|Create an account||The White Plains Daily Internet Newspaper...Founded 2000 A.D....|
Review and Comment by Councilman Bill King on the Aisle:Councilman William King reviews the Westco production of Annie which ran over the weekend at Rochambeau School, and relates his impressions of White Plains growing theater community.
My daughter Amanda was in the Westco production of Annie at Rochambeau last Thursday-Saturday, 4 shows. I went to the last 3 which were all complete sellouts (460 seats in theater). I assisted Peter Katz in taping the show on Saturday - Peter was drafted into the show to play Judge Brandeis, his first stage role - 2 lines! So, he taped the first act and I taped the 2nd. The cast, adults and kids, was terrific.
Oliver Warbucks was played by Pauline Oliva's dentist, Jeff Schlotman, and his wife Paulette played the female lead, Warbucks secretary Miss Farrell. They live in the Hillair Estates area. Their daughter was also one of the lead orphans.
Annie was played by Christy Robinson, a 7th grader at OLS whose family lives on Ralph Ave. She was so good, there were about 20 girls my daughter's age that stayed after the last show to get her autograph.
I was really impressed by the whole experience - 4-piece live orchestra, audio (20 cast members, including some of the kids, were miked), 'professional dog' from the Broadway production of Annie (even came with his own publicity pictures!) .
So was Suzi Oppenheimer, who came to the Friday morning show - she said a few words to the audience between acts. Sue Katz asked me but I declined. Suzi was blown away.
This was a great experience for especially the kids.
The Mayor came to the Saturday evening show and also said a few words between acts, but he didn't stay for the whole show.
The Schlotmans are an incredibly talented couple - previously did Sound of Music for Westco, among others.
The way Westco packed them in at Rochambeau, I am sure that a 10,000 square foot, 450-seat performing arts theater at the City Center is not big enough, and the reportedly 30-35 high ceiling will not be high enough to do shows like Peter Pan.
Peter Katz reported to the Mayor and me that Pizzeria Uno was reportedly filled by the pre-theater crowd. I said "that's the halo effect." Sue Katz said that many of the people on Westco's mailing list come from as far away as Rockland.
Some of the school groups that came to Friday's 10 a.m. performance were from Scarsdale and either Yonkers or the Bronx. If White Plains schools kids came, this would represent an even bigger pool of attendees.
This is a regional-drawing company. Many of the kids, if their parents would let them, would gladly perform a week or 2 week's worth of Annie - they were sorry to see it end.
Steve Sules' daughter, Chelsea, had a small speaking role and he was at the Saturday evening performance.
The adult cast was very very good. Sue Katz does not oversell her company - to me, if anything, she undersells it. This is a great thing for White Plains to have in our community as well as having the other 2 theater companies, Playgroup and Fort Hill.
Westco, in addition, brings in touring companies, such as one on a national tour from Nova Scotia in February for 2 children's shows (The Hungry Caterpillar which supposedly is a wild 3D show that even happens over kids's heads in the audience.)
Susan reports that funding from the Westchester Arts Council is virtually impossible to come by.
Suzi(Oppenheimer) said she wanted to see for the first time what she has helped get funding for over several years - she thinks what she saw should be experienced by older kids as well, at least up to middle school.
|Designed and hosted by WestchesterInternet.com|
White Plains CitizeNetReporter - "We Are There Because They Are Not." - Connie Desmond White Plains CitizeNetReporter is dedicated to providing news and free community services through the internet
to the residents and organizations of the City of White Plains, New York.WhitePlainsCNR.com is a division of White Plains CitizeNetReporter.
All copyrights reserved. Email our Editor at email@example.com. Put White Plains news and headlines on your website! Click here to find out how!
PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.