An evening of uplifting musical theater
August 16, 2017
Beloved Broadway musical ensembles will be brought to life in North Lake Tahoe this Saturday, Aug. 19, thanks to the cast and crew of Truckee Community Theater.
Truckee River Regional Park will set the stage for an evening of live entertainment, as audience members get to sit back, relax and enjoy popular show tunes sung by over 30 performers of all ages — some are seasoned musical performers while others are newcomers.
This weekend's "Broadway at the Park" production includes show tunes spanning several 1930's classics to modern day musical productions.
"We want our guests to have a night of pure entertainment, in which they can have a relaxed picnic with friends and then sit back under the stars with a glass of wine and a cozy blanket and enjoy a first rate evening of popular Broadway songs," said the show's producer and publicist, Courtney Simson.
“It is important for the community to be aware of the diversity present in our small town. As a community, we are stronger when we raise each other up and celebrate our differences.”Courtney SimsonProducer
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Simson gave a glimpse into the festivities explaining that the first half of the show is traditional Broadway music, while the second half is a "miscast" program in which men sing women's songs, women sing men's songs, and children sing songs normally performed by adults.
Musical director Holly Hawthorne has been working with the cast three days a week to rehearse in preparation of the show, and said it's important to her to showcase the special and diverse Truckee community.
Through this weekend's "Shining Sierra Stars" performance she hopes to shed light on the phenomenal cast.
"It is important for the community to be aware of the diversity present in our small town. As a community, we are stronger when we raise each other up and celebrate our differences," she said.
"It is easy to think of the Truckee-North Lake Tahoe region as made up of people whose only interests are outdoor recreation. But there is so much more to the people who live here; we have amazing actors, singers, dancers, and musicians. We don't all fit into the stereotype of the ski slopes, and all of these amazing individuals should have the opportunity to express these diverse gifts in a supportive and celebratory environment."
As the show's musical director, Hawthorne said she most enjoys working with the performers to help them feel comfortable expressing themselves through music and acting.
"I love to help people feel more confident about their numbers so they can shine on stage. I receive hoy from seeing them feel successful. Oddly enough, I don't actually enjoy performing, I would much rather support others in their endeavors," she said.
Truckee Community Theater is more of a family than simply a performing arts company. Their performers oftentimes begin as audience members, who are inspired by the show and are welcomed into the performance group.
One such member is Bernadette Garcia, an audience member, turned performer, turned co-director of this weekend's performance. Garcia has performed in four productions, and was the music director for one of the children's shows.
"Since I have lived in Reno for a long time, the theater community is well-established. So, coming to Truckee, which hasn't had a theater group for some years, it's a nice feeling helping to reestablish theater here," Garcia said.
When asked what audience members can expect this weekend, Garcia shared the wide range of musical pieces offering something for everyone in attendance to appreciate.
"If you're a 'theater nerd', and I mean that affectionately, you'll be very pleased to hear music from the newer shows, including the blockbuster, "Hamilton" and the vivacious "Kinky Boots." Those not so familiar with the newer shows will be happy to recognize old standards from Gershwin and Rodgers & Hammerstein," she said.
Garcia added that people unfamiliar with musical theater are more than welcome to enjoy the night's festivities.
"And even if you don't recognize any songs, simply being out in the High Sierra with a picnic, good friends, and a gorgeous view … the show will be the icing on the cake! This is a genuine community theater with actors of all ages, all walks of life, and all levels of experience; however we're all united by our love of the arts. By the way, the children's number will definitely win you over with the cuteness factor," she said.
Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.
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