Filichia Features

The thought occurs to me while I’m driving to Cranford, New Jersey, to see The Theatre Project Jr.’s production of BUGSY MALONE, JR. This was minutes after I’d finished watching Alan Parker’s 1976 film, a spoof of Prohibition-era speakeasies and the gangsters and molls who loved them. Parker’s gimmick was that children would play all [...]

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They’re still talking about your wildly successful production of THE MUSIC MAN, aren’t they? Oh, that dynamic actor who played Harold Hill! Ah, that equally potent actress as Marian Paroo! Why not pair them again in LEAP OF FAITH? LEAP OF FAITH’s Jonas Nightingale is described as “charismatic, complex and wired” in the stage directions. [...]

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VIOLET — the 1997 off-Broadway hit that became this year’s Tony-nominated revival – just closed on Broadway this past weekend. But the tuneful and heart-rending show will continue to affect the country at large, as long as there are resourceful directors such as Marty Strohmeyer and Sarah Hairston. They collaborated on a production that was [...]

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August is the month when kids who have been enrolled in summer theater arts programs show what they have learned in June and July. New Jersey School of the Dramatic Arts Kids on Stage! shows its skill via HONK! JR. It’s composer George Stiles and bookwriter-lyricist Anthony Drewe’s fanciful take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The [...]

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You could, of course, do CATCH ME IF YOU CAN the way it was done on Broadway. Take Troupe 4982 from Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which brought its production to the Thespian Festival in Lincoln in June. Through a production that pretty much replicated what director Jack O’Brien, choreographer Jerry Mitchell and set [...]

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Does the musical that toasted “To Life!” have any life left? Oh, yes. Almost 50 years to the day that FIDDLER ON THE ROOF began rehearsals at the Lyceum Theatre in New York, Edina (Minnesota) High School proved that through the production it brought to Lincoln, Nebraska during the Thespian Festival. The tears shed from [...]

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Some of the Thespian Festival workshops on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus are held in modest classrooms. Not this one. The mammoth all-purpose room in the Westbrook Music Building will be needed today, for no less than Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will be holding an audition coaching workshop. Some high-schoolers are itching to perform [...]

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At the Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska, communal lunches may be common, but the conversations among participants is choice. I was sitting near a middle-aged man who’s one of the dozens of high school drama directors here. Said he, “I’ve been directing shows for so many, many years now – decades, really – so it’s [...]

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Here’s an easy prediction to make. Theater teachers and high school drama club members who weren’t in Lincoln, Nebraska last week didn’t have nearly as good a time as those who trekked to the Midwest metropolis. The Thespian Festival marked its second decade anniversary in Nebraska’s second-largest city. Coincidentally enough, Lincoln’s official nickname is Star [...]

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Looking for a space to do your next musical and can’t find any? Don’t overlook the possibility of renting the local church. I know, I know. Pews instead of theater seats means no arm rests –aside from one on each aisle and one in the middle. Sometime a church’s acoustics can make lines and lyrics [...]

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