Summer lineup at the Clayton Opera House

Comedian Rob Schneider kicks off the summer season at the Clayton Opera House on June 20. Photo courtesy Neil Visel Photography.

CLAYTON — When officials at the Thousand Islands Performing Arts Fund were planning the summer 2013 season for the Clayton Opera House, some good-natured debate broke out.

“Each year, the shows seem to be getting bigger with more national names,” said TIPAF Executive Director Joseph M. Gleason. “There was some debate whether we wanted to continue that or stick with smaller shows and more of them.”

A compromise was struck. [Read more...]

Clayton Opera House, TIPAF director rediscovers his artistic stride

‘We try to make everybody welcome here at the opera house,’ says Joseph M. Gleason, Thousand Islands Performing Arts Fund executive director. Photo by Justin Sorensen/Watertown Daily Times.

CLAYTON — Joseph M. Gleason has found his stride again as theater manager.

You could see it in the swift way he moved from his third floor office to the first floor stage of the Clayton Opera House on the morning of March 8 as he and a crew prepared for the first show of the spring season. Questions were answered and directions given. Within the hour, students in grades 3 to 5 from three schools were to burst through the doors for Garry Krinsky’s “Toying With Science” matinee. [Read more...]

Little Theatre’s “Love, Loss & What I Wore” honored; reprise planned

The cast and crew of Watertown Little Theatre’s production of ‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore’ pose at the Theater Association of New York State Festival in Batavia last month. From left: Todd Thompson, Tina Thompson, Kathie Strader, Elizabeth P. Smith, Bruce Smith, Bethany Dumas, Emily Smith and Daniel Allington.

Little Theatre of Watertown’s production of “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” wrapped itself in a prestigious honor last month at the annual Theater Association of New York State Festival.

A panel of three adjudicators at the festival in Batavia, Genesee County, selected Kathie M. Strader of Watertown as Outstanding Actor for her performance in the comedy by the late Nora Ephron and her sister, Delia Ephron.

A roving adjudicator for the theater association qualified the production for the state festival after he viewed it in August when Little Theater staged it at the Clayton Opera House. The players then had to perform it at the festival in front of the three adjudicators.

Little Theatre plans an encore production of “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” from Jan. 11 to 13 at the Black River Valley Club, 131 Washington St.

[Read more...]

Little Theatre performs at state festival

The Little Theatre of Watertown’s production of “Love, Loss and What I Wore” by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron was chosen by the Theater Association of New York State to participate in its annual competition.

[Read more...]

Professional ‘Marvelous Wonderettes’ at Lake Ontario Playhouse

Ashley Marie as Cindy Lou, Melanie Burg as Missy, Caitlin Thurnauer as Susie, and Molly Garbe as Betty Jean, rehearse a song from the Marvelous Wonderettes.

SACKETS HARBOR — The return of professional theater to Lake Ontario Playhouse is a thing of “Wonderettes.”

“The Marvelous Wonderettes,” which was an off-Broadway hit, will be staged at the playhouse starting tonight and continuing on weekends through Nov. 18 with professional actresses and production staff from New York City making the trip north.

The actresses rehearsed music and choreography in New York City for several weeks and last weekend arrived in Sackets Harbor, where Lake Ontario Playhouse owner Michael R. Kinnie is directing the show. His wife, Rebecca, is producer.

However, the show’s four-member cast, music director and choreographer, who all live in New York City, were adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy. They lost at least five days of rehearsal in New York City since they were unable to get to a rehearsal space.

Mr. Kinnie said choreographer Marissa Perry used the Internet for some rehearsals.

[Read more...]

Lyric Theater presents Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

Cast members from 'Beauty and the Beast' including Natalie Reff on a chair playing Belle, rehearse a scene Saturday at the Dulles State Office Building. Photo by Justin Sorensen.

Phillip Dyke has his hands full for “Beauty and the Beast.”

“I’ve been rehearsing with Girl Scout cookie boxes on my hands to remind myself that I don’t have the use of them,” he said.

Mr. Dyke plays Lumiere, a candelabrum, in the Disney classic to be presented for four shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday by Watertown Lyric Theater.

He also serves as set director and his hands, out of candle character, have been flying as he oversees the construction of the musical’s sets. On April 16, Mr. Dyke was backstage at the Dulles State Office Building auditorium putting the final touches on the show’s castle in the “cool colors” of purples, blues and greens.

[Read more...]

‘Nutcracker’ a holiday mainstay

Annual production at Watertown’s state office building in sixth season

Mother Ginger, played by Michael Boyce, releases her Polichinelles during the In Motion School of Dance's production of 'The Nutcracker' at the Dulles State Office Building. Photo by Colleen White.

By Joleene DesRosiers
NNY Living

There are giggles and smiles among the 30-some-odd girls who fill the In Motion School of Dance studio on Watertown’s outer Arsenal Street. Some are done dancing for the day and bounce around with fellow company members in the waiting area before their parents arrive to take them home. Others are just beginning to rehearse, eager to plié their way through their first lesson of the ever-popular Christmas show, the Nutcracker.

These girls, ages 4 through 18, are starting the first in a series of rehearsals for the sixth season of the traditional holiday ballet that takes center stage at the Dulles State Office Building in mid-December. Susan Swanson has just come by to pick up her 14-year-old daughter, Abby, and is happy to share her enthusiasm for her child and the upcoming show.

[Read more...]

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