Livonia Community Players, at a recent rehearsal. Pictured from left to right: Nancy Stewart, Kurt Fletcher, John Costik, Chandra Downs and Tiffany VanEpps. The accompanist is Steve Donohue.
Livonia Players presents a grand night for singing
Bring your valentine to a dinner theater production of a Rogers and Hammerstein musical revue, “A Grand Night for Singing,” presented by Livonia Community Players at the Lakeville United Church of Christ.
Dinner performances are Feb.11 and 12 at 6 p.m., and dessert performances are Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. and Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for the dinner production and $15 for the dessert show. They are available at West’s Shurfine, Livonia Pharmacy or by calling 739-8045. Advance sales only.
The cast of three women (Chandra Downs, Nancy Stewart and Tiffany VanEpps) and two men (John Costik and Kurt Fletcher), sing nearly 40 love songs that explore the arc of love from the first moments of infatuation, through the complexities of marriage and families to finally the joy of enduring love.
“The show is all about the music,” says director Brian Smith. “The familiar songs represent all the shows of the Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration. They are presented in a beautiful arrangement which allows young people to be introduced to the music and those already familiar with the classic scores to hear them in a new way.”
“The songs are indeed familiar,” says Sandi Szymanski, music director, “yet they are also notably different; none of them are sung in their original context.” “Maria,” from “The Sound of Music,” is not sung by nuns but rather by a young man (John Costik), perplexed about a young woman.
“I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair” is a three part women’s trio in a swing-style tempo, à la the Andrews Sisters. And “Honey Bun” from “South Pacific,” sung by Kurt Fletcher, combines jazz rhythms with the sound and feel of a 1940’s USO show.
Providing the music for the show are Steve Donohue on the keyboard, Doug Hawk on bass and Mark Petelin on percussion.