Helen Merrill, artistic director of the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown, has brought together what she refers to as the "best of the best" to perform in the musical comedy "Forbidden Broadway."
"This is the final tribute to the Little Theatre's 75th year celebration, so I though it only appropriate we enlist the talents of our most gifted vocalists and seasoned performers," said Mrs. Merrill.
"Forbidden Broadway" is a musical spoof on some of Broadway's greatest musical legends and hits.
Photos by Jon Elder
Vocal leads include Jim Foley, who teaches instrumental music at Maple Grove High School, where he has directed and conducted musicals throughout the years. Foley recently played Max Detweiler in Little Theatre's "The Sound of Music."
Steve Wendell teaches in Silver Creek and has served as artistic director in the Fredonia area. He provided a memorable performance as Amos in Little Theatre's production of "Chicago."
Linda Rinaldo is an English/alternative education teacher at Southwestern Middle School, where she directed the school's plays for many years. Rinaldo has delighted audiences in Little Theatre musicals for 30 years. She is a former president and a current board member at Little Theatre.
Julie Cotter is a choral teacher at Maple Grove High School. She also teaches voice at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Inc. She recently graced the stage of Little Theatre as Maria in "The Sound of Music."
Bob Ostrom is president of the board of directors at Little Theatre. He also serves as president of R.O.T.M. Inc. and president of the Winifred Crawford Dibert Foundation. Ostrom serves on nine different nonprofit boards and has performed in 53 plays at Little Theatre.
Carla Kayes is part owner and vice president of Brigiotta's Produce and Garden Center. She has performed at Little Theatre for 20 years and is a former president and current board member there.
Matt Jones is a grant writer for the Warren County School District. He recently played Captain Von Trapp in Little Theatre's "The Sound of Music."
The final vocal lead is Jennifer Davis. She teaches vocal and general music grades 6-12 at Chautauqua Lake. She recently appeared as a lead in "Chicago," "Annie," "The Pajama Game" and "Ring of Fire."
The cast also includes Rob Paul, Bill Paul, Amie Adams, Alisha Perrone and Rebecca Young, all of whom have graced the Little Theatre's stage many times.
"With a cast like this I can't go wrong," said Mrs. Merrill, who has shared her talents in more than 100 plays at Little Theatre.
Mrs. Merrill applauded the cast for putting on "Forever Broadway" at such a professional level, she said.
"I guarantee audiences will be entertained and delighted with the performances," she said. "What a way to end our 75th-year celebration of the Little Theatre."
Performances will be held Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Little Theatre is the largest volunteer community theatre in New York state. Lucille Ball cut her theatrical teeth with the Little Theatre's predecessor group, The Players Club in 1929. In 1991, the theater was renamed in her honor.