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May 26, 2007

CAROUSEL at the Walnut Street Theatre — Don't Miss It!

Theatre Name: Walnut Street Theatre
Show Name: Carousel
Opening Date: May 15, 2007
Reviewer Name: Ruth Goldman
Date Review Submitted to SMO: May 25, 2007

Some of the most beautiful music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II’s cherished play, Carousel, are being performed at the Walnut Street Theatre.

This wonderful production is based on a serious play by Ferenc Molnar titled, “Lilliom” which means tough lilly, referring to the leading man. The Original Dances are by Agnes de Mille and are lively and choreographed to the period by the talented Michelle Gaudette. The live orchestra is very professional and a welcoming addition to the musical. Douglass G. Lutz’s musical and vocal direction truly made the show come to life.

This is a love story, set in the early 1900’s in a small fishing village on the coast of Maine. The young women work at a mill, weaving and waiting for a man to come into their lives. The men fish and when spring comes they search for the opposite sex as is seen among the talented leads and ensemble. They are not wealthy but they know how to enjoy life. “This Was a Real Nice Clambake” shows us their after-hours activities.

The set is deceptively simple, especially when the entire cast goes to a clam bake on an island across from the mainland on the rocky coast of Maine. They arrive in boats in a sea of fog. There are other excellent special effects during the scene. The lighting design by Jack Jacobs magnificently enhances that scene and the whole production.

The only thing I would have liked to see in the set design was some color during the number, “June Is Busting Out All Over.” Perhaps some blossoms on a tree or bush.

The actors/singers were well directed by Bruce Lumpkin and they outperformed all expectations. Billy Bigelow (Jeffrey Coon) had a strong baritone voice with a large range made to fit this challenging role. He could play tough and at times be caring. Carrie Pipperidge (Cary Michele Miller) is talented in her singing and acting abilities and she projects both strength of character and caring for her close friend and female lead, Julie Jordan (Julie Hanson.) Julie showed where her love lies and she, too, had a strong and professional voice.

Mrs. Mullen, (Mary Martello) had such strength in her acting and singing. The memorable song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is a sad-yet-uplifting song we all know and Katie O'Shaughnessey sells itbrilliantly. Enoch Snow (William Hartery) really showed his professionalism when he sang “Mister Snow” and “When the Children Are Asleep.” This fabulous display attests to the versatility of William. He played Gus, Growltiger and Bustopher Jones in the touring company of “Cats” and has many other credits. Jigger (Christopher Marlow Roche) portrays a great villain. He moves like a spider and is totally believable in his role.

The play fast forwards fifteen years during Act II, when Billy is in Heaven and is allowed one day on earth. He chooses a special day and in the most moving scene of the play there are sobs to be heard throughout the audience and it’s my assumption that not a dry eye was to be found in the auditorium. The direction and acting in this scene is one of the finest you will see.

There was not a weak performer among the entire cast and the Snow children were adorable and well cast.

I would highly recommend this musical play to people of all ages.

It will run until July 15, 2007 at the Walnut Street Theatre, www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org

Ruth Goldman
Ruth@StageMagazineOnline.com
www.StageMagazineOnline.com/reviews


Filed under Musical, Walnut Street Theatre, The by Ruth Goldman

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Editor's Note For Tagging -

Parts of this article apply to: Philadelphia Theater, Lancaster Theater, Wilmington Theater, Cape May Theater, New Jersey Theater, Delaware Theater, Professional Theater, University Theater, Community Theater, Summer Theater, Theater for Youth, Childrens Theater, High School Theater, Theater Reviews, Theater Auditions, Theater Tickets, Theater Openings, Theater Job Openings, Musical Theater, Philadelphia Auditions, Cappies, Group Rates for Theater Tickets, Actors, Actresses, Theater Directors, MySpace, Facebook, Social Networking, Social Bookmarking

August 2, 2007

How To Write GOOD Articles For Online: Keep Both People AND Search Engines In Mind!

How To Write GOOD Articles For Online: Keep Both People AND Search Engines In Mind!

Writing for ONLINE reading is different from writing for newspapers or magazines: throw out all the rules you learned for print media and be sure to use this checklist each time you write online:

1. In your article (and here's where most people fall down) use emotion to "sell" and don't just list the facts. We theater people live our lives with passion, emotion, telling stories of love, but when we write about what we're presenting, we get timid, tell the facts, and HOPE people connect with us (which, in their dull, boring lives, most people won't). If all you had to do was tell people you are presenting a show, all of your seats would be FULL… which they aren't! You must show people why, with ALL the ways they have to use their time, your show is the BEST thing they can do. REMEMBER… it's EASY to stay home and do nothing - it takes EFFORT to go out to see your show, and you must show people WHY they should expend that effort!

2. When writing for ONLINE, be SURE to use the Title Line for your headline. The job of the Title is to get people to read the article AND to attract search engines to index what you wrote. And don't worry about making it short, the way a newspaper tells you. Google and other search engines use this information FIRST when spidering a site, and to THEM it's the most important. So ALWAYS be sure to list the full theater name (for those who might search for the theater by its name), the full show name (for those searching that way), the author's name, and something about the show. "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at the Walnut Street Theater Explodes Onto The Stage With Powerful Music, Dance, Costumes, and First Class Performances." OK… so your local newspaper wouldn't print that and they will want to be more subdued, but YOU don't have to be when writing on here! It's YOUR time to tell YOUR story… and you may only get ONE chance.

3. Keep your paragraphs short. FORGET what Mrs. McGillicutty told you in 7th grade English: you do NOT have to keep everything together in one paragraph. See how long paragraph #2 is above! Write like you speak. See? Short, punchy sentences work. Short paragraphs work too. REMEMBER: people are reading on their monitors, and it's ALWAYS harder to read on the screen than on a piece of paper! And if all they see is a sea of black, they won't even begin.

4. WRITE with EMOTION and then go back and EDIT for KEYWORDS. Think about the type search terms people might use when using Google. Romantic comedy… love story… beautiful story telling… Philadelphia area theater… theater for families… things like that. Some people even forget their town name, to say it's THEATER, etc. And repeat what you said in the title line as the first few lines of your article: people read the article, search engines read the title line.

5. Include photographs when you can. Online Reading is so visual and you need to stop people long enough to read your title and then your article… a good photograph can help.

6. Audio Interviews ALWAYS help. People don't have to WORK, all they have to do is LISTEN. And even if the mp3 or flash file says basically the same thing as your article, use it anyway. Here are two examples on our site that show you this:

http://stagemagazineonline.com/articles/archives/63/trackback and also
http://stagemagazineonline.com/articles/archives/39/trackback

7. Oh, one last thing about writing for online: ALWAYS put your contact information into the article in a way that people can just CLICK on it to contact you. See how this line cannot be clicked? See how this line opens your email program and already has the subject line filled out? You really MUST do everything you can to MAKE THINGS EASY for the people you're writing to. Put your web address as a clickable link. Put a way to send you an email as a clickable link. And if you don't know how, ASK: we're here to help you Sell Those Empty Seats!

Charlie Seymour Jr
StageMagazineOnline.com Charlie@StageMagazineOnline.com

PS: To learn more about the site and how it operates, click on this link for a short video: See Our 6 Minute Intro Video Here!


Filed under Theater Name by Charles Seymour Jr

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Editor's Note For Tagging -

Parts of this article apply to: Philadelphia Theater, Lancaster Theater, Wilmington Theater, Cape May Theater, New Jersey Theater, Delaware Theater, Professional Theater, University Theater, Community Theater, Summer Theater, Theater for Youth, Childrens Theater, High School Theater, Theater Reviews, Theater Auditions, Theater Tickets, Theater Openings, Theater Job Openings, Musical Theater, Philadelphia Auditions, Cappies, Group Rates for Theater Tickets, Actors, Actresses, Theater Directors, MySpace, Facebook, Social Networking, Social Bookmarking