XANADU skates into Studio Theatre

xanaduThe 1980 movie musical FLOP Xanadu was reimagined as a stage musical in 2007 and became a surprise smash on Broadway.  It has now skated into the Studio Theatre for a summer run.

The bubblegum pop score of Jeff Lynne and John Farrar has been augmented by a book by Douglas Carter Beane. He combined the original movie story with a touch of Clash of the Titans (another early 1980s movie disappointment) and added a great deal of humor and campy fun.

Directed by Justin A. Pike, the musical features a cast of Courtney Speyer, Kevin Crumpler, Greg Blacklaw, Gabi Baltzley, Amy Young, Tye Davis, Adriana Napolitano, Bridget Davis and Brian Earles.

The creative team team features choreographer Sara Adams, musical director Bob Bidewell, costume designer Hannah M. Sawyer and stage manager Danette Scott Perry.  In addition to directing, Pike designed the sets and co-designed the lighting with Michael Goodbar.

Performances began on July 9 and continue through July 19.  Curtain time is 7pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday.

Award winning THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING at Weekend Theater

TWT Member WedNext at the Weekend Theater is The Member of the Wedding, Carson McCullers unflinching yet heart-warming look back at the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and the Donaldson Award in 1950 for best play, The Member of the Wedding is based on the Carson McCullers multi-award winning novel by the same name. The play set during World War II takes place over a few days in late August, 1945.

It tells the poignant story of 12-year-old tomboy, Frankie Addams, who, like many prepubescents, feels disconnected from everything in the world; in her words, an “unjoined person.” Frankie’s mother has died in childbirth, and her widowed father is a distant, vacuous figure who has no idea of the anxiety his daughter is experiencing. Her closest companions in her small racially divided hometown are the family’s African American housekeeper and surrogate mother to Frankie, Berenice Sadie Brown, and her six-year-old pesky cousin, John Henry West. She has no other friends in her deeply southern birthplace and dreams of going away with her soldier brother and his bride-to-be on their honeymoon in the Alaskan wilderness. Frankie Addams desperately wants to become “joined” with the newlyweds in The Member of the Wedding.

Directed by Margaret Pierson Bates, the production opens tonight and runs through May 30 on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The cast includes Danette Scott Perry, Ellis Golden, Alex Harkins, Barry Clifton, Elizabeth Bartyzal, Peter Emery, Amanda Oxford, Stacy Williams Jr., Eric Tate, Akasha Hull, Allison Filbert, Claire Green, Jeffrey Oakley, Hannah Smith, Nikolai Gordeev, Drew Ellis, Keith Harper, Tommie Tinker, Alexander White, Terry White and Ryan Whitfield.


A…My Name Is Alice @ Weekend Theater

The Weekend Theater’s production of A…My Name Is Alice wraps up this weekend.

The show was conceived by Joan Micklin Silver and Julianne Boyd, with contributions from multiple collaborators. It opens Friday, May 4 and runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 20.  Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $16 for students and seniors age 65 and over.

The cast features area actors Antisha Anderson-Scruggs, Jane Morgan Balgavy, Sarah Scott Blakey, Rachel Hampton, Erin Martinez, Danette Scott Perry, Samantha Porter, and Beth Ross, who will portray various characters in the 20 or so scenes.  When casting the show, director Duane Jackson was looking for women of all ages, sizes, shapes, colors, and life experiences.

While each scene is self-contained, the overarching connection is always the lives of women: the friendships they share, the trials they face, and the joys of sharing this journey of life. Most consist of songs, and there are a couple of monologues, as well as a series of short poems interspersed throughout the show.

Among the scenes are “Sisters,” which details a lifelong sibling rivalry that reaches a bittersweet conclusion. “At My Age” is a duet between a 50-something widow and a teenager, both preparing for long-awaited dates with excitement and trepidation. In “Good Thing I Learned to Dance,” a woman goes from past to present recalling how dancing gave her a sort-of-safe way to let out her inner “bad girl.”

To make reservations or get more information, visit the online ticketing system at http://www.weekendtheater.org; tickets will also be sold at the door on performance days, based on availability. Reservations are no longer accepted by phone, but you can get information about the production by calling (501) 374-3761.