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Carolyn Johnson, director of Panto Wonderful Wizard, chats about all things Panto and Stages!
Carolyn, you're a Panto pro at this point! What do you love about Panto?
I love that there is a particularly direct exchange of energy with the audience in a Panto. In more traditional theatre, you don't often get to engage audience members and allow their input to significantly shape a performance. In addition, Pantos are, simply, pure exuberant fun. I love so many genres of theatre and the fact that, as an artist, you can make people think, or consider an alternate reality, right from the safety of their seat. But there's nothing like just making people laugh. We may slip in a more serious idea or two, but for the most part, Panto is about tapping into the kid in each of us, reminding us what it's like to just let go and enjoy. I rarely laugh more than when I'm involved with a Panto -- whether I'm onstage or in the rehearsal room.
Why is Panto important?
There are so many read on...
As The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On enters its final week, Christina Stroup (Betty Jean aka "The Purle One") sat down and shares all the facts about her that you've been dying to know!
Christina Stroup in The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On. Photo by Bruce Bennett.
Full given name: Christina Michelle Stroup
Hometown: George Town, Grand Cayman
Zodiac sign: Pisces
Audition song: "Alone" by Heart, "Lights" by Journey, or "The World Goes Round" by Kander and Ebb.
Special skills: Impersonations (if you saw Panto Snow Queen last year, you saw my Celine Dion), whistle tones.
First Broadway show ever saw: Fosse
Favorite show tune: "Stay With Me", from Into the Woods
Most played song on your iPod: "You Matter To Me" - Sara Bareilles and Jason Mraz
One CD you couldn't live without: Any Sara Bareilles or Celine Dion album.
Last book you read: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Must-see TV show: read on...
On a recent trip to Rotterdam, I was discouraged to learn that a world-renowned Cathedral was closed to the public on the one day I would be in the city. A kindly docent attempted to lift my spirits with tales of other important sites and she mentioned a place she loved as a little girl. She told me she hadn’t been to the place in forty years, that she remembered riding her bike there as a child, and that she didn’t even quite know how you got there any more – or if there was any “there” left at all. But I was intrigued enough by her whimsical memories to set off without any map in the general direction of Delphs Harbor.
It was a warm day and the city was bustling, crowded café conversations filling every street. I walked picturesque blocks and blocks that are likely never photographed. I went through a Chinatown, a Little India, Little Ireland. I passed a flock of rainbow flags and big seats of government. I walked along canals, past large public art displays and I stopped once read on...
Have you met Rachael Logue? If you've seen any of the Wonderettes series, Dollhouse, Steel Magnolias or Grey Gardens, you probably have!
Currently Rachael is charming audiences as Cindy Lou ("the yellow one") in The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On - playing at Stages through October 16.
Rachael sat down and answered all the questions you've been dying to ask - see more, below:
Full given name: Rachael Drees Logue
Hometown: Kingsville, TX
Zodiac sign: Aries with a Virgo rising
Special skills: Some dialects, some basic guitar and piano skills, and a vast knowledge of musicals that came out pre 1975.
First Broadway show ever saw: The Pirate Queen…Yes, I know, but Stephanie J. Block was phenomenal!
Favorite show tune: This is like Sophie’s Choice, but probably something from Funny Girl
Last book you read: The Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes
Favorite board game: Clue
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Barbra Streisand. Or Beyonce. Both Queen B’sread on...
Houston, have you met Mark Ivy? You may have seen him in Life Could Be a Dream, Xanadu, Next to Normal, Girls Night and currently, Shear Madness. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about Mark (and more!)...
Full given name: Mark Herndon Ivy
Hometown: Sugar Land, TX
Zodiac sign: Aries
Audition song: “Cry for Me” from Jersey Boys
Special skills: General Beyoncé knowledge, can dance the “Single Ladies” routine to near perfection, can elongate neck, Chewbacca sounds, and a pretty decent dinosaur impression.
Favorite show tune: The "It's All Over/And I'm Telling You" sequence from Dreamgirls.
Most played song in your iTunes: Grown Woman by Beyoncé...
One album you couldn't live without: B'Day Deluxe Version - The first issued edition where it still had the cover from the Romeo + Juliet movie.
Last book you read: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, it was pretty interesting read. A mash up of my two worlds.
Must-see TV show: I love House of Cards and read on...
6 Fun Facts About The Marvelous Wonderettes!
Did you know that The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On is the fourth in the Wonderettes series, and Stages has produced them all?
Did you know that the first play in the Wonderette saga, The Marvelous Wonderettes, opened at Stages in July 2010 and ran for a record-breaking 9 months in Stages' Arena Theatre?
Did you know that the holiday themed follow-up Winter Wonderettes proved so popular, Stages brought it back for a second consecutive holiday season?
Did you know that the cast has remained the same for ALL Stages Wonderettes productions? Holland, Rachael, Chelsea and Christina first came together as Wonderettes six years ago and have been fast friends in real life ever since.
Did you know that just like her character, Cindy Lou, actor Rachael Logue also left Houston several years ago to pursue a career in New York? We're glad to have her back for this Wonderettes World Premiere!
Did you know that two Wonderettes are also Honky Tonk Angels? Chelsea Ryan McCurdy and Holland Vavra join Kelley Peters for The Honky Tonk Angels at Miller Outdoor Theatre September 9th and 10th!
OPEN AUDITIONS FOR HOUSTON ACTORS
Stages Repertory Theatre will hold 2016-2017 Season Auditions for Houston actors are on Thursday, May 26 and Friday, May 27. Auditions are for AEA and non-AEA adult actors, ages 18 and older. Auditions are by appointment only, and may be scheduled beginning Monday, May 16, 2016. Actors should prepare one monologue that is one to three minutes in length and bring a current headshot and resume. No phone calls please.
Thursday, May 26
Friday, May 27
By Appointment Only
Stages Repertory Theatre
3201 Allen Parkway, Suite 101
Houston, TX 77019
To obtain an appointment, e-mail contact information (name, phone number, and indicate whether you are a member of AEA) to email@example.com on or after Monday, May 16, 2016.
Every moment of your life is an amalgam of innumerable choices: choices you have made, choices that others have made for you, and choices that rise from the ceaseless motion of the universe. The very act of reading this brief letter rises from such a confluence of choices. You stand right now at the busy intersection of what to do, what will happen and what can be. And you are not alone there. Plays, as the reflection of our lives, are built from a conspiracy of choices. The characters in a play interact with each other and the world through the choices they make—scene by scene, moment by moment. And we, the audience, witness the consequences of those choices with a desire to understand ourselves and others more fully. This is the bold ambition of great theatre.
Our 2016-2017 Season shines a light on these defining moments. Take, for example, De Kus (The Kiss) a bold Dutch play about two strangers who decide to walk together in the darkening woods. Or consider a pair of young read on...