‘The Nerd’ comes to Steel River Playhouse

Steel River Playhouse launches their 2017-2018 season on Oct. 6-22 with the outrageous, uproarious comedic hit The Nerd by Larry Shue. Grab your tickets online at www.steelriver.org.

This Broadway success was reviewed by Thomas Disch, stating, “…it racks up more laughs, and louder, than any farce this side of Alan Ayckbourn. Noises Off is an academic exercise by comparison. It’s impossible to not enjoy the ride.” John McGraw, Director, opens the season with a bang, bringing to life a night of laughter with this exemplary cast in a delightful rollercoaster ride.

Several new names join the production alongside some Steel River Playhouse veterans. Appearing again on the Steel River Playhouse stage, The Nerd boasts Steve Reazor (Warnock Waldgrave), Jeff Cronin (Willum Cubbert), Lisa Hendricks (Clelia Waldgrave) and finally Tom Pederson (Thor Waldgrave). Rounding out the cast and debuting at the playhouse are Joe Donley (Rick Steadman), Marybeth Williamson (Tansy McGinnis), and Drew Boardman (Axel Hammond).

The Nerd is an inventive comedy set in Terre Haute, Indiana, centering on the hilarious dilemma of a young architect visited by a hopelessly inept “nerd” he’s never met before — but who happened to save his life.  Variety wrote of the show that “the audience almost never stops laughing.” Don’t miss out on this hilarious comedic hit, a play that graced NYC stages, now making its way to your backyard at Steel River Playhouse, Oct. 6-22. Purchase tickets online at www.steelriver.org or call the box office at 610-970-1199. Groups of 10 or more contact Beth McDonnell at beth.mcdonnell@steelriver.org for a group sales and discounts.

October brings ‘Blithe Spirit’ to Hedgerow

Director Carly Bodnar leads an all-star cast of Hedgerow favorites in Nöel Coward’s stylish supernatural comedy, Blithe Spirit, playing Oct.5 through 29. The cast includes Producing Artistic Director Jared Reed, Michael Fuchs, Susan Wefel, Stacy Skinner, Jennifer Summerfield and Maryruth Stine. Playing the coveted role of Madame Arcati will be this year’s recipient of the Barrymore Lifetime Achievement Award, Penelope Reed.

“Wonderful to return and play on our beloved home theatre stage with a fabulous cast– a reunion of the the ladies from On the Verge and the delight to play next to my son Jared. The last time we were together onstage was as Tom and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie!” said Ms. Reed.

Madame Arcati endures as one of the most favored characters in Coward’s canon.

“Madame Arcati has such joyous challenges for an actress.  Range and depth make it one of those exciting roles to tackle.  And then there’s the fact it’s a great verbal and physical comedy.  One gets to play and embrace an an eccentric with a huge heart.  She’s happily daffy, and solidly human, while reaching out to the unknown. Fun!” said Ms. Reed.

Cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, Jared Reed, is married, but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, the clever and insistent Elvira, who is called up by the visiting “happy medium,” Madame Arcati. Coward’s wit is on full display as his hauntingly funny ghost story drives audiences mad.

“Blithe Spirit takes our logical lead characters and puts them in situations that are appalling and absurd to them. It is a piece full of surprises and turns at every corner. A good farce makes you think one thing and gives you another. A good farce also has audiences laughing at characters who are put in these ridiculous situations, and the fun is in how they deal with those situations. Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’ encompasses all these things,” said Director Bodnar.

In the spring of 1941, as Londoners endured the Blitz, playwright Noel Coward slipped away to Wales to draft a new script centered on death and the great beyond. “Title [is] Blithe Spirit,” he wrote in his diary. “Very gay, superficial comedy about a ghost. Feel it may be good.” Six days later, the play was finished. Now seventy-six years old, “Blithe Spirit,” an improbable farce in three acts, is still delighting audiences around the world.

“What stands out to me is Coward’s handling of timeless topics: marriage, death and life after death. Coward wrote this play during the Second World War creating a piece that allowed his audiences to experience death in a light and comedic fashion. Like many of his other works, Coward centers this piece around marriage and marital discourse.  While ‘Blithe Spirit’ was written in 1941, it had a revival not too long ago on Broadway, and is being done at Hedgerow because the topics are still relevant, giving it a modern day feel that relates to modern day audiences,” said Bodnar.

For more information, call the box office, 610-565-4211, visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org, or email company@hedgerowtheatre.org. Hedgerow Theatre is located at 64 Rose Valley Road, Media. Adult ticket prices are $35, with a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those age 30 and under are $20. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $18, please contact Art Hunter at ahunter@hedgerowtheatre.org. Prices include all fees and are subject to change. Shows are Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

 Special Pre-Show Talk: Parastudy Chairman of the Board Melinda Cahill will give a brief talk on mediumship and clairovant gifts at 1:30 prior to the 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 matinee of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” at Hedgerow Theatre. Melinda Cahill is an intuitive reader using many tools for divination such as Tarot, crystal ball gazing, Tea leaves, palms, stones and more. Specializing in phone readings, she has clients throughout the United States and the UK.

A Unique Theatrical Experience: Colonial Playhouse stages ‘The Manor’ at Greystone Hall

Greystone Hall of Chester County PA and The Colonial Playhouse of Delaware County PA are presenting the East Coast premier of “The Manor” – a unique two act play By Kathrine Bates – designed from its conception to take place in the rooms of a grand mansion. Sam Barrett is the director of the West Chester production.

Greystone Hall and the Colonial Playhouse of Delaware County present the east coast premier of “THE MANOR,” a two act play by Kathrine Bates, at  Greystone Hall, West Chester, with limited evening and matinee performances from Nov. 2  to 12.
Money, marriage, murder and madness played out in a mansion: All are part and parcel of  “The Manor,” a family saga based on real events. Instead of a proscenium stage or a stationary theater-in-the-round set-up, the audience follows members of the cast in designated groupings in and out of the mansion’s stately rooms where multiple scenes of the play are performed in coordinated rotations. The idea for the play was conceived in tandem with the idea of its being performed at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills on the very site where the real life drama occurred. Los Angeles audiences have been enjoying this in situ play over the past fifteen years, often returning back to see it again with guests.
Inspired by real life events: The play is a fictionalized account of the “triumphs and tribulations” of the fabulously wealthy Edward Doheny family renamed in the story as the “MacAlisters.” Doheny (1856-1935) drilled the first successful oil well in Los Angeles, starting the oil boom of the early 1900s in Southern California. In 1928, Oil tycoon and philanthropist Doheny was accused of bribing Albert Fall, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior in exchange for obtaining a lease 32,000 acres of federal land in California. His “gift” to Fall became a part of the infamous Teapot Dome scandal that plagued President Warren Harding administration; his son Ned and a trusted employee who together delivered the money in cash were also indicted. Although Secretary Fall was convicted of accepting a bribe, Doheny was ultimately acquitted. In its wake, however, a terrible tragedy took place in grandiose mansion he built and gifted to Ned. In the end the family patriarch died an invalid and recluse.

The mansion – a symbol of wealth, power and political intrigue – is the star of the show. The plot and grand setting the likes of “Downton Abby” and as timely as today’s news and politics – add up to a perfect recipe for a theatrical feast. Nestled on a hillside above Sunset Boulevard, the Los Angeles Tudor Revival style Greystone Mansion was designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann and completed in 1928. With the blessing of playwright Kathrine Bates, “The Manor” is being transplanted and presented in another grandiose mansion – the English Renaissance style Greystone Hall designed by Philadelphia architect Charles Barton Keen and built in 1907 for P.M. Sharples, West Chester inventor, industrialist and philanthropist. In 2015 Greystone Hall was the location site and “stand in” for its Los Angeles namesake for the filming of a TV docudrama for the Investigation Discovery Channel. The mansion setting in both locations is centerpiece of the story.

Although Greystone Hall is celebrating its 25th anniversary as Chester County’s most elegant conference and reception venue, it is not generally open to the public. It remains a private family residence of the Jerrehian family, its owners for the past 75 years.

Reserve Tickets now for this Unique Theatrical Experience: $60 per person – includes light refreshments
Limited Seating -Only 7 Performances

  • Thursday and Friday Evenings 7 p.m. November 2, 3
  • Saturday and Sunday Matinees 2 p.m November 4 & 5
  • Thursday and Friday Evenings 7 p.m. November 9 & 10
  • Sunday Matinee 2 p.m. November 12
    Advance tickets required: http://colonialplayhouse.net/the-manor/

GREYSTONE HALL is at 1034 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester PA 19380

Barnstormers presents ‘Evil Dead, the Musical’

Based on Sam Raimi’s 80s cult classic films, “Evil Dead, the Musicl” tells the tale of 5 college kids who travel to a cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash an evil force. And although it may sound like a horror, it’s not! The songs are hilariously campy and the show is bursting with more farce than a Monty Python skit.

With Book & Lyrics by George Rienblatt, Music by Frank Cipolla, Christopher Bond, Melissa Morris, the musical tells a familiar story: boy and friends take a weekend getaway at abandoned cabin, boy expects to get lucky, boy unleashes ancient evil spirit, friends turn into Candarian Demons, boy fights until dawn to survive. As musical mayhem descends upon this sleepover in the woods, “camp” takes on a whole new meaning with uproarious numbers like “All the Men in my Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons,” “Look Who’s Evil Now” and “Do the Necronomicon.”

Performances are Oct. 20, 21, 27, 28, Nov. 3, 4 at 8

Special Halloween show Oct. 31 @ midnight

Barnstormers Theatre is at 402 Tome Street, Ridley Park, PA

For tickets, visit www.barnstormerstheater.com

Gemarama 2017 is Nov. 4-5

Tuscarora Lapidary Society’s annual Gemarama is set for Nov. 4 -5, 2017, in HALL D at the Greater Philadelphia EXPO Center in Oaks, Pa.

2017 will be the 48th year that Tuscarora Lapidary Society has hosted its annual fine gem, jewelry and mineral show Gemarama. There will be vendors, instructional and competitive cases, and a large lapidary arts demonstration area where visitors can see live the cutting of stones, jewelry making, beading, chain making, wire wrapping, etc.

More information at https://www.lapidary.org/gemarama/ including a link to a discount coupon!