Monday, July 17, 2017

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas makes its debut at the Springfield Municipal Opera


Irving Berlin’s White Christmas makes its debut
at the Springfield Municipal Opera

Springfield, IL – July 14, 2017 – Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, sponsored by Edward Jones and directed by Joe-Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Cheney, will debut on The Muni stage on Friday, July 21. The production will run July 21- 3 and July 26-30. Curtain time is 8:30 p.m.

In White Christmas, Bob Wallace (DJ Schultz) and Phil Davis (Greg Donathan), two iconic song-and-dance men, follow a sister act to Vermont, only to discover that the nearly-bankrupt lodge they were o perform at is owned by their former commanding general.

“Wow is there a lot of great music and dancing!  We have been challenged with some professional level choreography, and I think audiences are going to enjoy the ever-moving and creative dance they will see come to life on stage,” said Greg Donathan, who wanted to be part of WhiteChristmas because of the Irving Berlin score. “Berlin's music is classic and makes me happy simply by listening to it!  So, performing it is proving to be more rewarding than I could ever have imagined.”

White Christmas, nominated for two Tony Awards for Best Choreography and Best Orchestration, premiered on Broadway in 2008. It features favorites such as “White Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” “Sisters” and “Blue Skies.”  

“The musical selections in the movie are heard but featured more in the musical. Even though the music may be a bit different from the movie, the spirit and energy of the movie is still portrayed,” said co-director Elizabeth Cheney. “The warmth of the characters grow more in the stage version as they embrace the spirit of the storyline.”

The Muni will feature free, special activities before the show every night from 7-8 p.m. During the run of White Christmas, The Muni is encouraging all military to come wearing military attire or your branch emblem. On Wednesday, July 26, it will be Family Night and Military Night. On Family night, ticket prices for children are $10 for a reserved seat and $5 for the general admission (or lawn seating). For the active and veteran military it will be $12 for reserved and $9 for general admission seating.

Additionally, Thursday, July 27 is Senior Night. On Senior Night, ticket prices for seniors are reduced to $12 for Reserved Seating and $9 for General Admission. A Senior Shuttle Bus Service, sponsored by the King’s Daughters Organization, will also run on Senior Night.  

An interpreted performance for the hearing impaired is scheduled for Sunday, July 23.

The regular price of reserved seating is $17 or $15, and general admission (or lawn seating) is $12 for Adults, $10 for Seniors/Military/Students, and $10 for children 12 and under. Reserved Seating tickets can be purchased in advance online – www.TheMuni.org – or by calling or visiting the Sangamon Auditorium Box Office at 217-793-MUNI (6864). Patrons can also purchase reserved seating and general admission tickets on-site at The Muni’s Box Office, which opens 90 minutes prior to curtain time.

About The Muni
The Springfield Municipal Opera (The Muni) is a not-for-profit theatricalorganization that has become a Springfield summer tradition, providing the best of Broadway to enthusiastic audiences for more than 50 years. Located at 815 East Lake Drive in an outdoor amphitheater, The Muni is one of the largest all-volunteer community theatre organizations in the nation. For more information on The Muni, please visit www.TheMuni.org.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins makes its debut at the Springfield Municipal Opera



Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins makes its debut
at the Springfield Municipal Opera

Springfield, IL – June 22, 2017 – The Springfield Municipal Opera (The Muni) continues its 2017 season with Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, sponsored by UCB and Illini Bank, and directed by Craig Williams II. Poppins makes its debut on The Muni stage on Friday, June 30. The production will run June 30-July 2 and July 5-9. Curtain time is 8:30 p.m.

“Mary Poppins is a tricky production filled with magic, flight, larger than life people and a giant set,” said Williams II. “Just around every corner a surprise awaits the audience, reminding them of their favorite story.”

In Mary Poppins, jack-of-all trades, Bert (Andrew Maynerich) introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane (Madigan Sweeney) and Michael (Cooper Coker) have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins (Mary Kate Smith) arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it.”

Mary Poppins premiered on Broadway in 2006. The musical features songs from the Disney movie classic (released in 1964): “Spoonful of Sugar,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Poppins was nominated for several Tony awards in 2007, including Best Musical and Best Choreography, and winning Best Scenic Design.

“Mary Poppins is one of my all-time favorite characters and stories,” said Smith. “These classic themes of the importance of family and caring for one another are timeless, and this show is a great way to introduce them to our youngest generation.” Smith was last seen on The Muni stage in Les Miserables in 2013 as Fantine.

Williams II, who directed Disney’s Little Mermaid at The Muni last year says the Poppins cast is a great mix of talent. “Our cast is filled with many experienced Springfield favorites as well as some new faces, which are just as exciting to see. From learning to spell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to dancing from rooftops, I think this Disney classic will have something for everyone,” said Williams II.

The Muni will feature free, special activities before the show every night from 7-8 p.m. On Family Night on Wednesday, July 5, ticket prices for children are $10 for a Reserved seat and $5 for the General Admission section. Throughout the run, two types of seating arrangements are available – Reserved Seating and General Admission (lawn seating.) The price of Reserved Seating is $17 or $15, and for General Admission is $12 for Adults, $10 for Seniors/Military/Students, and $10 for children 12 and under.

Additionally, Thursday, July 6 is Senior Night. On Senior Night, ticket prices for seniors are reduced to $12 for Reserved Seating and $9 for General Admission. A Senior Shuttle Bus Service, sponsored by the King’s Daughters Organization, will also run on Senior Night. 

An interpreted performance for the hearing impaired is scheduled for Sunday, July 2.

Reserved Seating tickets can be purchased in advance online – www.TheMuni.org – or by calling or visiting the Sangamon Auditorium Box Office at 217-793-MUNI (6864.) Patrons can also purchase Reserved Seating and General Admission tickets on-site at The Muni’s Box Office, which opens 90 minutes prior to curtain time.

About The Muni

The Springfield Municipal Opera (The Muni) is a not-for-profit theatrical organization that has become a Springfield summer tradition, providing the best of Broadway to enthusiastic audiences for more than 50 years. Located at 815 East Lake Drive in an outdoor amphitheater, The Muni is one of the largest all-volunteer community theatre organizations in the nation. For more information on The Muni, please visit www.TheMuni.org

Friday, June 16, 2017

Congratulations to our Grand Prize Golden Ticket winners




Congratulations to our Grand Prize Golden Ticket winners, Jen Florent and her daughter, Hannah. They won two season passes to the 2018 Muni Season.

The Florents discovered their Golden Ticket in their program at the Thursday night performance of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, presented by Springfield Clinic. They were then put into a drawing along with all of our other Golden Ticket winners who discovered their Golden Tickets at various locations throughout Springfield. 

·  Rachel Hadley (Mel-O-Cream Donuts)
·  Rachel Mander and Kim Draper (Landmark Chrysler Jeep Fiat)
·  Dapo Arogundade (Davis Cleaners)
·  Ashley May (WICS ABC Newschannel 20
·  Jill Hiler (Pease's at Bunn Gourmet)


The Muni received a lot of great feedback from those who participated in the "Finding the Golden Ticket" promotion. Thanks so much!



 





Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka makes its debut at the Springfield Municipal Opera

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka makes its debut at the Springfield Municipal Opera
Muni’s 200th producation opens Friday, June 9

Springfield, IL – June 6, 2017 – The Springfield Municipal Opera (The Muni) opens its 2017 season with Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, sponsored by Springfield Clinic and directed by Mac Warren. The production will run June 9-11 and 14-18. Curtain time is 8:30 p.m.

This will be the first time Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka will be performed on The Muni stage. This musical  combines elements of both Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and of the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The original version premiered on Broadway in 2004.

Roald Dahl's timeless story follows a world famous candy man and his quest to find an heir. The adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl's fantastical tale. Jeff Prince of Rochester plays Willy Wonka, while Susan Wheeler, also of Rochester, plays Charlie Bucket. .

The stage production's first act follows Charlie Bucket and each child as they find their Golden Ticket while the second act takes place in the Wonka Chocolate factory.  I was excited to see how close the factory scenes were to the movie,” said Prince.


Warren, who last directed Spamalot at the Springfield Muni, says this show features many talented kids of all ages. “For about half our children (Oompa Loompas) this is their first Muni show,” said Warren. “Plus for the first time ever, we also went back to the children that were not cast and offered them a special opportunity through a program we call the Muni Trolls.  For the kids that signed up to participate, we provided a basic skills workshop and then have been teaching them choreo and vocals for two songs they will perform just prior to intermission.”

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka will be the 200th production to take The Muni stage. The Muni is asking anyone who has taken part in a past Muni show to come out on Saturday, June 10 (in their old show shirts if they still have them) and be recognized. The Muni will also feature free, special activities before the show every night from 7-8 p.m. There will also be a “Finding the Golden Ticket” Facebook contest the week the show opens.
.
Throughout the run, two types of seating arrangements are available – Reserved Seating and General Admission (lawn seating.) The price of Reserved Seating is $17/15 for adults and General Admission is $12 for Adults and $10 for children 12 and under.

On Family Night, ticket prices for children are $10 for a Reserved seat and $5 for the General Admission section. Additionally, Thursday, June 15 is Senior Night. On Senior Night, ticket prices are reduced to $10 for Reserved Seating and $5 for General Admission. A Senior Shuttle Bus Service, sponsored by the King’s Daughters Organization, will also run on Senior Night. 

An interpreted performance for the hearing impaired is scheduled for Sunday, June 11.

Reserved Seating tickets can be purchased in advance online – www.TheMuni.org – or by calling or visiting the Sangamon Auditorium Box Office at 217-793-MUNI (6864.) Patrons can also purchase Reserved Seating and General Admission tickets on-site at The Muni’s Box Office, which opens 90 minutes prior to curtain time.

About The Muni

The Springfield Municipal Opera (The Muni) is a not-for-profit theatrical organization that has become a Springfield summer tradition, providing the best of Broadway to enthusiastic audiences for more than 50 years. Located at 815 East Lake Drive in an outdoor amphitheater, The Muni is one of the largest all-volunteer community theatre organizations in the nation. For more information on The Muni, please visit www.TheMuni.org

Meet Grandpa Joe! A Q&A with Jim Dahlquist


What is your favorite part about this role?
Helping Charlie survive Willy Wonka’s factory tour. Susan Wheeler is a joy to work with and she’s doing a wonderful job as Charlie.


What has been the biggest challenge during rehearsals?
Getting to know everyone, especially the younger performers. We have a large cast and many people rehearse at different times so for the first few weeks I only saw the oompa-loompas in passing at the stage doors.


What has helped you to get to know your fellow cast members and gel with them?
The Bucket Family is a riot! I spend most of the first act in a bed with three other grandparents while Charlie and the Bucket parents must figure out creative ways to interact with us. We laugh a lot in between scenes. And since the Bucket Shack isn’t very big, it’s easy to whisper and bond with the other actors.


What’s your favorite song and why?
This is tough to answer since there are several entertaining numbers. All of the golden ticket winners do such a good job with their songs. I would have to say my favorite number, though, is “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” since this is when I finally get to escape my bed.



How did you get involved in Muni, and when?
It’s been 20 years since my first Muni show, when I played Benny Southstreet in 1997’s Guys and Dolls. I had been active with community theater in the Chicago area so when I moved to Springfield I again sought out performing opportunities. Springfield fortunately has a strong theater community, including the Muni.


What is it about Muni that keeps you coming back?

The Muni has created an amazing theater tradition. You meet a wealth of creative, talented people, many of whom become lifelong friends. From the impressive sets, costumes, sound and lighting systems, to of course the vast network of volunteers, it is a privilege to be a part of this incredible summer experience.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Meet Veruca! A Q&A with Amalia Schneider



What is your favorite part about this role?

My favorite part of this role is the fact that I get to be such an extreme character and it's so much fun to interact with people while paying Veruca onstage. Like pretending to fight someone triple my height is very ironic and fun.

What has been the biggest challenge during rehearsals?

The biggest challenge during the rehearsal process would be either staying in character even if something unexpectedly funny happens or trying to make my character as large and bratty as possible

What has helped you to get to know your fellow cast members and gel with them?

The thing that has helped me get to know people would probably be the atmosphere that's created by doing a show. The atmosphere was to work as hard as possible, but through the comedy onstage, comedy offstage was created.

What's your favorite song and why?

My favorite song in the show is probably "Candy Man," because the number has so much energy and all of the kids and Jeff (Wonka) seem to be having so much fun.

How did you get involved in Muni, and when?

I was auditioning for muni shows as long as I can remember, one day my mom just had us learn the music and had my sister and I learn the music, and after that it became almost an annual tradition to try out.

What is it about Muni that keeps you coming back?

The thing about Muni that keeps me coming back is the shows they put on. The quality shows Muni produces is astounding and it's so nice to be proud of what you're doing and with Muni you always get that feeling. With Muni shows you get an unwritten guarantee that you will be a part of something fantastic!


A Muni Season Pass makes a great gift for any occasion

A Muni Season Pass makes a great gift for any occasion
Demand for season passes for the 2017 Muni Season has been high. With our lineup of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Grease, theatre lovers are making sure they get their seats now.
A Muni Season Pass, which includes four reserved season tickets, can be used in a combination of ways:
·         Using one ticket for each show
·         Using all four tickets (bringing three friends with you) to see one night’s performance.
Season passes cost $60. Once purchased, the ticket holder can reserve seats by calling 217-793-Muni.
Season passes can be purchased at:
·         Bank of Springfield
·         Lube Master
·         Pease’s Candy
·         The Cardologist
·         Sangamon Auditorium
·         Williamsville State Bank & Trust
·         The Wardrobe
·         Bank of Jacksonville
·         The Wardrobe
·         or online


Give someone special the “Broadway Under the Stars” this year. Season Passes only on sale until Friday, June 9.