FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 29, 2012
CONTACT: Ruth McWilliams (315-262-2450; email@example.com)
Twenty-one local actors and actresses and an orchestra of eleven will be making music on the Colton-Pierrepont Central School stage in just a few weeks as they perform Sunday Rock—The Folk Musical on July 18, 19 and 20 at 7 pm and on July 22 at 2 pm. The stage director is Karen Wells of Canton; and Bill Riehl, son of author/composer Evelyn Riehl, is music director.
The grown-up male and female leads performed by Megan Leger and Bruce Hanson bring the skills of teachers and barbershoppers as well as dancers, singers and actors to their respective roles as Margaret and Michael in this revival of Evelyn Riehl’s 1992 show. Their characters’ early antagonisms lead to good tunes and no small amount of drama. The growing-up leads Shawntel Courtney and Michael Burns are just graduating from High School and are beginning to discover young love, off-to-school panic and artistic conflicts. Of course this too leads to some good tunes, both solos and duets (surprise!) as Kathleen and Robert navigate family and teenage angst. Liam Rodee, who plays Margaret’s son and Kathleen’s brother Dennis, is going to bring the house down with his spirited defenses of his “Uncle Mike,” an impassioned plea to the old Frenchman Jacques (performed by Joe Muir) to come the fair and a clear desire to go fishin’.
Joe Muir, as the Frenchman Jacques, brings a guitar to the show, some happy banter with Dennis and a nice addition to the singing. In good music theater tradition, the men all get a nice number near the end as lumberjacks and townsmen played by Shawn Jon Roberts, Travis Hanson, Isaiah Johnson and John Trombley join Michael, Dennis and Robert in a big all-guy production number. Actor Frank Vaisey reprises Tim Hennessy’s role as “Professor” twenty years ago as he tries to make peace in the Mahoney family.
The ladies of the Village Improvement Society also get a noteworthy moment. The meeting at which the show-within-a-show script is discussed descends into musical mayhem as actors Charlene Barton, Elaine Kuracina, Amy Clemo, Esther Katz, Megan Leger (Margaret) and Judy Rexford battle out Margaret’s demotion to PAST president of the group in a tune reminiscent of “Pick-a-Little from “The Music Man”. This tune was the hit of the show 20 years ago and will seek to do the same this time. Lorie Gruneison does a turn as the mystic Indian Woman in an eerily spiritual message to Kathleen about coping with change using the river as metaphor.
The orchestra is a group of seasoned North Country pros who come from the Orchestra of Northern New York, Northern Lights Orchestra, Jack Kelley’s Little Big Band and who also play around in any number of small combos and in pit orchestras for musicals in our wonderfully musically rich part of the world. George Cox, who will play bass, has built the orchestra with Christine Paige on piano, Jack Kelley and Steve Lamere on trumpet, Scott Fulton on clarinet, Chris Hosmer and Carol Kissam on violin, Keri Lucey on flute, Lianne Knight on percussion, Brian McDougall on trombone and John Wever on horn. Altogether they will give the show depth and texture in efforts to create woods-sounds, the feel of the town band, the moodiness of the river and big happiness in the four big numbers.
Tickets priced at $10 for general admission and $5 for students are available at four locations: Northern Music and Video, 29 Market Street in Potsdam; The TAUNY Center, 53 Main Street in Canton; Colton Information Center at Stone Valley in the Museum at 95 Main Street in the hamlet of Colton; and the Raquette River Information Center on State Highway 56 in the hamlet of South Colton across from the Post Office. Tickets also can be requested by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The six Major Sponsors for the production are: Barrett Paving Materials, Buck Funeral Home, Colton Citizens Committee, JC Merriman, North Country Savings Bank and the Town of Colton Tourism and Beautification Committee.
Photo: Cast of Sunday Rock—The Folk Musical with author/composer and longtime Colton resident Evelyn Riehl (fifth from the right) during a recent rehearsal on stage at the Colton-Pierrepont Central School where the show will be performed on July 18, 19, 20 and 22. (Photo by Hilary Weissbard)