Casting Announced for Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

musical_comedy_murders_1940

Front & Centre Stage is pleased to announce casting for our November show, THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 by John Bishop.

The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher”) assemble for a backer’s audition of their new show at the Westchester estate of a wealthy “angel” during a horrible blizzard. However, and with no thanks to the bumbling police inspector who snowshoes in to investigate, the mystery is solved in the nick of time and the “Slasher” unmasked—but not before the audience has been treated to a sidesplitting good time and a generous serving of the author’s biting, satiric and refreshingly irreverent wit.

The cast includes some new faces as well as many F&C favorites:

Helsa Wenzel…………………….Brittney Stakem

Elsa Von Grossenknueten…..Linda Julien

Michael Kelly………………………Kevin Shreve

Patrick O’Riley……………………Bryan Murtha

Ken De La Maize………………..Robert Godfrey

Nikki Crandall…………………….Aimee Conley

Eddie McCuen……………………Kirk Yutzy

Marjorie Baverstock……………Beth Hilliker

Roger Hopewell………………….Daniel Chambers

Bernice Roth………………………Heidi Gardner

The show will be performed November 18th – 27th at the Cumberland Theatre & Creative Arts Center.  All show begin at 8:00 pm.

Casting Announced for “War of the Worlds” Radio Drama

war-of-the-worlds-headlines

Front and Centre Stage is excited to announce casting for our annual radio drama. This year we will be presenting the classic, WAR OF THE WORLDS!

Congratulations to the following talented actors:

Harry Haywood (Orson Welles)*……………….John McConnell

Jake Laurents*………………………………………………Jesse Wilson

Freddie Filmore*………………………………………………..Ken Heath
Lana Sherwood……………………………………………..Victoria Mann
Mimi Arnold*……………………………………………………Linda Julien
Ora Nichols (Head Sound Engineer)……………Kimberli Rowley
Howard Koch………………………………………………..Marty Fornwalt
Sound Assistant………………………………………Isabella McConnell
Commercials: Brielle Windle, Victoria Mann, Linda Julien, John McConnell, and Jesse Wilson
Studio singers:  Victoria Mann, Jesse Wilson, and Brielle Windle
Studio musicians:  Daniel Chambers, Jesse Wilson, Brielle Windle, Geoffrey Westbrook, and Beau Hartman
*performing in the original radio play within the radio play

Production Review for AMERICAN IDIOT

F&C’s American Idiot rocks the Cumberland Theatre

By Hayden Ort-Ulm

Recently, I decided to go see a theater performance that I had been hearing about around town. I had seen some of the cast members run a preview in Frostburg at Dante’s open mic night. Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT is most definitely the edgiest and most raw performance I have seen at the Cumberland Theatre. The musical score follows the band’s 2004 album down to the note. While at first I was skeptical about how much I would enjoy some of the key music of my teens acted out, I quickly realized as the show started that putting this music on stage really brings the album to life.

cast-photo

The cast features talented local musicians Gibb Cochrum and Ian Robinson, and vocalists Kimberli Rowley, Savannah Humbertson, and Aimee Conley, among many other very talented young actors. The entire show was fast paced, very high energy, and stimulating. To say the least, I could absolutely not believe what I was seeing on stage. A few of the early scenes had dance moves that reminded me of high school days going to Ahern’s Arcade on Virginia Avenue to see punk bands.

The story follows three friends, played by Cochrum, Hayden Kline, and Kirk Yutzy, while they go down equally intense and interesting paths in their own regards. Being a member of the millennial generation, much of the plot is very relatable. The story creates commentaries on situations that many people in their 20’s and 30’s in America find themselves in. Sex, drugs, and general disenchantment are the pillars of this production. That being said, this is very much a play for people who have already grown up, so finding a babysitter for the evening is suggested.

The actual band is a pivotal part of the production, as they are center stage the entire time performing spot on Green Day covers with enough fervor to test the limits of the Cumberland Theatre’s sound system, as any good punk show should. Actors also get several opportunities to show off their abilities with instruments as well, from solo acoustic guitar performances, to drumming on the scaffolding used as a main set piece. Both the set, designed by Don Whisted and the costumes, designed by Wendy Snow, are extremely dynamic, well thought out, and very entertaining in their own rights.

I think that the fact that this music was created upwards of 10 years ago and is still relatable today is notable. Anyone who has listened to Green Day’s American Idiot, or is paying attention to American culture would appreciate seeing Front & Center’s production at the Cumberland Theatre this weekend. Tickets for Friday and Saturday night’s shows, as well as Sunday’s matinee are available at www.frontandcentrestage.com.

“All You Need is Love…come together in harmony”

Front & Centre Stage Productions is partnering with the Allegany Arts Council to offer a very unique event for the whole community. The goal of All You Need Is Love is to bring Concert Logothe community together to mourn some of the recent tragedies in our country, and to celebrate what we can all do to help make the world a better place.

This is a FREE event, however, donations will be collected throughout the evening. ALL donations collected will go to the National Compassion Foundation of Victims of Crime The fund gives 100% of its public donations to victims of future mass casualty crimes.  Currently, they are supporting the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting.  The Fund was first proposed by victims and families from past mass casualty crimes across the country, including 9/11, Columbine, Virginia Tech, NIU, Aurora, Oak Creek, and Newtown. After they experienced stressful and prolonged negotiations attempting to collect money donated in their names, they asked the National Center for Victims of Crime to partner with them to develop a new model of giving—one that genuinely serves victims, donors, and the wider public.

The event will take place in Downtown Cumberland on August 27th with a variety of acts from different local performers, beginning at 5:00 pm.

The main program, scheduled from 6:00-8:00 pm, will be comprised of songs from the film, Across the Universe, which features music entirely by The Beatles. Performers involved in the main program include members of Front & Centre Stage, Mountain City Center for the Arts, Kidspired Productions, and Apple Alley Players as well as other local singers and musicians.  The main program will also include readings and guest speakers. A performance by local blues/rock band, “The Pilots”, will finish out the evening.

“The idea for this event was born out of the desire that many people in our community have to do something positive in the face of so many recent tragic events,” explained Jenny Krampf from Front & Centre Stage. “We think it is important to do our part to help, and we are looking forward to this special evening.”

For more information on how you can volunteer to help with concert or perform, please email us at frontandcentrestage@gmail.com.

For more information on the National Compassion Fund, click here.

Casting Announced for AMERICAN IDIOT

Front & Centre is pleased to announce our talented cast for Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT.  Thanks to all who auditioned – we are super excited to get started!

Johnny……………………………..Gibb Cochrum

Tunny………………………………..Hayden S. Kline

Will……………………………………Kirk Yutzy

St. Jimmy…………………………..Jesse Wilson

Heather……………………………..Aimee Conley

Extraordinary Girl………………Savannah Humbertson

Whatshername…………………..Kimberli Rowley

Favorite Son………………………Ian Robinson

Theo………………………………….Stephen Gumtz

Alysha……………………………….Nina Wollan

Featured Singers & Dancers:  Emily Hayworth, Victoria Mann, Lisa-Anna Maust, Whitney O’Haver, Jayna Raines, and Brett Reel

If you were not cast, please do not be discouraged and do audition again.  We do several shows a year and would love the opportunity to feature your talent in an upcoming production!