September 21 thru 24
Theatre in the Circle presents another Cleveland musical chestnut, The All Night Strut, with a stellar cast of musical theatre professionals. The show premiered in 1976 at Pickle Bill’s in the Flats, then moved to the State Theatre in the pre-renovation days of Playhouse Square.
Everybody’s favorite boy-next-door, Robert Kowalewski, is taking the radio-idol tenor role in The All Night Strut quartet. He has appeared in many productions at Pittsburgh Musical Theater (Les Miz, Sound of Music, Spring Awakening, Chess), Cassidy Theatre (Big: the Musical, Titanic) True North (Next To Normal, South Pacific) and most recently as Albert Einstein at Blank Canvas in Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Robert’s impressive voice and interpretive instincts serve him (and us) well in capturing the hope, joy, frivolity of a time when our country grew by leaps and bounds, but the specter of war and loss loomed large.
Miguel D. Osborne, actor, choreographer and costume/fashion designer, joins the cast as the quartet’s bass. Miguel has graced the Karamu House stage in Dreamgirls, Julius Caesar, Aint’ Misbehavin’, God’s Trombone and at Tri-C Metro in You Can’t Take It With You and Cassidy Theater in Victor/Victoria. Film and television credits feature prominently in his resume. Miguel’s plaintive “Brother Can You Spare A Dime?” in The All Night Strut captures the boom times and the bum times of the show’s era.
Lakewood resident and theatre veteran, Neda Spears, ably carries the alto part of The All Night Strut’s tight harmonies. Neda was Susannah at Actor’s Summit in Tintypes, Mona Lisa in A Song for Coretta and Kali in Huck and Holden at Ensemble Theatre. She has appeared in over a dozen shows in Alabama and the Chicago metro area. Neda brings a sassy, sultry, world-weary awareness to this show’s musical time capsule.
After playing long list of ingenue leads all over NE Ohio: Geauga Lyric Theater (Diana, the Musical, Mary Poppins), Beachwood Theater (Beauty and the Beast), True North (South Pacific, Happy Days), Brecksville Theater (Guys and Dolls), Jill Marie Zeszut makes her Theatre in the Circle debut in The All Night Strut. Jill brings a very nuanced voice and a ton of pizazz to this production. This talented young lady’s rendition of “I’ll Be Seeing You” will leave not a dry eye in the house.
We are blessed to have at the boundless energy, infectious enthusiasm, and seasoned creativity of Jen Justice as choreographer for The All Night Strut.
Join us to see this splendid cast sing, shimmy, scat and soar through this wonderful trip down memory lane with songs like “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Minnie the Moocher”, “Java Jive”, “White Cliffs of Dover”, “A Fine Romance”, “In The Mood”, “As Time Goes By” and many, many more.
The All Night Strut opens Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and continues on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and closes on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 2:00 p.m.
THEATER & DANCE11:00 AM ESTJune 21, 2017 0Story:Kristen HampshireArt:Heather Linn YoungCleveland Magazine/Lake Effect
Bill Corcoran first spotted the lounge at Judson Manor senior living center after moving there in 2013 with his partner, Mark Corcoran. He could envision the room as an intimate theater with a stage and seats filled with residents and community members.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of excuses not to do it,” says Bill, a retired Cleveland Play House musical director.
In fall 2016, the idea morphed into community theater upstart Theatre in the Circle.
“Judson has an ambitious music program, and we have visual arts,” says Mark. “But we didn’t have any regular theater programing here, and the residents who live here are longtime theatergoers.”
The couple has the experience to put on a good show. Mark, who previously worked in public relations, has been involved in theater since childhood. He even co-authored a musical and founded a cabaret theater group in Maryland during the ’70s.
Bill has composed 14 original musicals, served as music director for shows from My Fair Lady to Man of La Mancha, and taught music theory at Indiana University Southeast and Hanover College.
“Musical theater is the ultimate form of communication,” Bill says. “It’s a collaboration of words, music and images. That’s why I was so attracted to theater initially and why I chose to make a career of it.”
It’s also about pushing yourself artistically, says Mark. “Theater is not just pretending to be someone else, but an opportunity to get in touch with another, maybe unexplored, part of yourself,” he says. “Whether you’re acting or directing, it’s telling stories. And it’s magic. I’m a sucker for glitter, bright lights and rabbits hopping out of hats.”
Theatre in the Circle opened with Eddie! in the lounge. In February, it moved to the ballroom, where it sold out three performances of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well & Living in Paris.
Now, the Corcorans are preparing for a third show, I Do! I Do!, with five performances June 22-25 in the Judson ballroom.
Auditions are open to community members and professionals. The Corcorans select shows with small casts of just two to four actors, which suits the venues at Judson. The company includes members who create the set and costumes, all of which is overseen and artistically driven by the Corcorans. Cleveland Institute of Art students who are artists-in-residence at Judson have helped design and build sets.
“We are exploring the possibility of theater internships in backstage concerns: stage management, set design, sound, lights,” Mark says.
As for show selection, the Corcorans consider their seasoned audience. For example, I Do! I Do! is the story of a 50-year marriage, beginning on the wedding day and concluding with moving out of the family home.
“Residents will love watching a young couple as they wed, raise their children, suffer through their midlife crises and settle into retirement after their 50-year roller coaster ride of marriage,” Mark says.
For the couple, this theater company is an extension of their careers and a lifelong passion for the stage.
“We see what this theater has done for the community here, and people really look forward to it,” Mark says. “If we can touch lives, what else do we need?”
Baby boomer brings more opportunities, Judson Manor resident says
BECKY RASPE | SPECIAL SECTIONS STAFF REPORTER
email@example.com May 12, 2017
Baby boomers are at a transitional point in their lives. Some are getting ready to retire, others already have retired and are looking for activities to keep busy and still others are working and may not have much time on their hands.
Though staying active and social is important for all ages, boomers really can develop and gain from taking on new hobbies and activities at this point in their lives. Mark Corcoran, a resident at Judson Manor in Cleveland, boomer and managing director of Theatre in the Circle, said being a boomer doesn’t mean you can’t get involved with something new.
“For me, (being involved) is the only way to stay connected to our world,” Corcoran said. “Just because you’re of a certain age, it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to continue to grow or to be challenged. When you get to that age, you’re able to choose a large life or a small life. The large life is far more fulfilling to me.”
Corcoran co-created Theatre in the Circle with his husband, Bill, in their retirement. Corcoran said that when looking for retirement communities and things to get involved in as boomers, they were instantly drawn to Judson Manor’s space.
“When we saw Judson, we thought what a perfect venue for productions,” he said. “The space was crying to be used in creative ways. We have an extremely vigorous music program here at Judson Manor. We’re also in the process of further developing and enriching the art program. So, it was like the theater was the missing component. From our research, Judson Manor is the only senior community with a semi-professional theater company that is resident driven.”
Corcoran said a reason why he pursued the theater company is because he and his husband were involved in professional theater their entire lives.
“We missed the creative challenge that a theater presents,” he said. “We were in a position of people asking (why we created the company) and our exact response was why not? If we can do something to further enrich a community that we can spend the rest of our lives in, why not?”
Corcoran said it’s important for boomers to recognize going to a retirement community is not the beginning of the end. For Corcoran and his husband, it was more like the beginning of a new life.
“Judson is really at the heart of this company,” he said. “People don’t come to these communities to die. They come to live and live in ways they never did before. My husband and I found moving (to Judson Manor) to be very liberating and freeing.”
Corcoran said since moving to Judson Manor, he has worried less about the small stuff, like who will fix things around the house or mow the lawn.
“My very best piece of advice to someone who doesn’t know what to do with their newly found time since retirement is to volunteer somewhere,” he said. “You’ll find something that you’ll connect with.”
He said not everyone will find something to connect with right away and that’s OK.
“You just have to find it,” Corcoran said. “And if you don’t find it – create it. Originate your future.”
The Theatre in the Circle will have its next show, “I Do! I Do!,” premiere on June 22. The show will be directed by Bill Corcoran.
When married couple Bill and Mark Corcoran decided to retire, they chose to be near the cultural hub of University Circle and moved to Judson Manor. Now they're in walking distance of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance Hall, the Botanical Gardens and so much more in and around Wade Oval. However there was one cultural amenity not within walking distance.
"We have a lot of very fine concerts and different sorts of presentations but no theater," said Bill.
Now thanks to the theatrical Corcorans, Judson residents don't even need to leave the building. In less than a year, their company, Theatre in the Circle, has staged two productions on the Judson ballroom stage. They present the 1966 musical, I Do, I Do, this week.
"To our knowledge we are the only semi-professional community theater that's resident driven in a retirement community in the country," Mark said.
Earlier this year they staged the beloved musical Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and the residents loved it.
"Many of them are still mobile, but not all of them. It makes it so convenient to have something right there in the building," said Bill.
Theatre in the Circle presents I Do, I Do Thursday through Sunday at Judson Manor in University Circle.
from the PRODUCER & DIRECTOR
“Wasn’t it a bit like now?” When “I Do! I Do! opened on Broadway in 1966, America was deeply divided. The Viet Nam war raged, the seeds of the Watergate scandal were sown, a lone sniper wreaked havoc from a bell tower at the University Texas and partisan animosity crippled the Congress. Then voila here was this charming little musical about two people, love and marriage. It’s deja vu all over again! In this challenging time as a Nation, let’s relax for a little while and watch Agnes & Michael Snow show and tell us about what’s really important: here and now LOVE. It is “What makes it sorta fun, sorta fun, sorta fun!” Love trumps (you should pardon the expression), well, everything!
BY LAURA DEMARCO, THE PLAIN DEALER firstname.lastname@example.org
CLEVELAND, Ohio - A new Cleveland theater company announced its arrival in dramatic style in February. Theatre in the Circle presented the beloved musical "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" to three sold-out audiences at their University Circle home.
Now Cleveland's youngest company is back with a new production. The musical "I Do! I Do!," with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt - the same team who wrote "The Fantasticks" -- opens Thursday, June 22 at the theater located inside the historic Judson Manor on East 107th Street.
Get Your Tickets Now: Musical “I Do! I Do!” Next for Theatre in the CirclePosted on: June 5th, 2017 by Rob Lucarelli
Following a sellout run of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, you may be asking yourself what could Theatre in the Circle have up its sleeve next?
The answer is another musical chestnut--I Do! I Do!--a funny, touching and intimate two-person theatrical tour-de-force about one-couple’s incredible 50-year marriage—the highs and lows and everything in between, including a few surprises!
“I Do! I Do! is not only about marriage, but the value of honesty in relationships and the courage to be who we are as individuals,” notes Mark Corcoran, Theatre in the Circle’s managing director, and a Judson Manor resident. “The audience can expect to laugh, relate and be touched by some heart-rending moments.”
And the surprises? “Oh, there’s one in the second act that you won’t see coming!”
With book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks), I Do! I Do!features memorable tunes such as “My Cup Runneth Over” and “The Honeymoon Is Over.”
“The show borrows from classical forms, vaudeville, operetta and classic American musical theatre,” says Mark. “There are ballads, big brassy numbers and downright silly songs that advance the story.”
The original Broadway production, directed by Gower Champion, opened in December 1966 with Robert Preston and Mary Martin as Michael and Agnes Snow. Preston won a 1967 Tony Award for “Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.”
Theatre in the Circle’s production of I Do! I Do! is directed by the company’s Artistic Director Bill Corcoran. Actors Angela Mitchell and Mason Stewart, who both appeared in Jacques Brel…, return to play Agnes and Michael.
“It’s very demanding, not only do the actors share all the dialogue for two full acts, they sing 18 songs, change costumes seven times and age from their early 20’s to 70-plus!,” says Mark.
“Angela and Mason showed us they were up to this daunting challenge when they appeared in Jacques Brel… which offered very difficult music, complex lyrics—a real emotional roller coaster for any actor. We are so fortunate to be working with such disciplined, hard-working professionals who are also fun and a real joy to work with as creative collaborators.”
Performances take place Thursday, June 22, 2017—Sunday, June 25, 2017, in the ballroom of the historic Judson Manor retirement community, 1890 East 107 Street, in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood.
Performance ScheduleThursday, June 22, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 23, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 24, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 12, 2:00 p.m.
Tickets for residents of Judson’s three communities are complimentary with a reservation. Tickets for the general public are $15. Please call (216) 282-9424 or visit www.theatreinthecircle.com.
SEATING IS OPEN AND LIMITED!