The Virgin Valley Theatre Group’s Board of Directors set the 2014-15 season’s shows early in 2014 and with the opening of Nana’s Naughty Knickers the first show of the season was off to a great start.
The auditions for the second show of the season, All My Sons, were held early because of the depth of subject and dramatic nature of the show. As is usually the case for the Virgin Valley Theatre Group there was a minimal number of male actors, especially 20-30 year olds, who cared to audition and All My Sons was no exception to the rule. Those who came to the audition were cast; there were none to spare or understudy but roles were filled and rehearsals had begun.
For five weeks rehearsals went fairly well and the early start seemed a good idea, they had a talented director with a contemporary approach who was chosen to lead this show and its actor’s to opening night but throw in Murphy’s Law and anything can… and did happen.
Health issues, family members and personal, are the one thing we sometimes don’t see coming and once they’ve hit have to be tended to. There is nobody but fate to blame for throwing those obstacles in the way; it’s how you decide to dodge those obstacles that makes for the outcome of the story.
In the case of most theatre groups…the show must go on, canceling was not an option so the board members decided to play a different game. Vintage Hitchcock was the chosen replacement for the second spot of the season.
The VVTG’s Artistic Director is a huge believer that with adversity comes opportunity and the VVTG members haven’t been able to prove his theory wrong yet. Opportunity comes in many forms and in Vintage Hitchcock when it knocked on several doors, a few newcomers to the Mesquite stage chose to open them… along with some “vintage” members as well.
Vintage Hitchcock was a good choice to both overcome the adversity and offer opportunity. The “radio play” was meant to be read on stage…the action takes place in a vintage radio studio complete with a sound effects table and Janet McDonald as the main sound “guy”. McDonald also has is and plays the stage manager for the production. The opportunity to launch the show with only a month to rehearse offered the actors and director the opportunity to relax a bit and not stress about having to learn brand new lines and characters in only 4 weeks with the holidays falling right smack in the middle of their already short rehearsal schedule.
The first actress who would be jumping in with both feet is newcomer Patty Amore who has the privilege of stretching her talents in all three short scenes. She plays several characters in the radio play. In The Lodger she portrays Daisy Bunting in Sabotage Phone person #1, as well as woman with puppy on bus and in 39 Steps she portrays Pamela Stewart. Amore has not only jumped into acting with both feet but has treated all aspects of the theatre with the same gusto as she’s treating her acting debut. Amore has been stage manager, prop master and most recently spot light technician in her short year with the VVTG.
Judy Edgington is no stranger to the Mesquite stage. Edgington is a member of the Mesquite Toes and has danced in several productions; she is also a member of the Toes new musical theatre group. Edgington does just as well backstage as she does onstage dancing having just recently been part of the VVTG’s production of Nana’s Naughty Knickers where she worked backstage to make the mechanics of Nana’s closet work perfectly for every show. This is Edgington’s acting debut and she has taken on no small feat with the roles of Phone person #2 in Sabotage and Renee, the Cigarette Girl, Innkeeper and usherette in 39 Steps.
Last but not least of the newcomers is Sandy Trout. Trout is brand new to the VVTG with this production. This may be Trout’s first time on the Mesquite Stage but she’s quite accomplished in Community Theatre having performed in show such as The Importance of Being Ernest, Steel Magnolias, Annie Get Your Gun, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Guys and Dolls. The VVTG is excited to welcome Trout to the group. Sandy plays the characters Ellen Bunting in The Lodger, the Waiter and Hollingshead in Sabotage and the Manager and Driver in 39 steps.
All of the actors in Vintage Hitchcock have the opportunity to display their multiple personality disorder to the audience as all the characters of classic Alfred Hitchcock come to life in the style of a 1940s radio broadcast. “With The Lodger, Sabotage and The 39 Steps, Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play is a triple feature, complete with vintage commercials, that recreates a daring train chase, a serial killer’s ominous presence, and a devastating explosion through the magic of live sound effects and musical underscoring.” (Playscripts)
Vintage Hitchcock opens January 9th at the Mesquite Community Theatre, 150 North Yucca Street at 7 p.m. Additional show date and times are January 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. as well as a Matinee showing on January 18 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 and are available at Danielle’s Chocolates, The Mesquite Chamber of Commerce, The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, Have Boutique Will Travel and The Mesquite Community Theatre Box Office.