Casting has been completed and rehearsals have begun for Macon Little Theatre’s next production.
“Showtime at First Baptist” is the sequel to the popular “First Baptist at Ivy Gap” which was presented during the 2007-2008 season. Directed by Kim Cooper, “Showtime” takes up where “Ivy Gap” left off. First Baptist of Ivy Gap’s 100th anniversary picnic was a smashing success, except for one little thing: a bolt of lightning destroyed the sanctuary. To raise spirits (and funds), six of the church’s leading ladies plan a talent show. Change is in the air as these diverse women challenge each other on an inspiring journey filled with laughs, loss and lots of love.
“Showtime” premiered at the Barter Theater in Abingdon, Virginia on June 11, 2009 to rave reviews. Macon Little Theatre will be the first community theatre in the United States to produce “Showtime”.
The cast includes: Dee Whidby as Edith, Ann Voss as Vera, Kitty Knight as Mae Ellen, Laura Bechtel as Olene, Pamela Norton as Lucille and Julie Ivey as Annie.
SPONSORED BY RIVERSIDE FORD LINCOLN MERCURY
The following are excerpts from a review of “Showtime at First Baptist”:
‘A Comedy With Some Bite’
Thomas Bryant, A! Magazine for the Arts
They’re back! The ladies who first debuted in “First Baptist of Ivy Gap” return for another episode: Edith, Vera, Mae Ellen, Olene, Lucille, and Annie. During Barter’s first production with this group, the ladies were helping with the WWII effort. This time it’s the Vietnam War that serves as a backdrop for the events in their lives.
It would have been easier for the playwright to focus solely on the comedic encounters, of which there are many, but Ron doesn’t shy away from the more serious issues that act as dramatic thread throughout the play. Don’t misunderstand; it is a comedy first. But it is a comedy with some bite, and those moments of seriousness make the funny moments even funnier, whereas comedy for the sake of comedy often becomes slapstick.
When the show begins, the ladies are giddy over the success of the church picnic — a picnic celebrating the 100th anniversary of the church. A bolt of lightning, ironically, destroys the steeple, the organ, and sends the pastor, Edith’s husband, to the hospital. In order to raise money to rebuild, and perhaps as a way to preoccupy themselves, the ladies come up with the idea of having a big “show” for everyone. Lucille is adamantly opposed to the idea since it is, of course, of the devil, but the rest of the group moves forward. And it is that movement forward that, while funny, sets up many of the more interesting themes in this play.
Show: Showtime at First Baptist
When: July 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Directed by: Kim Cooper
Performers Needed: 6 females-One 20s; five 40’s – 60’s
Information: Sequel to hit comedy, “First Baptist at Ivy Gap” written by Ron Osborne
Show Description: First Baptist of Ivy Gap’s 100th anniversary picnic was a smashing success, except for one little thing: a bolt of lightning destroyed the sanctuary. In the wake of the disaster, key women of the church- led by Edith, the Pastor’s take charge wife gather in what’s left (the fellowship hall) to commiserate and try to put things back together. To raise spirits (and funds), six of the church’s leading ladies plan a talent show. Change is in the air as these diverse women challenge institutions as well as each other. Along the way, there are laughs to be shared, battles to be fought, love to be won, relationships to be mended and losses to be grieved.
Macon Little Theatre’s production of Chicago opened to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience on Friday, July 10 and promises to be a jazzy, sexy, sassy blockbuster. The talented trio of Sylvia Haynie, Laura Voss and Jenny Carroll combine to produce a well staged, musical delight with Fosse-style full body choreography. The talented eight-piece orchestra and the stylish dancers kept the audience tapping and swaying all night long. The stage never lacks excitement. Jenny Carroll and Katy Thompson playing Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly combine their drive and intensity in song and dance to propel the plot. Baxter James plays the charming but manipulative Billy Flynn with just the right amount of “Razzle Dazzle”. Billy Bishop as the downtrodden Amos Hart elicits sympathy and pathos especially while connecting with the audience in the song, “Mr. Cellophane”. Venis Glover heats up the stage as corrupt Matron Mama Morton with a sultriness that truly makes her the cell block diva. B. Barnett delightfully portrays sob-sister reporter Mary Sunshine with near operatic vocals.
The principal characters are supported by a multitalented ensemble that gives depth and pizzazz to the action. Six merry murderesses (played by Kiandra Richardson, Colby Atkins, Rachel Giannattasio, Emmie Childers, Christina Thorington and Katy Thompson) provide dramatic tension and comic relief in the “Cell Block Tango”, an audience favorite. Additional characters in various dance scenes are aptly and diversely played by Kaeleigh Heath, Liz Hill, Danielle Thuen, Elizabeth Warren and Rachel McGinty. The Men’s Ensemble (Charlie Veto, Nick Cliché, Drew Eldridge, Tripp Eldridge, Kenneth Jones, Cody O’Shea and Antwan Ward) is a mix of graceful movement and character variety in a refreshingly masculine portrayal.
The perfect mix of direction, talent, and creativity augmented by an ultra creative light design and a minimal but functional set have produced an exciting, musical extravaganza of “murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery.” Not recommended for children, “Chicago” contains adult themes and offers a sophisticated sassiness to be appreciated by adults.
“Chicago” will continue to run at Macon Little Theatre on July 15, 16, 17, 18 at 8:00 PM with a 2:30 matinee on Sunday, July 19. The box office will be open from 1 to 6 PM on Monday through Saturday. Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15 for Seniors (60+) and $10 for students (up to age 23 w/ID). Don’t miss it.