POSTPONED: Heartwood Theater, Lincoln Academy collaborate on 'Guys and Dolls'

Feb 29, 2020

Newcastle — A big ol’ fun Broadway musical is on its way to the stage, courtesy of Heartwood Theater and Lincoln Academy, in their 17th annual student collaboration – “Guys and Dolls."

Hailed as the perfect musical comedy, this award-winning classic gambles with luck and love, but beyond that there is no gamble. This show is a solid, certain hit, packed with all the elements for a fantastic production: music, dance, high energy, romance, comedy, and those fabulous ’50s costumes. It’s family fare, appealing to those who remember (and may still sing) the original songs, down on through young people.

Music and dance has the rafters ringing in the Poe Theater, with all-time favorites like “A Bushel and a Peck,” “If I Were a Bell,” “Luck be a Lady,” and the nearly-impossible-to-not-dance-along-to “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

There is a bit of an art to choosing a production in any given year. Each one rises in its time and place, and this one required a large cast – indeed, the largest student cast to date on the Poe Theater stage, numbering 46. In a production filled with music and dancing, that takes some doing.

Students are fortunate to be working with a top notch professional production staff: Michelle Bruckner, NY singer / dancer / actress, directing and teaching choreography; Beth Preston, vocal coaching and direction; Sean Fleming directing professional and student orchestra; Heidi Kopishke providing vintage looking costumes; and Griff Braley, director of acting, design, tech and production. Having worked together on numerous prior musicals, the synergy of this staff provides students with a nearly seamless, professional production experience from beginning to end.

Working and learning alongside Braley in the technical realm are several paid student interns, who build, paint, run lights and projections, and carry out myriad “backstage” tasks… the glue that binds together a tightly knit show.

Participating in a production of this scope is consuming – and often life changing. It is team building extraordinaire. Every element, every person is essential, and timing is everything. The goal: to meld the lighting, music, singing and acting, set changes, costume changes, backstage coordination of props, costumes, crosses… into a fluid and seamless performance that draws the audience into a shared space and time.

The intimacy of the Poe Theater heightens this experience, as the cycling energy between audience and performers becomes electric. The total experience is a gift that students will take with them, with increased confidence and an enormous sense of shared and individual accomplishment.

Performances are March 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28, at 7:30 p.m., with two Sunday matinees on March 22 and 29 at 3 p.m. in the Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy, 81 Academy Hill Road. Student tickets are held at a low $5 for the entire season by sponsors Peapod Jewelry and First National Wealth Management, and adult tickets are $16.

Performances typically sell out in this venue; early reservations are strongly encouraged. Reservations are available by emailing Heartwood at info@heartwoodtheater.org or phoning 563-1373. Please do not contact Lincoln Academy for tickets. Seating is unreserved, unless specifically requested in advance. For more details, visit heartwoodtheater.org.

Scores of advertisers and sponsors help make Heartwood’s season a reality. “Guys and Dolls” is made possible, in part, by: Heartwood Season Sponsors Bath Savings Institution and Granite Hill Estates; Season Youth Sponsors HM Payson and Damariscotta Hardware; Production Sponsors Chesterfield Associates, Inc. and First National Bank; and Orchestra Sponsor Colby and Gale.

Based on the story and characters of Damon Runyan; music and lyrics by Frank Loesser; book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. Presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International.

 

 

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