An experienced group of local actors is currently in rehearsal for the Geneva Theatre Guild's spring musical, “The Fantasticks”. The world's longest running musical will be presented as a dinner theatre on March 6, 7, 8 and 9 at Belhurst Castle, Route 14 South, Geneva. Activities will begin on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with open bar cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the show at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, open bar will begin at 12:30 p.m.; dinner at 1 p.m. and the show at 2 p.m.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at Martin Music, 87 Castle Street, and Don's Own Flower Shop, 40 Seneca St., Geneva, and in Seneca Falls at the Copy Shop. Tickets for the dinner and show are $25 on Thursday and Sunday and $30 on Friday and Saturday. Menu choices are available at ticket outlets. For additional information, phone 315-789-1209.
The story is a simple one – a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. DeSales High School freshman Laura Black plays the day dreaming Luisa. Black has appeared in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat,” “Carousel,” “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” “On the 20th Century” and “Bye Bye Birdie”. A professional singer, she has sung at Geneva-on-the Lake, the Smith Opera House, baseball games and area weddings.
Chris Tiefert, a Geneva High School graduate, is Matt, the boy next door. He has been acting for 10 years and performed in numerous high school and Guild productions, including “My Fair Lady,” “Pippin,” “Oklahoma,” “The King and I,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat,” “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” and “On the Twentieth Century”.
Returning to the local stage after a lengthy absence is Geneva attorney Murray Heaton in the role of Hucklebee, Matt's father. A member of the Geneva Summer Theatre in 1971 and 1972, Heaton is a founding member of the Guild. He delighted audiences as Emile deBecque in “South Pacific” and Petruchio in “Kiss Me Kate”.
Playing opposite Heaton as Luisa's father, Bellomy, is veteran actor Jason Hurdle. Hurdle has appeared as Bill Sikes in “Oliver,” Samuel in “Pirates of Penzance,” Gandalf the wizard in “The Hobbit,” the traveling salesman in “The Music Man” and the Kralahome in “The King and I”. He is a former member of the board of directors for the Guild and the GTG Youth Theatre.
The handsome, brave narrator El Gallo, who invites us to “Try to Remember,” is played by Genevan Charles King. King starred in several dozen plays in high school and college and was in last summer's “Gypsy”. Classically trained as a lyric baritone, he has sung with the Rochester Wind Ensemble and Syracuse Symphony since moving to Geneva.
The role of Henry, an ancient Shakespearean actor, is played by Geneva actor and playwright Jay Hanagan. Hanagan has appeared in numerous Guild productions and directed “On The Twentieth Century”. His one act play, “Let Me Count the Ways,” was presented in the Guild's recent Playwrights/Playreadings production.
Jim Porto, of Seneca Falls, returns to the role of Mortimer, Henry's sidekick, which he played 15 years ago with the Seneca Community Players. He has also performed for the Auburn Players, and Phelps Clifton Springs Players. His last appearance with the Guild was as Big Jule in the 1994 production of “Guys and Dolls”.
Completing the cast is Waterloo resident Tammy LeClair as the mute. LeClair, a teacher at DeSales High School, has appeared in a number of productions for Seneca Community Players and did props for the Guild's production of “On The Twentieth Century”. While at Colgate University she played Mother Burnside in Mame and was a chorus member in Chicago.
The musical comedy is under the direction by Steve VanKirk, with choreography by Barbara Perrott. Jewel Hara and Meredith Beckley are rehearsal pianists.