GODSPELL Comes To Baltimore's Modell Lyric for Their Inaugural Music Theatre Summer Camp on July 26, 2018

GODSPELL Comes To Baltimore's Modell Lyric for Their Inaugural Music Theatre Summer Camp on July 26, 2018

I'm not sure how veteran musical theater director Todd Pearthee did it but the Modell Lyric has announced their inaugural Music Theatre Summer Camp for students in grades 9 to 12 from the Baltimore metropolitan community with Pearthree directing the musical GODSPELL. Mandee Ferrier Roberts is the Musical Director and dance instruction is being provided by the Ballet Theatre of Maryland and CJay Philip.

The free performance will be on Thursday, July 26 at Baltimore's Modell Lyric (formerly known as The Lyric Opera House), 140 West Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201 at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The show will be just over an hour since the students will performing only Act I.

The program is sponsored in part by the Helena Foundation and supported by the Maryland State Arts Council.

While training in all aspects of musical theater, students have been given the opportunity to participate in master classes with Tony Award winning and nominated Broadway actors who take the Amtrak train from NYC to Baltimore's Penn Station and then take a short walk to the Lyric Opera House.

Their first session was taught by Beth Leavel, Tony Award winner for DROWSEY CHAPERONE in a program entitled "How to Create a Tony Award Winning Character". I've seen Leavel perform in HAIRSPRAY with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and just saw her in the musical BANDSTAND (movie version) thanks to Fathom Events.

Bob Cuccioli, Tony Award Nominee for JEKYLL AND HYDE spoke about "Thriving as an Actor. I saw this incredible performance at the Mechanic Theater.

Harriet D. Foy (AMELIE) came and talked about "The Versatile Actor". And has she ever been versatile. She played "Rosie" on Broadway in MAMMA MIA! At Arena Stage she starred in NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN, CROWNS, DINAH WAS, and at Baltimore Center Stage in THE PIANO LESSON, SEVEN GUITARS, SPUNK, and DAY OF ABSENCE.

I was thrilled to be invited to attend the talk by Tony nominated Nancy Opel who I saw in the Broadway production of URINETOWN THE MUSCIAL (and her performance live at the Tony Awards in 2002). I must admit I'm a huge fan after seeing her in TRIUMPH OF LOVE on Broadway and Jason Robert Brown's HONEYMOON IN VEGAN at the Papermill Playhouse in Milburn, New Jersey, prior to Broadway.

Her topic for the students was "Thriving As An Actor".

I observed her teaching the students how to use their voices, how to warm up, and how to audition. She was remarkable to observe.

The following is a short interview I had with this incredibly talented actress.

It is so nice of you to do this Master Class in Baltimore about the presentation of GODSPELL. How did you get involved?

I have an old friend, Jim Handakas, who is a colleague of Denise Gantt's (of the Modell Lyric). He put us in touch with one another a number of months ago.

You seemed to really enjoy doing your presentation. I noticed you had no notes. How often and wheredo you do these?

I do quite a few in a year, all over the country. I am kind of a zealot about my technique, haha.

How and why did you get involved in theater and where did your career start?

In high school I got interested in performing along with singing in the choir. I wish more of us sang in choirs, it's good for mind and spirit, I think. I started doing community stuff in Kansas City, my hometown, then some professional work, then Juilliard Drama Division and the rest, as they say...

I was fortunate to see your Tony-nominated performance in URINETOWN and saw you perform LIVE at the Tony Awards...this must have been a thrill for you. What was this experience like?

Really exciting. Sitting in the second row and hearing your name is cool, I won't deny it. I wore about a quarter million in diamonds that night, too. That stuff is SMOOTH.

How did you get involved in URINETOWN and how would you describe it?

John Rando asked me to do a reading of it. After I read the script for the first time, I rang him and told him it was the best thing I had ever read. I pretty much stand by that. So funny and still SO RELEVANT.

I also saw you in Jason Robert Brown's HONEYMOON IN VEGAS at the PAPERMILL THEATRE in Milburn, NJ. I really love this show. What was this experience like?

JRB is genius. We all know that. That role was a dream come true and I barely ever WALKED ON MY LEGS. Bliss. Rolling bliss.

OK...I'm a big fan. I also saw you in James Magruder's TRIUMPH OF LOVE on Broadway. Please tell me something about this show and the great cast.

Also a brilliant show when I read it. Almost an embarrassment of riches. My cohorts were all funny stupendous clowns, what could be bad about that?

What are you up to currently and is there anything in the future we should look forward to?

Just finished a stint at the heavenly BEAUTIFUL. Love each and every person there and they make you feel like a million bucks when you're there. Next up is CLUE at the Cape Playhouse directed by my old buddy, Hunter Foster. (They worked together in URINETOWN). I can't wait to eat lobster and do more crazy comedy.

It was such a pleasure to meet the talented Opel. Do not miss an opportunity to watch her perform.

cgshubow@broadwayworld.com

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