The Theater at Monmouth resumed its tradition of a fall Gilbert and Sullivan production with a sprightly, sassy, clever new take on the beloved chestnut, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. In a significantly trimmed score and re-imagined concept, the work comes alive with a freshness, energy, and new slant to the humor, while retaining the silliness of the script and the appeal of the songs.BWW Review: Becoming a Real Live Boy: MSMT Closes Young Audiences Series with PINOCCHIO August 20, 2018
In an enchantingly fresh take on Carlo Collodi's classic tale, Robin and Clark's musical version of Pinocchio explores the inner journey of the wooden puppet who must learn the meaning of truth, compassion, and courage in order to become 'a real live boy.' MSMT closes its Theatre for Young Audiences series with a colorful, amusing, and tender retelling of this touching story, directed and choreographed by Raymond Marc Dumont and entirely produced and performed by MSMT's Educational Fellows.BWW Interview: 'What a Glorious Feeling': MSMT Panel Celebrates SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and Anniversary Concerts August 18, 2018
In the midst of what has proved to be an extraordinary week for the company, Maine State Music Theatre fans turned out in a capacity crowd at the Curtis Memorial Library's final Peek Behind the Curtain panel to celebrate the concluding events of this Diamond Jubilee season. In the Brunswick season's penultimate week, MSMT presented nine performances of its smash hit, Singin' in the Rain, as well as two sold-out gala 60th anniversary concerts and a free Concert on the Mall that drew close to 2500 people. The panel, moderated by BWW's Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold, featured Nicolas Dromard, Kate Fahrner, Brian Shepard, and Kim Sava, the stars of the production, two returning stars closely associated with MSMT's history, Sue Cella and K.K. Preece, as well as Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark. The resulting discussion, which focused on the joyful new staging by Marc Robin of Singin' in the Rain and the special anniversary events, was filled with warmth, laughter, and substance.BWW Review: Timeless Laughter: Dan Goggin's NUNSENSE Delights in Portland August 18, 2018
It is so seemingly simple and yet so irresistibly infectious. The thirty-five year-old show envelops the audience in a haze of nostalgia and a cocoon of laughter that makes for a delicious theatrical evening. And in this delightfully fresh, colorful, exuberant, and touching co-production presented by Maine State Music Theatre and Portland Stage, Dan Goggin's original Nunsense story makes clear why this musical has remained a timeless phenomenonBWW Review: MSMT Throws Big, Beautiful 60th Birthday Bash August 14, 2018
Anniversaries are times to reflect, to evaluate, but also to celebrate. Yesterday with its 60 Years of Musical Theatre: The Best of Maine State Music Theatre gala concert, the Brunswick theatre pulled out all the stops with a big, beautiful Diamond Jubilee gala that proved a stunning culmination to this milestone season. And indeed, six decades after Victoria Crandall launched her dream at the Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin College campus, MSMT can boast numerous reasons to celebrate its history, as well as its present accomplishments and future aspirations.
In a matinee and evening stagings that featured musical performances by twenty-one soloists and an ensemble of ten, as well a number of spoken tributes, Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark architected a program that was classy, heartfelt, and rich and deep in the talent it showcased. As with any commemorative event, the program tapped into nostalgia and memory but blended these with a strong sense of the vigorous, energetic, imposing presence this company has become - not only in Midcoast Maine but also as a force in national regional theatre.BWW Review: MSMT Brings Glitter of Hollywood's Golden Age to the Pickard Stage August 10, 2018
As its main stage finale in this Diamond Jubilee season, Maine State Music Theatre chose to present the stage version of one of the most beloved musicals of all time, Singin' in the Rain. With its book by Betty Comden/Adolph Green, and songs by Nacio Herb Brown/Arthur Freed), based on the famed MGM musical, this iconic classic receives a production that recreates the glitter of Hollywood's Golden Age on a dazzlingly grand scale. MSMT's staging, directed/choreographed by Marc Robin, sparkles with the effervescence of fine champagne, bubbles with energy and originality, exudes sunshine and joy, and offers its audiences an exhilarating, entirely magical entertainment experience.BWW Interview: Brian Shepard: I Never Had a Fallback August 8, 2018
Replying to a question about how he has chalked up such an impressive performance roster, Broadway triple threat actor Brian Shepard, who plays Cosmo Brown in Maine State Music Theatre's new production of Singin' in the Rain, smiles and says," Good fortune, a lot of hard work, and I LOVE this! I am doing what I have always wanted to do. It was this or bust. I never had a fallback."BWW Interview: Make 'Em Laugh, Make 'Em Cry with Joy: A Conversation with Nicolas Dromard August 5, 2018
'I think the audience is going to eat up Singing' in the Rain. It is live theatre where anything can happen, and the talent in this cast is really amazing,' enthuses the star of Maine State Music Theatre's new production of the beloved classic, which begins its run at Brunswick's Pickard Theater on August 8th. For Nicolas Dromard, the opportunity to play Don Lockwood is a dream come true. 'It's taken me thirty-one years, but here I am,' he says with a big grin.BWW Interview: Laughter That Cures All Ills: Dan Goggin and the Enduring Phenomenon of NUNSENSE August 1, 2018
' 'If laughter cures all ills, Nunsense will make doctors obsolete.' That is one of my favorite all time review quotes,' says Dan Goggin. 'Hearing an audience laugh and knowing you had something to do with it is one of the most rewarding experiences I can think of.' Despite the enduring international sensation Goggin's brainchild has become, the writer, director, and creator of a thirty-five-year musical theatre phenomenon and franchise that embraces seven musicals, three spin offs, television specials, a possible upcoming new television series, recordings, and an entire line of merchandise remains a bit bemused and amazed at his runaway success.BWW Review: We Love You Conrad: MSMT's Stylish Revival of BYE BYE BIRDIE July 31, 2018
It has been fifty-eight years since the Tony-award-winning Michael Stewart/Charles Crouse/Lee Adams musical Bye Bye Birdie first opened on Broadway, and while the topicality of the material is no longer au courant, still this fresh, charming Maine State Music Theatre revival, directed/choreographed by Raymond Marc Dumont, retains its humor, humanity, and universality.BWW Review: Delightfully Outrageous and Incorrect: The PRODUCERS at Biddeford City Theater July 29, 2018
It is almost fifty years since the original Mel Brooks film and seventeen since the Broadway stage version of Mel Brook's hilarious and outrageously funny, totally incorrect musical, The Producers, hit the stage. And despite it, or perhaps because of the contentious climate in which we live, this glorious tonic of laughter and colorful characters still rings true and commands a wrapt audience. Biddeford city Theater's production, directed by Linda Sturdivant, provides a glorious afternoon escape into the world of parody, spoof, and Broadway innuendo.
The production is a large one for this ambitious community theatre, and they rise admirably to the challenge. Sturdivant directs and produces with a sure hand and a very balanced sense of humor - Mel Brooks requires a deft touch, despite the overt quality of his comedy. She expertly captures the iconic moments, keeps the stage pace, moves the action, and helps the cast establish the colorful characters.BWW Interview: Stayin' Alive: Panel Explores the World of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER July 27, 2018
The very first number in the stage version of Saturday Night Fever is an ensemble piece, Stayin' Alive, which sets the tone for the raw, realistic musical drama which follows. 'This show gave us a little bit of an edge and by bookending it with Beauty and the Beast and Singin' in the Rain, which are sweet and a little sugary, this enabled us to do something a bit different - something with an edge, bite and grit,' says Maine State Music Theatre's Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark. Clark, together with cast members Jacob Tischler (Tony Manero), Alexandra Matteo (Stephanie Mangano), Christina Carlucci (Pauline), and Anthony J. Gasbarre III (Joey), are speaking to BWW's Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold in the season's third Peek Behind the Curtain panel discussion at Curtis Memorial Library, devoted to the exploration of the company's current main stage production of Saturday Night Fever, playing on the Pickard stage until August 4.BWW Interview: Ogunquit's AMERICAN IN PARIS: A Musical and Choreographic Conversation July 22, 2018
'This is a period in history where art is rejuvenating the people. From a musical standpoint, An American in Paris depicts an interesting time in the European-American cultural exchange. The many colors of French, German, British music were being influenced by American sounds to create a new, singular musical aesthetic, and this, in turn, influenced American musicians who emulated these aspects. It became a snowball of invention.'
Music Director David Lamoureux is talking about the exciting period of cultural cross contexts and artistic innovation that was Post War Paris. He is joined by two of his collaborators on the production, directed and choreographed by Jeffry Denman, which opened at the Ogunquit Playhouse on July 13: Assistant Music Director Patrick Fanning and Assistant Choreographer Ashley Marinelli. The trio waxes eloquent about the fertile, innovative artistic world of the play and its time period and the opportunity to bring this milieu and story to life at the famed playhouse which celebrates its 86th season.BWW Review: Dance, Dance, DANCE: MSMT's SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER July 20, 2018
With the immortal songs of the BeeGees, mesmerizing disco dancing, and a cast of unforgettable characters, the musical version of Saturday Night Fever offers an inherently compelling theatrical experience. Maine State Music Theatre's new production does all that and more: it brings freshness, originality, and strong dramatic narrative to the work, all the while that it envelops the audience in its pulse and passion. This production is white-hot, warm, funny, and genuine.BWW Interview: Jacob Tischler: Creating a Conversation July 15, 2018
"This show is a boot camp in and of itself!" declares Jacob Tischler.
Tischler is referring to his role as Tony Manero in Maine State Music Theatre's production of Saturday Night Fever, which begins its run at the Pickard on July 18th, and he is speaking to Broadway World about the colorful creative path that has brought him to this point in his career.BWW Interview: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Panel Explores Fairytale Magic July 13, 2018
"Beauty and the Beast is the essence of that Disney magic! It brings people together and it is such a joyful experience!" Actress Lexi Rabadi plays Belle in Maine State Music Theatre's new blockbuster production of the Disney classic which closes its run July 14th. She and fellow cast members Darick Pead (the Beast) and Matthew Ragas (Gaston), together with MSMT Managing Director Stephanie Dupal are talking with Broadway World's Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold about the experience of creating this timeless fairytale on stage. The panel discussion, the second in the annual Peek behind the Curtain Series at the Curtis Memorial Library drew a full house, as audience members and patrons listened to the group explore the factors they believe make this show a classic and make this particular production a work of incredible enchantment.BWW Interview: Tyler Micoleau: Bringing Broadway to Brunswick and Back July 9, 2018
Tyler Micoleau wanders among the cast portraits at Maine State Music Theatre's 22 Elm Street offices and studios, murmuring in quiet amazement, as he surveys the years with their colorful productions leading up to the present. He wonders aloud about how is it possible to mount such large-scale productions on the Pickard stage? For the Tony award-winning lighting designer of The Band's Visit, this is a special homecoming for it was in Brunswick at Bowdoin College and Maine State Music Theatre that his theatre career began.BWW Review: MSMT'S Opulent BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Offers Pure Enchantment June 29, 2018
With what is arguably the largest production in Maine State Music Theatre's history, the company brings a level of opulence, sophistication, and magic to the Pickard stage that makes this production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast a fitting jewel in the Diamond Jubilee Crown. It is no secret that the company has used every single ounce of its resources (and overcome a number of unforeseen obstacles along the way) to create this magnificent production, but the result has been entirely worth the effort. This beloved fairytale dazzlingly comes to life in all its heartfelt beauty.BWW Interview: Darick Pead: The Struggle, the Journey, the Narrative June 26, 2018
I love telling stories; it doesn't matter what the form is. I like the struggle, the journey, the narrative, says actor Darick Pead. Pead, who is about to open in Maine State Music Theatre's Beauty and the Beast in the title role of the Beast, has enjoyed a fascinating personal journey of his own in pursuing his dream of becoming an actor.
Born and raised in Utah in a large Mormon family he was the seventh child among ten Pead says, Except for doing my Mormon mission in Pennsylvania for two years, I had never been outside the state of Utah until I was twenty-seven. Pead remembers that I always enjoyed theatre, and I would go to watch my older siblings in school plays and think what fun that must be. Then in fifth grade my teacher suggested that I should try out for Wizard of Oz. I wanted to play Toto and get to bark onstage, and I was super disappointed when I was cast as the Scarecrow . But that was the start of it all.BWW Interview: Oh, What a Beautiful Feeling: Stephen Mark Lukas and Taylor Quick in Ogunquit's OKLAHOMA June 25, 2018
'There is something so simple, so wholesome about the story and the characters. When Curly made his entrance on opening night at the St. James Theatre in 1943 and sang 'Oh, what a beautiful morning,' the whole audience took a huge sigh of relief. There in the midst of war was a breath of optimism and that beautiful music.'
And, indeed, when the speaker, actor Stephen Mark Lukas makes the same entrance seventy-five years later on the stage of the Ogunquit Playhouse in the company's new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic Oklahoma, the entire audience reacts in exactly same way. With a smile as expansive as the territory and a voice as luminous as the bright morning about which he sings, Lukas establishes immediate affection and rapport for the character of Curly, as does his co-star, the lovely, radiant Taylor Quick.