Eight area residents are busy rehearsing their singing and dancing, as they prepare for the Geneva Theatre Guild’s production of Side by Side by Sondheim. The musical dinner-theatre show will be presented at Belhurst Castle, March 5, 6 and 7. The show will reunite Genevan Liz Howard and Penn Yan resident Sue Maeske, who appeared in the Guild’s 2002 production of Nunsense.
Howard, who studied musical theatre at Syracuse University, has had leading roles in 110 in the Shade, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, My Fair Lady and Chorus Line. Maeske, who has written, directed and produced a number of variety shows, has appeared in Pennsylvania Yankee Theatre Company (PYTCO) productions of The Music Man, Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific and Oklahoma. Guild appearances were in Angel Street, Finian Rainbow and Talking With.
Three other Geneva residents, Sara Lawler, Mark McClure and Paul Idziak also appear in the show. Lawler is well know for her work in Geneva High School productions of My Fair Lady, Pippin and Oklahoma. She played one of Fagan’s kids in the Guild’s summer production of Oliver. McClure, also a Geneva High School graduate appeared in A Christmas Carol and Oklahoma. He has worked backstage on the Guild’s summer musicals and performed in Youth Theatre and Curvin Players shows. Idziak, who has work on the sets for over 20 productions, has appeared in The Music Man, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oklahoma, Apple Tree, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Lil Abner.
Phelps resident Joanne Saracino, a popular local performer, has appeared in Brigadoon, Children of Eden, Company, 110 in the Shade, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Mame and Shenandoah. She has also done several of the Guild’s Playwrights Playreadings presentations. Richard Austin, of Newark, appeared in last summer’s award winning A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He has worked back stage in numerous productions and acted in Once Upon A Mattress, Fiddler on the Roof, Children of Eden, Gypsy, and Our Favorite Broadway.
Completing the cast is Seneca Falls resident James Andres. His extensive experience includes roles in local productions of Brigadoon, Cabaret and Grease. His stage work, when he was a resident of Michigan, includes writing, directing several shows and appearances in City of Angels, Company and My Fair Lady.
Side by Side by Sondheim, a collection of songs with music and lyrics by Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim, is directed and choreographed by Christopher Bush, who received a Theatre Association of New York State Acting Award last year for his work in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Musical Direction is by Genevan Lindsay Zaroogian.
The Belhurst Dinner Theatre will begin March 5 and 6 with a cash bar at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., with the show to follow. Tickets for the dinner and show are $30. The luncheon performance on Sunday, March 7, starts with a cash bar at 12:30 p.m., lunch at 1 p.m., with the show to follow. Cost for the lunch and show is $25. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are on sale in Geneva at Don’s Own Flowers, 40 Seneca St., and Martin Music, 87 Castle St., and in Seneca Falls at the Copy Shop, 105 Fall St. Menus choices of fish, chicken or steak are made when tickets are purchased. Tickets will not be sold at the door. For more information on Side by Side by Sondheim, visit the Belhurst Castle Web site at belhurst.com/specials.html, phone 789-8985 or email rrlegg @aol.com.