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MGP News

 

Date

Title

April 2005

MGP production is one of Titanic proportions for directing couple

March 2004

MGP's 'Music Man' celebrates 45 years of tradition

February 16, 2003

Avon Lake Family Takes to the Stage- from The Morning Journal

November 20, 2001

MGP ANNOUNCES AUDITIONS FOR THEIR 2002 PRODUCTION OF "GUYS AND DOLLS"

October 10, 2001

MGP ANNOUNCES "GUYS AND DOLLS" AS THEIR 2002 SHOW

March 14, 2001

MGP's STATE FAIR A SURE WINNER

March 21, 2001

MGP'S STATE FAIR WORTH THE COMMUTE

March 28, 2001

MGP OPENS TICKET SALES FOR THEIR MUSICAL "STATE FAIR"


April 2005

 

 

MGP production is one of Titanic proportions for directing couple
Courtesy of THE PRESS
By Lori E. Switaj

You have to give Mighty Goliath Productions credit. They give a whole new meaning to "going all out" in this year's production, "Titanic: The Musical."
Everything about this year's show is large: the set, the cast and the crew and even the name.

"There are 98 people on stage," director Bernie Hisey said. "There are over 150 volunteers in total."
Hisey, in her second straight year as director, is partial to large productions including last year's "The Music Man."
"The Music Man had over 100 people and we wanted to keep that idea going," she said. "Six years ago we did "Fiddler on the Roof" with 90 people with a smaller stage. The bigger the better; it fosters camaraderie.

Patrons shouldn't confuse "Titanic: The Musical," a Tony winning Broadway production that opened in 1997, with the movie Titanic. The show is produced by Kathy Snezek.
"Unlike the characters in the movie who were fictional, the people in the musical were real," Hisey said. "They were on the ship's actual rolls."

The audience will have an opportunity to see what people in various sections in the ship were experiencing during the sinking.

"There are no 'stars' in the show, instead there's about 40 different roles," Hisey said. "First you'll meet the crew and serving staff, then third and first class. You'll see different aspects of why they're on the ship. That's another reason we picked it, it gives lots of people an idea of what was going on throughout the ship."

MGP has established itself as one of Avon Lake's longest standing traditions. The all-volunteer musical theater company donates all profits to the Performing Arts Group at Avon Lake High School. Over 45 years, the group has donated more than $130,000 to the Avon Lake School District.

"Titanic" is the 24th production Hisey, who hails from Avon Lake's musical Ilg family, has been involved in. Over the years she's been involved in almost every aspect including acting, providing her with a well-rounded view of how the production should run.

"I've been the music director, taken lead roles, was the choreographer and have been in the chorus. I started with MGP as a piano player in the pit. This marks the eighth production where I've directed drama."
She isn't the only Hisey directing. Her husband Ernest is Titanic's music director, another monumental task.
"There's 100 singers and a 30-piece chamber," he said. "There's music playing all the time, even over dialog."


Ernest had the challenge of orchestrating a musical that represents the diversity of emotions the night the Titanic sunk.

"There's incredible heart wrenching drama," Ernest said. "When the ship is sinking, the music changes from melancholy to crashing sounds. It's not necessarily pretty, but dying isn't pretty. Everyone in the third class on that ship dies, some from the second class, but no one from first class died. It really affected the psyche of America and made people realize the differences in classes.

"Then there's the romantic music with couples, which is different."
Musically, Ernest said the MGP production is more complex than a Broadway show. "It's called a 'poperatta' for a 'popular operatta," Ernest said. "There's more singing, more drama."

Ernest has a long history with Avon Lake. Titanic marks his fifth production with MGP; the first three were in the 1960s. He went on to spend 16 years as Avon Lake High School's music director and went to become a professor at Cleveland State University, where current music director Bill Zurkey was a graduate student.

Ernest sees the production as not just a school district benefit, but a long-standing community tradition.
"It's neat seeing faces from the 1970s back this year," Ernest said. "And their kids and grandkids are now involved. You'd be shocked how many families are involved each year, and the families keep coming back. I am seeing faces from 40 years ago that I haven't seen who are now involved."


Ernest complimented his wife for creating a moving experience with limited resources, including a set designed by Lorain architect Gary Fisher that features a recreated stern that lifts 15 feet off the stage.
"It's really a panoramic kind of experience," Ernest said. "Bernie has the ability to create a lot of dramatic movement and energy with a lot of people. It's hard to do that. She's created a dramatic synergy."

Titanic: The Musical, is set to open at the Daniel B. Ross Performing Arts Center at the Avon Lake High School April 8. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students/seniors. Tickets are good for any of the five performances and can be purchased at Hartsel's Automotive at 149 Lear Road during business hours. Tickets for the April 9 dinner theater are an additional $10. More information can be obtained by calling 930-2886 during business hours or MGP's 24-hour ticket info line at 246-7950.

Additional information is available online at www.oocities.org/mightygoliath/.

 

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March 2004

 

 

MGP's 'Music Man' celebrates 45 years of tradition
Courtesy of THE PRESS
By Lori E. Switaj

Noting that this was the 45th season of Avon Lake's longest running production, the Mighty Goliath Productions theatre company wanted to do something big.

And big it is.

Meredith Willson's "The Music Man," opening March 26 in the Performing Arts Center at Avon Lake High School, will feature over 130 performers on stage. "We wanted a big, big show," publicity chair and former director Sheila Hartsel said. "'Music Man' encompasses so many people." Pulling double-duty, Hartsel will play the role of Mrs. Paroo.

MGP is a musical theatre company that contributes funds toward the performing arts programs of the Avon Lake City Schools. To date, they have donated over $100,000 in proceeds.

The show was selected last spring, immediately following the production of the 2003 show, ''A Grand Night for Singing.'' MGP has become one of the area's most enduring traditions. More than 2,000 volunteers have assisted over the years.

Although an Avon Lake mainstay, the show features actors and musicians from all over the Northeast Ohio area including Avon, Westlake, Lakewood, Medina, from all over, Lorain and North Ridgeville.

The show calls for a barbershop quartet, and stepping up to the plate are professional singers Rhythm-n-Rhyme Barbershop Quartet. In addition to real-life barber Ron Granneman of North Ridgeville, are members Dr. Jim Kasten, Bill Fernkown and Al Downey.

Vocal director Ernie Hisey was instrumental in securing the quartet, who are donating their time. His wife, Bernadette Hisey, is the show's director. Hartsel noted dedicated volunteer Randi Schmarch will be playing piano for the production. "She is at every practice and she's really terrific," Hartsel said. "She's done a lot of offsite programs-her fingers must be worn to the bone." Kathy Snezak, "an original Avon Lake girl" is producing the show. Snezak, along with Hartsel co-produced last year's show, but is taking on solo responsibility this year. Christoper Barbaro is the show's orchestra leader Conductor and PRESS court reporter Doug Warnke is the technical director. Sandi Gerha is responsible for ticket sales and Joann Sarvas is handling costumes.

When not on stage, the show's actors disperse to a variety of fields. "There are doctors, students, professionals...quite a mix," Hartsel said. "There are also about 30 children, some as young as preschool. There are also a lot of families involved."

"It's become a great traditions for many people," Hartsel said. "Ken and Jeanne Sisson (ALHS Class of 1942) have never missed a production."

The plot revolves around "Professor" Harold Hill (played by Mike Nickley, of Medina,) a con-man who in order to sell band instruments convinces the citizens of River City, Iowa that he can teach their children to play in a marching band. Hill doesn't count on falling in love with the town librarian, Marian Paroo (played by Kitty O'Shea, of Lakewood,)and instead of skipping town before the instruments arrive, he is convinced to stay.

 

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November 20

 

 

MIGHTY GOLIATH PRODUCTIONS

CONTACT: Kristen Jones, Managing Director
Day phone: 440-775-8401
Fax: 440-775-8642
Home phone: 440-323-5756
E-mail: kristen.jones@oberlin.edu

MGP ANNOUNCES AUDITIONS FOR THEIR 2002 PRODUCTION OF "GUYS AND DOLLS"

Mighty Goliath Productions announces auditions for their 2002 production of the classic musical comedy hit, "Guys and Dolls," to be performed April 12, 13, 14, 19 and 20 in the Avon Lake High School Auditorium at 175 Avon Belden Road in Avon Lake. This year's production will be directed by Michael Nickley.

Open Auditions for principal and supporting roles will take place on Friday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 1 at 1:00 p.m. in the Avon Lake High School auditorium. If you are interested in one of the leading or supporting roles, please prepare at least 16-20 bars of a traditional Broadway song and dress comfortably for a possible movement audition. An accompanist will be provided. Participation in the chorus does not require an audition, and interested persons should report to the first rehearsal at 7:00 p.m. on January 4 at Avon Lake High School. Rehearsals for principals and all chorus members will begin on January 4.

"Guys and Dolls" revolves around Nathan Detroit, the organizer of the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York, who bets fellow gambler Sky Masterson that he can't make the next girl he sees fall in love with him. The next girl he sees happens to be Miss Sarah Brown, a pure-at-heart Salvation Army-type reformer, and the stage is set for a hilarious evening of complications. "Guys and Dolls" features one of the catchiest, strongest scores that Broadway has ever known, with hits such as "Luck Be a Lady," "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat," "If I Were a Bell," and the title song, among many others.

Mighty Goliath Productions, most often referred to as MGP, is a theater company which contributes funds toward the performing arts programs of the Avon Lake City Schools, having donated over $100,000 in proceeds. Celebrating its 43rd consecutive season, the entire organization is comprised of volunteers who donate their time and talent. For more information, visit our web site at www.oocities.org/MightyGoliath or contact Managing Director Kristen Jones at (440) 323-5756.

 

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October 10

 

 

MIGHTY GOLIATH PRODUCTIONS

CONTACT: Kristen Jones, Managing Director
Day phone: 440-775-8401
Fax: 440-775-8642
Home phone: 440-323-5756
E-mail: kristen.jones@oberlin.edu

For Release in The Press; October 10 edition

MGP ANNOUNCES "GUYS AND DOLLS" AS THEIR 2002 SHOW

Mighty Goliath Productions (MGP) will celebrate its 43rd consecutive season with its 2002 production of the classic musical comedy hit, "Guys and Dolls," to be performed April 12, 13, 14, 19 and 20 in the Avon Lake High School Auditorium at 175 Avon Belden Road in Avon Lake.

This year's production will be directed by Michael Nickley; already a veteran of MGP having performed lead roles in productions over the last two years. Dr. Mark Jessie will lead vocal direction, and Christopher Barbaro will direct the orchestra. Choreographer for this year's production will be Joe Fornadel, who has also been seen on stage in several MGP productions. Auditions for principal roles will take place in early December. Rehearsals for principals and all chorus members will begin on January 4. Watch "The Press" for continuing information on these and other dates.

"Guys and Dolls" revolves around Nathan Detroit, the organizer of the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York, who bets fellow gambler Sky Masterson that he can't make the next girl he sees fall in love with him. The next girl he sees happens to be Miss Sarah Brown, a pure-at-heart Salvation Army-type reformer, and the stage is set for a hilarious evening of complications. The original production won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The film version had the highest box-office gross of 1955. The 1992 production, the then longest-running of any Broadway musical, won a Tony for Best Revival, and its cast album took the Grammy. "Guys and Dolls" features one of the catchiest, strongest scores that Broadway has even known, with hits such as "Luck Be a Lady," "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat," "If I Were a Bell," and the title song, among many others.

Mighty Goliath Productions, most often referred to as MGP, is a theater company which contributes funds toward the performing arts programs of the Avon Lake City Schools, having donated over $100,000 in proceeds. Celebrating its 43rd consecutive season, the entire organization is comprised of volunteers who donate their time and talent as performing artists, technicians and administrators.
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March 28

 

 

MIGHTY GOLIATH PRODUCTIONS

CONTACT: Kristen Jones, Managing Director
Day phone: 440-775-8401
Fax: 440-775-8642
Home phone: 440-323-5756
E-mail: kristen.jones@oberlin.edu

MGP OPENS TICKET SALES FOR THEIR MUSICAL "STATE FAIR"

Tickets are now on sale for Mighty Goliath Productions' 42nd season production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's STATE FAIR to be presented April 27, 28, 29, May 4 and 5. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00 p.m. and the Sunday matinee performance begins at 2:00 p.m.

Rodgers & Hammerstein's only musical directly for the screen is now a stage musical that's had critics raving from coast to coast. Set against the colorful backdrop of an American heartland tradition, STATE FAIR travels with the Frake family as they leave behind the routine of the farm for three days of adventure at the annual Iowa State Fair. Mom and Pop have their hearts set on blue ribbons while their daughter and son find romance and heartbreak on the midway. Set to the magical strains of an Academy Award-winning score and augmented by other titles from the Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook, STATE FAIR is the kind of warm-hearted family entertainment only Rodgers & Hammerstein could deliver! Here favorite songs such as "It's a Grand Night for Singing" and "It Might As Well Be Spring," as well as huge company production numbers which will literally bring the house down!!

Reservations for tickets can be made 24 hours a day through the MGP Box Office Line at (440) 246-7950. Save by ordering your tickets pre-sale -- by doing so you will save $2.00 off the price at the door! Pre-sale Tickets are now available for $8 adults, or $7 for senior citizens and students 18 and under.

MGP also offers a dinner theater option for the Saturday, April 28 performance. Catered by Novotny Caterers, the pre-performance dinner is held at the high school at 6:45 p.m. Then it's on to the regular performance at 8:00 p.m.! Those attending dinner prior to the show will also enjoy reserved center section seating at the performance. The tickets for this event are available by prior reservation only, and $20 per person with a $1 discount for seniors and students.

All tickets may be purchased with cash or check. Tickets will also be available at Sissons Flowers & Gifts on Rt. 83 in Avon Lake, at the Avon Lake High School office room 123, and at the door until sold out.

Mighty Goliath Productions, most often referred to as MGP, is a musical theatre company which contributes funds toward the performing arts programs of the Avon Lake City Schools, having already donated over $90,000 in proceeds throughout its existence. Formed in 1959 and now celebrating its forty-second consecutive season, the entire organization is comprised of volunteers who donate their time and talent as performing artists, technicians and administrators. There are over 1700 alumni of MGP and over 100 active members who participate each year. For more information, be sure to visit the MGP Web Site at: http://www.oocities.org/MightyGoliath.

 

 

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March 21

 

MIGHTY GOLIATH PRODUCTIONS

CONTACT: Beth Van Horn, Media Relations
Day phone: 216-931-9532
Home phone: 440-331-4892
E-mail: vanhorndb@ameritech.net

For release in March 21, 2001 edition

MGP'S STATE FAIR WORTH THE COMMUTE

When Director and Choreographer Jim Jarrell drives to rehearsal, it often takes more than ten hours for him to get there. The Brooklyn, NY resident voluntarily makes a weekly trek to work with Avon Lake's Mighty Goliath Productions 2001 production, State Fair. In his mind, the project is well worth the commute.

"MGP is community theatre at its finest &endash; I've encountered no other group like it," says Jarrell. "Although the members of the company may change slightly from year to year, the group's enthusiasm and professionalism remains constant. And they always put on a fantastic show."

As both director and choreographer, Jarrell is responsible for the artistic vision and direction of the production, including directing the actors, choreographing dance numbers, and overseeing technical and costuming efforts. Previously with MGP he was director/choreographer of Pajama Game in 2000 and choreographer for Fiddler on the Roof in 1999. He relocated to New York while rehearsing Pajama Game.

Jarrell holds a B.A. from Baldwin-Wallace College in Broadcast Communications and an interdisciplinary degree in Performing Arts (Theatre and Music). He also has studied acting with the American Performing Arts Network. While theatre is his first love, he's also a talented graphic artist and works as one for McKinsey & Co. in Manhattan.

Jarrell describes Rodgers and Hammerstein's State Fair as a heart-warming show about family. "It presents timeless issues of growing up and growing older . . . and the pain associated with both. Every single person who watches the show will be able to relate to at least one character." Audiences will recognize many of the standards in the catchy score, and will be treated to several major dance numbers.

Under Jarrell's guidance, State Fair promises to deliver yet another MGP success. Performance dates are April 27, 28, 29, May 4 and 5 in the Avon Lake High School Auditorium. For ticket reservations and more information, call the MGP Box Office Line at (440) 246-7950. Tickets are also on sale now in Room 123 of the High School, or at Sissons Flowers and Gifts on Avon Belden Rd. Buy your tickets now and get a $2 discount!! Don't delay - performances often sell out at the door!

 

 

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March 14

 

 

MIGHTY GOLIATH PRODUCTIONS

CONTACT: Beth Van Horn, Media Relations
Day phone: 216-931-9532
Home phone: 440-331-4892
E-mail: vanhorndb@ameritech.net

For Release in The Press; March 14 edition

MGP's STATE FAIR A SURE WINNER

Winning blue ribbons is serious business in State Fair, the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic musical that marks Mighty Goliath Productions' 42nd season, being presented this April.

State Fair chronicles the heart-warming and humorous adventures of the Frake family at the annual Iowa State Fair. Mom and Pop have their hearts set on blue ribbons while daughter Margy and son Wayne find romance and heartbreak on the midway.

Theatre veterans Kristen Jones (Melissa Frake) and Mike Nickley (Abel Frake) will sing and dance their way into audiences' hearts as the endearing and entertaining Frake parents. Both seasoned performers, Jones holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Vocal Music Performance from Bowling Green State University and Nickley holds a Bachelor of Music as well as a Master of Arts in Theatre from the same insitution.

Nickley believes State Fair will find favor with audiences because "It's funny. It's warm hearted, good old-fashioned family entertainment." Jones agrees and adds, "Rodgers and Hammerstein productions are always popular - they're just great shows! The wonderful thing about State Fair is that it's packed with the kind of R&H songs and storylines that people love, but it also has some really great jazzy, big band music that will surprise people!"

Jones has been actively involved with MGP for 10 years, having held numerous lead and supporting roles, as well as being MGP's Producer since 1993 and acting as Managing Director for the past two years. You may also recognize her from numerous local appearances on area stages. A relative newcomer to MGP, Nickley debuted with the group last year as Sid Sorokin in The Pajama Game.

Mighty Goliath Productions (MGP) is a community musical theatre company based in Avon Lake, OH. Formed in 1959, the entire organization is comprised of volunteers who donate their time and talent as performing artists, technicians and administrators. The group donates its proceeds to the performing arts programs of the Avon Lake City Schools. Since its inception, MGP has donated more than $100,000. MGP is an active member of the Ohio Community Theatre Association

Performance dates for State Fair are April 27, 28, 29, May 4 and 5 in the Avon Lake High School Auditorium. For ticket reservations please call the 24 hour Box Office line at (440) 246-7950 or visit the MGP web site at http://www.oocities.org/mightygoliath

 

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