TIMBER LAKE PLAYHOUSE PRESS RELEASE
Mount Carroll, IL--The Board of Directors of Timber Lake Playhouse has announced that current Executive Director, James Beaudry, will be returning to the position of Artistic Director for the theatre company’s 2015 summer season. The company is beginning a search for a new Executive Director, who will work with the board of directors, overseeing all business operations of the company which just completed its 53rd summer in Mount Carroll.
Tina Stretton, Manager of Theatre Operations announced her departure following a very successful summer season that critics said “sets the bar incredibly high.” Looking at the growth of the company, a task force made of board members, audience members, regional business leaders and consultants recommended an evolution in company leadership to help keep the artistic quality high while improving audience services and the financial stability of the institution. Beaudry is pleased with the upcoming changes.
“The Company is committed to positive change to manage our growth and improve audience experience. We’ve outgrown our own operations--which is a great problem to have--but it’s still a problem until it’s solved. I’m thrilled that the Board of Directors is taking steps to see TLP grow to new heights,” Beaudry said.
“It’s been a privilege to call TLP my artistic home for almost fifteen years. I’m excited to be able to focus all of my efforts once again on the creative work of the playhouse, so we can continue to offer the spectacular work that our audiences expect--with both inventive stagecraft like our production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and by bringing in the best talent from around the country as we did with Les Miserables.”
The Board of Directors hope to fill the new position by November 1, 2014 following a national and regional search. Information about the job and the company can be found at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org.
Timber Lake Playhouse serves 20,000 patrons a year in Northwest, Illinois, and is the oldest continuously operating summer theatre in the state. The company receives support from the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the theatre building. The original building was destroyed in a fire in 1974.
TLP’s 2015 summer season includes Hairspray, The Big Meal, Peter Pan, Greater Tuna, Big Fish and Big River. Children’s shows include Pinocchio and James And The Giant Peach. Season passes for all six shows are only $119 and are available now at 815-244-2035 or at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org. Gift certificates and group sales are available year round.
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
The last play of the 2013 season at Timber LakePlayhouse (TLP) in Mt. Carroll is the perfect ending to a wonderful season. In fact, a "'S Wonderful" season.
The last play is titled "'S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical." The subtle gestures, the songs and the sensational dancing sets the audience up for a wonderful (there's that word again) trip down memorylane. It takes you on a journey by using the song and dance as its storytelling.
Travel along to five different destinations, including 1940s Hollywood, 1920s New York, 1930s Paris, 1950s New Orleans and the present day. To get there, it takes a cast. And these five get the job done. They are Genna-Paige Kanago (as Jane), Sarah Larson (as Leslie), Zak McMahon (as Gene), Lexie Plath (as Nina) and Tim Wessel (as Harold).
They weave in and out of these stories with poise and perfection. Two guys, three women makes this shine. The women are sexy, sultry, and very talented, plus upbeat and energetic, too. And they have been all season.
Directed by Courtney Crouse, "S Wonderful" is a playback of some of the most popular songs ever recorded, including "I've Got a Crush On You," "Summertime," "Strike Up the Band," "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "Funny Face" and "Someone To Watch Over Me."
"The storytelling we do with dance adds to the universal nature of these themes. It moves us, and we identify. It’s impossible not to," said Crouse. All season long the choreography has been a sight to see. Here, it is done by Wessel and Cameron Turner. It is set in five scenes, but all the characters mix throughout and perform their way as the plot unfolds.
After the opening, it's 1924 (Harold's story), then 1957 (Nina's story) and back to 1939 for Leslie's story. After intermission, it is 1948 and Jane's stroy and then Gene's story brings it all home. It takes the performers to weave it all together - and they do.
The music is major factor as well. this time around, the musicians are on stage and that adds to the appeal. They are Cindy Blanc (piano/conductor, Emily Bressler (Reeds), Peter Minucci (Drums) and Joseph Steil (Bass).
All summer long the cast at Timber Lake Playhouse has provided a superb collection of song, dance, energy and storytelling. With "S Wonderful," it felt like an appreciation of what was witnessed on stage this season. Call it a victory lap, a fan appreciation or a thank you, as that would sum it up nicely.
"'S Wonderful is a a potent mix of beauty and talent. Call 815-244-2035. It runs through Sunday, Aug. 25. Go here for next season's lineup.
When asked after the opening night performance about the season, Executive Director James Beaudry said, "We tried to set the bar higher this year. " I think we made that happen." He was right. That was able to happen because the cast had the special mix of talent. They could do it all.
QUICK HIT: The last play of the 2013 season at Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll is the perfect ending to a wonderful season. In fact a "'S Wonderful" season. Sorry, had to do that. The last play is titled "'S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical." The subtle gestures, the songs and the sensational dancing sets the audience up for a wonderful (there's that word again) trip down memory lane. It takes you on a journey by using the song and dance as its storytelling. Travel along to five different destinations, including 1940s Hollywood, 1920s New York, 1930s Paris, 1950s New Orleans and the present day. To get there, it takes a cast. And these five get the job done. They are Genna-Paige Kanago, Sarah Larson, Zak McMahon, Lexie Plath and Tim Wessel. They weave in and out of these stories with poise and perfection. Two guys, three woman. The women are sexy, sultry, and very talented, plus upbeat and energetic, too. And they have been all season. A potent mix of beauty and talent. Call 815-244-2035. It runs through Sunday, Aug. 25.
MT. CARROLL - And now for something completely different - "Spamalot" at Timber Lake Playhouse (TLP). This play aptly falls into that description - - in a good way. No, make that a great way. The company that has performed at the playhouse this summer has been first rate all season long. With "Spamalot," they utilize all their talents and explode with a hilarious romp in search of The Holy Grail. Monty Python's madness and genius is on display here and the audience roared with laughter and applause throughout tonight's opening performance. Even if you do not know anything about "Monty Python and The Holy Grail," their TV show or any of the characters, this play works. But, if you do, it works on a much higher level. This cast brings that higher level to life and helps bring back those wonderful memories. And being a Tony Award winning play certainly helps.
Initial kudos John Chase (King Arthur), Sharisse Hamilton (The Lady of The Lake), James Beaudry (Sir Robin), Jess Ford (Sir Lancelot), Matthew C. Webb (Patsy), Elliot March (Sir Belvedere) and Cody Jolly (Historian and more). Beaudry, who is also the executive director of TLP, gets back in the game with this one. After the performance, he noted that without the work of Courtney Crouse, who is company manager this summer, that would not have happened. He quipped that he was getting old for this but, "without Courtney being able to step in for two weeks, I would not have been able to perform."
"Spamalot" is such a solid, splendid musical comedy, it deserves a second look. Make those plans now. Call 815-244-2035. Complete review coming here and for my Examiner (Chicago) beat
TIMBER LAKE PLAYHOUSE PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release July 25, 2013
Monty Python’s 'SPAMALOT' Finds Its Grail at TLP
Mount Carroll--Timber Lake Playhouse (TLP) presents the area premier of Monty Python’s "SPAMALOT," a Tony Award winning musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The show that “raises silliness to an artform” (The Sunday Times), will open Aug.-1-11.
A huge hit with a long run on Broadway and three national tours, "SPAMALOT" retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, their quest for the Holy Grail and features a ridiculous bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French people. Did we mention the bevy of beautiful show girls? "SPAMALOT’s" pre-Broadway world premiere in Chicago sold out it’s entire run before it began in late 2004.
The show stars John Chase of Mount Morris, IL as King Arthur. He has previously been seen at TLP in "Working," "Sunset Boulevard" and "Oklahoma!". Sharriese Hamilton ("Working," "...Spelling Bee") takes on the Tony Award winning role of "The Lady of the Lake," Brandon Jess Ford ("All Shook Up," "Sunset Boulevard," "Boeing Boeing") returns to play Sir Lancelot, and Executive Director James Beaudry returns to the TLP stage in the role of Brave Sir Robin. Featured in the cast are Brandyn Day (Baldwin Wallace University) as Sir Galahad, Cody Jolly (Webster University) as The Historian, Elliot Marach (Millikin University) as Sir Bedevere and Matthew Webb (Savannah College of Art and Design) as Patsy. The resident company fills out the ensemble.
Monty Python’s "SPAMALOT" performs evenings at 7:30 p.m., and there are 2 p.m. matinees on Sunday and Wednesday. There is also a Saturday matinee performance on the opening weekend at 3 p.m. Order tickets through the box office 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily at 815-244-2035 or any time at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org. SPAM® is a registered trademark of Hormel Foods Corporation.
Gold Series Subscriptions for TLP’s 53rd Season also go on sale Aug. 1 online and through the box office. Summer 2014 brings a thrilling line-up that includes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," The new Mel Brooks musical "Young Frankenstein," and the local premiere of the most popular musical of all time, "Les Miserables." The rest of the season includes the plays An Inspector Calls, a ghost story by J. B. Priestley, and Neil Simon’s Rumors. The summer will close with a revue of 60s hits called "SHOUT! The Mod Musical."
The only way to reserve seats immediately for next summer is by purchasing a season subscription, which allows you to see all six shows for only $100, an unbelievable 28% discount! Subscription prices increase to $110 on September 1. Single tickets for TLP’s 2014 mainstage season will go on sale in May 2014. Groups of 15 or more may reserve blocks of tickets immediately. All Magic Owl Children’s Theatre tickets are available August 1st. Tickets are non-refundable.
Waiting in the wings for the Magic Owl Children’s Theatre are a new adaptation of "Robin Hood" in May and "Pinkalicious the Musical" in July and August, based on the ever-popular children’s books by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann. More information will be available Aug. 1 at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org.
"UNNECESSARY FARCE" - DIRECTED BY CHICAGO'S LILI-ANNE BROWN OF THE BAILIWICK ....Fresh off the dynamic performance of "The Music Man," Timberlake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll (TLP) smacks the audience over the head with a comic farce. This comedy is fast-paced and fun and shows the ability of the cast to switch from a classic musical to a comedy. It is "Unnecessary Farce" and it is a delightful change of pace. There are no weaknesses in the cast which includes Alex Johnson as Eric Sheridan, Hannah-Jo Weisberg as Billie Dwyer, Sarah Larson as Karen Brown, Matthew C. Webb as Mayor Meekly, Brandon Day as Agent Frank, Cody Jolly as Todd and Erica Stephan as Mary Meekly. More later here and on Examiner.com (Chicago Celebrity)...for me this was a necessary comedy....
‘Unnecessary Farce’ Cracks Up at TLP
Mount Carroll, IL-- Timber Lake Playhouse (TLP) will present the area premiere of the acclaimed new comedy, "Unnecessary Farce" by Paul Slade Smith, July 18-27. Lili-Anne Brown, Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, returns to direct the shenanigans after past TLP hits "Cabaret," "Sweet Charity" and "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."
A hit around the country since its Midwestern premiere in 2006, the play has been called, “A smash hit! Two hours of non-stop laughter. The plot weaves you through mix-ups and mayhem you won’t believe. This is one funny show that you don’t want to miss.”
Set in two adjoining hotel rooms in an economy motel, "Unnecessary Farce" follows two inexperienced police officers on a sting operation during which they must secretly videotape the mayor and his accountant with the hopes of uncovering an embezzlement scheme. Thrown into the mix are the mayor’s kindly wife and his nervous security guard, who warns the accountant not to mention the money or suffer dire consequences.
Celebrated TLP resident performers make up the cast. Hannah-Jo Weisberg (Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn in "The Music Man") plays Officer Billie Dwyer with Alex Johnson (Don in "A Chorus Line") as Officer Eric Sheridan. Karen, the unwitting accountant, is played by Sarah Larson (Marian in "The Music Man") and Matthew C. Webb (Mayor Shinn in "The Music Man") earns a second term playing Mayor Meekly. Mrs. Meekly is played by Erica Stephan (Ariel in last summer’s "Footloose"), Agent Frank is Brandyn Day (who will also play Sir Galahad in TLP’s upcoming "Spamalot"), and Cody Jolly (Harold Hill in "The Music Man") is Todd.
Director Brown said, “When I saw one of the first productions of the show at Peninsula Players in Door County, I knew I wanted to do the play at Timber Lake someday. There aren’t a lot of American farces, and this one has such relatable characters (and eight doors!), you feel like you know these people--and you hope you’re NEVER in the situations they’re in!”
"Unnecessary Farce" runs July 18-27 for 11 performances only. Showtimes are evenings at 7:30 with matinees Saturday, July 20 at 3:00 pm, Sunday, July 21 at 2:00 pm and Wednesday, July 24 at 2:00 pm. TLP is located at 8215 Black Oak Rd. in rural Mount Carroll, IL. Tickets are $15-23 and are available at the box office, by calling 815-244-2035 or visiting www.timberlakeplayhouse.org.
Following "Unnecessary Farce," TLP will present the regional premiere of Monty Python’s "Spamalot" (lovingly ripped off of the film "Monty Python and The Holy Grail") August 1-11. "Seussical," based on the books of Dr. Seuss, will be presented for children August 6, 8, 9 and 10. All tickets to "Seussical" are only $6. The 52nd Season at Timber Lake closes with "‘SWonderful: The New Gershwin Musical Revue" August 15-25.
### via press release
"Tuesdays With Morrie" at Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt Carroll is a tour de force for actors Robert Maher and Courtney Crouse. Tonight's performance was riveting and enlightening. It was enlightening in that it should be seen by anyone who has been through the death of a loved one (which is all of us) so we can learn the same life lessons. Or, to realize, without death, there is no life (it should be embraced and not ignored or pushed aside). More to my review is coming to Examiner (Chicago)...Chuck Smith, a Chicago theater legend, directs this play. He has a remarkable ability to bring out the best from performers in his productions. He has done it again....full review...Riveting performances drive 'Tuesdays With Morrie' at TLP
Through July 10
Timber Lake Playhouse
Mt. Carroll, Illinois
In a nutshell: Through spectacular song and dance, Sweet Charity tells the story of Charity Hope Valentine (played by Alexandra Palkovic), a dancer at the Fandango Ballroom in New York City. Unluckyin love, Charity remains ever hopeful that she will find happiness, romance and
a way out of her current life. When she meets a shy, nervous man named Oscar (Andrew Harth), Charity learns that you can’t run from your past—you can only dive head-first into your future full of hope and optimism. Full of fun, laughs and good times, Sweet Charity includes several songs that have become hits over the last forty years, such as “Big Spender,” “If They Could See Me Now” and “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This.”
"Sweet Charity" was very sweet and HOT
By Tim O'Brien
AM 1240 WSDR
O'Brien News Service
MT. CARROLL - Opening night for "Sweet Charity" at Timber Lake Playhouse was not only sweet, but hot, and that had nothing to do with the weather.
Hot as in a stunning adaptation of the
book by Neil Simon and choreography by Bob Fosse, kind of hot. Hot as in the way it was re-conceived on the TLP stage by choreographer Tyler Sawyer Smith. And hot with the music direction of Travis Horton and under Guest Director Lili-Anne Brown. To be able to bring this play to fruition is no easy task and they did it - - with the help of a cast that charmed, dazzled and mesmerized the audience. Not to mention, it was HOT.
Let get this out right now. We may have seen a star being born right here in Mt. Carroll during the 50th season of this illlustrious theater in the woods. Alexandra E. Palkovic as Charity Hope Valentine is a name to remember. She took this part and made that of a dance
hall girl, not only glamorous, but, to a certain extent, Innocent, if that is
possible. The role many may remember as being played by Shirley Maclaine in the movie, that fact was easily wiped away by Palkovic. This was her part. And to be honest, I loved it and could have watched another act with her in it. A character who finds herself unlucky in love and when she does fall, isn't so lucky once more. And in between is a wonderful story of working and living in New York circa 1966.
Then there is Nickie (Julia Mitchell), Helene (Daryn Harrell) and the rest of the Fandango dancing girls.The singing, sarcasm, anger, jealousy and, yes, friendship, all came through in this shady business. The movie's subject matter is by no means innocent but they way in
which it is delivered makes you want to know more about these characters and you do not want to see them get hurt. The way the dance girls look at the clients, longing for love themselves, but not in this way, can be unsettling, if thought about too deeply.
The musical numbers were made for the 1960s and they translated well to today's world. In fact, so much so, it would be nice to see more of this. Take for example, the stunning look and presentation of "Rich Man's Frug." You cannot look away. And you do not want to because it's that good. It was hard trying to figure who to look at because
there were so many performances that were fantastic. But, let's mention Kelsey Andres as lead Frug dancer Ursula March. A supporting performance here that stands out and you will remember after leaving the theater.
All this and the person who Charity is given the Sweet moniker has yet to be mentioned. He is Oscar Lindquist, played by Andrew Harth. What a delight he brings to the stage, right along with the energy.
As act two began we were sent to a church under a bridge and what a trip that was as well. With choreographer Smith leading the way as Daddy Brubeck, he heads the ensemble to an unusual sort of
worship. But, once again, it is impossible to turn away.
Songs such as "Big Spender" and "If You Could See Me Now" and "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" surely were crowd-pleasers.
Audio available on Associated Content...
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/blog/12160#ixzz1R498EUZx
Curtain calls from OBNS.