Behind the Stage Door of the Hampton Playhouse - 47th Season 1995
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The season got off to a rousing start with the Ray Cooney comedy FUNNY MONEY breaking the ice and setting the stage for a 'fun' season.
DAMN YANKEES was a popular musical featuring the return of the talented Jennifer Allen as Lola and favorite David Weynand as the devil ... Roger Befeler played the young baseball player, and featured performers were Karri Nussle, Mary Sharmat and Stephanie Patrick.
THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES was a very ambitious colorful production featuring gorgeous costumes by Ann Carnaby and her company, Tracy Theatre Originals, and same outstanding singing and dancing by the entire company. One highlight of this production was of course the huge set of stairs around which much of the action, singing and dancing, took place. George Dudley was a revelation as Will Rogers ... audiences found another newcomer to take to their hearts.
EMCs for the season included Seth Abrahms, Gary Betsworth, Mark Gray, Jonathan Malmed, Max Shippee, Amelia Frates, Marga Lawless (Sue's daughter), Betsy Mingo, Rachel Roberts, Hugh Lang, Ken Knight, Jenn Clapp, Catherine LeClair, Carrie Nelson, Darren Katz, and Matt Halvorsen. Additonal dancers included Jennifer Stetor, Jenny Eakes, and Alyssa Stec. Musicians were Christine Cadarette on second piano; John Buccini on bass; and Johnny Beach on drums. Workshop Coordinator, Pam Sabrin; Designer, Larry Frates with additional Workshop Staff being Tom Cordon, Susan Giordano, Chris Shinn, Andrew Smithson, Tim Amrheim, and Stephanie Patrick on costumes.
Bernadine Mitchell, (photo) remembers... "Singing 'If I can't sell it, I'm gonna keep on sitting on it' and watching John just cry with laughter makes me smile even now! I have a serious crush on Alfred Christie and I want him to know it! Baby you're a hunk!"
Doug Coates, (photo) remembers... "My other summer vacation in New Hampshire was made most interesting by the fact that the audience got to watch the musical director make his entrance every performance with a sling on his arm. How many whispers of 'Oh this should be good' did I have to hear every night when I slipped it off and put it on the piano bench! That was also a fun summer because during the Ten O'Clock Hour, there was a four part men's arrangement of 'All the Things You Are' that started out as solo lines and then became pretty lush -- during the solo lines it could have been misconstrued that we were singing to each other. One night, we all decided to just watch George Dudley as he walked over to us singing the lyric 'Finding your love, I've found my adventure. Touching your hand, my heart beats the faster' and Jerry Ball ever so subtly reached over and touched George's hand. Watching George's face was really fun, too. This was also the first summer I got to experience Johnny McNally's expertise in Burlesque drumming. I learned a lot."
Trip Plymale remembers... "Favorite in retrospect -- not when It was happening... First show is usually a Ray Cooney farce or something similarly crazed and manic -- the final dress before opening is always a mess -- always. There's been only five days rehearsal (and these shows always have words and business up the old wazoo.) Nobody knows their lines or where they are supposed to be or where the brief case or the money or the naked girl is supposed to be -- I would always ask Alfred, 'Was it this bad last year?' He would always smile rather sadly and say 'No' The next day the show was always pretty damn good, and the relief when it was over was (since it went well), wonderful."