Sunday, February 27, 2011

Theatrical Review: “Broadway on the Red Carpet”

Theatrical Review: “Broadway on the Red Carpet”
Book, Music, and Lyrics by: Numerous
Directed and Choreographed by: Brandon Hanks and Kaitie Kaiser
Theatrical Review by: Paul Adam Smeltz

The Shawnee Playhouse in Shawnee on the Delaware, PA recently presented their production of “Broadway on the Red Carpet” which was a musical revue consisting of a collection of songs from Broadway Musicals which later became films. These included “Hair,” “West Side Story,” “Wicked,” “Grease,” “Gypsy,” “Chicago,” “Seussical,” “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” “In the Heights,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” “The Wiz,” “Secret Garden,” and “Rent.” However, songs from films that later became musicals were also featured throughout revue which included “Little Shop of Horrors,” Hairspray,” “The Wizard of OZ,” and “Xanadu.” Selections from the musicals “Singing in the Rain” which had multiple musical sources such as theatrical musicals and popular songs before becoming a film and “White Christmas” which originated from the film, “Holiday Inn.”

The presentation was well done as a very talented, high energy cast sang and danced to recreate the iconic moments of each production represented during the revue. The ensemble cast consisted of Shauna Schopper, Esteban Vasquez, Maria Stein, Kara Snyder, Joseph Ambrosia, Lauren Santerelli, Hailey Canto, Sara Ferguson, Jillian Dente, Kara Snyder, Kristopher Sanchez, Stephanie Clare, and Steve Spangler along with Kaitie Kaiser and Brandon Hanks who served as the production‘s co Director and co Choreographer. Musical accompaniment was provided by Ann Mullen who served the production as the Band’s Music Director on piano, Marshall Haskell on Drums, and Noah Talbot on Bass. An informative narrative strung the performances together with humor and insights to how the transition from theatre to film came about, was received, and other tidbits which enhanced the enjoyment of the show.

And, “Broadway on the Red Carpet” was indeed an enjoyable show which proved to be a very pleasurable evening at the theatre. The only unfortunate aspect of the show was the length of its run which was from February 25th - 27th. So, by the time you read this, the show would have concluded its performance. But, for those who came out to see it, many delightful memories can be tucked away and saved for a day when our hearts needs a cause to smile.

The Shawnee Playhouse production of “Broadway on the Red Carpet” was authored by a variety of sources but was derived from an original concept presented at The Smiling Rhino Theatre. This production was (as mentioned earlier) Directed and Choreographed by Brandon Hanks and Kaitie Kaiser and Staged Managed by Emily Cioc. Brent Schlosshauer served as the Production’s Set Designer while Eric Dwyer served as the Lighting Designer and Operator. Amy Rau served as the production’s Music Director while Missy Benefield served as its costumer. The Shawnee Playhouse producers are Ginny and Charlie Kirkwood with Midge McClosky serving as the playhouse’s Executive Director. The Box Office Manager is Mary Horn as assisted by Christina McManus. Becky Haskell serves as The Shawnee Playhouse’s Sales and Marketing Director.

The Shawnee Playhouse was built in 1904 by C.C. Worthington and was known as the Worthington Hall to provide entertainment and educational benefit to residents and visitors of Shawnee on Delaware, PA. Local actors and actresses formed the troupe called, “The Shawnee Players” and performed from 1904 until World War II when Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians began broadcasting their famous radio programs from the Hall. The Hall later fell into disuse until the Kirkwood family purchased the Resort in 1978 and began to restoring The Worthington Hall to it‘s present state remaining the building “The Shawnee Playhouse.” The Shawnee Playhouse continues its tradition of providing professional quality live theatre to those who enjoy the art form.

Future presentations at The Shawnee Playhouse will include their production of “Branigan’s Blarney” by Rod Foote March 4th - 20th, The Worthington Players production of “The Skyscraper” by David Auburn March 25th - April 3rd, The Prestige Productions presentation of “Love, Sex, and The I. R. S.” by William Van Zant and Jane Milmore April 8th - 17th, and The Center Stage Players productions of “Love Letters” by A. R. Gurney April 22nd - May 1st and “The Seafarer“ by Connor McPherson May 6th - 15th.

Those who enjoy the Passionate Art Lover level of membership in The Forwardian Arts Society are offered a $3.00 discount off the admission fee of The Shawnee Playhouse Productions (excluding Children Theatrical Productions and those presented by non Shawnee Production Companies). Please Explore The Shawnee Playhouse Website at or call 570-421-5093 for more information about their productions and to reserve your ticket.

Photograph provided by The Shawnee Playhouse.


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