|Performance Date||Director's Notes|
|11/5/2016|| Director's Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, November 5, 2016
It was a small and unresponsive house somewhat but our tried and true laughs at the hands of our veteran actors, came through. We send out a special thanks to sheri Webster who stepped in and played Mehitabel at the last minute after scheduling conflicts. Sheri also did an exceptional job in her characterization tonight, quite nice, not rushed and funny squeaks came from her in the form of exclamation points. The sing-along-was a flop, nobody singing with enthusiasm, and this event died but that being said it did not take away from the show being good.
MATT SPRUILL was our host and as always, his humor kept things moving but the lack of audience participation was making his efforts harder to do, compared to an audience that is pumped for a good show.
JAY EXON, was the magician and was the only Olio act. He was new and slow with jokes but he entertains well enough-if he comes back. Jay ran overtime with his 20 minute act and caused the show to start late by 8 minutes. I told Rachel to tell him we start the show on time at 8pm and if he goes over again we'll not invite him back until he can stay within his allotted time frame.
JOHN HANSEN as Sample was good and kept the show moving nicely getting the laughs when needed.
WESLEY GROVE as Frank was loose and comfortable making the Frank Slade character likeable and fun and sad at the end. Wesley is looking at tackling the Willie Hammon part this winter.
STEPHEN BERG delivered a fine performance tonight. He is a meanie! BOOOO!
LARRY STOCKARD was back with his Romaine role and he's a fine gentleman.
He and John are master together on stage together.
BRYAN WALKER played Simon Slade and had lots of energy with this role tonight. He is a great addition to the cast and family of actors.
JACOB MCDANIEL debuted as Willie Hammond tonight not missing a lick and getting all his laughs. His opening monologue was smooth and comfortable too. This young actor is going to be an even greater asset to the cast if he continues to stay with the play and move around the roles as he gets older. His transformation from Frank to Willie was splendid.
ANN KNIGHT is without a doubt one of our more outstanding character actresses and sets a good example at rehearsals for the younger crowd. She is fun to waatch on stage as Ann Slade.
RICHARD ROBERTSON has done it again and turned in a splendid performance as Joe Morgan.
SUMMER PEARCE as Mary was great. She forgot a line at one point and was saved by another actor picking up her line and that is what great ensemble acting is all about.
SHARI WEBSTER as Mehitabel gave a delightful performance, one of the best I have seen her delivery. She is one of our finest cast members.
MONICA SALLAWAY is a hoot as Fanny Morgan. I hope all cast members get a chance to see her grab comedy out of the lines the way she does.
|7/9/2016|| Directors Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, July 9, 2016
MARK ROBERTS steps up after the curtain call and delivers an eloquent thank you to the audience for being an especially good one, and they were, in fact they were exemplary. The Drunkard cast and the piano music was very good and so it was a most splendid night out for the full house crowd.
The show itself was wonderful and the cast felt it. As they exited the stage door the actors all remarked how good of a show it was. They knew they had had a perfect show with a perfect audience.
The Olio acts were previously reviewed acts with the GYPSY FIRE BELLY DANCERS group showing up with only two dancers when they usually cling cling cling around 4 or 5 dancers. The two belly dancers held their own as audiences continue to enjoy this Olio act.
SAM ADKINS was in the Olio acts tonight as the Singing Sheriff of Cedarville. He always wins over the crowd and this festive crowd liked his songs.
The sterling cast was: JOHN HANSEN, JASON HYMAN, STEPHEN BERG, ERNIE RAYNOR, SAM ADKINS, TIM PARKER, NANCY CHAMBERS, MARK ROBERTS, ABIGAIL JOHNSON, JILL SNEED and BRE BATSON.
Too much loud talking in the lobby is noted here during this play, tonight. It comes from the serving area and had to send MC twice to quiet them. It is the responsibility of the House Manager to help keep the loud talking down during the play whether it comes from a disturbing audience member or the servers forgetting to keep it down.
|6/25/2016|| Directors Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, June 25, 2016
A rousing and energetic show Saturday night and it went so quickly the play ended around 9:30. Now that is pace! The audience was especially entertained by Judy Parks who carried the sing-a-long with the upmost enthusiasm and with Priscilla as MC the evening couldnt lose!
SAM ADKINS was especially good this evening, winning over the audience and getting their tickle bone going.
CLINT PARSONS was funny right off and made us laugh, but the act ended on a flat note. Just needs a better tag to his ending. This performer can come back anytime; we had fun.
TIM PARKER was back as Sample and doing a splendid job, but this actor tends to do much too much film acting and not project enough for the stage!
JACOB MCDANIEL had a girlfriend in the audience and did he take off like a 4th of July rocket! His performing is always good for our show and has a great character going already or I would say invite your girlfriend every time you perform.
STEPHEN BERG is a mean and nasty villain and enjoys the spotlight too much as he eats up the nuisance of the tomatoes and boos!
SEBASTIAN PADEN was back and in great form as Willie. This actor brings back the best of his acting talents from the experience he gains by doing other roles outside of the Spotlight and starting to get more offers as Tulsa theatre scene begins to discover one of our favorites. I notice his better acting job on our stage. His performance this night was the best I have seen from him.
SAM ADKINS played Simon Slade with lots of energy tonight adding to energy pace of the show.
DONALD GILMORE as Romaine is ever so distinguished. "And fly from it!"
JILL MORRIS is looking good as Ann Slade with her flowing long hair.
STEPHEN RYAN is back as Joe Morgan, always a special night with him and having his good spirit around in rehearsals as well.
GABRIELLE ANNE MCATEE as Little Mary is one of our best, she sings, shes funny, she can articulate.
JILL SNEED as Mehitabel is always wonderful with her over winning smile. Audiences adore her, and she remembers all the direction given to her.
EILEEN HARDY was on as Fanny and gave a solid performance coming from one of our best new recruits.
|4/30/2016|| Director's Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, April 30, 2016
The show was good and did a fantastic job of keeping the audience laughing all around- despite a lacking enthusiastic sing-along.
PIANO PLAYER: The piano player needs to select an appropriate time to get up from the piano and leave, not do so during the scene on stage since we end up watching the exit of the piano player over the show. Distractions are always going to be a part of a live show at our stage but when it comes from our company members such as a piano player, it just needs to be done with as little distractions as possible and this happened too often at this particular show. The music was slow for the sing-along and seconds ticked by before the next song started. The music should flow from one song to the next and enough time is there to find the next song for the intro to be ready to be played when the song leader speaks the name of the song.
SONG LEADER: Tonights sing-along lacked enthusiasm. The audience barely sang it seems but there was little prodding and conducting from the song leader to stimulate this. Anyone can begin to have a down night but in our business here at the Spotlight, we have to be our best for the public who is seeing the play for the first time. Our lack of enthusiasm conveys to the audience.
OKLAHOMA PERFORMING ARTS was a hit with the ballet and dance routines. Audiences love these glimpses of talented kids and this group scored big. Here are the names of the talented kids. SARINA SMITH-KALLISTA WONG-LILLY CLARK-MACIE DRUE DURHAM-PEYTON DOLAN-PARKER HAYES.
RICHARD ROBERTSON did his poetry rendering with the classics of “Remembering Robert W. Service”. Richard too, brings before the Spotlight audience something most of them are not used to experiencing, thereby keeping our Olio presentations fun and unpredictable.
JASON HYMAN returned to our stage again as Frank Slade. Jason was the main actor playing Frank Slade when I first came to the Spotlight Theatre as the new director and remains to be a favorite in this role. I talked with Jason and told him he is playing one of the more versatile roles in the play and now that he has returned, we would work on how he can achieve even more diversified transitions for this character. Jason needs to wear a hat for the first few scenes and for the last scene let his long hair down as part of the 10 years has passed. Having the long hair in all his scenes diminishes the passage of time.
RANDY BELFORD played Harvey Green and has been consistently coming in just a little too early on Samples street scene. Sample is blocked to turn and catch the arm of the villain just as he gets past his back. Randy enters a little too early, causing the villain to wait for the grab instead of the timing to catchim just as he turns. We can fix this. Randys looks are so Lucifer-looking, making him an appealing melodrama character for a villain role.
TIM PARKER played Willie with passion tonight. He has reached a spot where hes as comfortable in the role as veteran Dan Eberly.
LINDA WALKER played Mehitabel after a long absence. She has kept her charming demeanor about herself and fell right in line as the cute country girl.
|4/23/2016|| Directors Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, April 23, 2016
It was a great show last night with the debut of a new sing-along leader. BILL JENSEN is an old-timer from many Olio appearances and, like the actors who changes roles, Bill has chosen to step out from the Olio lights in a new presence. Bill is a welcome asset to the front of house entertainment.
HOUSE MANAGER tonight was G. WAYNE HALL. The evening began proper and effortlessly because everyone was on their toes and taking care of business as usual.
SERVICE MANAGER for the show, BOBBI GANNAWAY, was not re-introduced again by the MC when she came up to do the drawing. Its always nice to make a big deal of the new lady we havent met and it makes the drawing have a “Wheel of Fortune” excitement.
THE PIANO player was the lovely Judy Parks who has fun all through the show with her expert feel for the keys sounding old-timey.
MATTHEW SPRUILL served as MC last night and performed in the Olio with his comic stand-up routine that did get the laugh out louds for this comic, MC.
The very popular Belly Dancers group, “GYPSY FIRE DANCERS”, came back and brought down the house with their colorful twirls and swirls and that quick-quivering, knock-back-and-forth, lower torso movements! Our Olio does not get better than this for presenting new things our audiences are not likely to see every day.
JOHN HANSEN as Sample is always fun to watch and last night was no exception, especially with old acting partner and veteran cast member, LARRY STOCKARD, appearing as Romaine. Such distinguished men on stage look good together. John Hansens comedy monologue with the cleverly told comedy jokes made the audience roar with laughter and left them wanting more!
MITAYA MORDECAI, as Frank Slade made a milestone leap to new mature heights tonight as a gender-switcher role-playing actor. She has been working on getting her more manly less feminine mannerisms all lined-up and never stopped working on this challenge. Her Little Mary role was flawless and like many of the actors at the Spotlight, they want to challenge themselves to play another role. This process has become so popular Im considering putting together a show of all gender switched roles and sell the evening out as a comedy benefit for the building fund. Mitaya also brings her brother and sister to the theatre as servers and greeters. Audiences see this younger crowd and help spread the news for worthy activity for the young ones who are bored with nothing creative or self-disciplined to do.
STEPHEN BERG was appearing with his second show as a new villain with fright might.
SAM ADKINS as Simon Slade cuts an awesome figure with his lush red beard.
STEPHEN RYAN as Willie Hammond was excellent with his heroic gestures and comical realizations.
ANN KNIGHT always shines as Ann Slade, this actress makes melodrama acting appealing and is probably historically correct with her actions and emotions associated with this role.
RICHARD ROBERTSON was exceptional good last night, the audience hung on his every sympathetic word and he too gets the laughs.
KAYCE MCWORTHER as Little Mary is part of a pack, a gaggle of teen Little Marys, were fortunate to have and theyre already stretching themselves to play older flirting roles and because Im an acting teacher and believe in letting girls her age be stretched in dramatic roles, she gets to do more than most. Kayce shows the talent and discipline it takes to learn how to play an older young woman as a teen and what could be better than learning how to do that early on?
SAMANTHA ESTES returned as Mehitabel this weekend and continues to be the best smiling gal we could ask for. This actress is at ease with an audience yet shell swear she is nervous and she excels with young and older Samples! Im convinced shes ready to be an MC.
SUE WIEDEMANN as Fanny Morgan always makes the transformation from regular Fanny at the home to the rich Fanny at the end, so charmingly. She was getting the laughs last night and displays a melodramatic style of acting all her own making it fit the lines and action.
|4/9/2016|| Directors Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, April 9, 2016
The show tonight was high energy, and a rowdy audience was wanting to have fun. The show kept moving at a proper pace. The audience bought lots of tomatoes!
Our new mean and nasty creepy villain, STEPHEN BERG, is going to make a fine addition to our roster of diverse villains.
Cutting the last SING-ALONG does not shorten the play. It does shorten the feeling of "Im going to be here all night." Audiences near the end are not where they are with their enthusiasm as they were at the beginning. Asking an audience to continue putting out excitement for the play is tiresome. Letting the piano player cover the 3rd intermission to collect table tabs works nicely for me.
Host for tonights show was PRISCILLA MAYFIELD and as always she was an audience-pleaser.
PIANO man BILL ROWLAND led the music tonight with his Ragtime piano playing which is always a great addition to our show. His abilities and sound make our show complete for a melodrama theatre evening.
SAM ADKINS ended his set of songs with a proper tribute to country legend MERLE HAGGARD by singing "Okie From Muskogee." He had the crowd singing right along with the chorus, making the audience participation spontaneous and fun.
DAVE SHORT provided stand-up comedy for the evenings Olio but was a hit and miss performance with getting the laughs he hoped for. I liked his 10 minutes on our stage but satirical comedy of fat jokes is limited and he had some zingers he could have ended with and moved on. This comic also became serious about the issue of once being fat and that is not what he or the audience came here for.
TIM PARKER played Sample and does it well. He is a great addition to our lead actors and keeps the play moving. I especially like his edited-down joke monologue.
WESLEY GROVE played Frank tonight and for the first time, I saw distractions in his performance. The dedication to each role, when it is played, has an obligation to be as fresh and energetic as we possibly can be. I mention this only because Wesley is the main teen actor we have, playing the most diverse role, (he gets to age with his role) and needs to continue to set good examples of coming to work with enthusiasm and energy to perform the role the way it was directed. Being consistent is the hardest thing about live theatre, yet being consistent is an intricate part of the craft of acting.
STEPHEN BERG played the villain role Harvey Green, tonight and was a nasty villain, indeed. His stature and facial expressions follow the acting on stage, always staying in character. And when we do look his way he is listening and reacting. He brings a sinister quality to the role but is never without fun camp evilness to get the right boos! He is a nice addition to our roster of villains.
NANCY CHAMBERS delivers good performances. I love watching her little reactions to things. Her exit at the first Joe Morgan home scene is wonderful and always gets the laughs.
GABRIELLE ANNE MCATEE played Little Mary and is proving to be one of our best actresses. She has gone from being the most shy to most consistent and continues to improve her role with characterization. She takes direction well and remembers all the points of her blocking and how to best play Mary. She is entertaining and can be heard. She did break character slightly when she managed to crack-up the audience with her characterization of Mary.
KAYCE MCWHORTER played Mehitabel and is a fun country bumpkin performance that is cute and crowd-pleasing. She will need a darker hat to help accent her light hair. Her dress needs to be a darker color skirt. I liked her second act scene on the street but again is wearing colors that do not make her stand-out. Talk with director this Wednesday.
|4/2/2016|| Directors Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, April 2, 2016
The April 2 performance was a good show despite an audience with not as much enthusiasm as previous weekends. However, I have learned over my career that such an audience is enjoying the play; they just happen to be an audience not as boisterous. The audience did enjoy the play, I could tell. But their lack of energy could have come from several performers, first. The ensemble was slow with a cue pick-up and delivery, yet each one of them delivered a good performance.
RACHEL HORSELY served this position tonight and took pictures down front of the audience of a scene. I asked her why she did this after we announced no photos. She was doing press promotional photos for FB and that is to be encouraged but no photos are allowed from anyone, parents, staff or cast. I know performers have thought this was ok but its not. We cant ask the audience to one thing and we do another despite our good intentions or our association with our show family. Parents and staff can ask Ken Steward to take photos for them from his position in the lighting booth.
MC: Tonights MC was SAM ADKINS dressed out in his western costume of Sheriff and this is so colorful and antique and enjoy watching him move about the room.
OLIO: It was a singers night at The Spotlight.
JIM CAMPBELL was featured singing with his guitar and banjo. Audiences always enjoy a banjo man. His fun being there is catching to the audience.
JESAMINE KATZMAN was there singing her show stopping song from “Wicked”, The Wizard and I, which brings down the house from hearing a child her age belt out a show tune like that. TULSAS GOT TALENT! Im afraid Jesamine may get tired of singing her “Wicked” song but each audience at The Spotlight is a new audience who hasnt heard her sing before and they love hearing this child prodigy do her signature song. Well have her and the other kids back singing from time to time because the audiences LOVE them!
THE DRUNKARD: No debuts.
|3/19/2016|| Directors Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, March 19, 2016
The show was tremendous! A sell-out crowd wanting to be entertained and they were, starting with our rousing sing-a-long! I love to watch people sing the old songs and smile at one another at doing something they may never have done before. Larry Mitchell and Stephen Berg as the piano player and song leader, respectively, were especially good.
Sam Adkins was great.
Mark Roberts did his Old Man and His Flag for the appreciative crowd who loved this.
Regina Scott played her fiddle to the max with the audience loving every string of it. The young lady ended the rousing appearance with a Tulsa favorite, Take Me Back to Tulsa. What a great evening out for this lucky audience getting to experience talent such as the Scott girl.
TIM PARKER was back to get more laughs as Sample. He is such a fine addition to our family of new talent.
WESLEY GROVE as Frank Slade is getting very good at holding for the laughs. This boy continues to shine.
BRITT WADE and DAN EBERLY as the villain and hero were especially fun to watch tonight. Dan was having fun being back in an old role with an old villain to play against.
MARK ROBERTS was all over the stage getting laughs and doing all kinds of stuff never before seen but it was focused and funny and not at the expense of others on stage. What a funny actor.
MONICA SALLAWAY is new and a funny Fannie Morgan. Im hoping we can interest this actress into tying out for Mehitabel.
TOM ALLEN as Romaine is becoming very comfortable in the role and getting laughs for being charming.
|3/12/2016|| Directors Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, March 12, 2016
The show clicked right along but the audience was a slower-paced audience. So the show remains good but not as lively had we had a full house. Last nights audience was about 48 and the show has recently been selling out for several weeks and established a pace to our play. The show was made even better with the talents of BILL ROWLAND on the piano. Bills playing skills at the piano ads much to our ambience with the 1890 settings. He also dresses in a Ragtime style and that too only adds to the impressions he leaves us with.
HOST: Priscilla Mayfield is a Host with Pizazz! Her sparkly outfit makes her “show biz” and that will do until her 1890s Lillian Russell dress is finished. And then with that red hair- shell explode on stage with splendor! I like the discipline Priscilla insists upon when it comes to following policy and protocol set down by the Spotlighters and their Board of Directors. She adheres to the directors wishes and is a g- between for all areas as a board member. Her and Leslie Sheltons (House Manager) faces are seen often enough at shows that we have come to feel our Board will never miss anything they need to know about.
HOUSE MANAGER: Leslie Shelton is getting great reviews for being a gracious House Manager, not say our other House Managers lack anything. Leslie brings a friendly and charming approach to each customer and works well among the servers.
THE OLIO: The Tulsa Youth Ballet was featured in three separate selections, seamlessly put together nicely and showing prowess as young dancers looking serious about their efforts. This group of ballet dancers featured advanced students amazingly too talented for their age leaving us to think they will go far in this art form. The selections were entertaining and wisely presented by starting with “Cinderella”, a standard classic most of the audience could identify with, a story they know! The young Cinderella danced with a flowing haired broom made into a groom if only for a dream dance for a young woman. The broom became a dancer, a prince perhaps and when this nimble dancer twirled the broom it became a blurred reminder this broom was almost real. The two mean stepsisters were not mean but snobby and lofty giving them their own charm. The prince in this segment danced high and light and landed with the grace and ease of a royal prince. The second segment of the Youth Ballet charmed the audience with pure enthusiastic song and dance and the singing was great! By the time we got through their third piece, “Were In the Money” from the 1933 Gold Diggers film complete with coin props they actually dropped on the floor and danced on we were well won. The audience loved this event at our Olio tonight and applauded with pride at Tulsas talent, such a presentation of that talent and their blessings in getting to reward that talent with cheers! The young dancers on tonights stage were 10 members of the Tulsa Youth Ballet, they were; ANNAROSE ATAMIAN, VANESSA BARNETT, PEYTON DOLAN, MACIE DRUE DUNHAM, ARIANNA FRANCE, CHARLEIGH HAYES, PARKER HAYES, KIMBERLY KARJADI, ASPEN SWAIM, KAEDEN SWAIM.
TIM PARKER as Sample got the laughs from this audience. He played a splendid scene with a step-in to fill the role of Mehitabel, KAYCE MCWORTHER. Tim is a solid participant in our show including his wife who does box office volunteering. With Tim, we are securing younger actors in lead roles, a target goal for The Spotlight Theatres future.
MITAYA MORDECAI as Frank Slade is fun to watch as she masters the art of playing another gender. Keep up the good work, dont stop perfecting enounces. Base for make-up was too light for the character it came off as ghostly. Use a darker base.
RANDY BELFORD as the villain Harvey Green is funny, mean and snide with a seriously defensive personality for a coward. I going to ask him to darken his hair around the side of his ears to set him apart from the saloon set, with his white hair. His villain has taken on a devil looking face that makes it fantastic to watch move.
ERNIE RAYNOR is so much fun as Romaine. His self-righteous stances are fun.
SAM ADKINS as Simon Slade, continues to improve his acting skills. His great red beard makes a striking character to watch.
STEPHEN RYAN as Willie Hammond is always fun with his extended gestures and unexpected moves.
NANCY CHAMBERS was performing her Ann Slade role last night. One of my favorite bits of hers is when she stomps her foot in defiance to her husband when she exits. I have started incorporating it into all the Ann Slades blocking.
RICHARD ROBERTSON is one of our master actors over the years and he too has to be reminded to pick-up the pace in his scenes at home with Mary. I hate to give notes to Shakespeare actors, theyre having so much fun doing it with passion.
JULIE COOPER Very good singer as Little Mary and funny and can be heard. She is looking at doing Mehitabel in the future and will be fun in the role but training the teens to play the roles too older for them has paid off when it comes to finding replacements at the last moment.
KAYCE MCWHORTER stepped-in at the last moment and like Mitaya, served us well as a teen that has learned her part well. Kayce, by her nature, is a character actress with her tall Charlotte Greenwood stature and comic timing. She has been working on playing Mehitabel with more maturity and got her chance to prove it early by stepping in to fill a role at the last minute. We have a troupe of young people willing to go the extra mile and its a good thing.
SUE SINOR is our small Fanny and watching her bounce around the stage is always fun for me. I miss not seeing Fannys red hair under the cap, or perhaps wear the hair in a pulled-back bun without a hat. The hat is good with the costume but Sue was shading her face too much. Perhaps the hat sitting on the hair more so we see more red hair.
|2/20/2016|| Directors Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, Feb. 20, 2016
What a tremendous show! The Drunkard and Olio was tonight, making it a 3-week straight especially with full-houses and exceptionally great performance ensemble casts. After tonights show veteran cast member, Tulsa actress, Nancy Chambers, said ” tonights show was the best cast she had ever seen perform the show”. Wow! Heres the good report on this splendid evening at The Spotlight.
THE SING ALONG was loud and wonderful and the full house had fun being led down memory lane as Stephen Berg yelled out another song to sing. Our piano player LARRY MITCHELL never missed a beat and both had the crowd singing “Oklahoma” as if the Sooner football were there. This rousing songfest set the stage for a spectacular Olio and by the time the Drunkard started we could do no wrong!
THE SERVERS/DOWN FRONT did an exceptional job last night serving this 87 plus house. I watched all the customers being dealt with efficiently and with a smile. I see a lot from the back and the servers this night were really sharp. Thanks to DENNIS, JULIE, AMANDA BRE and Bres daughter.
MC-HOST was Matthew Spruill, who has become one of our best Hosts in such a short time. (MC's take time like wine and get smooth and look like they belong there all the time.) This smoothness comes from practice and not being afraid to take chances and experiment. He is the only comic we have as an MC and is allowed to dress as he pleases since that is the way stand-ups work as comics. Other MCs are looking at costumes and glamour to enhance their stage appearance with the 1890 Drunkard show. Matt also does not spend too much time finding the servers to point out in their introduction at the top of his announcements; he reads their names plainly and as a group, which I like. Matthew follows the guidelines of the Host and is refreshing as he does this-using his stand-up timing to keep our attention. Not all MCs can do what Matt does but his finesse at providing us a great service is catching on nicely.
PIANO PLAYER this performance was Larry Mitchell, our newest and proving to be just what the doctor ordered for his wonderful friend Julie Skye who serves and volunteers and never stops smiling. She is a candidate for House Manager. Larry played the piano for the smaller kids in tonights Olio and came early to give the girls a warm-up session before the big show. Larry went over the songs and coached the children so tenderly and professionally on catching up and being together for the live performance and they rose to the occasion. Larry is a trooper and he helped make us very professional looking with our warm-up rehearsal and dont think the parents wont talk about how their kids were treated. (Except for the food we did not provide any food for an early call for these kids, we do this so rarely we didnt think about it.)
THE OLIO was a huge success. MS. DOROTHY MCFADDEN was our guest pianist who had performed at the first Tulsa Spotlight Club event in 1952. She was 101 years old and came back again this year to play the Olio. Her one selection, Stardust, was wonderful and the appreciating sold-out Tulsa audience stood and cheered.
OLIOVATIONS KIDS conquered the theatre. After the fourth girl performed her piece we were flabbergasted at the talent and skills of our own Tulsa kids. For many of our audiences seeing an Olio like this with very talented kids up close and entertaining you is a lifetime experience. We loved every performance of these 4 girls last night and will not soon forget it. ABIGAIL MARTIN opening the string of Broadway show tunes with the opening number from the musical Hairspray, “Good Morning Baltimore”. JASAMINE KATZMAN, followed her with a dramatic singing of “The Wizard and I” and she was followed by GRACE RAINES with the comedic song from “Bye Bye Birdie”-Kids. The fourth girl PERCY EASTER, did not sing a show tune but instead chose an uplifting and catchy lyric song that became the cherry on top to this delightful crowd pleasing Olio.
JOHN HANSEN and DIANA EASTER are hell on wheels with a good audience. These two get more laughs together and they having fun together. I think John Hansen just gives-up with Diana Easter and allows her to steer the lifeboat for a short distance. The crowd adored them last night.
JACOB MCDANIEL as Frank Slade gave a great performance last night and wore a wig to his final scene where he kills his father. The wig aged the boy 10 years and was a perfect choice. Congratulations as an actor taking your role to a new height.
SEBASTIAN PADEN as Willie had a funny moment when an old ad lib “you can go home with me” came from the audience. The audience loved it and laughed hard at Sebastians recovery from the “wisecrack”.
MONICA SALLAWAY as Fanny Morgan is funny. She is getting good reviews from the audience with her choices as a comedic actress in a role not so funny. Have fun.
ERNIE RAYNOR as Romaine is costumed so nicely, as is DR. TOM, when he appears as Romaine. Costumes are part of the ambiance of The Spotlight and there is more to come as MCs will all eventually be costumed nicely. Looking dapper in a role that calls it has always been a fun costume but these newcomers like Ernie are displaying their pride as actors wearing just the right thing for them to shine in the part.
|2/6/2016|| Directors Notes for The Drunkard and Olio, Feb. 6, 2016
Got a call from Christina Bonds that we didnt have a Frank for tonights show, nobody, absolutely nobody on the roster of Franks were available?! Jere ultimately came through with a solid plan and thanks to the skills of veteran Spotlight actors Tom Rowe, Richard Robertson and others on stage with strong theatrical backgrounds came through as if they were at the Old Globe. The missing Frank was not missed thanks to skills, planning and thinking on the feet including our new star Tim Parker, who never missed-a-beat and still got all the laughs he wanted and turned-in a performance that brought down the house with his debut Sample! Since Tim has proven he can do our biggest challenge in a role, I hope he will begin to study the role of Frank, since that role has the turning points an actor can get their teeth into. Last weeks cast was the best show I had seen at Spotlight but last nights performances under duress of missing an actor ”I stand amazed and no not what to say”?! Shakespeare
OLIO was very good and ended before 8 pm and we started on time.
SCOTT RADFORD: This talented young man will be welcome back anytime. Our audience liked him a lot and loved discovering hes been playing and singing in our Olio at Spotlight since he was a boy. Scott has a clear voice and pleasant stage presence that elevates our first impressions for the evening. Rousing applause.
SAM ADKINS: Sams two songs were crowd pleasers. Im enjoying watching Sam sing and play especially now since he has relaxed into some smooth moves with his singing sheriff character, in the Olio.
SING ALONG LEADER: Rachel Horsely stepped up to bat for Stephen Berg, who normally conducts the sing along and hit a home run for me. She had volunteered last night to be House Manager and I asked her to lead the singing. She and Judy our flawless piano player worked very nicely together. Rachel had conducted the sing along before.
PIANO: We are so fortunate have 4 great piano players available to us and Judy Parks, shines as one of them. Her energy is always were it needs to be and smiles for everyone. I like the way she adds nice extra touches to her music without taking a long time to do it.
MC: Sam Adkins as Sheriff of Cedarville is always a pleasure to watch in his costume. I want to see him get through the intros of the servers more quickly. Each server does not have to be present the announcement is enough and if the MC sees them point them out otherwise keep moving. I want to see the ladies in their costumes as MC but somewhere along the line there was a derailment on those plans, seems there were heat issues but I see them as an excuse. The costumes present an ambience from the minute you walk in the door.
TIM PARKER gave one the best debuts yet. I kept seeing all the work we did in rehearsals popping up and being executed with such planned skill for a young man without a lot of experience. Hats off to one of our new stars of the show, Tim Parker!
RANDY BELFORD continues to build his villain the way I like them, funny and mean. New make-up changes have helped define his meaner looking face. His black and red cape has been mastered and love to watch him working the cape instead of it working him. Its good to have Tulsa actors interested enough to come perform with us and share what they have and learn new things from us!
ROMAINE is played by new comer Dr. Tom Allen and a fine job he does as the dapper Romaine who now helps others refrain from alcohol. He is delightful in the role.
SIMON SLADE played with such finesse by Tom Rowe is always fun to watch. I sat with a friend of Toms for part of the show and we marveled at the gestures and motions he uses.
WILLIE HAMMOND played by the very popular Sebastian Paden helped save the day for doing some quick thinking on his feet with a character missing from the script.
ANN SLADE played so brilliantly by Ann Knight was quick on her abilities to work around an issue on stage as she moaned and groaned to her unappreciative husband.
JOE MORGAN played by Richard Robertson is on a winning streak for audience approval these days. His drunken Joe Morgan is sympathetic and funny.
MARY MORGAN performed so beautifully by Mary Rose Rich, is remaining a favorite of mine for all the right moves and speaking qualities and singing abilities associated with this role.
MEHITABEL CARTWRIGHT was played tonight by Linda Walker whose parents are also Spotlight performers. Linda makes a cute and charming country girl.
FANNY MORGAN played by Eileen Hardy is a pleasure to direct and watch perform.