Opera House Theatre Company

2011 Season Announced!!

Opera House Theatre Company 2011 Season

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 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Book by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson – Music and Lyrics by Carol Hall

Wednesday, February 16 – Sunday, February 20

Friday, February 25 – Sunday, February 27

This energetic and bawdy Broadway hit recounts the (mostly) true story of the Chicken Ranch, a Texas brothel.  It’s business as usual for Miss Mona and the girls until Melvin P. Thorpe, a crusading television anchor, turns his cameras at the house of ill repute.  Small town vice faces off with righteous indignation in this funny look at sex and politics in the Lone Star State.  Full of homespun humor, bodacious characters, and a country and western score that will have you whoopin’ and hollerin’ in the aisles, this show is guaranteed to brighten up the dreary days of February.  Leave the little ones at home, though; parental discretion is advised.

Amadeus

By Peter Shaffer

Wednesday, April 27 – Sunday, May 1

Friday, May 6 – Sunday, May 8

In the court of the Austrian Emperor Josef, Antonio Salieri is the influential court composer.  However, his fame and position mean nothing to him once he hears the music of Mozart.  Cursed with an ear for music that far surpasses his own ability to create it, Salieri knows in an instant what no one else around him can hear – Mozart is possessed of a truly divine gift.  Consumed by envy, Salieri turns his anger on a God who would choose to bless the infantile and spoiled Mozart with the gift that Salieri feels he himself deserves.  Swearing his revenge, Salieri sets out to foil the Almighty’s plan and destroy Mozart.  Combining fiction and history, author Peter Shaffer sets up an epic battle of trust and betrayal, of love and blinding hatred that leads to a shattering conclusion.

The King and I

Music by Richard Rodgers – Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Based on Anna and the King by Margaret Landon

Wednesday, June 8 – Sunday, June 12

Friday, June 17 – Sunday, June 19

Friday, June 24 – Sunday, June 26

It’s 1962, and the western world is closing in on Siam.  Knowing his family will need to understand this new world to survive it, the King of Siam hires Anna Leonowens, an English widow, as a tutor for his many wives and children.  Although they are separated by their very different cultures, Anna and the King grow to understand, respect, and – eventually – care for one another.  This unique love story is told with one of the most glorious scores ever written.  Rodgers and Hammerstein’s immortal songs include “Getting to Know You”, “We Kiss in a Shadow”, “Something Wonderful”, “Shall We Dance?”, and the hauntingly beautiful “Hello, Young Lovers”.  The King and I is one of the all-time marvels of the musical stage and is not to be missed.

Annie

Book by Thomas Meehan – Music by Charles Strouse – Lyrics by Martin Charnin

Based on Little Orphan Annie by permission of the Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Wednesday, July 6 – Sunday, July 10

Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17

Friday, July 22 – Sunday, July 24

Leapin’ Lizards!  The popular comic strip heroine takes center stage in one of the world’s best-loved musicals.  Featuring one of Broadway’s most memorable scores, this contemporary classic follows the adventure of Little Orphan Annie as she outwits the evil Miss Hannigan, befriends President Roosevelt, and finds a new family with billionaire Oliver Warbucks – and a lovable mutt named Sandy.  You can bet your bottom dollar that Annie will delight and entertain the entire family!

Hairspray

Book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan – Music by Marc Shaiman – Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman

Based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters

Wednesday, August 3 – Sunday, August 7

Friday, August 12 – Sunday, August 14

Friday, August 19 – Sunday, August 21

Good morning Baltimore!  It’s time to wake up and shake off those oh-so-drab 50s!  Change is in the air and big hair, bright colors, and dance dance dance are the new order!  Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and a bigger heart, loves to dance more than anything.  Her life’s ambition is to win a place on the local TV hit “The Corny Collins Show” and be crowned Miss Teenage Hairspray 1962.  Can this larger than life teen dance queen vanquish the popular girl, integrate a TV station, and win true love – singing and dancing the whole while – without denting her ‘do?  Exuberant, upbeat, and unbelievably catchy, Hairspray offers up a plus size beehive of entertainment!

Man of La Mancha

Book by Dale Wasserman – Music by Mitch Leigh – Lyrics by Joe Darion

Wednesday, August 31 – Sunday, September 4

Friday, September 9 – Sunday, September 11

Late in the sixteenth century, failed author-solider-actor and tax collector Miguel de Cervantes has been thrown into a dungeon by the Spanish Inquisition.  To save his manuscript from the fire, he puts on an entertainment for his fellow prisoners.  He presents the story of Alonso Quijana who, overwhelmed by the evil that men do toward men, puts aside his sanity and sets out into the world as a knight errant, dubbing himself Don Quixote de La Mancha, champion of the oppressed and righter of wrongs.  A powerful blend of tragedy, romance, comedy, and adventure, Man of La Mancha is a passionate and moving story of triumph and redemption in the darkest of circumstances.

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 All shows will be performed on the Main Stage of Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances begin at 8:00 pm.

Sunday performances begin at 3:00 pm.

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For those who missed it…

 

The OHTC Womanless Beauty Pageant fundraiser was a HUGE success! For less than the cost of a movie with popcorn, this past Saturday night’s audience was treated to 12 wonderfully talented, impeccably dressed, hysterically funny “girls” who strutted their stuff for a great cause! The field of 12 was narrowed down to five, then three with the top honors going to Miss “Ginger Snaps” (Miss Congeniality), Miss “Wilma Fingerdo” (People’s Choice Princess) and the OHTC winner for Most Womanless 2010 Miss “Philla Pina”!

It was a night that many will not soon forget. Please enjoy the slideshow below for a sample of the fun and frivolity that took place. And hope to see you there next year when Miss “Philla Pina” gives up her crown!

YouTube Preview Image

 

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THE FUND RAISER NOT SOON FORGOTTEN!!!

Opera House Theatre Company Proudly Presents

The First Annual

 WOMANLESS BEAUTY PAGEANT

One Night Only for this special event

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

8:00pm

Scottish Rite Temple

1415 S. 17th Street

Wilmington, NC

Tickets available by calling 910.762.4234

Tickets are $25 each

 

 Call today! Tickets are going fast!!

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It’s Coming! Get your Votes Ready for the Womanless Pageant!!

Check back here very shortly for more information…You DON’T want to miss this event!!!

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Last Three Performances for Secret Garden are this Weekend!!

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Dress Rehearsal Pics of Secret Garden

 

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Secret Garden Rehearsal Photos

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Secret Garden Opens Wednesday September 1

Performed on the Main Stage of Thalian Hall.

The Secret Garden

Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Music by Lucy Simon
Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Wednesday, September 1 – Sunday, September 5
Friday, September 10 – Sunday, September 12

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Schedule Change:  Please note that we are running The Secret Garden for two weeks instead of the three we originally announced.  Due to scheduling issues at Thalian Hall, we were not able to book the third weekend.  Thanks for understanding.

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After the death of her parents in India, 11-year-old Mary Lennox is sent to Yorkshire to live with her embittered, reclusive uncle Archibald.  Still lost in mourning his wife, Lily, after ten years, Archibald has little interest in his new charge.  Lonely and bored, Mary sets about discovering the secrets of the house, from the walled and locked garden to the crying that haunts the manor late at night.  When spring comes again, the garden is brought back to life – and so are those who encounter it.  The Secret Garden will enchant audiences with its cherished story told anew in an unforgettable musical all about the power of love and the miracle of rebirth.
 
 
All performances begin at 8:00 pm EXCEPT for ALL SUNDAY PERFORMANCES,
which are matinees and begin at 3:00 pm.

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Theatre Review – Entertaining “Anything Goes” is all About the Music

Jason Aycock (from left), Heather Setzler and Dan Morris star in the production of "Anything Goes" by the Opera House Theatre Company.

 

By John Staton
John.Staton@StarNewsOnline.com

Published: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 9:36 a.m.
 
Cole Porter’s musical “Anything Goes” has been around for 75 years. Still, the lyrics to the title tune could easily be speaking to contemporary times: “In olden days a glimpse of stocking/ Was looked on as something shocking/ But now, God knows/ Anything goes.”
 So true, although it’d be hard to say that modern folks are any loonier than the characters depicted in this farce, which is being staged appealingly at Thalian Hall by Opera House Theatre Co. under the direction of Ron Chisholm. Still, even if exaggerated, the characters are recognizable – the fun-loving but sensitive regular guy, the young girl who’s not sure which of two guys she should marry, the intimidating but no-so-bright thug, the pompous ass. Even such minor characters as the officious, glad-handing ship’s captain (played entertainingly by John “Perk” Perkinson) ring true.

 Of course, we probably wouldn’t care much about “Anything Goes” in 2010 if the songs hadn’t been written by the great Cole Porter. And it’s ultimately the songs, from the smooth and velvety melody of “It’s Delovley” to Kendra Goehring-Garrett’s soulful belting of the title tune, that we take away. It’s certainly not the silly and somewhat formulaic story line, even if it does make some satiric social commentary.

 To dispatch with that story line before we get into the good stuff: An ocean liner is making the Atlantic crossing from New York to London, quite an event in its day, but one that lacks cache to the snobby Mrs. Harcourt (Michelle Reiff, perfect). She expects to see some celebrities, and not just the nightclub singer Reno Sweeney (Goehring-Garrett), whom she dismisses as merely “notorious.” Mrs. Harcourt’s with her daughter, the sweet if not entirely innocent Hope, played with a sort of endearing blandness by Dorothy Cowan. Hope is engaged to the insufferable British fancy-pants Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Zack Simcoe), who even sniffs at an illuminated moon. (“It’s all right, for what it is”).

 But things are about to get more interesting. Billy Crocker (Jason Aycock, likable and steady, as always) is there to see off his boss, the rich, feckless Elisha J. Whitney (Eric Paisley, his comic timing making him a well-deserved crowd fave). Billy had an enchanted evening some weeks back with Hope, so when he runs into her again he decides to stay on the boat despite his lack of ticket or passport, not to mention her impending nuptials.

 Also illicitly on board are the gangster Moonface Martin (Dan Morris) and his loud but resourceful moll, Bonnie (Heather Setzler). Over the course of the evening, as Billy tries to hide from/blend in with the ship’s crew he gets mixed up with the gangsters and is later mistaken for their leader, while Reno develops a thing for the uppity Evelyn.

 In the style of the day, the songs are only very loosely tied to the story line, but that helps keep things light. One of the big production numbers, “The Heaven Hop,” led by a wonderfully wacked-out Setzler and backed by Reno’s “Angels,” who ain’t exactly purity and light, is a feather-light confection of fun. Another big number, the catchy “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” is rousing and riveting, and speaks more directly to the show’s underlying theme of saints behaving like sinners and vice versa.

 Given the religious undertones, which the show plays for laughs while holding up piety for the hypocrisy it often is, it’s instructive that the Act Two-opening “Public Enemy Number One” is done gospel-style. When the passengers and crew think Billy is a gangster named Snake Eyes Johnson (Snake Eyes Johnson!) it’s he whom they really worship.

 Elsewhere, Porter, as he’s wont to do, jabs a thumb in the eye of conventionality with mischievous odes to breaking the rules, including “Let’s Step Out” (led, once again, by the effervescent Setzler) and “Let’s Misbehave,” delivered duet-style by Goehring-Garrett and Simcoe. And while they perform well individually and make a good comic team, with Goehring-Garrett playing Reno as a smoldering if somewhat nurturing sexpot, and Simcoe going ever-so-slightly over the top as the clueless English Evelyn, it would’ve been nice to see a bit more romantic chemistry (admittedly hard to conjure with Evelyn written as such a nincompoop).

 Likewise, Aycock and Cowan don’t exactly make sparks fly either, even as they sing well individually. But it’s probably tough to get things going with another actress when your fiancée is right there with you on stage. (As announced in the program, Aycock and Setzler are engaged.)

 Still, “Anything Goes” is rich enough in fine performances, legitimate laughs (much of the humor is corny, but a couple of moments are truly funny) and great songs that the romantic shortcomings don’t matter much. Morris in particular is a blast to watch as the meat-headed Moonface, and he adds some counter-intuitive panache to his big song, “Be Like the Bluebird” (make that “blue-boid”). Leading a mostly under-whelming chorus is the extraordinary Keith Welborn, adding humor to a couple of small roles and lending his lanky physicality to a number of dance sequences. (Chisholm choreographs as well, and while there’s an occasional energy to the dance numbers, they aren’t quite out of this world.)

 Goehring-Garrett has a nice duet with Aycock in the song of superlatives “You’re the Top,” but she really nails her two big tunes, letting her extraordinary voice soar in the moody “I Get a Kick Out of You” and belting out “Anything Goes” with a controlled, emotional abandon.

 It’s impossible to kill these songs, but musical director Lorene Walsh’s well-led band can sound a bit thin at times and could probably use a few more members (not likely in this economy). Likewise, The Scenic Asylum’s set is so basic as to be practically minimalist, another outcome that likely stems from a budget this side of blockbuster.

 But no matter. For Chisholm and Opera House to come as close as they do to the glamour depicted in “Anything Goes” is an achievement in itself, not to mention that the performers generally capture the decadent, fun-loving spirit of the material.

 It might not be 1935 anymore. But watching this show makes one occasionally wish (aside, perhaps, from some unfortunate Chinese stereotypes) that it still was.

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By John Staton
John.Staton@StarNewsOnline.com
Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 11:09 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 11:09 a.m

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It’s possible to do the right thing by accident.In “The Music Man,” that’s pretty much what traveling salesman Harold Hill does until, at long last, he finally does the right thing on purpose.

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Of course, Opera House Theatre Co.’s entertaining and moving production of the 1950s Meredith Willson classic is no accident. It’s just that director Suellen Yates and company’s earnest efforts make the proceedings appear…READ MORE HERE

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