Apr 012017

I may possibly be the only person on earth that has never seen Fiddler On The Roof — Not the movie, nor in a theater — yet, on Friday March 31, when the lights went down in the Amity High School theater and Phil Dolan began conducting the orchestra, it all seemed so familiar.

The first number, “Tradition” included nearly the entire troupe and was so tight, beautifully choreographed and well executed that the audience was immediately sucked in. — This was going to be another Amity classic.

In Act 1, Tevye, the poor milkman’s daughters find love and break the tradition of being paired by a matchmaker.

Rob Kennedy’s staging and Dan Hassenmayer’s lighting bring out the best visually for the Sabbath Prayer, and the haunting presentation of The Dream will leave you asking “How did they do that?”

Julie  Chevan, Brenda Burt and their tremendous crew of costumers outdid themselves with dressing the huge cast to fit the 1905 period.

During the 15 minute intermission, veteran actor and theater enthusiast Robert Drobish (Father of Andrea Kennedy) praised lead actor Eric Greenbaum (Tevye) for his opening night performance.

There are so many great performers in this production that it’s hard to single an one out. Each year, Amity seems to have more talented soprano singers than the last.

Personally, I appreciated the performances by the three actresses who played Tevye’s eldest daughters, Emily Kilian “Tzeitel,” Gabrielle Aversa “Hodel” and Talya Braverman “Chava.” Each did a wonderful job.

If you paid attention and reserved your seats when tickets first went on sale as I suggested, you will be enjoying this show in the final three performances next week.

Another job well done by the Kennedy’s and everyone involved with the Amity Theater Department.



May 162015

unnamedIt’s that time of year again, Amity High School will present the Annual 24 Hour Play Festival on Saturday May 16 at 7 p.m.

Students will begin Friday afternoon and work until Saturday Night to create a short one act play in just 24 Hours!

The show will take place in the Black Box Theater at 7 p.m.

Admission is free but donations for the Relay for Life Teams will be gratefully accepted.


Originally Published on: Apr 30, 2015 @ 18:33


Tarzan Say, “Show Go On” or “No Delay For The Play”

 Amity High School, Amity Theater Department, Around Town, Home, Latest News  Comments Off on Tarzan Say, “Show Go On” or “No Delay For The Play”
Mar 202015

IMG_5722That’s right, even with the unwelcome spring snowfall today, Amity High School will begin its production of Tarzan as scheduled tonight.

In true Broadway fashion, the show must go on, and the curtain rises at 8 p.m.

The lobby display is amazing this year and affords you the opportunity to take a stroll through the jungle, purchase raffle tickets, acquaint yourselves with the cast on the photo wall and to browse through the program book.

The cast and crew have been preparing for this show for several months and they won’t let a little snow stop them from taking the stage tonight.

Come early and enjoy the show.

Mar 182015

IMG_5973Amity Musicals are still a bargain at only $18 a ticket, and well worth every penny.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you, but Tarzan tickets are sold out for Saturday, March 21 and Friday, March 27. There IS ONE (1) ticket left for opening night so, if you catch my drift, HURRY and try to get a ticket for one of the remaining performances before they are all gone.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at rehearsals lately and I am just amazed by this cast, the lighting, the music and everything about this show.

Tarzan, like Les Miserables, will certainly be one of my favorite Amity High School Musicals.

Mar 022015

DSC08005Hey, Orange residents, here’s some great news, the consumer advocacy site NerdWallet has released the second annual edition of its study, “Best Cities for Young Families in Connecticut,” and Orange ranked #5 statewide.
Last Year Orange Was Ranked #9.
To create this ranking they analyzed U.S. Census data to assess four key factors:
  • Home affordability
  • Growth and prosperity score
  • Education quality
  • Family friendliness
You can see the full methodology and findings HERE. `

Feb 202015


Each year, the Amity Creative Theater (ACT) kids go to Disneyworld where they tour the behind-the-scenes departments that regular visitors most likely will never see.

The students perform in front of an audience and gain a wealth of knowledge about professional theater.

The kids and their adult leaders prepare for months to put on their always entertaining, often award-winning spring musical productions, This trip is the icing on the cake, their “reward” for a job well done, but they must raise their own money for the trip in order to attend.

On Sunday, Feb. 22, the Orange Ale House will host a benefit for the ACT — Dan Hassenmayer, the award winning lighting guru for the Amity productions — works with his father Jim, running the business.

The benefit will take place at the Ale House, 517 Boston Post Road, beginning at 4 p.m. Admission is $25 at the door.

Feb 192015

Ryan Kennedy as Young Tarzan.

Ryan Kennedy as Young Tarzan.

There are no “bad” seats at the John Brady Center for the Performing Arts at Amity High School, but, if you want to watch the Amity Theater production of Tarzan from anywhere but the back row you’d better act quickly!

At only $18 each, the cost of admission is one of the greatest bargains around and hundreds of people already have taken action and reserved their seats for this wonderfully entertaining musical.

The production has a 5 show run, including one matinee: March 20, 21, 27 @ 8pm, March 28 @ 2pm & 8pm

Click this link to purchase your tickets today.

Feb 162015

7275ccbdf73cf501e8d486ba4f2b4968af7591bcTickets to Tarzan are now on sale, get yours before all the best seats are filled (you know it will happen!)

The Amity Theater Department announced that tickets for Tarzan the Broadway Musical written by music legend Phil Collins are going fast.  

To purchase tickets go to their website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com  Tarzan will swing into the John J Brady Center for the Performing Arts on Friday March 20 at 8 p.m., Saturday March 21 at 8 p.m., Friday March 27 at 8 p.m., Saturday March 28 at 2 p.m. (NEW MATINEE) and Saturday March 28 at 8 p.m.  

For information contact the box office at amityboxoffice@gmail.com or call (203)-392-2019. 


Originally Published on: Feb 5, 2015 @ 22:05

Dec 202014

215px-Tarzan_musical_Broadway_PosterAfter the gruelling process of auditioning more than 100 super talented singer/actors (and going through call backs) at Amity, the directors released the cast list for the Spring musical “Tarzan” on Friday.

The actor who is playing the lead character is Max Karsanow, who you will immediately recognize from his roles as Anthony in Sweeney Todd — the young man who wooed Johanna (Shaylen Harger); and he was the understudy for the role of Benny in last year’s “In the Heights,” which he was able to fulfill at least during one performance.

Tarzan: This is the older version of the young Tarzan. He has more friends than he used to. He has his best friends Terk and Tantor, who have each others backs. He is stronger and has enemies to challenge. But, he still wonders of what he is. Songs include: Strangers Like Me, Who Better Than Me? Reprise, You’ll Be In My Heart Reprise.

Since Amity has no young children, Ryan Kennedy will play the role of Little Tarzan: A little boy who is raised in the jungle by gorillas. He tries to fit in and wonders why he doesn’t. He notices that he isn’t exactly like all of the apes that he is around. He has a friend named Terk as well. Songs include: Who Better than Me? and I Need To Know. If the name sounds familiar, Ryan is the son of directors Robert and Andrea Kennedy.

The lovely Addie Robbins will play Jane: She adores species and specimen she hasn’t seen before which makes sense when her, her father, and Clayton their hunter/protector come to the jungle. She befriends Tarzan and comes to like him. She always has dreamed of coming to the jungle. Songs Include: Waiting For this Moment, Like No Man I’ve Ever Seen, and Strangers Like Me.

Max is Tarzan

Max is Tarzan

Josiah Oakley will play Terk: The older version of young Terk. He has more style than the younger one. Still, he is best friends with Tarzan and now Tantor the elephant. He has the rhythm of the jungle. Songs include: Son of Man, Trashin’ the Camp, Who Better than Me? Reprise.

Morgan Guadagnoli has been pegged to play Kala: A mother ape that takes Tarzan for her son. She adores him and keeps him safe. She has a special bond with him that no one can understand. She is the wife to Kerchak, the leader. Songs include: You’ll Be In My Heart, Sure As Sun Turns to Moon and You’ll Be In My Heart Reprise.

Kahari Blue is Kerchak: The strong and powerful leader of the gorilla pack. He doesn’t feel that Tarzan belongs and shuns him for awhile. Doesn’t like humans too much. He finally tells tarzan the way he feels at the end. Songs include: Sure As Sun Turns to Moon.

Jali – (Narrators): Ryan Rattley, Kevin Durkee, Ryan Rappaport, Emily Kilian, Joyce Lin and Julia Goclowski.

Caroline Burkhart is Sabor: (description from wiki) The predator of the jungle. He kills Tarzan’s real mother and father and Kala’s and Kerchak’s baby. He continues to kill and destory until Tarzan comes and ends him. Songs include: none but dances/fights.

Jacob Leibowitz is Porter:  Jane’s father. He knows many things about the jungle. He is a lot like Jane in certain areas. He has his quirks about him, too. Songs include: Like No Man I’ve Ever Seen.

Ethan Smith is Clayton:  He is the hunter that protects the Porter family on this expedition. He likes to shoot things with his rifle. He was sent to protect but he might want some things of his own. Songs include: none.

George Grotheer is Snipes: A sailor.

Ape/Animal Ensemble

Jeff Gallo, Chris Casella, David Linet, Michael Prinz, Ryan Chizmadia, Dean Pocweirz, Robert Worth, Max Seigman, Caroline Burkhart, Cynthia elone, Lauren Flaumenhaft, Sedona Trelleik, Ashlyne Gallo, Christina Genovese, Alayra Dixson, Clara Stirling, Nina Triplett, Sarah Warner, Revekah Haupt, Clara Gamsu, Karalyn Kachmar, Emily McManus, Audrey Grotheer, Rebecca Kaplan, Lauren Duhl, Kendall Dolan, Grace Blanchard, Lily Forchetti.

Expedition Crew

Nathan Stirling, Jacob Lyngdal, Eric Greenbaum

Dance Captains

Caroline Burkhart, Lauren Flaumenhaft

Play rehearsals begin next week. I for one can’t wait to see Tarzan swing across the stage next spring.