Written by Ken Ludwig, the comedy follows two traveling actors, George and Charlotte Hay, performing “Private Lives” and “Cyrano De Bergerac” in a repertory theatre in Buffalo, NY. George receives a phone call from Hollywood director Frank Capra to inform the casts that he will be attending their matinee and is searching for replacements to star in his upcoming movie “The Scarlet Pimpernel.”
John Muller directs the second show in the 12th season for the Off Broad Street Players. This, however, is not his first run-in with a Ken Ludwig comedy. Muller has also directed the opera farce Lend Me a Tenor during the spring of 2006 with OBSP. His directorial expertise is vital in the final days of rehearsals.
"It is crunch week. Monday, Tuesday will be tech rehearsals, in the true sense of the word," explained Muller to the cast before beginning the their rehearsal Monday night. Muller was referring to the following week in which the entire show comes together before opening night. He also explained that the final pieces of the set would be assembled on the stage.
For each show, performers rehearse in a separate performance space. OBSP currently rehearses in the Trinity United Methodist Church basement space, before moving to the Robert L. Sharp auditorium at Bridgeton High School. Once settled the final week of rehearsals ("tech week") begin, actors are able to work with staircases, doorways, and props. Also, blocking (the actor's movements) are finalized during the tech week.
"We're gonna work with all these pieces," Muller said, "And while we're doing that, we'll be working with the lighting and we'll be working with the sound," Muller instructed to the cast.
The production stars Thurman Hogan and Beverly Beardsley as George and Charlotte respectively. During the early rehearsal process, Hogan and Beardsley were instructed in basic fencing for their scenes in "Cyrano de Bergerac"
The production also stars Lauren Van Embden (Millville) as Rosalind, the daughter of George and Charlotte, Kim Hitchner (Bridgeton) as the grandmother Ethel, Tracy Treadway (Vineland) as Richard, and Meghan Kleefeld (Vineland) as the young Eileen trapped in a brief affair with George.
Andrew Jarema, 19, of Pittsgrove, plays Paul, Rosalind's former lover whom she resists for the majority of the show.
"Paul is willing to do anything to suck up to George," Jarema said. "He's rough and ready on the outside, but a nervous wreck on the inside."
Zach Ott, 15, of Upper Deerfield, plays Rosalind's fiancee, Howard, a young man always in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"He's [Howard] this semi-nerdy weatherman whose engaged to Roz," said Ott. "He gets mistaken as Frank Capra, as Eileen's brother, and gets himself stuck in a bunch of other problems."
The rehearsals have proved the work of a strong cast and talented production team. Cast members are excited for their opening night, May 15th, 8pm, at Bridgeton High School.
"Our cast works extremely well together," said Ott, "They're all really great. Working with John has been fantastic. Everything he does is very professional."
"Our rehearsals are very structured," Jarema said. "Everything is always completed exactly as planned. The whole cast is very enthusiastic about giving their best performance and putting our best show out there."
Additional performances will take place May 16th at 8pm and May 17th at 3pm. Tickets are $13 for Adults and $11 for Students/Seniors. All Bridgeton High School students with I.D. are eligible for a Student Rush discount ticket at the box office prior to each night's performance.
For more information please call (856) 451-5437 or contact by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is readily available on their website.