SOUTH PACIFIC Waits Behind THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on June 14, 2013

What appears to our audience to be (and is) a simple, yet wildly colorful set for a beautifully and period-perfect costumed Marvelous Wonderettes also serves as a cover for our next production.

Tucked untidily behind an arch swirled with color, motley streamers and a shimmer curtain are huge BamPly cut-out palm trees and the beginnings of a south Pacific island beach, flanked by a lush green jungle. For now, it is all pre-painted plywood, artfully cut and hung by Humberto Figueroa and this summer’s other college intern, Ian Erbe.

Our summer interns — Summer Aoki, Gavin Berlyak, Jesse Boyle, Kourtni Cottrell, Grace Davis, Darci Gautam, Emma Justice, Ashley Knowles, Katherine McCarty, Sidney McCarty, Lauren Mund, Madeline O’Connor and Amy Wyer — have begun painting the huge background, covering the entire black hole with green, yellow, orange and blue.

Kyra Bishop has been running up and down the steps, from the Roxy’s basement to the balcony’s theotherspace. Downstairs, Spamalot is being patterned from a recycled set from Beehive. Larger-than-life hairspray cans have been turned and turned into medieval castle towers for the Monty Python musical.

And again in a bid to pocket a few dollars, panels from last season’s opener, 9 to 5: The Musical, are now being repainted to be Gatsby’s West Egg mansion, Wilson’s garage and Tom’s New York pied-à-terre, all artfully and creatively pre-painted by Kyra Bishop. This pre-painting gives us more time for rehearsals, which ultimately leads to a more polished production.

South Pacific and Peter Pan are forever linked in my mind. When we first tried to present the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, we couldn’t due to a tour featuring Robert Goulet which was passing through Nashville. Regional theatres are often at the bottom of the licensing list.

But not obtaining the rights back in ’85, we ended up presenting Peter Pan, at the suggestion of Dr. Larry Faust and Dr. Joel Pedigo. For the first time since the opening night of Mack and Mabel on November 3, 1983, we looked out from the stage and found a full house.

Now, having produced Peter Pan four times in the past three decades, we are, at long last, about to go into rehearsals for South Pacific, with Peter Pan‘s pirates and Lost Boys (Ryan Bowie, J. Robert Lindsey, Mickey Rafalski, Richie Sklar and Michael Spaziani) returning as WWII Seabees. Running July 12 through August 17, South Pacific will close out our 30th Anniversary Season.

The Marvelous Wonderettes continue to marvel and delight audiences with ’50s and ’60s favorites like “Lollipop,” “It’s My Party” and “Son of a Preacher Man” on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, through June 29. Remember that active-duty military, APSU students and CitySaver coupon holders can receive two tickets for the price of one to our Wednesday and Thursday evening performances, making admission less than the price of a movie — what a deal!

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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