Community theater brings out ever popular songs

Community theater brings out ever popular songs

May 09, 2002|BY KATE COLEMAN

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Michelle Nozzi believes that people like to see "good, wholesome shows."

With that in mind, she conceived "Encore! Encore! A Musical Celebration of American Entertainment," which opens tonight at the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pa.

The "old-fashioned variety show" is a musical extravaganza with songs and skits from radio, Broadway, the movies and television, says Sally Herritt, executive director of Chambersburg Community Theatre Inc., which is presenting the show, the last of its 48th season.

"The nice thing about it is that everybody gets a chance," Herritt says.

"Everybody" is a cast of nearly 50 people ranging in age from 6 to 70-some years old.

Ashley Griemsmann, 7, a first-grader at Corpus Christi School in Chambersburg, is one of the "Wee Ones," the troupe of young performers in the show. Ashley, who has taken ballet lessons for a couple of years, wanted to be in "Encore! Encore! ..." because she thought it would be a really fun show. She is the "money girl" in the Depression-era tune "We're in the Money," and will join in performing songs from Disney movies, including "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and "Step In Time."


Ashley says her favorite number is "Yankee Doodle" because, "It's really funny and stuff."

That would be "Yankee Doodle Dandy," the George M. Cohan classic that will be performed by Sal Russo, 73, who's been dancing since he was 5 years old. "There was music in our family. It's in my blood," says Russo, retired coach and teacher of American history who has been involved in Chambersburg Community Theatre productions for 32 years.

The time span of the show's musical numbers covers a lot of years. There will be Andrews Sisters-style harmonies in "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" and movie memories in "I'll See You in My Dreams" and "Secret Love" from Doris Day's 1951 and 1953 films. Performers will visit TV-land with themes from "Gilligan's Island," "The Flintstones" and "Happy Days." Nozzi also managed to include a couple of gospel songs.

"I like seeing people work together to accomplish one goal," she says.

There are a lot of musical numbers, and Linwood Payne, musical director, says he doesn't know how many.

"I really haven't counted," he laughs. Payne, who did the arrangements and is pianist in the six-piece "pick-up" band, says he enjoys every piece.

He also enjoys tunes that "should have and could have" made it into the show, so instead of a traditional overture, Payne "busted out of the box" with medley arrangements of snippets from familiar theme songs.

"I love the music. I like the thrill of it all," says Nozzi, about her longtime involvement with the community theater.

"Encore! Encore!..." opens with - what else - "There's No Business Like Show Business."

It will close with the doo-wop hit "Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight."

There's a lot of music in between, and Nozzi promises that everyone - ages 2 to 80 - will leave the Capitol Theatre "with a song in their hearts."

If you go . . .

"Encore! Encore! A Musical Celebration of American Entertainment"

Tonight, Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 12, 2 p.m.; Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, 8 p.m.

Capitol Theatre

159 S. Main St.

Chambersburg, Pa.

Tickets cost $11 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $8 for children and students. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

For ticket information, call 1-717-263-0202, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon.

The Herald-Mail Articles