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The musical version of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” has the characters and story elements of the classic novel that people love, set to beautiful music by Jason Howlan. Lake City Playhouse’s production, with book by Allan Knee and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, features humor, a solid cast and excellent vocal performances.
“Little Women” centers on a mother and four young women – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March – who must maintain the household while their father serves in the Union army during the Civil War.
The story is told from the point of view of Jo, an irrepressible young woman with unabashed passion and a desire to become a writer. She is skillfully played by Bethany Smith, who exudes energy and strength, both in the character and her voice. Her “Astonishing” solo at the end of act one is particularly powerful. More here. Sandra Hoskings, SR
Are you a fan of the Louisa May Alcott's book, "Little Women"?
Coeur d’Alene’s Art Commission is awarding the 18th annual Mayor’s Awards in the Arts to Lake City Playhouse and arts patrons Ken and Victoria Roberge.
Lake City Playhouse will receive the Excellence in the Arts Award, given to the artists who made significant contributions to the awareness of arts in the community, according to a news release from the city. The Roberges will receive the Support of the Arts Award, recognizing their commitment, support and involvement to the arts.
The playhouse, located at 13th Street and Garden Avenue in Coeur d’Alene, has been staging plays since 1961. The regular season features eight plays – a mixture of classics and newer fare, dramas and comedies. This season kicked off recently with “Damn Yankees,” which continues through Saturday. The remaining plays this season are “Lend Me a Tenor,” “Christmas Belles,” “Little Women,” “Wit,” “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Guys and Dolls.”
The Roberges own Specialty Tree Services in Coeur d’Alene. Carolyn Lamberson, SR
Are you a fan of the Lake City Playhouse?
Lake City Playhouse kicks off its 53rd season with the classic American musical comedy “Damn Yankees.” The production doesn’t hit a home run, but it does get some base hits. “Damn Yankees,” with book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, centers on Joe Boyd (Dennis Craig), an old baseball fan who makes a deal with the devil to become a young baseball phenomenon, Joe Hardy (Brendan Brady). Directed by George Green, the production features much humor and a tender side. Craig’s rendition of “Goodbye Old Girl” is particularly sweet, and he and Teri Grubbs, who plays Meg, Joe’s wife, have a nice rapport/Sandra Hosking, SR correspondent. (Kathy Plonka's SR photo: Lance Babbitt, David Kappus and Briane Green rehearse a scene from “Damn Yankees”)
Question: Do you plan to attend more Lake City Playhouse productions, now that Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre has shut its doors?
Classic fairy tale characters find their happy and not-so-happy endings in Lake City Playhouse’s fantasy musical “Into the Woods.” The show, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, challenges performers and musicians with its demanding compositions and lyrics. Director Troy Nickerson has assembled a solid cast that brings out the show’s heart and humor. Many of the actors tackle the material head-on, singing their pieces with obvious joy. The feeling is infectious. The women in this production are a force to be reckoned with. Emily Cleveland (Baker’s Wife), Madison Rasmussen (Little Red Riding Hood) and Renei Yarrow (Jack’s Mom) give strong performances. Christine Mullaly’s Rapunzel sings very sweetly in her tower. Aubrey Shimek’s Cinderella is a delight to watch and listen to, especially during “No One is Alone”/Sandra Hosking, SR. More here. (Wikipedia photo)
Question: Which Lake City Playhouse performance was the last you saw?
Lake City Playhouse is getting traditional this week, opening its 2012-’13 season on Friday with the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!” Artistic Director George Green said Lake City’s small venue – it seats 170 – allows the theater’s creative team to take big, sprawling productions such as “Oklahoma!” and concentrate on the story. “We have such an intimate venue. That’s the big thing to really focus on when you come to see a show here,” Green said. “Although we have 170 seats, the way our theater is set up, it feels like you’re right up there with (the actors). “What we do here is make sure that our adaptation of the show focuses on the character work and the storylines within the musical numbers.” The large cast of 27 actors is headed by the four who play the lead couples/Carolyn Lamberson, SR. More here.
Question: Do you patronize the Lake City Playhouse?
Showmanship and swingin’ music flourish in Lake City Playhouse’s “Pete ’n’ Keely.” Cabaret singer and local theater veteran Abbey Crawford directs and performs in this entertaining production of James Hindman, Patrick S. Brady and Mark Waldrop’s well-received off-Broadway musical. Crawford reunites with musical director Carolyn Jess; the two were also part of the Actors Repertory Theatre’s production of this show in Spokane in 2008. Set in a glitzy NBC studio in 1968, the show follows famous singing duet Pete Bartel and Keely Stevens – once “America’s swingin’ sweethearts,” now bitterly divorced – as they attempt to restore their showbiz careers and reunite for a live television special/Tracy Poindexter-Canton/SR. More here. (2008 SR file photo for illustrative purposes, of Spokane Falls Community College performance of "Pete 'n Keely)
Question: Which play did you last see at the Lake City Playhouse? How would you rate LCPlayhouse plays?
- Weekend Poll: 111 of 173 respondents (64.16%) believe that individuals protesting Lake City Playhouse production of "Rent" are bigoted against gay and transexual characters depicted in the play. 55 of 173 respondents (31.79%) said demonstrators are offering legitimate disagreement with the nature of the performance. 7 (4.05%) were undecided.
- Today's Poll: Which approach is best to take in dealing w/the small racist protests in Coeur d'Alene, led by KKK leader Shaun Winkler?
Also: "Rent" opens at Lake City Playhouse without incident/Bill Buley, CdA Press
Friday was opening night for the small stage version of "Rent" in Coeur d’Alene. The content of the play is a hot issue because some characters are gay and have aids. A group met at Saint Joan of Arc to pray the rosary. Protestors say the prayers are for reparations that have been committed by the musical. A spokesperson for the group told KREM 2’s Cole heath the prayers are to counteract the blasphemous or sinful situations portrayed in the show/KREM. More here.
Question: Which do you consider more effective when you disagree strongly with something — prayer or protest?
Item: Tickets gone for Lake City Playhouse production of "Rent" for opening weekend/Bill Buley, Press
Opinion: Bless the protesters and pass the popcorn. Tonight's opening of "Rent" at Lake City Playhouse will feature a cast of passionate characters. Most of them will be on stage, but a few will be standing outside, perhaps with signs condemning the play, the performers and maybe the audience, too. This is America, thank goodness. In this land of the free and home of the brave — those brave enough to perform a controversial, critically acclaimed work of art and those brave enough to make a symbolic statement in a small sea of theater-goers who likely disagree with them - there's plenty of room for dissenting opinions, so long as everybody obeys the law. Just as it is the right of Playhouse decision-makers to put on this sold-out production, so, too, is it the right of critics to say it does not meet their moral standards. The gray area is this: When is protest a legitimate disagreement, and when does it constitute outright bigotry?/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Do you consider the protest against the Lake City Playhouse production of rent to be legitimate disagreement or outright bigotry?
Benefit Tonight, Opens Friday: A benefit performance of “Rent” will be held tonight to support INBA Outreach scholarships and the North Idaho AIDS coalition. Purchase $25 tickets at www.inbaoutreach.org/rent. Regular performances begin Friday and run through Jan. 29. For tickets you can visit lakecityplayhouse.org.
Flashback (from KXLY story on Dec. 14): Next month "Rent" is opening at the Lake City Playhouse in Coeur d'Alene, but some people think the plug should be pulled because of what they call immoral behavior in the musical.Rent has won a Pulitzer, a Tony and was made into a popular motion picture. According to Lake City Playhouse artistic director George Green, Rent is about "artists trying to make it in the world through their struggles, through their addictions, through their pain, through their sickness and overcome."The musical takes place under the shadow of HIV/AIDS, and there are several characters that are homosexual, and not everyone in the community is OK with the play being performed in Coeur d'Alene/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here.
Question: Do you plan to see the Lake City Playhouse production of "Rent"?
JeanieSpokane (re: "Some trying to pull plug on "Rent"): This reaction by people in the community really bothers me on so many levels. I have always thought of Coeur d’Alene as a beautiful and eclectic area, with a high-quality style of entertainment, from fine dining, to bohemian eateries, and the excellent quality of plays and musicals. It has such diverse, first-rate offerings that defy the small lakeside village atmosphere. Coeur d’Alene survived the taint of bigotry from the white supremists that were a blight to humanity. Now, a play is going to do them in? The people of Coeur d’Alene gave proof that there was compassion, understanding, and integrity in their community. People come to Coeur d’Alene from all over the world. I would think that the high standard CDA has set in the entertainment field would embrace all the topics that Rent covers – be it a person’s lifestyle choice, or the struggles with addiction of any kind. Are you people in CDA better than the rest of us and above having any transgressions or bad behavior? I am very disappointed in you.
Question: Is Coeur d'Alene compassionate & understanding or intolerant?
Next month "Rent" is opening at the Lake City Playhouse in Coeur d'Alene, but some people think the plug should be pulled because of what they call immoral behavior in the musical.Rent has won a Pulitzer, a Tony and was made into a popular motion picture. According to Lake City Playhouse artistic director George Green, Rent is about "artists trying to make it in the world through their struggles, through their addictions, through their pain, through their sickness and overcome."The musical takes place under the shadow of HIV/AIDS, and there are several characters that are homosexual, and not everyone in the community is OK with the play being performed in Coeur d'Alene/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here.
Question: Does this controversy guarantee sellouts for Lake City Playhouse production of "Rent"?
I wish it didn’t need to be said, but here goes: “Rent” is not “about” fornication. It’s not “about” homosexuality. It’s about human beings and their trials. It tries to do what good art does: create empathy, draw viewers out of themselves, provoke emotional and intellectual reaction. It’s the constructive, valuable opposite of running around giving everyone a self-righteous thumbs-up or thumbs-down. But even if it wasn’t, one of the great things about America, of course, is we can go to hell if we want to. Whenever people start gas-bagging starchily about “fornication” – a word that’s only useful for hurling at others – you can be sure they’ve forgotten that. Besides the small-minded bigotry of it, opposition to “Rent” seems to grow from a serious cultural disconnect/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (Wikipedia photo)
Question: Do you plan to see Lake City Playhouse production of "Rent"?
Steve Kane, a friend of mine, will be performing his first major role (Tevye) when the Lake City Playhouse production of "Fiddler on the Roof" opens tonight, running through Oct. 9. Steve looks like Tevya. I've already bought tickets and play to attend during the final week of the show. I admire theater actors because they're willing to get on stage, and they have to remember so many lines. As an eighth-grader, I was one of the beads in a living rosary and forgot the lines to the opening part of "Hail Mary." I was the only one of 53 "Hail Mary" beads that did so. Needless to say, I never had the nerve to perform on stage. How about you? (SR file photo, for illustrative purposes: William Rhodes as Tevya in Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre production)
Question: Have you ever performed in live theater at any level? Which play? Which role?
With 50 years behind it, the Lake City Playhouse continues to stand strong. Perhaps better than ever, thanks to a $150,000 renovation that's on schedule to be completed this year. The significance of the project is clear, said George Green, Playhouse artistic director. "Simply put, it means that our community will have theater that it can be proud of," he said Tuesday. This season, the Playhouse has increased attendance, is operating on a balanced budget, and the production caliber is of "extremely high merit"/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (In this Kathy Plonka file photo, a young actress waits to perform during a workshop at Lake City Playhouse.)
Question: What play did you last see at the Lake City Playhouse? What did you think of the performance?