Exit 7 Players
in Ludlow, Massachusetts
THEATER SEASON 2014 -- 2015
Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton
Book by Patricia Resnick
Based on the 20th Century Fox Picture
Originally produced on Broadway by Robert Greenblatt, April, 2009
April 25, 26, May 2, 3, 9, 10, 2014 @ 8:PM
April 27, May 4, 2014 @ 2:PM
Reviewed by B. K. Grant
The 1980 comedy film starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton concerns three working women fantasizing about getting even with their egotistical, sexist, hypocritical boss. The Exit7 cast takes that premise and, with great vocals and abundant laughter, runs with it.
Diane Lamoureaux (a real 9to5-er) totally captures one of the main characters, Violet Newstead as the feisty office supervisor/single mom who is repeatedly passed over for well-deserved promotions. She softens a bit when warning the ‘new office girl’, Judy, about their bigot boss and his assistant.
Judy Bernly is recently estranged from husband Dick and needs a job; one-finger-typing and a mishap with the ‘Zeerocks’ machine reveals her lack of office experience. In her debut at Exit7, Emily Stisser fills this role beautifully as we watch her grow into her own person.
Jami Byrne-Wilson excels in portraying the married Doralee Rhodes, who is rumored to be having an affair with the boss. We’re amazed at her powerful voice as she sings ‘Backwoods Barbie’.
The aforementioned trio, when slightly under the influence, fantasizes plans to bump off their lecherous boss, totally delighting the audience.
Franklin Hart, Jr – the boss. The sleazy, selfish, lying – well, you get the picture. Jeff Clayton nails this character as he brings out the best (or should I say the worst) in Mr. Hart, especially concerning his pursuit of Doralee.
Kathy Renaud brings a wealth of wonderful experience to her portrayal of Roz Keith, the office snitch and no-nonsense assistance to Mr. Hart. Roz is in her glory, nearly swoons when doing his bidding, and hilariously shares her feelings for him in ’Heart to Hart’.
Joe, the office accountant, in spite of the age difference, is smitten with Violet. Well played by Kevin Flynn, he shines in the duet with Violet ‘Let Love Grow’ as his strong and sincere voice rings out.
John Woytowicz is no stranger to the Exit7 stage; in this production of 9to5, he masters two roles: Doralee’s loving husband Dwayne, and Bob Enright.
Josh Newstead is one of Violet’s offspring: disorganized, pot-smoking, and generous with his stash, Cory Benoit is perfect in this role (and in the ensemble) as he assists the newly formed trio with their fantasies.
Ed Haber is another who is comfortable on stage; also in the ensemble, 9to5 is his first speaking part as Dick Bernly, Judy’s estranged husband. He exudes the manner of a cheating spouse, and we don’t feel sorry for him when Judy finally kicks him out!
Joe Alvernaz’ portrayal of old CEO Mr. Tinsworthy is delightful as he unveils his plans for revamping office personnel, which fit right in with those of the new alliance.
Making her Exit7 debut, Heather Maloney as Margaret, the office alcoholic, is hysterically funny brandishing the flask containing her ‘liquid diet’. Staggering across the stage in her unkempt ‘do, she has the house in stitches.
Elizabeth Clayton (yes, the real Mrs.) is great in her portrayal of Missy Hart, the clueless wife of ‘the boss’. She dotes on him, accepting all his gifts, completely oblivious of the atmosphere in the office as she makes her acting debut on the Exit7 stage; she is also in the ensemble.
Also enjoying her first performance at Exit7, Monique Dubois takes on the role of Maria, fired, then reinstated by the new regime, and fits in nicely in the ensemble. Dee Matte, in her fourth Exit7 show is great as Kathy. Most recently Dee was seen here in Little Shop of Horrors.
With a cast of over twenty able performers, this reviewer is amazed at the number of newbies to the stage in this production of 9to5. The Ensemble: Kenzie Johnson, a seasoned sixteen year old sophomore; Silk Johnson, very seasoned, last seen in Les Miz; Aimee Lamontagne and Courtney Lyons, excited in their first Exit7 show; Pam Melbourne and Valerie Smith, both thrilled in their community theater debuts; and Maria Zygmont, enjoying her second musical on the Exit7 stage.
Kudos to Scott Nelson as he took on the challenge of directing his first show here at Exit7, with obviously successful results. Once again Winnie Cardaropoli’s talents as a producer stand out, and the orchestra, led by George Garber, Jr., nicely punctuates the action with an unusual score. Judy Hemingway accents the wardrobe of the eighties with all the right touches, and Karen McMahon’s choreography is smooth and appropriate. Amid many smooth scene changes, stage and set crews (and some performers offering double duty) are terrific in creating the ‘office atmosphere’.
Be sure to put Exit7’s production of 9to5 on your to do list, before the office closes on May 10th.
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by
MTI, 421 W 54th Street, New York NY 10019
THEATER SEASON 2013 -- 2014
Les Miserables Les Miserables
SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 13, 2013
THEATER SEASON 2012--2013
OCTOBER 12 - 28, 2012
FEBRUARY 8 - 17, 2013
THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES
MARCH 8, 9, 10 - 2013
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
APRIL 26 & 27, 2013 @ 8:00 PM
APRIL 28 @ 2:00 PM
MAY 3, 4, 10 % 11 @ 8:00 PM
MAY 5, 2013 @ 2:00 PM
2011 - 2012
Since 1984, the Exit 7 Players, located in Ludlow, Massachusetts,
have been dedicated to the production of
classical, contemporary, and musical works
that entertain, educate, and delight audiences of all ages.
25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
April 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 8:00PM
April 15 and 22 at 2:00PM
Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Based on C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E
Additional material by Jay Reiss
Originally produced on Broadway by David Stone, James Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo
Barrington Stage Company, Second Stage Theater
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI)
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI
421 W 54th Street, New York, NY 10019
REVIEWED by B. K. GRANT
This production offers professionalism that would make Broadway proud.
Thanks to the expertise of Paul Hamel (tech director), Michael Crowther (sound), Tom LeCourt (who directed this awesome performance) and Winnie Cardaropoli (producer), this reviewer was wistfully taken back to the small auditorium of grammar school: risers with stackable molded chairs neatly arranged, drum set and piano tucked against the back wall, and the single menacing microphone front and center. The Putnam County Pit Band marches in (unable to tell their right foot from their left), and under the talented direction of George Garber, creates musical magic.
An unusual aspect of the show is the interactive format from the very beginning: audience members are invited on stage by Rona Lisa Perretti to compete in the spelling bee alongside the six youngsters. Energetic Kathy Renaud (Titanic, Jekyll & Hyde and Thoroughly Modern Millie) is perfectly cast as uptight Rona, returning moderator, who frequently basks in the limelight of her past (as in long ago) win of the Bee.
Vice Principal Doug Panch is the learned word reader for the Bee. Eric Johnson (Titanic) plays this character wonderfully as somewhat dignified, if not a tad pompous, as he reads ridiculous ‘sentences’ for even more ridiculous spelling words.
Michael Garcia (Rent) successfully fills the bill as Mitch Mahoney, the Bee’s comfort counselor to those contestants who misspell and therefore must leave. A parolee performing community service, he has a soft heart hidden by a gruff persona.
William Barfee is very smart – and lets it be known at every opportunity. Spelling with his ‘magic foot’, Todd Porter (making his Exit7 debut) nails this nerdy personality and gradually becomes less and less obnoxious, almost endearing.
Steve Grabowski (Rent) has the role of Leaf Coneybear down pat – he projects a quirky non-conformist which happenstance has placed in the Bee competition. Convinced he’s not the brightest bulb in the package, he does correctly spell his assigned words in a strange trance-like posture.
Olive Ostrovsky has to be the most animated character in the play: she’s all wiggles from the top of her head down to her pink sneakers. Nikki Wadleigh (Rent, Titanic) is amazing as she portrays Olive as shy and unsure, yet determined to succeed in the Bee. Her emotion-filled rendition of the “I Love You” song nearly brought this reviewer to tears.
Megan Hoy’s portrayal of Marcy Park is spot-on: an over-achiever expected to succeed in all endeavors, and not enjoying life at all. Quite a change from her role in Jekyll & Hyde, she is wonderfully convincing in her Catholic school uniform.
Chip Tolentino typifies the male teen’s mindset as he desperately struggles between sexual fantasies and concentrating on the spelling assignments at hand. David Webber, a senior at West Springfield High School, is marvelous as Chip; he has also appeared in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Titanic and Into the Woods.
Kyle Boatwright excels as pigtailed Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, the youngest speller who strives to be perceived as totally normal, albeit having two gay dads as parents and a speech impediment. Quite a change from Kyle’s steamy appearance last year in Rent.
Kudos to Sue Crowther (stage manager), Mary Ann Scognamiglio (costumer), Mike Pandolfi and Jess Miller (lighting) for their talents, without which this show would not be nearly as fantastic .
A hit musical receiving critical and international acclaim, Tony Award winning Spelling Bee premiered on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 15, 2005, closing on January 20, 2008 after 1,136 performances.
Playing, unfortunately, to a less than full house here at Exit7, this production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (a mouthful worth talking about) triumphantly delves into the psyche, revealing the pains of youth in striving for academic success. A great character study framed by clear dialog and lyrics, and one that teaches us all a little something, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is definitely worth a trip to Ludlow. You will be enlightened and entertained to the Nth degree with a laugh every minute.
Don’t miss it!
This show has been given a PG-13 rating for mature language and subject matter.
Exit 7 Players Present
SEPTEMBER 30 - OCTOBER 2, 2011
Book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Directed by Meghan Lynn Allen Produced by Rebecca Johnson and Lori Rodriguez
Musically Directed by Bill Martin Choreographed by Amy Meek
September 30, October 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 2011 at 8 pm and October 2, 9 and 16, 2011 at 2 pm.
REVIEWED BY B.K. GRANT
RENT WINS AGAIN!
The winner of four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996, Rent is a trip – a trip back to the days of dreams, aspirations and loving your neighbor. It’s a journey many of us remember well, one remembered fondly or with pangs of regret. Exit 7’s production of Rent tells the story of a year in the life of a group of young people from various sides of the street who strive to resolve conflicts, salvage their relationships and ‘make it’ in New York City’s Lower East Side.
The rent is due. There’s no heat. The electricity goes out regularly. Everyone’s nearly broke. It’s Christmas.
The company’s rendition of “Last Year’s Rent” expands on this scenario with a musical decision not pleasing to their landlord, Benjamin Coffin, III. In his first appearance on the Exit 7 stage, Silk Johnson is smooth in the role of a former member of ‘the group’, now a well-to-do property owner who, while appreciative of their situation, still wants the rent due him.
Josiah Durham offers a great portrayal of Mark Cohen, good friend and the play’s narrator, who weaves the tale of the characters’ personal circumstances regarding HIV and sexual identity. A struggling film maker, he feels capturing snippets of his friends’ lives just may net him that elusive contract.
Tom Collins is a computer genius – one of few in the group with a steady job. Josh Osborne lends his strong voice to this brainy New Yorker, projecting a self-assured persona. His romantic interest is Angel Dumott Schunard, a street entertainer and drag queen. Michael Garcia is perfectly cast as the sexy Angel, complete with five-inch heels and tights.
Michael Lorenzo is wonderful in the role of Roger Davis, Mark’s roommate and frustrated song writer. He evokes all the feeling of a tormented artist’s desperation to accomplish his goal before leaving this world in “One Song Glory”.
Roger meets and eventually falls for Mimi Marquez, an exotic dancer. Kyle Boatwright is a steamy and sensual Mimi as she tempts and teases Roger. They are both disillusioned, sometimes hopeless in their particular situations, but there is a tangible attraction between them which offers some hope.
The introduction of Joanne, a lawyer (another ‘decent’ vocation) and Maureen, a performer and Mark’s former girlfriend, rounds out the main characters of the play. Christine Green, cast as Joanne, is wonderful as Maureen’s strong, not-so-silent, take charge lover. Maureen is dedicated to Joanne and to the cause; Nikki Wadleigh nails Maureen’s feisty free spirit flawlessly as she commands audience participation in her hilarious “Over the Moon”.
Act Two opens with the company’s out-pouring of the well-known “Seasons of Love” as they look hopefully toward the New Year. The lyrics are clear and heartfelt, as is every number presented for one’s overwhelming enjoyment. The musical tribute to their departed friend brought this reviewer to tears.
The individual stories within the play are emotionally intense, exploring all aspects of loneliness, fear of commitment, love and expectation. While the main characters shoulder most of the action, this production would not be as great without the Ensemble, namely: Marie Allie, Tina Clark, Ryan Duchesne, Susan Duncan, Steven Grabowski, Jess Miller, Kait Rankins, Dawn Rendell, Joey Stankiewicz and Andrea Wilson-Pierce. The troupe induces sadness, joy and everything in between throughout the audience. All the actors are deep within their respective characters, grasping every mood, every sensation, every gesture, and delivering ten-fold. Jonathan Larson would be bursting with pride.
Collectively with the cast, director Meghan Lynn Allen, producers Rebecca Johnson and Lori Rodriguez, musical director Bill Martin and his orchestra (Stephen Foster, Bonnie Germain, Jonathon Hagopian and Dane Scozzari) choreographer Amy Meek, technical director Paul Hamel and many more talented, dedicated people are to be congratulated on this great achievement. What an emotional journey! When leaving the theater, this reviewer was speechless. There are not enough superlatives in the English language to adequately describe this performance.
Exit 7’s production of Rent is not just a great show or a superb show; it is an incredible rollercoaster of poignant experiences which grabs hold of you, heart and soul, taking you on the ride of a lifetime. No Day but Today.
Don’t miss it!
This show is for MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
and contains material NOT APPROPRIATE for the younger audience.
RENT is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Music Theatre International (MTI), 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-541-4684, www.MTIShows.com.
RENT was originally produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop. Musical arrangements by Steve Skinner, original concept/additional lyrics by Billy Aronson, music supervision and additional arrangements by Tim Weil, Dramaturg, Lynn Thomson.
For any questions about the show, please call 413.583.4301
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, Attention: Rent.
Show dates are:
September 30, October 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 2011 at 8 pm and October 2, 9 and 16, 2011 at 3 pm.
2010 - 2011
CLICK BELOW FOR REVIEW OF
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
Thoroughly Modern Millie
April /May 2011
2009 - 1010
October 29 - November 14, 2010
EXIT 7 YOUTH PLAYERS
, August 2010
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