The Sound of Music 2014
Dani’s warm acting and her emotional renditions of the Rodgers melodies.
Maggie coming to life during the shows and being “just right” for her family.
Eugene showing up just when we needed him and playing a poised and polished Captain.
Jake pushing himself as an actor and finding some emotional resonance as the Captain.
Fiona pulling one of the greatest “comebacks” the South Middle stage has even seen – a cracky voice giving way to a spectacular “Climb.”
Susie finishing her middle school musical career by blowing the roof off of the auditorium with her singing and her wonderful acting presence.
Bonnie’s ease and comfort level with the audience and an oh-so-memorable “OH, you’re staying on.”
Vanessa “pulling a Benanti” and making the audience wonder why VT would ever leave a woman as cool as she was.
Julian starting as a rookie, but showing the polish of a veteran by the end while working for the laughs as Max.
Sophie’s pitch-perfect projection and poise as Max.
Julia’s genuine concern for her “siblings” and warmth toward them.
Lauren’s “Katniss-like” way of looking at her cast mates with near laser-like precision.
The VT kids riding through the highs and lows of their scenes, making the audience worry about them and what the future might hold for them.
Patrick doing his best to suppress his ever-present smile while romancing Liesel.
Colin singing such a sweet “Sixteen” and being the right guy in the right place at the right time.
Annie and Amal addding a dignity to VT's humble servant.
Rachel S. “owning the stairs” and moving from a kid who didn’t even tryout last year to a big acting part.
Mansi finishing her career post-Gypsy with a big, colorful performance and the “curt-ins.”
The Nuns discussing Maria’s merits and that wonderful “step jump” during “How Do You Solve a Problem …”
Aryaman, Daniel and Tomer having to be really mean guys, but they all just sucked it up and did what they had to in order to scare the audience (and their cast mates).
Katelyn and Daniella with the hardest job of all – having to work closely with me to make sure the production came off successfully (which it did)!
Lauren F’s emotionally responsive face, sweet singing voice, and the charm and humor she used to convince Warbucks of how special she was.
Alex’s plucky heroine, her powerful (singing) belt and the way she stood up to Hannigan (usually laughing off to the side if it was a rehearsal).
Alexis embodying Hannigan’s twisted craziness as her voice shrieked from highs to lows.
Bella M. playing it as big as she could and taking all of us there with her while being the unanimous choice for cast leader.
Nathan’s culturally refined Warbucks, the warmth of his relationship with Annie and how he gave into her charms.
Jake singing up a storm and warming up in his performance.
Erin’s amazing growth from “a singer who acts” to “an actor who sings.”
Susie’s “always-on” face and voice and her grace as Grace.
Jack showing his range from the Rooster to the President; checkout the veins in his neck when he “sings” as FDR.
Ben’s wacky lunacy that even infused his ensemble performances.
Bella H. getting in touch with her inner bimbo more than anyone might have ever expected and becoming a true character actor in the process.
Lauren R. bringing her total openness and charm to Lily.
Dani and Haylie doing their parts as orphans and then blowing us away with their star-to-be bit.
The other orphans acting, singing and dancing their way through the proceedings.
The FDRs crooning about “being stuck with a day, that’s gray and lonely” or having “nothing to fear – but fear itself!”
Noah H stepping up big time for a rookie and acting Drake’s quiet dignity through all four performances.
Patrick’s acting turn as a befuddled cop followed by the joy of his voice singing “Never Fully Dressed.”
Mansi standing by my side as AD and making sure I didn’t mess up or lose track of things.
Beauty and the Beast 2012
Samantha’s “Papa” and turning on emotions seemingly at will.
Amanda improving upon the skills she already possessed and still being recognized as the nicest person in the cast.
William showing us a tortured Beast who found happiness.
Gio’s return to our stage with finesse, poise and power.
(And how about the way both Beasts sang?)
Jack D. grabbing hold of Gaston from the beginning and never letting go.
Ben Web finding his “inner bad guy.”
Erin’s sweet-singing Mrs. Potts.
Lizzie’s deciding to be part of our cast (even though most of her friends didn’t) and complementing her performing skills with a new skill – leadership – that we all benefitted from.
Aram’s smooth Lumiere and joking around with his director.
Nathan’s Lumiere oozing sarcasm and joy.
Emily B. finishing up three strong years with a part that featured her perfect projection and diction (even when it came to Aloysius the Pretentious).
Susie F. coming in and blowing us all away with far more dazzle and poise than a sixth grader should have.
Jack K. running after that duck and plotting behind Maurice’s back.
Eric finding his inner evil sidekick.
Alexis’s emotion-charged, panicky Maurice.
Eve finding her way into Maurice’s goofiness.
Bella H. being chased by Lumiere.
Lauren’s sassy Babette sitting on Maurice’s lap – OK, she eventually got it right.
Brooke working and working and finally finding the Wardrobe on performance days.
Bella M. showing off that grand aspects of a funny character bit.
Mari capturing Chip’s innocence.
Bonnie embodying Chip’s enthusiasm.
Jake thinking about leaving, but sticking around and singing his way through D’Arque with that voice.
Niamh also thinking about leaving, but sticking around and helping lead our cast with the gypsy’s spirit.
Danielle and Abby launching the show with narration that never even needed the acting/transformation that was supposed to go with it!
Clara/Celina/Christyn/Mansi/Izzy/Lauren becoming truly silly girls at every turn (their lines, in town, in the pub, etc.) And extra special kudos to Izzy for going above and beyond as Orange AD!
The Wizard of Oz 2011
Michelle settling in to her part and how she grew from Thursday to Saturday and even within each show.
Diana’s kindness to all, her sweet high voice and how her face reacted to everything along Dorothy’s journey.
Deborah’s fine work at showing the ‘crow’s quest for a brain.
Christine’s moving portrayal of the ‘crow’s innocence.
Sydney S.’s stalwart tin man.
Emily Bl. stepping up to fill the role she was hoping for in the first place.
Lizzie making the audience “roar” with laughter. (Well, she did.)
Sammie energizing the audience and running around and making everyone laugh.
Rachel camping and vamping as the green-faced witch.
Sydney F. taking the lead at working with the cast and her quest for perfection during rehearsal. Yes, Syd, everything was OK – especially your performance!
Serena turning on the power and then stumbling out as a “mere mortal.”
Danny showing a range from scary to humble even as “just” a first-timer.
Kristina practically floating into her scene and offering Dorothy her best.
Amanda’s warmth that turned to a surprisingly believable rage.
Erin turning on the charm and singing so smoothly.
Chloe’s “heart-to-heart” moment with Dorothy.
Tara announcing the news about the wizard with legitimate concern.
Allie’s big smile and enthusiasm.
Ally finishing up three solid years in a good character part.
Caterina timing the “tail-grab” perfectly.
Emily Bak. making the most of her stage time by portraying a kind, caring aunt.
Hallie saying Mr. Schwartz’s favorite line: “Dorotheeeeee?”
Aram’s energy and how it became more frantic as he became more nervous.
Ben We.’s extremely manic mayor and his perfect comedic face and readings.
Jenna embodying the farmer’s spirit so clearly.
Isabella’s attitude and how she kept the mayor in line.
Jasmine finishing off three solid years by getting to boss people around.
Jack filling in so ably by giving the private a hard time.
Julia standing by my side as AD and adding pizzazz to her scene.
Brooke leveling the general with her innocence.
Maureen pointing Dorothy in the right direction.
Niamh’s puzzled Farmer Jo.
Izzy L. showing up at read-throughs and how she enthusiastically worked her way into a part.
Ben Wo. helping set up the whole show with his overalls and perfect Midwestern accent.
Sarah standing by my side as AD and smiling through her ghastly scene.
Kaitlyn getting a chance to play a fun character with her “ghoulish” cast mates.
Bye Bye Birdie 2010
Justin stepping up big time; a guy who went from ensemble to star in one swift move and did it with great voice work, smooth dance moves and a complexion that blushed at just the right times (and he never laughed during a show or rehearsal).
Alex, who remained a pain in my neck for three years, but who also knew how to do it all and do it all well; I always appreciated his enthusiasm and energy.
Jessie's show-stopping "Spanish Rose" and how she embodied the role of Rosie from the beginning.
Stefanie with another year of solid work, especially the comedy/goof-ball aspects of the part.
Alli's embodiment of a teenager circa 1960.
Dominique's sweet voice and the zaniness she brought to the part.
Steven's vocal power, leadership, and (of course) his Birdie dancing.
Alex's breath-taking voice and the cool that he brought to the part.
Emma's Mrs. Peterson walk and the special voice she developed (and always played, even in rehearsal).
Ally's deliberate Mrs. P.
Eddie G.'s madcap, always-simmering-with-anger Mr. Mac and his amazing song stylings during rehearsals.
James's detached, bored Mr. Mac and his improv stylings that ... entertained all of us.
Alanna's all-knowing Mrs. Mac.
Allie's calm and steady Mrs. Mac.
Avir's befuddled Hugo, especially when he's loopy after all that milk.
Julia's big, beautiful wig and the jacket toss during the show.
Christine pushing her boundaries as a performer and heading out over the top.
Lia's teen spirit.
Diana's Birdie scream.
Maddie becoming Randy, especially how she would make herself at home around the set.
Rachel's attitude that embodied a kid who nobody listened to.
Sydney's tough bartender.
Jasmine pulling some 'tude from behind the bar.
The Teeny-Bopper Girls (Amanda, Annabelle, Ashley, Deborah, Emily, Julia, Kara, Kristina, Sharon, Shelby, etc. -- did I leavd anyone out?) hitting those "We-Love-You-Condrads" with the appropriate amount of energy.
The ADs Beatriz and Rebecca and the Gypsy, Evangeline, who, as usual, had the hardest job of all -- putting up with me! (Extra kudos to Beatriz for the collapse on the platform during "Livin'")
Guys and Dolls 2009
Matt offering great creative ideas and picking up the mantle of cast leadership while embodying Nathan’s “put-upon” nature.
Mark making me nuts with his lines, but getting ‘em under control in time to be at his best during the show – he even listened to the audience!
Evan going from 6th grade goofball to 8th grade leading man -- what remarkable growth as a performer (and as a person).
Alex S.’s “not-too-annoying” voice (as I used to tell him) and his ability to play someone he wasn’t really like.
Karen’s beautiful voice, which we all knew was strong, but also her surprisingly strong performance as a Sarah who was kind, but no pushover.
Hannah’s sweet, pitch-perfect voice and how she seized the show during the second half of the first act.
Alli K., a triple-threater who blew all of us away from the first note of singing tryouts to the Saturday night bows and she even helped me sell tickets!
Stefanie breaking out of the pack during tryouts and going the distance to the point of earning laughs during song, a hallmark of a true performer.
Alex M. who brought his dice ALONG and found a place for himself in our theatre company.
Steven continuing to impress all of us with his vocal and performing range (and technical knowledge!).
Lia fighting her way through a nasty cold to perform up to the ability she showed throughout rehearsals.
Emma being “one of the boys “ -- always on and always smiling, which made my mom happy.
Dominique making Arvide more and more nervous as she learned the character.
Jesse D.’s world-weariness and her sweet singing of “More I Cannot Wish You.”
Julia continuing her growth as a performer by becoming someone who was threatening … and who had the presence to hand ‘em the gun!
Gabby showing her range by showing her “inner tough guy.”
Jake stepping up to a big part, learning the whole show and making his way through the “shower of snot” at rehearsal.
James talking about his getaway car … his Buick.
Sameer stepping into Brannigan’s shoes and being a cop who had no idea how little he knew.
Vishal working Brannigan with a lot of emphasis on his cluelessness moments.
Kara’s no-nonsense General.
Anoush coming back to the show and appreciating our ensemble while adding some humor to her part.
Ally’s quirky delivery of Joy’s lines in her scene – interesting range.
Sydney’s extremely tough Joy – I wouldn’t mess with her!
Diana’s “non-line” acting moments (her face was always on) and sweet voice.
Rachel adding a bit of feistiness to Agatha.
Allie D. playing Mimi’s cluelessness so cleverly.
Madison playing Mimi’s cluelessness with a big of a sarcastic edge.
Sharon and Lee standing by my side throughout rehearsal as my key advisors.
42nd Street 2008
Lauren Y. pulling off a true performance – no, she’s not really that full of herself – and adding in some great voice work.
Sabrina’s vocal power and elegance and, more importantly, her ability to be “on” in every moment, her ability to bring everyone else up to her ability, as well as her classic facial expressions, especially when her ankle went snap.
Hannah’s sad eyes looking on in wonder as Peggy moves up in the show, followed by blowing us all away with her voice.
Laura’s “underdog” coming out of nowhere (at least to me) to reach down deep to embody Peggy’s spirit – I’ll never forget the way she wrapped her voice around her solo song.
Nicole finding her “inner sarcasm” and actually making people laugh during a musical number.
Michelle laying down a “cool jazz beat” and (hip thrust, hand up, huge smile) and singing while also embodying Maggie’s jaded spirit.
Alexa using her charm to portray Annie’s style while telling Peggy “the deal” about musicians, etc.
Ally returning after a year off and showing some serious charisma and her ability to calculate 20 minutes with 10 fingers oh-so-humorously.
Mike Lev playing a different role than his prior parts, but playing it as effectively as he did his others with a singing voice that matured so much in the last few years.
Mark coming up big on show nights – he had some acting to do, too, and he did it well after all the bar mitzvah cobwebs cleared out of his head.
Matt fooling around with the guys, but always being there to hit his lines and paying attention and asking valuable questions. Not only that, we had the added pleasure of him singing this year.
Roei being chased by so many good-looking women he didn’t know what to do … other than act, sing and dance as well as he’s always done.
A.J. always smiling and laughing and singing so sweetly (and always being anxious to share some gossip).
Ross’s growth as a performer (he made the audience laugh – there ya go, Ross!) as well as his tenor.
Steven’s classic vocal tone (“Dorrrttthhyyy?”) and his accent.
Evan R.’s larger-than-life sugar daddy and his accent.
Evan M. being an oh-so-nervous Pat.
Alex being swamped by Sabrina’s “hold me and never let me go” and taking a punch from the Thug.
Lauren F. fooling around with Mike Lev and being all smiles during rehearsal, but being all business during the shows and taking control as Andie.
Eileen playing someone who’s put upon oh-so-well; kudos to her for also showing some serious growth as a captain of the set.
Paige’s offbeat look at the world – a girl who is comfortable being who she is – and how she brought it to her character.
Izzy, Our Gypsy, working hard at her part, being there whenever needed and working hard at keeping everyone in line.
Emma sliding into our company and always being “on.”
Alli with a smile so big that passers by would (literally) stop to ask, “Who’s the girl with blue shirt, brown hair and big smile?"
Julia’s “efficiency expert” approach to Mary (not Mac!)
Phoebe laying down a piano beat (OK, not really) and being all smiles at her piano.
Shelby taking her moment in the spotlight and making the most of it with a little ‘tude.
Kara also pulling some ‘tude and offering to help.
Dominique keeping at it and showing enthusiasm for all things theatrical.
Jesse D. putting her best foot forward and snagging a part that only begins to touch on her potential.
Lia always being engaged and “on” and offering to help when it was really needed.
Gal Z.’s beautiful voice soaring over everyone – even when everyone was singing.
Sara and Gabby joining the long list of a.d.’s who stood by my side and helped track and create the scenes to make sure we were at our best.
Wonderful Town 2007
Note: the first four cast members are, of course, my extra-special BFFL’s since we spent so much time together! Fave rehearsal -- staging “Ohio.”
Emily G.’s “snicker guffaw” and the classic dance and vocal moves w/Swing and 100 Easy Ways.
Sarah S’s doooooo youuuuuuuu speakiiiiiieeeee English and classic (for a different reason) dance moves and vocals on Conga.
Samantha D.’s having a cow and then dancing and singing her tunes so beautifully and just a little bit in love.
Julia K.’s smiling and self-assured Eileen as well as her impeccable work habits and quick switches when talking to Chick and Baker.
Michael B.’s intensity, powerful voice and his run down the aisle.
Aaron M.’s world-weariness and classic sailor’s voice.
Roei C.’s “ow, ow, ow” and pushing Fletcher out the door, yo.
Jon L. waiting for mother’s day to whack her.
Michelle N. leading Roei off-stage by the ear, her great tryout, and the hair flip.
Samantha N. calm, reserved Helen trying to keep cool in this crazy world.
A.J. M. showing Lonigan’s sly, humorous side and being literally everyone’s friend.
Ross D.’s sweet voice.
Angela P.’s perfect comic timing w/Ella and when busting R&E’s chops.
Fich’s comic intensity and how she bears down on Ruth when her painting disappears; she’s also a key member of the lunch crew, tix crew and blog crew ...
Dayna W.’s “Well I never.” She really seemed like an old wagon ...
Lindsay C., gypsy in spirit, who hosted w/style. One of only two people in the cast who are allowed to rank me out (see also Dayna ... and they even played the same part!)
Michael Lev killing on Frank’s monologue.
Bobby F. doing well at the shows.
Evan R. so energetic and enthusiastic to be playing Chick.
Matt K. playing someone very unlike him so very well.
Hillary K. leading us on the tour -- finally. Cast gypsy for all the hours spent helping as much as she could ...
Jackie T.’s spirited singing voice.
Joelle S.’s great choreo of What a Waste. Another gypsy in spirit.
Marina T.’s fighting her way through a rough illness to be there and sing so beautifully. And her spicy-hot red face ...
Eileen C.’s offbeat outlook at the world.
Hannah S. being literally everyone’s friend and her display of vocal power.
Ariel H-S finally having a chance to shine.
Lauren Y. having her eye on you, solid and those great informal moves in “Darlin’ Eileen.”
Jane C. flipping the fedora.
Izzy T-L staying around and showing how much she wanted to be part of the cast, which she ended up being.
Nicole B.’s big safari steps and agreeing that she’s just passing out.
Paige K.’s “Danny, when we gonna get married?”
Alexa D.’s far-too-enormous Belly.
Evan M.’s safari-hunting coolness.
Mark G. finding his way into Rexford and his loose jowls in Eileen.
Danni Y. and Toby R. standing together behind the police desk and putting up w/me and being great ADs.
Oliver 2006--SPECIAL “DODGER-CORRECTED" EDITION
Max having a chance to show his stuff and and his sweet voice after three years of fun parts and three years of being one of the nicest guys in the cast.
Bobby’s voice and acting being perfectly matched to his part. Also, the cell phone (who does he talk to?), the hugs from cast females ...
Emily C.’s theatrical sensibility finding a perfect outlet in a flamboyant thief. She can play five years old or 65 years old and you’ll believe it.
Maya rediscovering her “childhood” character and bringing him to life by following an unlikely influence. Nobody’s ever more “on” than Maya.
Lindsey S. making it through a rough tech run and showing her stuff with a stunning Thursday night.
Natalie W.’s ability to turn it on and off (turning away to laugh while Sykes yells at her and she yells back, for example) and, needless to say, That Voice.
Mike L.’s perfectly pitched accents --yes, he had more than one -- during tryouts and his warm-hearted singing and performance.
Lauren S.’s proof of what a large amount of talent she packs into a small package. Was there a bigger “triple-threater” (actor/singer/dancer) than her this year?
Scott K.’s journey from a little too nervous to a little too “loosey goosey.” He loved those Orange cast women ... And they love him.
Scott M.’s usual theatrics and milking the laughs from another buffoonish character, along with extra-special kudos for kindness and his ability to warm Mrs. Conley’s heart and make her chuckle.
Sabrina’s arrival causing a degree of nervousness, yet she stepped into our cast with all the kindness, grace and style that a South Theatre Co. member should possess. Not to mention her triple-threat performing talent ...
Michelle R. having to step back slightly from last year but getting the “seasoning” of a juicy character part to add to her repertoire.
Natalie K. capping off three years of never missing anything, never bothering anyone and never being bothered by anyone by singing and dancing my favorite part of the show.
Jenny R. showing the same type of quiet consistency as Nat K. -- no wonder they played the same part!
Shelli being the first to notice my grammatical mistake and the intensity and energy she brought to Mrs. S., as well as that piercing scream ...
Sarah applying her perfect comic timing to a quirky woman and stepping up on the platform and making everyone laugh.
Alexi -- my Gypsy and probably the only person who can drop the “S-Bomb” on our stage and not face my wrath. A set captain in the best sense of the words.
Emily G.’s patiently understood -- “Yes, I understand.” Such a sympathetic trooper!
Samantha D. taking a Big Step Up and coming through like a trooper; watch her dance some time (and sing and act).
Rachel D. getting a shot and coming through big time in action and in voice. Her improv will live forever -- no, I don’t want to buy any drugs!
Jen J. playing yet another tricky part that required a true depth of spirit.
Maryellen’s giggle (ask Maya), as well as the flair she brought to a demanding role.
Angela -- the “Pitto scene,” the day Ang took control and taught everyone one of the trickiest scenes in the show like it was nothing.
Lindsay C. having to reign in her natural charisma and basically just catch her dying partner.
Michael B.’s ferocity and taking a complete 180º turn from comic genius to evil murderer and bringing the audience along with him.
Aaron stepping into our company like he’s always been a part of it and the contrast of his kindness with the fierceness he brings to Sykes.
Roei -- a “Tim Burton character come to life” with impeccable timing and a face and voice that are under his total control.
Kenny’s fine voice and watching him as his excitement built for his first time performing on stage!
Ross’s smooth dancing, his grace, his voice! I don’t know if I’ve said more than 100 words to this guy, but I like him!
Jonny’s sinister chuckle. May have lost a little ground to Friedner w/t women, but still one of the best-liked guys when the ladies are looking for a friend ...
Mike G. showing some of that old intensity and acting his heart out in a role that required as much acting as he’s ever had to do.
Joey -- nothing really left to say other than BE QUIET, WILL YOU PLEASE? (OK -- a fine role to wrap up a fine three years.)
Dan bringing back some much-needed comedy and turning a “bitsel” into a fine laugh moment.
A.J. working his way around his part and working at it until achieving a nice level of comfort.
Isabelle learning the whole “work’us” thing and how she kept at it on her own and would come back to rehearsals and get better and better.
Jackie bringing her natural charm and charisma to Noah.
Taylor’s beautiful voice echoing through the auditorium during the show’s most beautiful number.
Anything Goes 2005
Ally grabbing onto the part of Reno from the beginning and never letting go until late Sat. night when her show ended. A singing, dancing and acting powerhouse.
Michelle walloping all of us as “the underdog,” the one who came in and made us pay attention to her because she was so perfect for Reno. Stage presence, charm, kindness, and one of the sweetest voices you’ll ever hear.
Mike B. coming in at just the right time and taking a lead as a 6th grader with a great voice and acting that’s just as impressive ... Who knows how bright his future will be?
Evan’s smoothness, willingness to work, and ability to grow ... He was so poised and ready and charming for his performances that the house went for him in a big way.
Fish’s classiness and her elegant voice ... She’s beautiful inside and out.
Samantha M’s high-energy tango steps and her outer beauty being complimented by a fierce drive to do whatever had to be done in order for the show to be a success ... It’s no mystery why so many people voted for her for unofficial cast leader.
Mike G. showing everyone what his director already knew -- he’s one of the finest actors we have in our building.
Scott M’s manic energy that kept us all laughing whether he was reciting his lines or doing an improv or doing whatever he could to make us laugh.
Max Z’s kindness toward everyone and enthusiasm for everything theatrical, as well as a perfect sense of comic timing.
Joey’s willingness to throw himself into his part and act as far overboard as he wanted, but he pulled the audience right along with him.
Lexee’s powerful vocal on Buddie Beware, combined with her ability to make all of us laugh and like her at the same time.
Lindsey throwing herself into Erma’s zaniness (ah, that tiptoeing around) and also belting out one powerful tune.
Jon W. stepping into our company and fitting right in and his having to fill in for all four shows and doing in a way that made the audiences laugh louder and louder with each performance.
The Angels coming up with that oh-so-cool dance spin for bows, as well as giving the Reverend a hard time, Maya and Lauren “planting one” on Moon, the big “hallajaleuah!” and their truly amazing moves in “BGB.”
Speaking of the Angels ... How about the great job Rachel did coordinating the Desserts on Us fundraiser? A perfect job for someone with her intelligence and creativity.
Sara M’s “wack-a-doodle” take on a woman who was usually too much of a busy body for her own good.
Emily C’s riding the emotional roller coaster to show us Mrs. H’s rise, fall and rise with a manic energy few could ever match.
Dan G’s rookie intensity and eagerness to please translating well into the Capt’s role.
Jesse S. stepping right up and filling in and playing a part he probably should have been given in the first place.
Brooke W’s coming in and taking away the biggest non-singing/dancing part by capturing the purser’s uptight characteristics with colorful humor.
Sarah S., our “co-rookie of the year” putting a unique spin on a character who never should have been as funny as she made her.
Maryellen and Miranda’s card tricks and the way they said “Craps!”
Jenny and Arielle’s classic jail cell “throw down.”
Ashley and Shelli pouring out another round for Mr. Whitney.
Jon and Dan’s scream and, of course, their perfect Mandarin.
Jen J. and Gabi standing by my side, adding their “2 cents” (especially Jen), and doing the thankless job of tracking everything for us oh-so-well.
And to everyone else ... All those magnificent moments when we were all together (80 strong!) entertaining our audience.
The Sound of Music 2004
Jen and Sami S. standing by my side and drawing little, squiggly lines in the book.
Zach and Scott trying to rein their natural personalities in to play an uptight military guy.
Rochelle and Kelsey smiling through their one line and being around almost all the time, anyway.
Sahar and Jesse serving the Capt. Slow down, fast-talkers!
Michael G. and Nick turning up the heat to threaten the Von Trapps and scare the pants off of everyone.
Margaret and Natalie’s sweet singing.
Taylor and Elizabeth being oh-so-difficult toward Maria but oh-so-nice to everyone else.
Lindsey and Maya playing it straight, but smiling out from under their habits: “Maria makes me laugh.”
Alexi working with me on her own time to navigate the tricky lines during the scene with Maria.
Alex working with Jen to try to get it right.
Lauren running to Jessica for a hug, leading the march, and wearing the hat with her night shirt.
Natalie’s melodic humming, green dress, and her struggles to get into the Capt’s arms for a hug.
Carolyn coming up with tapping Maria’s shoulder. Like Marta, Carolyn always demanded to be heard ... and she finally got her chance.
Laura’s great audition and the way her wide-eyes watched the scenes ... I hope she doesn’t crack that smile on Friday!
Ally's perfect delivery of the “No,” “Brigitta-ing” people to death, and her the growth of her vocal power.
Liza’s also not being afraid to tell it like it is, and her warm vocal phrasing.
Max’s cheerfulness, energy, and ideas for what next year’s show should be (I don’t know yet).
Joey running around trying to talk to everyone at once.
Sara’s expressive face and her assurance she didn’t put toads in Maria’s bed.
Emily R’s running the show -- as usual -- and her distinctive dancing.
Rachel’s “Frieda face” and her insistence that she is definitely not Friedrich. “Goodbyeeeeeeee.”
Michelle’s having to bury her natural personality to be the shy one, too. “Goodbyeeeeeeeeeee.”
Jessica F. sneaking up out of nowhere with as brilliant a tryout as I’ve seen and making us respect her awesome voice and acting talent.
Emily C’s effortless soprano and how she’s nothing like the Mother Ab, yet plays it so well.
Sami working hard selling those ads, her energy and stylish moves on the stage, and how she peaked at just the right time on performance night.
Dani’s professionalism and artistry with her lines and her moves and how she was always trying to improve the scene.
Evan’s turn from good guy to bad and hard work to get it right.
Brandon’s display of Rolf’s inner struggle.
Lexee channeling the spirit of a lady twice her age -- again.
Jessica S. working at the top of her game to be prepared and make her voice and performance sparkle in the special way. Our comeback player of the year.
Ethan’s booming voice and humor -- amazing for a first-timer!
Jordan hamming it up one last time. And no, I don’t typecast him.
Fran’s style, dignity and poise and the journey he took the Captain on from uptight to relaxed.
Adam’s voice, enthusiasm, and how he came to really be in a scene physically and emotionally.
Jessica T.’s earth-motherliness, humor and sweet-natured grace and charm; the best parts of her own personality fed right into making Maria come alive.
Kathleen’s growth as a performer -- we all knew the voice, but look how well she inhabited Maria’s personality.
You have all combined to make this a truly magical experience, and I hope you all appreciate it for what it is. Enjoy it and take from it some of the show’s positive messages, no matter how corny they seem -- our cast is like a family, too.
How to Succeed ... 2003
Lo and behold -- look what a peek at my old script reveals: H2S Cast Memories!
Dan H's sneakiness and "awesome" floor moves
Andrew B's charm and friendliness
Jillian C's poise and animated facial reactions
Melody T's spirit, kindness and rising to the occasion as a performer
Marc V's sly underhandedness
Jordan R's enthusiastic, yet evil bursts
Matt R's nervousness and (required by his part) obliviousness
Ryan S's comedic intensity
Dani K's sweet cluelesness
Dori C's appealing innocence
Rael L's sarcastic growth
Kathleen S's sarcastic grace
Marissa A's style and presence
Jessica S's cynical intrusiveness
Lexxe M's channeling of a middle-aged spirit
Jessica T's primness and properness
Mike D and Ben M's kind-hearted enthusiasm for "mail-roomery"
Adam B and Fran M's appropriate stuffiness
Emily R's moves and running the set (as usual)
Chenenne H running behind Emily (really, what else can I say?)
Tori F and Alex W and Maxine M and Carolyn G adding sweet narration
Sahar E and Evan W's "smooth" moves on Rosemary, Hedy and Playboy reading
Adina D and Dina J's "Chipmunk rah's"
Sami M and Ally K firing off their lines (love the face, love the moves)
Sami S and Gabi W working hard
and Odette K and Krissy L being rewarded w/lines and always standing by my side to keep track of things
The Pajama Game 2002 Cast Memories
Nora's understated and elegant strength.
Emily focused energy and enthusiasm.
David's intensity and charm.
Rob's everyman trying to do what's best.
Kristi's no-nonsense sweetness.
Cristina's charm and those well-placed stumbles.
Mike's controlled mania.
Andrew's misunderstood time-study man (who finally found his inner drunk).
Martha's way of telling a story.
Samantha's way of gossiping.
Dan finally having a chance to do what I was always telling him not to do -- grope the female talent.
Aharon's smooth-taler who didn't know how funny he was.
Max's fake cry.
Ryan's "damn communists."
Jillian giving Prez the business.
Elyssa's controlled hostility.
Melody performing even when she was close to passing out from being sick.
Marc's fast-talking confidence.
Matt's growth as a performer.
Dina and her clipboard roaming the stage.
Scott's excitement at simply being on stage.
Sam supporting his "daughter."
Jeff sticking with it for three years and finally being rewarded.
Jamal's sweet voice and dance moves.
Jordan playing every part in the full-day rehearsal and his "OK, BRENDA!"
Jess and Sara for being my first ADs and setting a standard of excellence.
Guys and Dolls 2001 Cast Memories
Note: this is entirely derived from deep in my memory (and, perhaps, a one-time, semi-recent viewing of the VHS tape -- yes, really -- from when Guys and Dolls became my first repeated show in 2009 ).
Benny's soul-stirring "Sit Down ..."
Dave Lev. turning on the accent and the energy.
Toren's "unnecessary tilde" pronunciation of Havana.
Andrew showing some edgy discomfort (which was just right for his part).
Jackie giving us a hint of what was to come at SHS with her powerful voice.
Rael singing so beautifully as "just" a sixth grader.
Nina deciding to become involved in school shows at just the right time (i.e. when I started directing them).
Shara's sweet high.
Amanda offering some fine support and warmth.
Cody's delivery of the line about giving over his father.
Ryan's deliberate delivery.
Max's befuddled Brannigan.
Marc trying to seem like he had a clue (but he really didn't).
Rob's chemistry with his co-stars, especially his fiancee of 14 years.
Phil's Nathan Lanesque, "all right alreaaaaaddddyyyy."
Luisina embodying Adelaide's sweet cluelesness.
Missy playing Adelaide's clueless sweetness.
Mike D. having to play something outside his comfort zone (and playing it pretty well).
Jake's confident Sky.
Samantha being such a meaney to Nathan.
Cristina's more restrained toughness as Jo(e)y.
Mandy getting a good chuckle in her moment.
Caroline begging me in homeroom for a shot at a moment.
Lara's kind Agatha.
Kate making the most of her moment.
Lauren reacting to the ups and downs of Cartwright's scenes.
Aharon being the toughest guy from East Cicero, Illi-noise.
Harrison showing surprising poise and toughness as a first-timer.