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Sandy troupe debuts first musical

'Fantasticks' opens Friday, May 30


Sandy Actors Theatre closes out its season Friday, May 30, with its first-ever musical, “The Fantasticks,” by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.

“I think it’s been a wonderful season for Sandy Actors,” Director Doug Holtry said. “It feels great to end with a musical. It’s quite a stretch for SAT and our audience.”

Produced by Cheryl Rudarmel-Beam, SAT’s “The Fantasticks” is a romantic comedy that follows a boy and girl who fall in love, grow apart and come back together. Originally performed in 1960, the popular musical features such classic songs as “Try To Remember,” “They Were You” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain.”

Holtry calls the show timeless.by: MICHAEL HENLEY, CONTEMPORARY IMAGES   - Madeleine Delaplane plays Luisa and Seth  Rue plays El Gallo in Sandy Actors Theatres The Fantasticks.

“It’s such a great story,” he said. “And it does have a happy ending, if that’s not giving too much away.”

Challenges

The production of a musical has presented many new challenges for SAT, which usually presents dramas and light comedies. Many of the actors who work in Sandy’s theater company are not trained for musicals.

“We really had to reach out to bring musical talent in,” Holtry said.

Three of the eight cast members are brand new to the troupe: Seth Rue as El Gallo, Madeleine Delaplane as Luisa and Aidan Nolan as Matt.

Delaplane, 19, of Tigard, said she has enjoyed her experiences with the smaller company so far.

“It seems like a very supportive theater,” she said. “The director very much wants the actors to find their own way. He lets you have your own artistic vision, and that’s great.”

An intern at Northwest Children’s Theater and a member of Oregon Children’s Theatre’s Young Professionals program, Delaplane said the role intrigued her.

“Luisa’s one of my dream roles,” she said, adding she previously had played the mime in a production of “The Fantasticks.”

“Even if it’s a bit of a haul from Tigard to Sandy, I knew this was something I really wanted to do,” she said.

Dancing shoes

Not only was seeking out new talent an obstacle for SAT, but the preparation of a musical adds another layer of challenges to its usual routine. Cast members have been preparing the show for nearly seven weeks, memorizing lines and learning blocking.

“When you start to introduce music into that, it creates a whole new level of intricacy,” Holtry said.

And of course musicals don’t just call for singing, but dancing as well. However, Holtry said the extra work is well worth it.

“It creates whole other layers of enjoyment for the audience as well,” he said.

The small theater used by Sandy Actors will create a unique viewing experience for audience when they come to see “The Fantasticks,” Holtry said.

“Being that close to a musical production is really rare,” he said. “It’s going to be a great experience for everybody.”

In addition to the three new cast members, the musical features performances by Rudarmel-Beam as Luisa’s mother, Bellamy; Don Wright as Matt’s father, Huckabee; Susie Kinder as the mime; and George Farquhar and Joni Tabler as two old actors.




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