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
‘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
TIMBER LAKE PLAYHOUSE PRESS RELEASE
Great River Outreach Teams Up With TLP’s JOSEPH to Help Kids
MOUNT CARROLL, IL -- Timber Lake Playhouse and Great River Outreach are teaming up during the playhouse’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat June 5-15 to host drive for coats, hats, gloves and galoshes to benefit kids and parents in region who have a little less. The partnership is the first in a summer long effort to celebrate volunteer and non-profit organizations in the region whose missions “live the story” of each theatre production at the playhouse.
Great River Outreach provides a wide range of services to individuals and families in need including emergency housing, clothing, warm meals, emergency food, counseling services and career opportunities. They have served over 46,000 free meals in Savanna and Mount Carroll. Through a partnership with Head Start, Great River Outreach will distribute all coats and accessories donated at TLP to kids and parents in need around the region. Remaining coats will be donated to Neat Repeats, a Savanna resale shop that funds outreach services, and provides free clothing and furniture to families in crisis.
TLP’s 53rd Season opens with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (June 5-15). Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical for the whole family has become a massive international hit everywhere it plays. It tells the biblical story of Joseph’s coat of many colors with song and dance that’s fun for all ages. Executive Director James Beaudry directs and choreographs the production.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat takes a simple story and tells it in a huge, spectacular way. Really great storytelling has the power to make us think, feel, and live better. Great River Outreach is an organization that lives a great story. We are proud to help support their mission, and at the same time, give our audiences an opportunity to make our corner of the world a little brighter,” said Beaudry.
“The idea came to us last year, after our Do Something Spectacular campaign--which provided creative opportunities for our audiences--was such a success. We decided to raise the bar and turn those activities into a greater good. We have additional projects coming up throughout the summer with other organizations, including Happy Tails from Rock Falls and the Mount Carroll Rotary.”
Great River Outreach is specifically seeking gently worn coats, hats, gloves and galoshes in sizes 2T through adult small. Anyone donating at a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will receive free popcorn at the show. Timber Lake Playhouse popcorn is courtesy of Tee Lee Popcorn in Shannon, Illinois. Donations may also be made during regular box office hours.
For tickets to Joseph ..., call the box office at 815-244-2035 or visit them at 8215 Black Oak Rd. in Mount Carroll. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org.
Auditions for "Joseph" and "Young Frankenstein" at TLP
Mount Carroll, IL--Timber Lake Playhouse, the professional, non-profit summer theatre of northwest Illinois, will hold auditions for the children’s ensemble of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and the adult ensemble of "Young Frankenstein" on Saturday May 3, at 9:30 a.m. at the theatre in Mount Carroll, Illinois. Auditions for Gavroche and Young Cosette in Les Miserables will be Sunday, April 27 at 4:00 p.m.
The company is casting 13 children who are strong singers between the ages of 7 and 12 for "Joseph,"which will open the Playhouse’s 53rd season in June. Up to 8 teens and adults who are strong singers or dancers will be cast in in ensemble roles "Young Frankenstein," which opens July 3. Auditionees will be seen in the order they arrive and sign in. Sign in will begin at the theatre at 9:00 a.m., and parents are asked not to arrive before them. All performers must be available for all scheduled rehearsals and performances. Performance dates and rehearsal schedules can be found at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org.
Anyone auditioning should bring a current photo and sheet music for a song that best shows their vocal ability. An accompanist will be provided. Please do not bring accompaniment on CDs. Parents may not sit in on auditions. TLP is located at 8215 Black Oak Rd in Mount Carroll. All ethnicities are encouraged to attend. These ensemble roles are not paid.
Auditions for the roles of Gavroche, Young Cosette and Young Eponine in "Les Miserables" will begin at 4:00 pm on April 27. The playhouse is seeking a boy who looks 8-12 for Gavroche who is a very strong singer and is comfortable on stage. Girls who look 8-10, who are strong singers and very comfortable on stage are encouraged to audition for Young Cosette and Young Eponine. All children should bring a song to sing in the style of the show. They may sing from the show, as well. An accompanist will be provided. These roles are not paid, but a travel stipend may be arranged. Please call the theatre at 815-244-2035 to sign up for Les Miserables auditions only.
More information is available at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org. Timber Lake Playhouse programs are supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Changes to Board of Directors at Timber Lake Playhouse
Also congrats to Brad Lyons for his induction into their Hall of Fame...
Mount Carroll, IL--In anticipation of its 53rd season and its 2014 fiscal year, the Timber Lake Playhouse Board of Directors held its re-organizational meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17th. Robin Wilhelms Saar of Shannon was elected as the new President of the Board. Completing the executive board are John Rylander, Sterling, First Vice President; Bernie Leopold, Freeport, Second Vice President; Joseph Titus, Savanna, Treasurer and Kathy Skoog, Chadwick, Secretary.
During TLP’s October 5th Annual Meeting of directors, members and sponsors, six new directors were elected to the board: Brad Field, Mt. Carroll; Keith Golden, Lake Carroll; Gail Mulay, Lake Carroll; Gloria Nusbaum, Dixon; Mike Shore, Freeport and Phyllis Wilhelm, Lake Carroll. Three directors were re-elected to the board for another three year term: Larry Libberton, Mt. Carroll, Betsy Shaulis, Lanark and Treasurer, Joseph Titus.
“Tonight we celebrate our 52nd season which was quite simply fantastic,” outgoing president Libberton said during the annual meeting. “I’ve been coming to TLP since the 1970s and the summer of 2013 had to be one of my favorites. I am constantly amazed at how our company continually attracts such mega-talented people from all over the country every summer. They love TLP, and we love them.”
As part of the annual meeting, four former TLP company members and one outstanding supporter were inducted into the Timber Lake Playhouse Hall of Fame, created five years ago to recognize the contributions of these individuals and organizations to TLP and the greater American theatre. New inductees included Brad Lyons, former artistic director; Ron Swanson, owner of Timber Lake Resort; Vicki Stauffer, former business manager; David Simkins, actor and screenwriter, and John Auten, actor.
The Friends of TLP, a volunteer group celebrating its 18th anniversary, also presented a donation of $2,500.00 to the playhouse during the annual meeting.
TLP’s 2014 summer season includes “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “An Inspector Calls,” “The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein,” “Rumors,” “Les Miserables” and “Shout: The Mod Musical.” Season passes for all six shows are only $110 and are available now at 815-244-2035 or at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org. Gift certificates for holiday are also available in any amount. Groups may book in advance at a discount by calling the box office.
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.
TIMBER LAKE PLAYHOUSE PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release August 11, 2013
Mt. Carroll - Timber Lake Playhouse (TLP) presents the area premiere of "‘S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical," an all-singing, all-dancing celebration of the brilliant music and lyrics of brothers George and Ira Gershwin. The show, which includes over 40 classics like “I’ve Got Rhythm,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Summertime,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” opens Thursday, Aug. 15 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 25.
The show premiered in 2010 at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and has been a hit around the country. Five performers sing and dance their way through five different stories that transport the audience to 1940s Hollywood, 1920s New York, 1930s Paris, 1950s New Orleans and the present day. The cast includes Genna-Paige Kanago, Sarah Larson, Zak McMahon, Lexie Plath and Tim Wessel, all resident performers from TLP’s 2013 company. Wessel and Cameron Turner (Monty Python’s "SPAMALOT") provide choreography.
Director Courtney Crouse said, “The beauty of the Gershwin’s music and lyrics is palpable. The feelings they evoked when first written, they still evoke today. It connects deeply with people everywhere. 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.”
Gold Series Subscriptions for TLP’s next season are also on sale now. 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," which is a thrilling ghost story by J. B. Priestley, and Neil Simon’s "Rumors." Next summer will close with a revue of 60s hits called "SHOUT! The Mod Musical."
Season subscriptions are $100, 28% off the single ticket price. Subscription prices increase to $110 on Sept. 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.
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. All Magic Owl Children’s Theatre tickets are available now through the box office only.
"‘S Wonderful" 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. Tickets are non-refundable.
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
Curtain calls from OBNS.