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OnStage News & Notes - September 2012

MPOnStage NewsletterIn September, we are pleased to introduce the cast of MPO's A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody; celebrate the Kelsey Theatre's 2012 Perry Award Winners and 2012 Kelsey Award Winners; and promote September and October Alumni Happenings.

A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody
COMING NOVEMBER 2012 to the KELSEY THEATRE
Call or Click for Tickets: 609-570-3333

DATES:
Fri. Nov. 2 & 9, 2012 at 8pm
Sat. Nov. 3 & 10 at 8pm
Sun. Nov. 3 & 11 at 2pm


PRICES:
$18 adults, $16 seniors, $14 students & children

It’s New Year’s Eve at the Perry mansion, and family matriarch Julia Perry has a problem. Her bumbling husband Matthew has made it his New Year’s resolution to murder her before the year is out. She vows to stay alive for her daughter Bunny’s upcoming wedding to the dashing Donald. So, let the games begin – as a hilarious year-long battle of wits ensues.


Meet the Cast: A LITTLE MURDER NEVER HURT ANYBODY

Maurer Productions OnStage (MPO) is happy to announce the cast of their upcoming comedy, A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody.

MurderIt’s New Year’s Eve at the Perry mansion, and Julia and Matthew Perry seem to have it all. But Matthew wants something more -- to be rid of his wife Julia so he can have some real fun! He resolves to murder Julia by the new year’s end, and tells her so. She vows to stay alive, and tells him so. And so the game begins -- a hilarious year-long match of wits and the witless. While Julia cleverly dodges Matthew’s devious murder attempts, the Perry friends and staff are dying off mysteriously. It seems Matthew is successful in murdering everyone but Julia. As the bodies are falling, dim-witted daughter Bunny contemplates calling off her wedding to unwitting Donald since all the intended gift-bearing guests are dying. Enter Detective Plotnik -- a Sam Spade reincarnation who suspects everyone, but hasn’t a clue. That is, not until Donald stumbles upon Julia and gentlemanly butler Buttram in what Donald mistakenly perceives as a compromising situation. Donald jumps to the conclusion that Julia is the murderer -- trying to murder Matthew! A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody is an homage to the screwball comedies of the 1930’s and 40’s.

Director Diana Gilman Maurer says, "This is an amazing cast with some really talented people. I couldn't be happier with this production. I really can't wait until opening night when we can share this funny, crazy show with everyone!"

Jennifer Barron Julia Perry:
Jennifer Barron  
Justin Mancini Donald Baxter:
Justin Mancini 
Peter Bisgaier Matthew Perry:
Peter  Bisgaier
Fred Bartlett Buttram:
Fred Bartlett 
Megan Sherow Bunny Perry:
Megan Sherow 
John Pinto Detective Plotnick:
John Pinto

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MPO's AIDA Cast Rocks the NJACT Perry Awards;
Company Shines Taking Home Seven Trophies

Maurer Productions was awarded a 2012 Perry Award for its production of “AIDA,” in the category of Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical.  Pictured from left are Perry Award winners Kathy Slothower, Diana Maurer, John Maurer, and Laurie Gougher.  Not pictured is Tina Heines.  Photo by Robert GougherMaurer Productions OnStage stood tall in representing the Kelsey Theatre at the 2012 NJACT Perry Awards Ceremony on September 9.  Starting the evening with 21 nominations, more than any other theater company in the state, MPO took home no less than seven Perrys for three different shows including the coveted honor of Outstanding Production of a Musical for its staging of Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA.

During the celebration, the cast of AIDA, led by Perry Award nominees Meera Mohan, Kimberly Suskind and Yakenya Moise, performed a medley from the show for more than 700 guests as they gathered from around the state to celebrate this year’s outstanding achievements in New Jersey Community Theater. While accepting the award on behalf of the company for Outstanding Production of a Musical, Co-Producer and AIDA director Dan Maurer, extended a special thank you to the show’s lead actress, Ms. Mohan.

Pictured are cast members of Maurer Productions' "AIDA," which won four 2012 Perry Awards, including Outstanding Production of a Musical. Pictured front, from left are Cheryl King, Sheilla Telo Kraft, Beverly Kuo Hamilton, and Jane Coult. Pictured back, from left are Yakenya Moise, Alexa Lupinacci, Meera Mohan, Leia Rochester, Kimberly Suskind, and Melissa Geerloff. Also among the night's winners was Pennington Players' Beverly Kuo-Hamilton, who won Outstanding Stage Manager for “13 The Musical”. Photo by Robert Gougher“She has been awesome,” Maurer said to the crowd. “On stage, back stage, during rehearsals, working with the sound team, working with Tony (DiDia) and the orchestra, working with her fellow cast mates to help them with their parts, to do extra rehearsals; never in my life have I seen someone so dedicated, so talented. God bless you, Meera, we love you, you made this happen.”

After the ceremony, John Maurer, MPO’s Executive Producer and Artistic Director, continued the theme of celebrating team work that had echoed throughout the evening when he said: “It was truly a team effort across all our productions this season. And as much as we owe the group’s success to the wonderful actors, musicians and crew members we work with, we also owe a great deal to Kitty Getlik and the many theater companies she has brought to the Kelsey Theatre. You don’t achieve this kind of recognition on your own; you do it by building a community and we’re fortunate to be a part of a very special one.  The honors MPO received tonight are a tribute to the partnerships we have formed with the Kelsey Theatre and it’s many companies.”

Kelsey Theatre, located on the campus of Mercer County Community college, is home to several theater companies including Maurer Productions OnStage, Pennington Players, Pierrot Productions, Playful Productions, Yardley Players, Pinnworth Productions, The Kelsey Players, and most recently Shore Rep, who has joined the Kelsey team for summer productions.  

Among the MPO team who took home Perrys on September 9th were Kitty Getlik for her lighting work on AIDA; John Maurer, Diana Maurer, Tina Heinze, Laurie Gougher and Kathy Slothower for their costume work on AIDA; Alycia Bauch, who took home two awards for Outstanding Properties for both AIDA and Laughter on the 23rd Floor; Judi Parrish for her featured acting role in The Drowsy Chaperone; and John Maurer for his scenic design work on Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Meanwhile, Beverly Kuo-Hamilton, took home the Outstanding Stage Management award for her work on Pennington Players production of 13, the Musical.

The evening concluded when the MPO team was awarded the Perry for Outstanding Production of a Musical for Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA.  Accepting the award for the company were producers John, Diana and Dan Maurer.

Upon accepting the award, AIDA co-producer and director Dan Maurer said: “Producers like ourselves do not stand here and get honored for these types of awards because we do amazing work. We get honored because we bring together a group of people – talented, passionate, amazing people – to do their best work. Never over the years we’ve been together, have we seen a team go through so much, work so hard, overcome so many obstacles, to produce amazing work and we want to thank them all.”

Click the images below to see video from the Perry's
Aida Performance Scenic Design of a Play Props for a play and Musical Lighting design for a musical Featured Performer in a Musical Costume design for a Musical Stage Manager Best Musical

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Kelsey Theatre Awards: A Community Event

Rob GougherOn August 11, K2KEntertainment presented the 2012 Kelsey Theatre Awards. Organizer and master of ceremonies Kyrus Keenen Westcott was impressed by the strong familial tone of the event: "Stepping out on to the stage during the opening number was one of the most surreal moments of my life. As I sang my way through “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story, I looked around the audience and saw a room full of elite Kelsey Theatre talent. With difficulty, I saw beyond Kelsey's brilliant new spotlights, otherwise known as Jesus's high-beams, and saw a space full of actors, directors, dancers, producers, fans, supporters, and even some Sunday regulars attending this one time event. This moment crystalized my thoughts and feelings into one single idea: I LOVE KELSEY THEATRE."

Says Kyrus: "Throughout a Kelsey Theatre season, dozens of various production companies, hundreds of actors and dancers and musicians call the Kelsey Theatre their home. Seeing many of their faces during the ceremony proves to me that even though hundreds of different people with different companies and different viewpoints roam the Kelsey Theatre stage at any given time, we’re all in this together. No matter what company you work with or what show you do, we are all brought together by our love for Kelsey Theatre."

The winners of the 2012 Kelsey Awards are as follows:

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN FOR A PLAY OR MUSICAL:
Bob Terrano & The ETT StudentsThe Pirates of Penzance (PinnWorth Productions)

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN FOR A PLAY OR MUSICAL:
John M. Maurer, Diana Gilman Maurer, Tina Heinze, Kathy Slothower, & Laurie GougherElton John And Tim Rice's AIDA (Maurer Productions OnStage)

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN FOR A PLAY OR MUSICAL:
Bob TerranoA Chorus Line (Playful Theatre Productions)

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN FOR A PLAY OR MUSICAL:
Kate PinnerThe Pirates of Penzance (PinnWorth Productions)

OUTSTANDING SUMMER 2011 PRODUCTION
13: The Musical (The Pennington Players)

OUTSTANDING YOUNG LEAD ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL:
Salena Qureshi – “Little Sally” – Urinetown: The Musical (The Pennington Players)

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE CHORUS IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL:
A Chorus Line (Playful Theatre Productions)

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY:
Dani Tucci-JuragaA Chorus Line (Playful Theatre Productions)

OUTSTANDING VOCAL DIRECTOR:
Laurie GougherThe Pirates of Penzance (PinnWorth Productions)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY:
John M. MaurerLaughter on the 23rd Floor (Maurer Productions OnStage)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL:
Frank FerraraA Chorus Line (Playful Theatre Productions)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A VILLAIN:
Nicholas Pecht & Joe Zedeny – “The Gangstas” – The Drowsy Chaperone (Maurer Productions OnStage)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL:
Rob Gougher – “Adolpho” – The Drowsy Chaperone (Maurer Productions OnStage)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL:
Megan Sherow – “Penny” – Hairspray (James Tolin Memorial Fund & The MCCC Students)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A PLAY:
Mark Swift – “Phillip Lombard” – And Then There Were None (The Yardley Players)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A PLAY:
Diana Cooper – “Vera Claythorne” – And Then There Were None (The Yardley Players)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
Mark Applegate – “Man In Chair” – The Drowsy Chaperone (Maurer Productions OnStage)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Meera Mohan – “Aida” – Elton John And Tim Rice's AIDA (Maurer Productions OnStage)

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A PLAY:
Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Maurer Productions OnStage)

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
Elton John And Tim Rice's AIDA (Maurer Productions OnStage)

THE 2012 KELSEY THEATRE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
presented to Robert Terrano.

Kyrus is already hard at work on next years ceremony, extends his best wishes to all members of the Kelsey family on their work for the 2012-2013 season, and hopes to see everyone again at the 2013 Kelsey Award Ceremony.

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A Little Murder Never Hurt AnybodySeptember Podcast

The cast of A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody

In this Podcast we talk with the director and the cast of A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody being produced by Maurer Productions OnStage at the Kelsey Theatre on the campus of Mercer County Community College. Our guests include Director Diana Gilman Maurer and cast members Jennifer Barron, Peter Bisgaier, Megan Sherow, Justing Mancini, Fred Bartlett and John Pinto.

Listen Now.

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Alumni Happenings for September and October

Next To NormalBorn Yesterday at Kelsey Theatre

Joe Zedeny (The Drowsy Chaperone, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, A Few Good Men, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Man of La Mancha, Singin’ in the Rain, It’s a Wonderful Life), Beverly Kuo-Hamilton (Aida, The Drowsy Chaperone), Kathy Kutalek (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Emperor’s New Clothes), and Abby Oliver (Aida) are appearing in Kelsey Theatre’s current production, Born Yesterday.
Synopsis:  To all the dumb chumps and all the crazy broads, past, present, and future, who thirst for knowledge and search for truth. You’ll be tickled pink by Garson Kanin’s Award-winning comedy about politics and the power of female persuasion.  The Yardley Players present the timeless and timely story of a not-so-honest businessman and a not-so-dumb blonde out to "capitalize" on everything Washington has to offer.
Performances:
Friday, September 28, at 8 pm
Saturday, September 29, at 8 pm
Sunday, September 30, at 2 pm
Tickets:  Adults, $16; Seniors, $14, Students/Children, $12, plus a ticketing fee for each ticket
There are several ways to purchase tickets.  Go to http://www.kelseyatmccc.org/ticket_series.shtml for information on how to purchase tickets.


Meera Sings at New Voices Cabaret

Meera Mohan (Man of La Mancha and Aida) will be singing at the New Voices Cabaret in Philadelphia on Tuesday, October 2, one of three performers for their opening evening.
Where:  Society Hill Playhouse, 507 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19147
Tickets:  Entrance fee of $15 (includes one drink) 
To make a reservation by email or telephone, go to http://www.larrymckenna.com/cabarets.
For information about the venue, including directions and parking, go to http://www.societyhillplayhouse.org.

Next To NormalNext to Normal at Kelsey Theatre

Jim Petro (Singin’ in the Rain and Man of La Mancha) and Peter de Mets (conductor/accompanist for many MPO productions) are in the production of Next to Normal opening on October 5, 2012.
Synopsis:  Heralded by the New York Times as “more than a feel good musical; it is a feel-everything musical,” next to normal is by no means your stereotypical flashy toe-tapper. With driving music by Tom Kitt and provocative book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, this emotional roller coaster will send you reeling through suburban dysfunction at its most extreme and its most tender moments. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and three Tony Awards, Next to Normal enjoyed a wildly successful Broadway run and national tour. Now it comes to the Kelsey Theatre by way of Pierrot Productions. The characters of next to normal are heartbreakingly vulnerable and unapologetically real - experience the dynamics of pain, despair, hope, healing, and uncertainty within their family and possibly examine it within your own.
Performances: 
Fridays and Saturdays, October 5, 6, 12 and 13 at 8 pm
Sundays, October 7 and 14 at 2 pm
Tickets:  Adults, $18; Seniors, $16; Students and Children, $14; plus a ticketing charge for each ticket.
There are several ways to purchase tickets.  Go to http://www.kelseyatmccc.org/ticket_series.shtml for information on how to purchase tickets.


The Wildest, Hip, Cool & Swinging
at Off-Broad Street Theatre

Elizabeth Rzasa, Tess Ammerman, John Bergeron (Man of La Mancha) and Ben Menahem (Aida) will be performing at the Off-Broad Street Theater beginning October 12.
Synopsis:  This exciting new musical features nearly 40 tunes performed on stage with a live band, including "I've Got You Under My Skin," "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody," "That Old Black Magic," "Sing, Sing, Sing," and "I Wish You Love." Louis Prima and Keely Smith's musical sounds and style defined an era that has transcended generations and has become timeless in its appeal. THE WILDEST!!! arrives at a moment when Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and other Las Vegas icons are being idolized as musical heroes. It's also about a unique era--the nightclub years of the late 50s and early 60s. It is a journey to the past that will lead some to new discoveries and others cherished memories.
Venue:
5 South Greenwood Avenue, Hopewell, NJ 08525
Performances:
October 12 to November 10
Friday and Saturday Nights
Doors open at 7:00 Curtain at 8:00
Four delicious desserts are always offered along with fresh fruit and bottomless cups of either coffee or tea!
Tickets:  For reservations, call the box office at (609) 466-2766 10:00am to 4:00pm Wednesday through Sunday.

 

The Odyssey at Robbinsville High School

The OddysseyCaroline Maurer (Winnie the Pooh, The Emperor’s New Clothes) will join a cast of 20 Robbinsville High School actors as they stage Homer’s mythic story. Caroline will play several parts in this ensemble show including the role of young Princess Nausicaa.

Synopsis: Mary Zimmerman’s dramatic adaptation of Homer's myth begins with a modern young woman who is struggling to understand Robert Fitzgerald's translation of The Odyssey. A classical muse appears, and the young woman becomes the goddess Athena--a tireless advocate for Odysseus in his struggle to get home. With her trademark irreverent and witty twist on classic works, Zimmerman brings to life the story of Odysseus's ten-year journey, depicting his encounters with characters such as Circe, the Cyclops, Poseidon, Calypso, the Sirens, and others.

Location: The Robbinsville High School Performing Arts Center, 155 Robbinsville Edinburg Road, Robbinsville NJ 08691

Performances: November 15, 16, 17 at 7pm.

Tickets: Tickets are available at the door. Adults, $10; Students, $8

 

Robbinsville High School Raven Players to Hold Breakfast Fundraiser
for The Odyssey

Yummy!The Robbinsville High School Raven Players will be hosting a Flapjack Fundraiser Breakfast at Applebees in Hamilton to support the troupe’s production of The Odyssey.  The cast of 20 actors, including MPO alumna Caroline Maurer (Winnie the Pooh, The Emperor’s New Clothes), will be staging Mary Zimmerman’s dramatic adaptation of Homer's mythic story in November and they need your support to pull off such an ambitious project.

When: Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 8am to 10am.

Where: Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, 333 State Highway #33, Hamilton, NJ 08619

Tickets: Tickets for breakfast are $7.00 each and can be purchase in advance or at the door.  For more information about buying tickets, send an email to sgiachetti@aol.com, or contact Laura J. Kozma at 609-208-0571, or Susan Giachetti at 609-575-7705.

 

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MPO Theater Quiz:

How much do you know about the best of the Perrys?
In celebration of the Perry Awards, this quiz is about the shows nominated for outstanding production. If you’ve seen the shows, you’ll have an edge!

Try out our September edition




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