Tomorrow Morning Gets a Smart and Well-Sung Production at Western Reserve Playhouse

Western Reserve Playhouse

Community Theatre

Review by: Kevin Kelly

Not many people may know this hidden treasure of a show by Laurence Mark Wythe, but it has had quite a ride so far. The musical was first seen in London in 2006, then traveled to Chicago in 2009 and won a Jeff Award for Best New Musical, and landed off-broadway in 2011, earning a nomination for Outer Critics Award for Best Musical. Tomorrow morning is the brainchild of British Wythe who provided the Book, Music, and Lyrics. So bringing this musical to the Western Reserve Playhouse was a well-played selection. The musical is not often produced, hence the Regional Premiere, but interestingly enough, Michael Snider, who plays Jack in the production, was lucky enough to be in a production in Indiana a couple of years past, so luckily it is our region’s turn to bring it to life. Director Ian Atwood has the privilege to helm this production, along with musical director Bryan Bird, both accomplished performers.

The story concerns the relationships of two couples separated by a decade of life. The older couple, Jack (Michael Snider) and Catherine (Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoksi), are getting divorced. They navigate through a discretion that rips their trust apart and presents some very tough questions that a lot of couples have to face sometimes. How do you apologize? How do you forgive?

The Younger Couple, John (Tony Heffner) and Kat (Madeline Krucek), are getting ready to be married. Before the big day, the stick turns blue, and reality becomes reality. Growing up sucks, but higher responsibility is not always a welcome gift. Three is company. and stressful. They have their own questions. Are we ready for this? Do we love each other enough to get through this?

As we meet the couples, each has their conflicts established, and we watch as both couples work at it, and work through it. And the importance of the bond with a child provides the answers to the most difficult questions.

Director Ian Atwood has put together a strong cast of endearing actors and vocalists. As the older couple, Sniadak-Yanmokoski and Snider are given the emotional heavier roles to play. They both are grounded in character and certainly create a depth of despair and regret that each has to accept. It will be enjoyable to continue to find that line between angst and introspection. Both have beautiful voices and connect well with the storyline, even when it calls to be disconnected. As the younger couple, Krucek and Heffner get to play around a little more, and they work beautifully together. They both pack formidable voices and quite frankly, are charming as hell. They handle the touching moments well, especially after their playful moments which are really enjoyable. You just want to give them a savings bond and say “You’ll be alright!” Don’t get me started on “The Pool Boy” number. Heffner has more humps than a herd of camels. The good thing is you care about these two couples, and that is an important quality to crystalize.

Also, each actor has poignant musicals moments. My favorites for each are Catherine’s Self Portrait, Jack’s Autobiography, John’s Every Day, and Kat’s Girl in the Mirror. Each song owned as if a part of their DNA. Beautiful, touching, and sometimes funny adept choices of performing gold.

Atwood keeps the pace flowing, and does a nice job of working the two sides of the stage in tandem to keep the stories separate, but also connected. At times, there does seem to be a repetitive staging group sing position, and some songs are blocked with upstaging with distracts a bit. But the good thing is this is original work, and Atwood is bringing this show to life with his own themes and execution, and that is to be applauded. Bryan Bird does a wonderful job playing the score, although I wish the piano had more of a sharpness out in the house in the sound system. But Bird accents and joins the characters in performance seamlessly.

Stage Manager Whitney Miller called a great show. Atwood designed a solid set to highlight both families and lives. Luke Scattergood did another solid costume design. The Lighting Design seemed a bit weak though. Something about the blend of color and stark white, seemed muddles at times, and to be honest, I don’t know if that is unfocused, a choice, or a lack of instruments. The Sound design was clear, however, Snider’s mic was off for a large part of act one. But, the balance in the house was good.

Western Reserve Playhouse is on a mission. This season was expanded to include an enhanced offering of plays and musicals to push the theatre to grow and assimilate itself to a variety of audience members. Artistic Director Sniadak-Yamokoksi and Co-Artistic Director Brian Westerly are doing a wonderful job of expanding the vision and the offerings to the theatre community, and as a result, the audience members. Bringing in talent to direct, such as Atwood, and performers with enticing production choices is definitely a plan for success.

CSA

Cleveland Stage Alliance

Announcing the Cast of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”!

Western Reserve Playhouse is thrilled to announce the cast of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”!

Randle P. McMurphy – Ryan Rasnick
Nurse Ratched – April Deming
Billy Bibbit – Zach Zimmerman
Chief Bromden – Dennis Burby
Nurse Flinn – Abby Morris
Dale Harding – Joe Turner
Dr. Spivey – Vince Sarowatz
Aide Warren – Bradley Haramis
Aide Williams – David Wagar
Charles Arkins Cheswick III – Marc Dusini
Frank Scanlon – Craig Webb
Anthony Martini – Andrew Gordon
Ruckly – Irv Korman
Candy Starr – Mikhayla Wilkins
Sandra – Annette Fernandez

The show is directed by Co-Artistic Director Brian Westerley.

Performances – May 11-26. Friday & Saturday evenings at 8PM; Sunday, May 20th at 6:30PM. Talkbacks will occur after the performances on Saturday, May 12th, Sunday, May 20th & Friday, May 25th in collaboration with Portage Path Behavioral Health.

Opening Night is Here & so is Our Final Cast Member!

Today, we take a look at our fourth & final member of the “Tomorrow Morning” cast (just in time for Opening Night!): Artistic Director Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski!

Dawn (Catherine) is thrilled to be the Artistic Director of Western Reserve Playhouse. Past directing credits include “Songs for a New World”, “Godspell”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Dummies Guide to High School”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “All Shook Up” and the regional premiere of the opera, “Game of Chance”. When not directing Dawn sings and acts her way on stage. Some of her favorites to date are Lady in the Lake in “Spamalot” Diana in “Next to Normal”, Evita in “Evita”, Eve/Momma Noah in “Children of Eden”, Jane in “My Mother’s Jewish Wiccan Wedding” and Velma Von Tussle in “Hairspray”. She has also performed at Aurora Community Theater, The Beck Center, The Player’s Guild, Huntington Playhouse, Stow Players and Olde Towne Theater, BTOTS and Weathervane Playhouse.

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Meet Our Third Cast Member from “Tomorrow Morning”!

Michael Snider (Jack) is excited to be a part of his first show at Western Reserve Playhouse.  Since his family’s move home to Cleveland in the fall of 2015, he has been seen as Dan in Next to Normal, Bert in Mary Poppins, George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Floyd in Floyd Collins, The Beast in Beauty and the Beast and Edward Bloom in Big Fish.  A few of his favorite previous roles include John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, Bobby in Company, Monty in Violet and Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.  He would like to thank Ian, Bryan and Dawn for the incredible opportunity to play this role, and to join such a talented cast. Most importantly, he sends all his love to Trinidad, Kirstin, Colin, Dylan and Michaela!

Continuing to Meet the Cast!

Today we present Madeline Krucek, who plays Kat in “Tomorrow Morning”!

Doing what she loves, Madeline is just as excited to bring this show to life as she is to work with such a wonderful cast. Her most memorable performances would be Veronica Sawyer in “Heathers: The Musical” at The Beck Center, Bonnie Parker in “Bonnie and Clyde” at Cassidy Theatre and Mimi Marquez in “RENT” at Tri-C West Theatre. Since graduating with a BA in Theatre from Baldwin Wallace, she realizes life is now a balancing act that gets pretty hectic. But, she has endless adoration and gratitude for all of her loving family and friends as they support her to their fullest in her pursuits.

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Meet the Cast of “Tomorrow Morning”!

Tony Heffner (John) is thrilled to be making his Western Reserve Playhouse debut in such a beautiful show! He resides in Berea and has participated at many theatres in the Greater Cleveland area, including: Cassidy, Cain Park, Blank Canvas and The Beck Center. Some of Tony’s favorite credits include: Gabe in Next to Normal, Bobby Strong in Urinetown: The Musical, Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde, Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Frank Abagnale, Jr. in Catch Me if You Can: The Musical. When not on the stage, Tony is an instructor at The Little Gym of Westgate, teaching gymnastics, sports and dance to children ages 4 months to 12 years.

Impressive Staff Announced for Youth Summer Camps

Into the Woods Instructors

Lisa Howard (Director) has been a professional actor for 28 years. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, she has performed all over the United States in shows varying from classic and contemporary musicals to readings of cutting- edge new plays, as well as Shakespeare. She has been active in television and commercial work- including winning a ‘Telly’ award. Regionally, Lisa has performed with The Porthouse Theatre, Actors’ Summit, Ohio Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland Theatre Group, Carousel Dinner Theatre, Coach House Theatre, Playhouse Square, and more. Most recently she appeared as Heather Chandler in Heathers at Texas Tech University where she is pursuing her PhD in Fine Arts.

As a director, Lisa has mounted and choreographed acclaimed productions for the drama department at Copley High School. Those productions include:  The Sound of Music, All my Sons, Our Town, To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Shop of Horrors and Into the Woods. She served as coordinator for The Porthouse
Theatre’s high school and college summer academies, where she also taught improv, acting, and audition  techniques for high school and university students. Lisa recently taught Musical Theatre dance for Lubbock Community Theatre where she also choreographed the regional premiere of the Cinderella or
Prince Charming Gets the Boot: A West Texas Panto. Lisa has taught workshops in creative expressions, Acting for Dancers, tap and audition techniques for students ranging in age from kindergarten to college as well as coached at various dance studios and Texas Tech University.

Lisa holds a BFA in Acting and an MEd in School Counseling both from Kent State University.


 Adam Day Howard (Musical Director) is an American-born and British-trained actor, singer, musician, composer and writer. He has performed all over the world from Scotland to South Carolina to Monaco to Macau as a stage performer, cabaret singer and pianist, music director and more. Most notably he music directed the Number 1 UK tour of Dreamboats and Petticoats, appeared as Schlomo in Fame: The Musical at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo, and was an assistant director for the First Annual Royal Scottish Variety Performance, a nationally televised charity event in Britain. He was a contributing writer and original developer of the musical From Up Here. The first  American certified to teach the Vocal Process Methodology developed by Gillyanne Kays and Jeremy Fisher he seeks to always blend the practical with the passionate for the sake of art and performance. He is currently an assistant professor of Musical  Theatre at Texas Tech University.


Kelsey Tomlinson (Costumer) is ecstatic to again be joining forces with an incredible team at Western  Reserve Playhouse. Audiences may remember her most recent design work for Merrily We Roll Along  (Lakeland Community College), Angels in America Part 1 (Ensemble), and The Three Musketeers: An  Adventure with Music (Ohio Shakespeare Festival). Other recent work includes  costume design for Its a Wonderful Life (Independence Community Theater), Lost  in Yonkers (WRP), and The Winters Tale (OSF). She currently serves as a  Resident Costume Designer for both Ohio Shakespeare Festival and Western Reserve Playhouse. When not doing theatre, she can be found rock climbing, reading, or trying her hand at music.


Lion King Jr. Instructors

 DAWN SNIADAK-YAMOKOSKI (Director) award winning director and actress and WRP’S Artistic Director Is thrilled to be directing at WRP’s Summer Camp Lion King. Jr. Past directing credits include, Forbidden Broadway, It’s a Wonderful Life, Dogfight, Godspell, Beauty and the Beast, Dummies Guide to High School, Midsummer Night’s Dream, All Shook Up and the regional premiere of the opera, Game of Chance. When not directing Dawn sings and acts her way on stage. Some of her favorites to date are Spamalot (Lady in the Lake), Next to Normal (Diana), Evita (Evita), Children of Eden (Eve/Momma Noah), My Mother’s Jewish Wiccan Wedding (Jane), and Hairspray (Velma Von Tussle). She has also performed at Aurora Community Theater, The Beck Center, The Player’s Guild,  Huntington Playhouse, Stow Players and Olde Towne Theater, BTOTS and Weathervane Playhouse. Dawn lives in Peninsula with her hubby Jeff and her sons Drew, Colin and her daughter, Nadia and pup, Kennan and Oscar, the bearded dragon.


Adam Fehrenbach (Musical Director) graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in piano and voice. Through the years, Mr. Fehrenbach has been a private piano and voice instructor in the Akron/Canton area, working with various adult and children’s choruses. Working with the University of Akron Concert and Chamber Choirs, Mr. Fehrenbach has been a part of several International Seggizzi Choral Competitions in Italy, and the Mozart Festival in Salzburg Austria. He has directed for the Unknown Theatre Company and co-directed for the Young Peoples Performing Arts. Most recently, was the chorus master for the Canton Comic Opera, and was the Director of the Greater Canton Men’s Chorus. Currently Mr. Fehrenbach is an organist and choir director at St. Juan Diego in Sharpsburg, PA. Under the tutelage of Dr. Ann Labounsky, he is finishing his Masters of Sacred Music and Organ at Duquesne University, and received his Diploma of Pastoral Liturgy and Music from St. Joseph  College in Rensselaer, Indiana.


Lori Rodeman (Chorographer) is happy to be helping out with the Summer Youth Theater Program.  This is her 3rd year choreographing the kid’s summer production.
She has always had a love for childrens theater and is enjoying this even more because her own kids are a part of the production too!  She is mother of four kids and  an Classical Education Director in Fairlawn.  She is looking forward to being a part of  many future productions at WRP!



 Luke Scattergood (Costumer) – Luke is excited to be a part of his third production with WRP. Recently he was seen in stage in last season’s
“Forbidden Broadway”. His costumes have been seen on stage at  numerous theaters throughout the greater Cleveland area, including  Blank Canvas, True North, Brecksville Theatre, Strongsville Community Theatre and many others. Luke is the Drama Director for Bay Village High School and resident costumer for St. Ignatius High School.


 

Into the Woods, Jr. Summer Camp Registration Now Open

Part of our Young Artists’ Theatre Program, the musical centers on a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse and wind up changed forever.

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by James Lapine

Directed by Lisa Howard

Musical Direction by Adam Howard

Costumes – Kelsey Tomlinson

Age Group: 11 to 19

Camp runs June 11-29, 2018 – Monday-Fridays 1PM-3PM

Performances: June 29-July 1, 2018 • (Fri/Sat. 8PM; Sun. 2PM)

The registration fee is $150.00 and there are discounts available for returning students and siblings. If you need further information or want to register, please call (330) 620-7314.


 

Disney’s The Lion King, Jr. Summer Camp Registration

Part of our Young Artists’ Theatre Program, Disney’s The Lion King has captivated the imagination of audiences around the world. The African savannah comes to life on our stage with Simba, Rafiki and an unforgettable cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle… and back again, in this inspiring, coming-of-age tale.

Music & Lyrics by Tim Rice & Elton John Additional Music & Lyrics by Will Van Dyke, Lebo M, Marc Mancina & Jay Rifkin

Book by Roger Allers & Irene Mecchi

Directed by Artistic Director Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski

Musical Direction by Adam Ferenbach

Choreography by Lori Rodeman

Costumes – Luke Scattergood

Age Group: 3 to 12

Camp runs June 4-22, 2018 – Monday-Friday 9AM-12PM

Performances: June 22-24, 2018 • (Fri/Sat. 8PM; Sun. 2PM)

The registration fee is $150.00 and there are discounts available for returning students and siblings. If you need further information or want to register, please call (330) 620-7314.

Auditions for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” & “bare: A Pop Opera”!

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

DIRECTED BY CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR BRIAN WESTERLEY

A charming rogue, McMurphy, contrives to serve a short sentence in an airy mental institution rather than in a prison. There, he clashes with the head nurse, Ratched, a fierce disciplinarian. He quickly takes over the yard & leads others out of introversion, stages a revolt so that they can see the World Series on TV & arranges a rollicking midnight party with liquor & women. Ratched quietly works in the background to stop McMurphy from taking over her ward. The end is as shocking today & it was when it premiered 45 years ago.

ROLES AVAILABLE (Some may be doubled. Looking for a range of ages & ethnicities):

CHIEF BROMDEN

AIDE WARREN

AIDE WILLIAMS

NURSE RATCHED

NURSE FLINN

DALE HARDING

ELLIS

BILLY BIBBIT

SCANLON

CHESWICK

MARTINI

RUCKLY

FREDERICKS

SEFELT

COL. MATTERSON

RANDLE P. MCMURPHY

SPIVEY

AIDE TURKLE

CANDY STARR

NURSE NAKAMURA

TECHNICIAN

SANDRA

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Please bring a resume & headshot with you to the audition.

Location: Bethel Lutheran Church, 3852 Everett Rd, Richfield, OH 44286

To sign up for an audition: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4aafad2dabfa7-one

“bare: A Pop Opera” Auditions

DIRECTED BY CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR BRIAN WESTERLEY

CHOREOGRAPHY BY KRISTY CRUZ

Book & Music: Damon Intrabartolo

Book & Lyrics: Jon Hartmere

A pulsating, electric contemporary rock musical, bare follows a group of students at a Catholic boarding school as they grapple with issues of sexuality, identity, and the future. Peter and Jason have fallen in love with each other, but Jason — a popular athlete — fears losing his status if he is discovered to be gay. Unpopular Nadia, Jason’s sister, is contemptuous of Ivy, a beautiful girl with a questionable reputation. As the group attempts to put up a production of Romeo and Juliet, tensions flare, self-doubt simmers, and God’s path seems more difficult to find than ever. bare rings with the sounds of youthful repression and revolt. With a unique sung-through pop score, heart-pounding lyrics, and a cast of bright young characters, bare is a provocative, fresh, and utterly honest look at the dangers of baring your soul, and the consequences of continuing to hide.

ROLES AVAILABLE (All roles except the Priest, Claire & Sr. Chantrelle must be able to convincingly play high school age):

ALL ETHNICITIES & GENDER INDENTITIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO AUDITION

JASON: handsome golden child of St. Cecilia’s senior class (Baritone)

PETER: introspective, Jason’s clandestine boyfriend (Tenor)

IVY: pretty, popular, insecure (Soprano)

NADIA: Jason’s pudgy, sardonic twin sister (Mezzo-Soprano)

MATT: studious, pious, Jason’s academic rival (Tenor)

LUCAS: The school’s fun-loving purveyor of altered reality (Baritone)

TANYA: Lucas’s girlfriend (Soprano)

KYRA: student, sexy (Alto)

DIANE: student, very naive (Alto)

RORY: student, sarcastic (Soprano)

ZACK: student, jock type (Baritone)

ALAN: student, nerdy (Tenor)

CLAIRE: Peter’s mother (Mezzo-Soprano)

SR. CHANTELLE: African-American nun, wise, no-nonsense (Soprano)

PRIEST: St. Cecilia’s headmaster (Baritone)

Please prepare a song in the style of the show, BUT NOT FROM THE SHOW. Auditions will also consist of cold readings from the script. Be prepared to move, as well. Please bring a resume & headshot with you to the audition. Callbacks, if necessary, will be held Tuesday, April 17 at 7PM.

Location: Western Reserve Playhouse, 3326 Everett Rd, Richfield, OH 44286

To sign up for an audition: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0D4AAFAD2DABFA7-bare