Friday, September 16, 2016

Sweeney Todd: Who's at the Helm

For the first time in our 70 year history, we are producing Stephen Sondheim's musical masterpiece Sweeney Todd. Once we selected the title, we knew we'd need a powerhouse team to bring the show to its full potential. Cue Lenora Thom and Jerry Crouch, who describe themselves as having "a musical marriage made in heaven."

Musical Director Lenora Thom and Director Jerry Crouch at a recent rehearsal of Sweeney Todd.
Photo by Rodney Smith / Tempus Fugit Design
Over the years Jerry and Lenora's partnership has thrilled and entertained ACT audiences with hits like Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys & Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun and Cabaret. They have also collaborated on the Business Sings Broadway event. Between the two of them, they have clocked in over one hundred musical productions.

They met in 2000 when Jerry was searching for a musical director for ACT's production of The Music Man. Jerry and Lenora recently shared their memories of how they met:

"I inquired of then Asheville Symphony conductor Robert Hart Baker and the ASO marketing director Steve Hageman: "Who is a strong candidate for me to interview for this position?" Both looked at each other and replied "Lenora Thom, of course ... but she is too busy to do it!" remembered Crouch.

Lenora had just moved to Asheville from NYC, and Jerry contacted her immediately. After deciding to pool their budgets in order to hire an orchestra, they embarked on their first production together and Asheville musical history was made.

In regard to their planning strategy for a musical production, Lenora and Jerry are certainly in musical simpatico. In fact, they almost finish each other's sentences! The secret (both agree) is hitting the ground running with two solid weeks of music (under Lenora's sharp eared tutelage) – and for Sweeney Todd, this includes the nine principals and the chorus of 24. When actors are free from those music intensives, Crouch is busy staging the songs and scenes in another part of the theatre.

For Sweeney Todd, 78 actors auditioned and Jerry and Lenora selected a cast of 33. About half of the cast is new to the ACT stage, including Steve Parkin who stars as Sweeney Todd. Parkin has a background in opera and theatre and describes this as his own "bucket list dream role." Christy Montesdeoca is making her ACT musical debut as Mrs. Lovett.

"As a musical partner, Lenora's ear and her unerring judgment are peerless," said Jerry. "To quote a line from Cole Porter's "Friendship," it's the perfect blendship."

Sweeney Todd runs October 7-30, 2016 at Asheville Community Theatre. Need tickets? Get them here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Cast List: Sweeney Todd

78  actors auditioned for Sweeney Todd! The cast size is 34 of which 18 actors are new to the ACT Mainstage! Thank you to everyone who came out for this show - if your name is not on this cast list, we encourage you to audition again until it's on another one!

Sweeney Todd - Steve Parkin*
Mrs. Lovett - Christy Montesdeoca
Anthony - Maximilian Koger
Johanna - Lora Ristau
Tobias Ragg - Corey Link
Judge Turpin - David Gregg*
The Beadle - Zacary Landolt
Beggar Woman - Leslie Lang
Adolfo Pirelli - Bradshaw Call
Jonas Fogg - Doug Hauschild

Male Chorus members
Adam Lentini*, Alan Malpass, Andy Thompson*, Chas Jansen*, Doug Hauschild, Edward de Bary*, Frank Davis*, John Coggin, Kyle Smith, Michael Crosa*, Shane Clemmer*, Stuart Moore*, Tom Griffin

Female Chorus members
Cathy Nichols, Chrisi Walker*, Connie Hurst*, Elizabeth Babelay*, Gail Wilson*, Mandy Bean, Marisa Capalbo*, Martine Jacobs*, Nana Hosmer Griffin, Sarah Jane Gibbs*, Tasha Pepi*, Victoria Gree

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Silent Auction Sneak Peek!

This year, our annual fundraiser Costume Drama: A Fashion Show is bigger than ever before! Our silent auction is back for the second year in a row - but this year's auction features more bid-worthy items than ever!

The silent auction items are incredible. With more than $20,000 worth of amazing items to bid on - including many of the dresses you'll see in the show! - there are so many ways to support ACT while walking away with original artwork, adventure experiences, beer packages, wine tastings, jewelry and more!

Here's a list of the items at our silent auction:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Announcing 35below's 2016-17 Season

We're excited to announce the slate of shows and producers that we'll be showcasing in 35below next season. Stay tuned for more information and ticketing links!

How I Learned to Drive
by Paula Vogel
November 4-20, 2016
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm
Produced by: Attic Salt Theatre Company

The Santaland Diaries
by David Sedaris, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
December 14-18, 2016
Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2:30 pm
Additional late night performances Friday and Saturday at 9:30 pm
Produced by: Bradshaw Call

The Musical of Musicals (the Musical!)
by Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell
January 6-22, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm
Produced by: Misty Theisen

Almost, Maine
by John Cariani
February 3-19, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm
Produced by: Reeni Lindblom Dowd

Songs for a New World
by Jason Robert Brown
March 3-19, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm
Produced by: Mark Jones

This is Our Youth
by Kenneth Lonergan
March 31-April 16, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm
Produced by: Actor’s Center of Asheville

The Realistic Joneses
by Will Eno
May 5-21, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm
Produced by: Ellipsis Theatre Company

by Nick Payne
June 2-18, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm
Produced by: Jason Williams

Gruesome Playground Injuries
by Rajiv Joseph
July 14-30, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm
Produced by: Attic Salt Theatre Company

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cast List: Crimes of the Heart

Congratulations to the cast of Crimes of the Heart! And thank you, THANK YOU to everyone who came out to audition. It was wonderful to see so many friends and to make so many new ones! We'd love to see everyone come out for a future audition.

Lenny: Julianne Arnall

Meg: Reeni Lindblom Dowd

Babe: Sarah Billings (new to ACT)

Chick: Alex Foote (new to ACT)

Doc: William Stamey (new to ACT)

Barnette: David Dowd

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cast List: La Cage Aux Folles

Drumroll, please!

We're thrilled to announce the cast for our next Mainstage show, La Cage Aux Folles:

Georges ... Coy Theobalt
Albin ... Bradshaw Call
Jean-Michel ... Maximilian Koger*
Jacob ... Tim Geib
Jacqueline ... YaShanna Shepherd*
Edward Dindon ... James Curley
Marie Dindon ... Carla Pridgen
Anne Dindon ... Bradey Walter*

The Cagelles Drag Queens
Hanna ... Jacob Walas;
Chantal ... Marcos Cunha
Phaedra ... Lupe Perez
Mercedes ... Zacary Landolt
Bitelle ... Zachary Eden*
Monique ... Fleming Lomax

The La Cage Entertainers
Tabarro ... Alan Malpass
Babette ... Trissa King
Paulette ... Taylor Knighton*
Francis ... Frank Salvo
Etienne ... Jerome Sims
Pepe ... Drew Emmanuel

On the Promenade Boardwalk
Renaud ... Bob Kelso* 
Mmme Renaud ... Allison Stinson*

* Denotes first appearance on the ACT stage!

Our Thanks from the La Cage Creative Team ...
Jerry Crouch-Director; Stuart Littleton-Music Director
Shari Azar-Choreographer; Richard Holcomb-Stage Manager
Karen Maney-Rehearsal Accompanist;  Lenora Thom – Rehearsal Tapes
Jill Summers-Set Design; Adam Cohen-Lighting Design
Ida-Costumes; Vanessa Sogan – Wigs / Makeup; Jean Fullbright – Props
Carole Saich – Script Assistant

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cast List: The Man Who Came to Dinner

We are thrilled to announce the cast of our next Mainstage production, The Man Who Came to Dinner!

We also wanted to offer our thanks to everyone who came out to audition. We had an enormous group of extremely talented folks who came out in very chilly weather. It made our choices very hard! If your name is not on this list, please come back and audition for the next show!

Sheridan Whiteside: Steve Turner
Maggie Cutler: Christy Montesdeoca
Banjo: Pat LaCorte
Beverly Carlton: John Mendenhall
Lorraine Sheldon : Julianne Arnall
Professor Metz: George Heard
Westcott: Gary Gaines
Bert Jefferson: Coy Theobalt
Mr. Stanley: Bill Parks
Mrs. Stanley: Vicki Partin
June Stanley: Lora Ristau
Richard Stanley: Badi Mirheli
Harriet Stanley: Susan Mengel
Sandy: Caleb Owalabi
Sarah - Cook: Kathy O'Connor
John - Butler: Jim Weyhenmeyer
Dr. Bradley: Mike Vaniman
Miss Preen: Ariel Casale
Mr. Baker: Donald Ramsey

Seussical Study Guide

Coming to see Seussical? Check out our study guide that we created for our field trip groups - but here's a hint: it's full of fun activities and interesting info for everyone in our audience!