Tag Archives: Tower Players

Retro RFH Show Time

This was a rehearsal for Neil Simon’s ‘Plaza Suite’ at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School circa 1976. Photo/screen shot of RFH yearbook.

Oh, it’s show time at RFH on Friday with the opening of the Tower Players’ fall production of Sherlock Holmes.

One thing that’s elementary, as Sherlock says, is that going on with the show is a time honored tradition at RFH. Remember?

So, these Retro Pics of the Day offer a glimpse back to rehearsals for the Tower Players’ production of Plaza Suite circa 1976.

Yours truly was in the cast . And it was a “memorable” experience considering that my co-star — a very nice guy who at an RFH reunion told me he was unwittingly duped into doing the show and had no desire massive stage fright — dropped five pages worth of lines and left me circling the stage with a dessert cart rambling like Edith Bunker on an especially menopausal day. Not a cue to be picked up. Ten minutes later, which is eternity for a floundering actor on stage, he picked up a line or two, just in time to end the scene.

Rehearsal for Plaza Suite circa 1976.
Photo/RFH yearbook

Thanks to Dan Olshansky for dropping those lines. It was the start of some hardcore actor improv training and a not-so-glamorous, but nonetheless professional and loads of fun, longtime career in the field. So, it’s not the lines that count, it’s the character — or something like that.

Now, two more nights left for “Line please!”

Cheers to the cast of Sherlock Holmes! And cast, please don’t really break any legs.

Bonnie and Clyde Come to RFH

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players are setting the stage for a production of the Tony-nominated musical Bonnie and Clyde.

The show will start with opening night on Friday, March 18 with a 7:30 p.m. curtain and a show on Saturday at the same time and close with a 1 p.m. Sunday matinee on March 20.

Bonnie and Clyde, musical by Frank Wildhorn, of Jekyll and Hyde, Civil War and Dracula fame, is based on the real-life adventures of starry-eyed Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and the outlaw Clyde Chestnut Barrow, who embarked on a crime spree across the United States at the height of the Great Depression.

Bonnie wants to escape from her west-Texas town and become a movie star. Clyde has just broken out of prison with his brother Buck. When they meet, their mutual cravings for excitement and fame set them on a mission to chase their dreams.

Teaming up with Buck and his wife Blanche, they commit a string of robberies and become American folk heroes as well as law enforcement’s worst nightmare. Forced to remain on the run, the lovers resort to increasingly brutal crimes. But as their fame grows and the body count rises, the end draws near for the ill-fated duo.

Bonnie and Clyde features a non-traditional score combining blues, gospel, and rockabilly music. The RFH production will showcase a cast of 45.

The RFH production stars Eli Rallo as Bonnie Parker, Matt Hughes as Clyde Barrow, Kate Sustick as Blanche Barrow, and Liam Hughes as Buck Barrow.

Suzanne Sweeney is director, with Kasi Ann Sweeney as assistant director. RFH Dance Team Coach Jen Costa is choreographer. Amy Fredericks, musical director for the Count Basie Awards, will be conducting the pit orchestra and overseeing vocal performances as the production’s musical director.

Costumes and props are under the direction of Carole Malick, and Matthew Leddin is overseeing the tech crew of 50 students providing set construction, sounds, and lighting.

Refreshments and a Texas-style feast, including chili and cornbread, will be available for purchase at the café in the RFH gymnasium before each performance and during intermissions.

Ticket prices are: $10 for general admission and $6 for students and seniors. RFH students with SGA cards will be admitted free.

To purchase tickets online, visit the RFH web site (rumsonfairhaven.org) and click on “Bonnie and Clyde.”

For more information including group discounts, contact Play Production Coordinator Stefania Flecca, sflecca@rumsonfairhaven.org.

The Box Office will be open for ticket purchases an hour before each performance.

Over the years the Tower Players have received numerous awards for acting, directing, choreography, costumes, set design and lighting, and overall outstanding production.

Retro RFH Tech Crew at Work

RFH Tech Crew of 1977 working on the set of Plaza Suite Photo/George Day
RFH Tech Crew of 1977 working on the set of Plaza Suite
Photo/George Day

‘Tis the season for the tech crew for the RFH Tower Players’ fall show to get to work on building a set.

So, the Retro Pic of the (George) Day revisits the set of the fall show of 1977 — Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite.

The set was quite ornate, in keeping with the decor of the upscale Plaza Hotel in New York City, where the show was set.

In this photo, reflected in a mirror over the hand-crafted fireplace are crew members Jamie Blake and Tom Campbell. Looks like these guys are actually laying a carpet to mimic the lush interior of The Plaza’s rooms accurately. Check out the small detail of the light switch cover. They even wall-papered. These guys did very nice work.

The guys and girls on crew were considered pretty cool and from diverse extra-curricular backgrounds back in the day.

Is it still as widely accepted as “cool” to be on crew? We’ve noticed a dip in popularity of the activity by sheer virtue of the fact that far fewer have signed on.

Tech crew people are an integral part to a show’s success. These guys work very long hours and labor pretty intensely over little-known behind-the-scenes details. Have you thanked a techie lately?

Thanks again, George Day, for this photo contribution!

Editor’s Notes & the R-FH Area Week Ahead

Happy Monday, Rumson-Fair Haven area friends and fans!

OK, so spring has not exactly sprung as we would have liked quite yet, but it looks like there’s hope of some sort, soggy as it may be, for a rise in temps as the week progresses. Please!

In the meantime, it’s a chilly start to the week today.

There are Borough Council meetings in both Rumson and Fair Haven this week. Fair Haven’s meeting is Monday night at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall. Click here for the agenda. Rumson’s meeting is Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Borough Hall. Click here for that agenda.

Taking a look back at last week, here are some tidbits from the notebook the likes of which your editor is going to start sharing on a weekly basis:

Continue reading Editor’s Notes & the R-FH Area Week Ahead

Another Closing of Another RFH Show

Julia Mosby and Ben Ley after “Miracle on 34th Street” performance at RFH. Photo/Barbara Mosby

By all accounts, the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players’ Miracle on 34th Street was a smashing success.

The show, which ran Friday and Saturday nights, closed with a Sunday matinee.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect couldn’t make it to this show, but cast member Julia Mosby’s mom Barbara captured a couple of post-show moments and sent them. So, the photos are being featured as our Retro Pic(s) of the Day.

The photos, of course, included Julia and RFH grad and friend Ben Ley, a former RFH Jazz Ensemble drummer, who now attends NYU.

Take a look. If you have any photos you’d like to add, please feel free to send them to us, with proper credit, at evd@rfhretro.com.

 

A Theatrical Weekend: RFH’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Opens

A theatrical kind of weekend is on tap in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, starting with opening night of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) production of Miracle on 34th Street on Friday.

Curtain time for the holiday classic is 7:30 p.m. on Friday with a Saturday show at the same time and a closing matinee on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Based on the classic 1947 movie and novel by Valentine Davies, the Tower Players’ version of the story of a white-haired bearded man named Kris Kringle and his embattled, tradition-inspired journey as a 34th Street Macy’s Santa, has been dubbed “part nostalgic throwback and part cutting-edge entertainment,” according to RFH staff.

Continue reading A Theatrical Weekend: RFH’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Opens

RFH Tower Players & Their ‘Miracle on 34th Street’

 

Miracle on 34th St. poster, courtesy of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School
Miracle on 34th St. poster, courtesy of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Yes, Rumson-Fair Haven area theatergoers, there is a fall high school show.

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players is aiming to make audiences believe in Santa Claus with its Dec. 12, 13 and 14 stage production of Miracle on 34th Street, The Play, a release from RFH said.

Based on the classic 1947 movie and novel by Valentine Davies, the Tower Players’ version of the story of a white-haired bearded man named Kris Kringle and his embattled, tradition-inspired journey as a 34th Street Macy’s Santa, has been dubbed “part nostalgic throwback and part cutting-edge entertainment,” by staff.

The show, according to the release, will feature 38 cast members bringing to life the original storyline of Kringle’s holiday trials and tribulations as he insists he is the real Santa.

The contemporary component of the RFH production manifests itself in large-scale dance numbers choreographed to a rock-based soundtrack, the release said.

The popular plot, the release said, unfolds like this:  A kind white-haired man is asked by Macy’s bigwig Doris Walker to portray Santa in the famous flagship store on 34th Street in New York City.

Trouble starts to brew when the man, who says his name is Kris Kringle, claims that he is the actual Santa Claus. His claims are seriously doubted by Doris Walker and her daughter Susan, both of whom don’t believe in the existence of Santa Claus.

As Kris’ sanity comes into question, his danger of being committed to a psychiatric institution grows. Doris, concerned for Kris, enlists her friend and neighbor Fred Gailey to defend Kris in court. The highly practical Susan befriends Kris as well and, in doing so, end up with the most precious gift of all – something to believe in.

In the RFH production, Kris Kringle is played by senior Laurence Morales. Doris Walker is played by senior Emily Mangiavillano, with senior EIise Roncace as Susan Walker. Senior Andrew Maris plays Fred Gailey.

Also featured, in a ballet performance of toys coming to life, are sophomores Sara Safarian and Rachel Makstein.

The Tower Players’ Miracle on 34th Street, The Play is directed by Suzanne Sweeney, with choreography by Patty McCarron and costumes and props under the direction of Carole Malik.

Tower Players alumna Kasi Ann Sweeney is assistant director and Stefania Flecca is production coordinator. Sets, sounds and lighting are provided by Matthew Leddin and his 30-student crew, with set design contributions from the RFH Stagecraft class as well.

Tickets — $10 general admission and $6 for senior citizens, children and students — may be purchased by visiting the RFH website (rumsonfairhaven.org) or by contacting Play Production Coordinator Stefania Flecca at 732-842-1597, extension 826.

Tickets will also be sold at the theater box office in the auditorium lobby from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 and 4. Tickets will be sold an hour before each performance as well, based on availability.

Curtain time for the production’s Friday opening  night on Dec. 12 is 7:30 p.m., followed by a show on Saturday at the same time and a closing matinee on Sunday at 1 p.m.