The Curtain is Set to Open on the Virgin Valley Theatre Group’s 2014-15 Season

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MLN-Theatresept4-14The Virgin Valley Theatre Group has cast the first show of the 2014-15 Season.  Nana’s Naughty Knickers will open October 17, 2014 at the Mesquite Community Theatre and will be directed by Glen Bjornson.

Also slated for production this season by the VVTG is All My Sons which is scheduled to open January 9, 2015 and Zombies from the Beyond (Musical) which is scheduled to open on March 13, 2015.  See the full season schedule as well as all other VVTG information at www.virginvalleytheatregroup.com.

The Virgin Valley Theatre Group is still taking applications for volunteer directors for the Musical.  If you are interested in applying to direct the production “Zombies from the Beyond”, please contact Patti Bjornson, VVTG Secretary at vvtheatre@gmail.com.

The VVTG season opener and comedy Nana’s Naughty Knickers takes place in Sylvie’s (Nana) New York City apartment.

“Bridget and her Grandmother are about to become roommates. However, what Bridget saw as a unique opportunity to stay with her favorite Nana in New York for the summer quickly turns into an experience she’ll never forget. It seems her sweet Grandma is running an illegal boutique from her apartment, selling hand-made naughty knickers to every senior citizen in the five borough area! Will Bridget be able to handle all the excitement? Will her Nana get arrested – or worse! – evicted?” (Samuel French)
First produced at the Rainbow Dinner Theatre in Pennsylvania in 2010, Nana’s Naughty Knickers, written by Katherine DiSavino, is full of fast paced action and hysterical dialogue.

The cast of nine includes Diana McKinney in the role of Nana herself.  McKinney has a long history of community theatre both in Alaska and Montana as well as playing the role of Hope in the VVTG 2013-14 season’s musical “Anything Goes”.  McKinney is a new member of the VVTG’s Board of Directors and serves on both their marketing and fundraising committees.

The role of Nana’s soon-to-be law student granddaughter Bridget was given to newcomer Krysi Worthington.  Worthington is a junior at Virgin Valley High School and worked as one of the stage crew for “Anything Goes”.  This will be Worthington’s first role on stage with the VVTG.  Director Glen Bjornson says Worthington is a natural with great instincts.

Nana’s partner in crime, Vera will be played by long time member of the VVTG, Teri Nehrenz.  Nehrenz has appeared in over a dozen VVTG productions including, The Subject Was Roses, 12 Angry Jurors and Murder Inn last year.  Nehrenz also directed My Three Angels, Love Letters and A Day at Emma’s for the VVTG. Nehrenz is currently the VVTG President and former Artistic Director.

Chad Calmelat was cast in the role of Police Officer, Tom.  Calmelat had been with the VVTG for only one season but quickly found his place on the stage having appeared in 12 Angry Jurors, Anything Goes and Three Murders and it’s Only Monday just last season alone.  This is Calmelat’s second season with the VVTG and with his enthusiasm for acting and talent you can expect to see him on stage in many future productions.

Has Gary Williams been type cast as the “bad guy” in a VVTG production once again?  Williams who played the part of Moonie, Public Enemy #13 in VVTG’s 2013-14 musical Anything Goes, has  now been cast as the greed driven Mr. Schmidt who would love nothing more than to kick the 83 year old Nana out of her rent controlled New York City apartment so he can collect more rent.  Williams charmed the audience as Public Enemy #13, he’s sure to become the landlord you’ll love to hate in Nana’s Naughty Knickers.

Nancy Hewett who played the part of the ditzy Mary Tobias in VVTG’s Three Murders and it’s Only Monday last season will return to the stage this season as Nana’s competitor turned employee, Heather Van Pree.  Hewett couldn’t attend auditions in person because of her job but sent in an exceptional video of her audition piece complete with character and costume and got the part.  Hewett’s tenacity in getting the part is right up there with the character she will portraying, Bjornson says, “She’s a great fit for the part, her audition was wonderful!”

Nana’s big client Clair will be played by Joan Pelliccio.  Pelliccio is new to both the VVTG and Mesquite.  Her authentic “back east” accent makes her perfect to play the role of Nana’s biggest New York client and her raspy voice is perfect for the dialogue that is guaranteed to have every female in the audience in stitches and some of their husbands as well.

Ted Ung is another long time member of the VVTG who has a long list of roles and has even directed one of the VVTG’s shows, Death Trap.  Ung appeared as several characters in last season’s Three Murders and it’s Only Monday as well as having played the role of the Bishop in Anything Goes.  Look for Ung’s comedic portrayal as the UPS man to have you laughing so hard you’ll be in tears.

The second UPS man is a silent but funny role which Mike Schultz will be playing.  Schultz is a member of the Mesquite Feet and appeared in VVTG’s production of Anything Goes as one of the Chinese Missionaries as well as performing as one of the dancers in both the title song and finale.

Another new comer to the VVTG is Peter Pelliccio, husband of Joan Pelliccio (Clair), who has never been on stage before and didn’t think he was quite ready this time either so he agreed to play an off stage character….The Voice.  “The Voice” is never seen but he’s heard plenty.  Peter’s full blown New York Accent will have you believing you’re listening to a real doorman who’s working in New York City apartment building.

Understudying for the parts of Nana and Vera is Mike Brenner.  Brenner has a long history of shows to her credit.  Brenner recently played the character Grace and discovered whodunit in VVTG’s Murder Inn last season.

Understudying for the parts of both Clair and Heather is Kathy Bussman who recently appeared in Three Murders and it’s Only Monday.  In her first roles, Bussman played two different characters in the same show.

Jenna Grubb will understudy the part of Bridget and is also the show’s Assistant Director. Grubb grew up in theatre in Montana and is a former VVTG President.  Grubb has many VVTG roles to her credit including her first VVTG role as Melody Lane in VVTG’s only Melodrama, Curse of an Aching Heart.

Janet McDonald has agreed to take on the role of Stage Manager, not a small task when you see the complexities of this set.  McDonald has been a crew member for several Mesquite Community Theatre shows and has worked for different organizations as such.  McDonald was also Prop Master and stage crew in Anything Goes, this along with her acting experience and organizational skills, makes her a perfect person for the complexities of the backstage work involved with this production.

Bjornson, VVTG’s artistic director, has brought considerable quality to the VVTG productions in both his direction of The Subject Was Roses, Murder Inn, 12 Angry Jurors and Anything Goes along with his outstanding set designs in those productions as well. Bjornson’s talents are sure to bring out the best in this complex comedy production.

Nana’s set is full of challenges but Bjornson has been busy for months already planning the construction of this former New York City bootlegger’s apartment complete with secret hiding places which now house Nana’s naughty creations.

Speaking of Nana’s naughty creations, VVTG’s costumer Brett Hardy sure seems to be having fun with these particular costume designs.  Hardy who designed 124 custom outfits for VVTG’s musical production Anything Goes last season just gives you the “Cheshire Grin” when anyone mentions the costumes in this production; the cast hasn’t seen anything as far as what’s planned but they’re sure he’s having quite a lot of fun with “Nana’s designs”.

Nana’s Naughty Knickers is scheduled October 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 and November 1 at 7 p.m. and October 26 at 2 p.m. at the Mesquite Community Theatre, 150 N Yucca Street.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and are available at Danielle’s Chocolates, 1155 W Pioneer Boulevard Suite 102, Mesquite Chamber of Commerce, 12 W Mesquite Boulevard, Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, 15 W Mesquite Boulevard and the Mesquite Community Theatre Box Office.

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