The Virgin Valley Theatre Group has cast the first show of the 2015-16 season Angel Street and is set to begin rehearsals with Co-Directors Jenna Grubb and Matt McDonald setting the stage along with Stage Manager Patti Bjornson rallying the troops in this Victorian thriller.
According to Samuel French ANGEL STREET is, “A Broadway hit first produced on the West End under the title Gaslight and filmed twice. ANGEL STREET tells the story of the Manninghams who live on Angel Street in 19th Century London. As the curtain rises, all appears the essence of Victorian tranquility. It is soon apparent however, that Mr. Manningham, a suavely handsome man, is slowly driving his gentle, devoted wife Bella, to the brink of insanity with an insinuating kindness which masks more sinister motives. While he is out, Mrs. Manningham has an unexpected caller: amiable, paternal Inspector Rough from Scotland Yard. Rough is convinced that Manningham is a homicidal maniac wanted for a murder committed fifteen years earlier in this very house. Gradually the inspector restores Bella’s confidence in herself and as the evidence against Manningham unfolds, the author has built and sustained some of the most brilliant, suspenseful sequences in modern theatre.
ANGEL STREET first appeared at the John Golden Theatre in New York.”
Jennifer Patrick, although a veteran VVTG actress, has just been cast in her first lead role and is very excited to begin rehearsals. Patrick told the MLN, “I’m really excited to be taking on my first female lead role. The role of Mrs. Manningham presents a range of emotions which will be quite challenging to portray. I’m grateful to Matt & Jenna for believing in me.” Patrick admitted that she’s also really nervous, “There’s a lot to learn and we have to be off book in two weeks!”
Glen Bjornson, VVTG’s Artistic Director, has been cast in the male lead role of Mr. Manningham and had this to say about the first role he’s auditioned for with the VVTG. “Personally, I’m thrilled to be able to focus some of my energy and talent on acting without the complications inherent in the dual role of directing/acting. I’m still the designer/technical director, but that’s a much easier dual role to balance. In addition, it allows me the opportunity to positively (hopefully) model the role of the actor – both in the artistic process and in the way one should best engage with the director, additional production staff, and one’s fellow actors. The roles in Angel Street are, for the most part, very nuanced; requiring considerable psychological insight and honing of acting skills. I hope to enjoy both the process and the performance.”
Along with Patrick and Bjornson is veteran VVTG actor Chad Calmelat who is once again, in the opening show of the season, playing the role of a police officer only this time he’ll be doing it with an English accent rather than a New York accent like the one he played in the 2014-15 season opener NANA’S NAUGHTY KNICKERS.
Jerrie Clarke will be taking on the role of Elizabeth the housekeeper. Clarke is also a veteran actress and was formerly cast in VVTG’s 2014 Spring Musical ANYTHING GOES where she played the role of the purser who was very demanding and bossy. Clarke is also the Director for the Lost City Museum so she is used to being the boss. The role of Elizabeth is anything but bossy and Clarke will likely find herself challenged to develop the character of the meek and subservient Elizabeth.
Emily Conklin will be playing the role of Nancy, the younger housekeeper. Conklin, having just turned 18, is a veteran actress and has been involved with stage productions for many years with both Mesquite Kids on Stage and the VVTG. Although Conklin is very comfortable on stage she will no likely find herself quite easily fitting into the role of the self-conscious, cheeky young housekeeper.
Dennis Feehan is a newcomer to the VVTG and has been cast in the role of Detective Rough.
Feehan had done some acting when he was in college but admits that it was a long time ago. Feehan stated that he’s not great with accents and developing an English accent will be a huge challenge.
ANGEL STREET is set to open on October 16 at 7 p.m. at the Mesquite Community Theatre. Other performance dates are October 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. and October 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be obtained by going online to www.vvtgnv.com or by visiting one of the following locations: Danielle’s Chocolates, Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, Mesquite Chamber of Commerce, Have Boutique Will Travel or the Mesquite Community Theatre Box office on the days of performances. For more information on the VVTG’s current season visit their website www.vvtgnv.com or call 702-346-2325.