TIMBER LAKE PLAYHOUSE PRESS RELEASE
‘Les Misérables’ Begins at Timber Lake Playhouse
via press release
Mount Carroll--Les Misérables, the most popular musical ever written, will be presented at Timber Lake Playhouse for the first time Thursday, July 31 through Sunday, August 10. Special guest star Jason Kraack, who has played the role of Jean Valjean on the national tour, leads the TLP production under the direction of Matthew Teague Miller.
Executive Director James Beaudry said, “We’ve been very lucky to assemble 28 of the best performers we’ve ever had at Timber Lake for this production. Our director has a long history with show having performed it around the world, and our star is giving one of the finest performances I’ve ever seen. Additionally, the orchestra is the largest we’ve had in my time here, and they are astonishing.”
Les Misérables premiered in London in 1985 (where it continues to run) and quickly grew to be a major hit in the United States and in productions around the world. Now in its third Broadway production, the musical has long been available to schools, but only recently have professional theatres been granted the rights to produce this epic and triumphant show.
The story of Les Misérables spans two decades and is one of passion, dreams and redemption set against the backdrop of a nation in the throes of rebellion. Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, finding nothing in store but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert. During the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront the truth after Valjean spares him and saves the life of Marius, a student revolutionary, who has captured the heart of Valjean's adopted daughter, Cosette.
Guest performer John B. Leen, a Jeff Award winner from Chicago, stars as Inspector Javert, with resident performers Nathan Goodrich and Caroline Murrah as Marius and Cosette, respectively. TLP favorite Erica Stephan returns to the company as Eponine, who longs for Marius. Lexie Plath plays Cosette’s ill-fated mother, Fantine. Matt Webb and Analisha Santini proved comic relief as The Thenardiers, scheming their way through Paris.
Joining the adult cast are Lily Leding of Clinton, Iowa as Young Cosette, Avery Findlay of Savanna, Illinois as Young Eponine, and Cecelia Ryan of Sterling, Illinois as Gavroche.
“We were also lucky to find three young people in the area with the talent Lily, Cecelia and Avery have,” says Beaudry. “They are a joy to work with, and the company’s faces light up every time these young ladies perform.”
“But it was the role of Jean Valjean--one of the most demanding in all musical theatre--that was the tough one. After a national search and many auditions in many cities, we found Jason Kraack. It’s been a privilege to have him at Timber Lake for Les Misérables.”
Of his experience at TLP, Kraack said, “I have been amazed by the talent here. The cast is just amazing. The band, the directors, the designers--all of it. Theaters like TLP have their pick of the best talents of the future and they certainly hired the best young talents for this show. I have very much enjoyed the chance to mentor and learn from these great performers in our cast. I can't wait for audiences to see the hard work we have been doing for the past few weeks. They are going to be blown away!”
Les Misérables performs evenings at 7:30 p.m., and there are 2:00 p.m. matinees on Sundays and Wednesday. There is also a Saturday matinee performance on the opening weekend at 3pm. Tickets are $17-$23 and may be purchased through the box office 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily at 815-244-2035 or any time at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org.
As part of the playhouse’s Do Something Spectacular: Live The Story campaign, TLP is partnering with The Table, a group that serves hot meals in Carroll County Monday through Friday at no charge. Part of Great River Outreach, The Table has served over 45,000 meals to date. A non-perishable food drive to support The Table will be held at TLP throughout the run of Les Misérables.
The Table has a specific need for cereal, rice, dry beans, peas, soda crackers, egg and elbow pasta, canned fruit, pancake mix, and pork and beans. Cash donations may be made to cover the organization’s needs for meat. Anyone able to make a donation of chickens, pigs or cows is encouraged to contact the organization directly at 815-990-6511 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All non-perishable donations may be dropped off at Timber Lake Playhouse, located at 8215 Black Oak Road in Mount Carroll, during box office hours (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or before any performance of Les Misérables.
VIA press release
‘Young Frankenstein’ Brings Hilarity to Life at TLP
MOUNT CARROLL, IL -- Timber Lake Playhouse will present the local premiere of The New Mel Brooks MusicalYoung Frankenstein beginning Thursday, July 3. From the award-winning team that brought The Producers to international acclaim, this monster musical comedy, which runs through Saturday, June 28, is a dizzy, lavish and fast paced re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend based on Mel Brooks' classic comedy film masterpiece. Former Artistic Director Brad Lyons returns to Mount Carroll to direct the hilarity starring TLP’s professional company from all over the country.
The story follows bright, young Dr. Frankenstein (that's Fronkensteen), played by TLP favorite Cody Jolly, as he attempts to complete his grandfather's masterwork and bring a corpse to life. Together with his oddly shaped and endearing helper Igor (that's Eye-gor), played by Matt Webb (Patsy in last year’s Spamalot), his curvaceous lab assistant Inga (Lexie Plath), and in spite of his incredibly self-involved madcap fiancé Elizabeth (Allison Hunt), Frankenstein succeeds in creating a monster (Blake W. Price)-- but not without hilarious complications from Frau Blucher (Analisha Santini), Inspector Kemp (Grant Brown), the villagers of Transylvania Heights and, of course, Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”
Enthusiasts of the film have plenty of new surprises to look forward to in the stage adaptation. And musical comedy fans will be in heaven with the new, high-energy songs and riotous dances including “Transylvania Mania,” “He Vas My Boyfriend,” “Roll In Ze Hay,” and “Together Again—For The First Time.” The production also features some “shocking” visual effects as well as spectacularly “monstrous” choreography by Cameron Turner (Spamalot).
There are only 11 chances to see Young Frankenstein. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. (except July 4, July 6 and July 7).Wednesday and Sunday matinees are at 2:00 p.m. There is a 3:00 pm matinee on Saturday, July 5. Tickets are $17 for students, $21 for seniors, $23 for single seats and are available at the Timber Lake Playhouse box office, 815-244-2035, or www.timberlakeplayhouse.org.
TLP’s Do Something Spectacular: Live The Story campaign continues with Young Frankenstein through the help of Happy Tails Humane Society in Rock Falls, Illinois. Happy Tails operates Whiteside County's only animal shelter. They are a limited-intake, no-kill facility that shelters and cares for stray and abandoned dogs and cats until they are adopted into loving, permanent homes. They promote pet adoption and humane education in the region. At each performance of Young Frankenstein, audiences will have an opportunity to help “save the creature!”
This program is partially sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council through federal funds from the National Endowment For The Arts.
via press release
Curtain calls from OBNS.