I will be attending one of their podcasts soon and will be back with some photos. Here are the fundamentals from John.

The Nothing Podcast
Hosts: John Panepinto and Frank Caiati
With: Danielle Rose Fisher, Matt Hunt, Joseph Hagopian and Tom Zaccheo

What makes somebody "Important"? Each week, two self-proclaimed “nobodies”,  John Panepinto and Frank Caiati and their equally lost production team will interview a regular every day person to learn what it is about them and their career that makes them a “somebody.” The conceit lies in the idea that anybody and everybody is interesting. From the highest paid doctor to the lowest paid street cleaner, everybody has a story to tell and we want to hear it. Do you know what it takes to be a garbage man? Or a priest? Or a politician? Neither do we. But we’re going to find out.

Hear us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and GooglePlay
Or right on our homepage at
Social: Instagram and Twitter: @TheNothingPod
Facebook: The Nothing Podcast With Nobody Important

About us: We are a group of Brooklyn natives (and one Queens) who
decided they wanted to learn more about the people around them. The show is recorded and produced in the heart of Bensonhurst, a staple of "Old Brooklyn." The guests range from local everyday workers like a doctor, a soldier or a lawyer just to name a few, to celebrities who came from Brooklyn to locals who hit it big like host of the Travel Channels "Hotel Impossible", Anthony Melchiorri. And though the show does not, by nature, feature the neighborhood, with one listen it's obvious that the hosts are taking the old Brooklyn sensibilities and trying to branch them out to the rest of the world. We're always looking for more guests and while we hope to build a solid following we also hope to be able to learn even more about average every day people doing average (important) things.
Norm’s other WAVE column is School Scope and he blogs daily at ednotesonline. com

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