Kitchen Theatre Company Goes to the Dogs with EMMETT & ELLA'S BIG APPLE ESCAPADE

Kitchen Theatre Company Goes to the Dogs with EMMETT & ELLA'S BIG APPLE ESCAPADE

Kitchen Theatre Company is going to the dogs! with the musical adventureEmmett & Ella's Big Apple Escapade. Performances are on Saturdays April 29th and May 6th at 1 & 3pm.

Emmett is a hound dog, Ella's got some retriever in her, and Louella Smythe-Trappe is a lady who loves her dogs and loves to sing. When Louella's lifelong dream of singing at Radio City Music Hall in New York City becomes a reality, Emmett and Ella are shocked to learn that she isn't planning on bringing them along. The dogs hatch a plan to follow her, leading to a wild, unexpected, Big Apple escapade full of song, dance and interesting characters along the way.

Emmett is played by Benno Ressa, a newcomer to Ithaca previously seen as Uncle Howard in the FitzandStartz Production of Adventure in Apartment G#. Opera Ithaca apprentice artist Sarah Welden lends her beautiful voice to the role of Ella, and LouElla Smythe-Trappe is played by Opera Ithaca Apprentice Director Ellen Jackson.Kitchen Theatre Company's Managing Director Stephen Nunley and Lehman Alternative School senior Rachel Frank play multiple roles in the play.

Playwright/lyricist Rachel Lampert, Kitchen Theatre Company's Artistic Director and co-Director of FitzandStartz Productions, has authored many original productions for family audiences (Winter Tales, The Mozart Mystery, I Have a Song to Sing O!, A December Suite, The Sisters Fitzenstarts Fall Recital, Adventure in Apartment G#, and Fools! Schmools! among others) and adaptations (The Odyssey parts I & II, A Christmas Carol, Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and The Mikado). Lampert also serves as the director of this play.

Composer Lesley Greene is co-Director of FitzandStartz Productions and Associate Producing Director at Kitchen Theatre Company. She has composed music forKitchen Theatre productions of Physics Fair, Winter Tales, Park Play, Fools! Schmools!, and more.

Music Director Travis Knapp is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter originally from Clinton, NY. He studied piano at Ithaca College ('07), and now lives in Erin, NY. He is also a vegetable gardener and touring bicyclist.

Emmett & Ella's Big Apple Escapade is great for all ages. Tickets are $12 and are available by phone at (607) 272-0570, at the Kitchen Theatre offices (409 W. State St.) Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM, at the theater (417 W. State St.) Saturday-Sunday, 12:00-4:00 PM, and online at

Musicals for family audiences by Fitzandstartz Productions at Kitchen Theatre Company are supported by Sponsors CFCU Community Credit Union and Agava Restaurant.

"Important conversations happen in the Kitchen."

Performance Dates

April 29, 2017, Saturday at 1:00 pm

April 29, 2017, Saturday at 3:00 pm

May 6, 2016, Saturday at 1:00 pm

May 6, 2016, Saturday at 3:00 pm


More than a decade ago, Rachel Lampert asked Lesley Greene to write a song for a new musical for family audiences Rachel was writing called Fools! Schmools! Lesley answered, "I don't write music." Rachel replied, "You do now!" And, so the collaboration between Lampert and Greene began. Since that time they have authored five family musicals together, another with two additional collaborators, and Lesley has served at dramaturgy/plot-perfecter for Rachel's non-musical plays and adaptations for all audiences.

Many young actors have made their professional theatrical debuts in Lampert/Greene productions, including Nathan, Kevin, and Erin Hilgartner, Sophie Reppert, Jewell Payne, and Sylvie Yntema among others. Ithaca College and Cornell students who have appeared in Lampert/Greene shows and adaptations have gone on to major careers, including Aaron Tveit, Matt Cavenaugh, Zachary James, Michael Mott, Joey Steinhagen, Erica Steinhagen, Kimberly Burns, Dustin Sullivan, and many more.

Family programming at Kitchen Theatre Company was suspended when the theater moved to its permanent home at 417 West Martin Luther King, Jr. Street in September 2010. Last year, Rachel and Lesley decided to start a company to produce theater-for-all-ages on their own to flex their own artistic muscles and see how it goes. FitzandStartz Productions produced two family musicals last season from the Lampert/Greene cannon: Winter Tales and I Have A Song To Sing O! This year they are doing two more: Adventure in Apartment G# and Emmett and Ella's Big Apple Escapade. These productions are part of the 2016-17 Kitchen Sink Series that provides area theater companies with affordable space to produce their own work.

Photo credit: Lesley Greene

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