All About Drama

Diva Productions Presents Showstoppers Cabaret, Preview

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Diva Productions Presents Showstoppers Cabaret, Preview

Recently, I spoke with directors and cast members of the upcoming musical performance, Showstoppers Cabaret, by Diva Theater Productions, to be performed at The Olde Brick Theatre, starting the weekend of June 22, 2018. I met with the cast a few weeks ago at the Olde Brick Theatre and sat down in the back of this charming place, mesmerized. Marcie Herman Riebe, our beloved contributor of Thirty-Third Wheel and Musical Director of Showstoppers Cabaret was hard at work with the talented cast, perfecting the song, “Be Our Guest” from the musical, Beauty and the Beast. As I sang the song loudly in my head as I would aloud as a child of the 90’s, I relived my love for musicals once forgotten. Then, I recalled the feelings of excitement while listening to this number, imagining dancing dishes, charming candelabras, and back-up accoutrement preparing a fabulous dinner for two in a lonely castle. As an adult, I still picture this performance and sing along as I prepare for dinner guests from time to time.

The next number caught my attention, was “Suddenly Seymour” from the musical, Little Shop Horrors. I spoke with George Conrad, who sings the part of Seymour. George has years of experience in the theater, alongside his family members, including his sister, Kayla, who is also in Showstoppers Cabaret. He said he identified with Seymour’s character, which he said he was also “quirky and was not successful with women.” George discussed his goals to direct and stated the importance of “carrying on stories and impacting others.” Whether comedy or tragedy, I could hear the conviction in his voice that George set out to fulfill his purpose.

I discussed with Marnie Azzarelli, also a beloved writer for Thirty-Third Wheel, her roles in Showstoppers Cabaret. She remained secretive about which songs she will be performing in, particularly as lead. However, she hinted that her lead song involves “a lot of corsets and fans.” Marnie stated about her past experience with acting that, “In the last year, I’ve done a couple of musical reviews. I haven’t really been a part of a production like this in a while, so I’m super excited about it! I was only in maybe one musical when I was younger and I was always hoping to be able to branch out and get myself more involved with musical theater. I’m so glad I get the chance to do that with this show! It’s a challenge but it’s a good challenge.”

Lastly, I spoke with Director, Paul J. Gallo, who gave me a summary of what to expect from Showstoppers Cabaret. He stated: “Showstoppers Cabaret is a celebration of great showstopping numbers in musical theatre. Some tried and true favorites as well as some that may not be as well known, but all bring that big showstoppery feel that sets them in their own class!”

I definitely felt the “showstoppery feel” when listening to the performances of this wonderful cast. I encourage you to attend at least one show (you will want to attend more, because it is that good)!

The Olde Brick Theatre is located 126 W Market St, Scranton, PA 18508. It is $12 for general admission and $10 for student admission. Please call 570-209-7766 to make your reservations. The performances will take place on the following dates and times:

Friday, June 22, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 23, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 24, 2:00 p.m.

 

All About Drama

6X6 One-Acts

diva

6X6 One-Acts
Diva Theater Productions
Olde Brick Theatre
Providence Section, Scranton

Experienced and brand-new playwrights’ works make up the Diva Theater Production’s “6X6 One-Acts Show” this week.  An annual tradition at the Olde Brick Theatre in Scranton, this year’s show has a one-act for every season the production company has been in the area.

New to writing plays, but not new to creative writing, James Scott Flannery’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is one feature of the show, starring Flannery and Michael Madajeski.  Flannery shares that while screenplays have been more of his genre in the past, this one-act has inspired him to attempt a full-length play now.

Full-length plays are known territory for Thirty-Third Wheel’s own Marnie Azzarelli, though.  Her piece, “Hairworm,” came from an acting class exercise at Diva, but she and her mother (and director), Margo Azzarelli, are known local playwrights.  The sequel to their work, “The Bristol,” will be produced at Diva later this season.

Michael Pavese is another local writer of NEPA.  His plays have been featured at the Olde Brick Theatre and at Gaslight Theatre Company in Wilkes-Barre in their Playroom series.  He was excited to be able to work with director, Paige Balitski again this year with a new set of animals in “Another Day at the Lab.”  Balitski is also directing Flannery’s play and K. K. Gordon’s comical one-act, “Killing Naked Roses.”

The show also features John Schugard’s “Fun with Richard and Jane” which he is also directing, and Sarah Regan’s “Summer Storm,” directed by Paul J. Gallo and featuring Susan Parrick and Jennifer Frey.

Surely, the Diva One-Acts are not to be missed.  As Marnie Azzarelli says, writing a complete story portrayed in twenty minutes is “very satisfying.”  These pieces should satisfy all audience members with their varied themes and styles.

This show includes adult language and themes.

Call to reserve your tickets for this weekend’s shows soon—seating is limited and it’s filling up fast.  The show runs Thursday (January 25), Friday (January 26) and Saturday (January 27) at 8 p.m. and Sunday (January 28) at 2 p.m.  Call Diva Theater Productions for your tickets today at 570-209-7766!