The lights go up on a sun-dappled terrace in Italy and descend on a narrow street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. And in between they shine on English villages and Boston Harbor, London tearooms and Southwest deserts. It’s going to be a memorable season for the Bobcat Players, and we hope you journey with us through all the settings of all the shows.
We are proud to introduce for the first time the companies that will take the stage in 2019. It is a combination of seasoned veterans that our audiences have learned to love and newcomers that they will be waiting to embrace. Some thirty-three actors will dazzle in a total of thirty-five character roles. We welcome a dozen newcomers to the Bobcat stage, who bring a wealth of experience from other schools and community theatre groups. Populating our productions will be tight-lipped English homemakers, tart Cockney maidens, repressed Southern belles, and Russian fishermen with a penchant for Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals. Yes, you have that last one right. Unseemly? You have no idea. You’ll just have to join us beginning in April--and we do believe it will be enchanted!
Our first production is the romantic comedy Enchanted April by Martin Barber. The tale of a quartet of Englishwomen seeking solace from a dreary post-war London life, it boasts Bobcat favorites Mary Romeo (Something to Hide, Boeing Boeing, Calendar Girls), Shelly Cary (Calendar Girls, Unexpected Gifts, Hay Fever), and more recently Jennifer Kopach (Something to Hide) and Bob Meals (Be My Baby). But it also welcomes to our stage a number of newcomers, including Ernie Mancing, Barbara Trehar, Chelsea Kikel, and Jacob Craig.
Likewise, the summer show, the recent Broadway comedy hit One Man, Two Guvnors is a combination of the old and new. Audiences will be quick to recognize Bobcat favorites Josh Antoon (Blithe Spirit, The Good Doctor, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Old Love), Mike Prest (Picnic, Born Yesterday, Harvey, Something to Hide), Johanna Lord (Almost, Maine, A Very Oblonski Valentine), Valerie Boyce (Something to Hide, Decision Height, Boeing Boeing), Theo Reddinger (A Very Oblonski Valentine), Jason Fernandez (Something to Hide), Eric Armstrong (Too Many Cooks, Calendar Girls, A Very Oblonski Valentine), Ryan Wagner (The Drawer Boy) and Kevin McGuire (Too Many Cooks). Add to this veteran ensemble our new recruits--Tiffany Belcufine, Bennett Lefebvre and Eric McAnallen--and you have the makings of a very funny, fast-paced farce.
Mid to late September of the past few years has been reserved for our one-weekend special show. This year we proudly present a quirky, hilarious, combination who-dunnit/period comedy/farce called Red Herring. Only six actors share the stage in this show: Bobcat old-timers Keith Zagorski (Harvey, The Drawer Boy, The Foreigner, Present Laughter), Ryan Wagner again, and Bruce Travers (Twelve Angry Men, The Good Doctor, Something to Hide) and newbies Jessica Boothe, Amy Ellefson, and Mindy Williams.
We complete the season with our classic drama, A Streetcar Named Desire, the iconic tale of the fading Southern belle who preys on the hospitality of a somewhat timid sister and her rough, merciless husband. New Bobcat Players Nicki Murff and Anthony Manning join a cast of very familiar faces: Casey Novak (Born Yesterday, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Decision Height, Blithe Spirit), Brian Brummitt (Twelve Angry Men, Exit Laughing) Antoon again, Bridget Yeager (Decision Height, Something to Hide), Hugh Harper (The Sunshine Boys, Unexpected Gifts, You Can’t Take It With You), Dave Cary (Moonlight & Magnolias, Unexpected Gifts, The Foursome, California Suite), Mace Porac (Calendar Girls, Foolish Fish Girls and the Pearl, The Good Doctor, Blithe Spirit), Joyce Hoellein (Calendar Girls, Exit Laughing) and Alex Andres (Calendar Girls, A Very Oblonski Valentine, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Unexpected Gifts).
Under the guiding hands of Jessica Patterson-Galayda (Spring), Lora Oxenreiter (Summer), Barbara Burgess Lefebvre (Special) and Patti Ross (Fall), all of these shows will grace the stage of the Ed Schaughency Theater at the still remarkably low cost of $10 per ticket.
We welcome our new actors, embrace our old, and eagerly wait for the newest parade across eras, seasons, and genres. Here’s to the Bobcat Players, and, of course, to our fans who have kept them in the limelight for the past seventeen years.
Let the season begin! [And stay tuned for our next biweekly blog entry, where we discuss the history of our upcoming show, Enchanted April.]