Spotlight Issue: January 2004

County Players Presents
Lettice and Lovage

County Players first production of 2004 is to be the hilarious comedy play, Lettice and Lovage by Peter Shaffer. Performances will be on Friday and Saturday, February 13 and 14, Friday and Saturday, February 20 and 21 with a 2 PM matinee on Sunday, February 22, and continuing on Friday and Saturday, February 27 and 28. Evening performances have a curtain time of 8 PM. Admission is $15.00, reduced to $12.00 for seniors and children under the age of 12.

This Tony Award winning comedy tells the story of a well meaning English castle guide, Lettice Doufett, who enlivens her presentations with ever-increasing creative license. Lettice is not given to out and out lies, but believes that by adding yeast to her delivery it will be of more interest to visitors. Developing from a meager history of a single incident that may or may not have occurred in one of England’s oldest castles, the expanded version goes galloping merrily onward. That is, until a complaint registered with Lettice’s employer, the head of a tourist agency, results in a “tourist visit”. The agency supervisor, Miss Lotte Schoen, is scrupulously honest and is shocked by the liberties assumed by the inventive guide. Explanations and misunderstandings abound, buttressed by the intrusion of yet another complicating twist in this farce. For those in need of a good midwinter laugh, this is the ticket to enjoyment.

Incidentally, the Redgrave sisters, Lynn and Vanessa, are to lend their talents to a screen rendition of this play for a Hallmark Hall of Fame television special next spring.

The director of the play is Rian Keating of Cold Spring whose direction of past comedies (The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and She Loves Me) identifies him as a person with a great touch for eliciting the maximum of humor in stage productions. He has assembled a premiere cast of local actors in carrying out the outrageous plot. Ms. Lettice Doufett is played by Nancy Swann of Putnam Valley. Lotte Schoen is acted by Linda Roper of Poughkeepsie. The role of Miss Farmer is held by Dale Cunningham of Hughsonville. Doug Woolley of Poughkeepsie portrays Mr. Bardolph and the character of “the Surly Man” is enacted by John P. Eaton of Cold Spring.

Ticket reservations can be made by calling the theater at 298-1491.

Upcoming Auditions

County Players is holding auditions for the spring musical Once Upon a Mattress. Auditions will be held February 1 and 2, 2004 at 7:00 PM at the theater for actors, singers and dancers ages 16 and up. This fun musical requires nine main characters and several singing and dancing chorus members. Please prepare a musical selection of your choice for a vocal audition and bring sheet music for the accompanist. We encourage those auditioning for the role of Winnifred to prepare “Shy” from the show as their audition song.

Everyone is expected to participate in the dance audition so make sure you are dressed comfortably with appropriate footwear. Two short dance phrases will be taught at the beginning of the audition. There will be time to practice while individuals are performing their vocal audition. The dances will then be performed in small groups. Line readings will follow.

A breakdown of the main characters is listed below:

  • Princess Winnifred – Mezzo (must belt a C) – a ‘shy’ princess who wins the prince’s affection
  • Prince Dauntless – Baritone – desperately wants to get married but is prevented by his mother’s strict tests
  • Queen Aggravain – Mezzo – loud, talkative woman who rules the country (and her family)
  • King Sextimus – Tenor – a kind man who cannot speak due to a curse
  • Lady Larken – Soprano – beautiful woman who must marry Sir Harry as soon as possible but must wait for Dauntless to find a bride
  • Sir Harry – Tenor – a powerful knight who is searching for a suitable bride for Dauntless so he can marry his Lady Larken
  • Minstrel – Tenor – the narrator of the story. He admires the Wizard very much.
  • Jester – Tenor – the King’s voice. He admires his father who was a performer.
  • Wizard – Baritone – the Queen’s confidante.

The chorus for this show will have lots of fun. There are four big production numbers and several other moments for chorus members to shine. Come on out and have some fun!

For more information, contact the director Jennifer Turoff at 227-2227 or JennTuroff@aol.com or musical director Mary Dallari at 463-1945 or Marynac@aol.com.

County Players History

Ten Years Ago: In February 1994 County Players was producing Rumors by Neil Simon directed by David Ringwood. David assembled an incredibly talented cast and crew for this show. One of his cast members, Todd Caster, and David went on to create their own production company Theater Arts Group which produced a series of highly acclaimed plays. We eagerly await their return.

Twenty Years Ago: In March 1984, County Players produced The Subject Was Roses by Frank D. Gilory directed by Rachel Cassidy. That show was the last time Prudence Garcia-Renart graced our stage until this past November when she returned in I Never Sang For My Father. We’re glad she came back.

We Want You!

Community theater would not survive were it not for you, the community. We cannot thank you enough for coming out to see our productions. We’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to get more intimate with the County Players family. We are very proud of the friendships (and even romances) which develop out of the close working relationships formed through the course of putting on a play. If you’d like to include County Players in your social circle please consider joining us on the production staff of an upcoming show. We welcome all comers whether experienced or not. Every show involves set construction, decorating, makeup, props, lighting, sound, acting, costumes, theater management, publicity, concessions, etc. And it takes a helping hand from a very large staff to produce each play. If you think you’d like to make new friends and have a good time behind the scenes please contact our volunteer coordinator Jennifer Turoff at 227-2227 or ask any of our staff at your next visit to the theater.