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In The Spotlight - Kathy Lovering  

Director The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Monday, May 5, 2014 11:06:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight

Kathy Lovering, from Nashua, is the Director of The Music Man. The Music Man is one of Kathy’s favorites and she is thrilled to be turning the pages from the script to an on-stage show!  In fact the first show Kathy saw as a child was when her parents took her to see an Actorsingers production of The Music Man in 1975.  This is the third time that Actorsingers is bringing this wonderful show to the stage, first in 1975, again in 1987, and now, on May 9, 10 and 11 in 2014. “We wanted to do a classical musical that showcases music that everyone is familiar with, and makes you feel good as you leave the theatre.  It has all the elements of an uplifting and fun show that we know will be a crowd pleaser.” 

The 67 member cast brings some interesting statistics to the show in addition to their performing talents. There are also many coincidences in this production of The Music Man.  Two sisters, Marilyn Valentine and Sandra Metaxotos, are performing in this production, in honor of their late sister, Rebecca, who performed the role of Marian for Nashua High School.  Their niece Lindsay Murch and Sandra’s daughter Chloe are in the ensemble. There are nine families in this show, which is a record for the most families in any Actorsingers production. 

Director Kathy Lovering and Marilyn Valentine (Widow Paroo) were classmates at Nashua High School. Music director, Jed Holland, met his wife, Martha Daniels Holland, in the second production of The Music Man, and all 5 of their children are involved in this show.  The second production of The Music Man was directed by the late John Liljeberg, whose wife Raelene is the costume mistress for this production. John was an assistant director for the Nashua High School band for many years, and Kathy Lovering and Jed Holland were in band together during that time. With so many coincidences in this production, the third time staging The Music Man is a thrill for all involved, and we hope audiences go out and enjoy the show!

What is the most challenging part of bringing this show to life?  “It’s a huge tech show, huge cast, and it's a period piece which is always a challenge.”

Kathy has been with Actorsingers since 1977, and in addition to directing main-stage shows, she has directed Junior Actorsingers and Teen Actorsingers shows, as well as a few shows at Nashua High South and the Nashua Senior Center.  Kathy has served on the Actorsingers Board of Directors as president, secretary, vice-president and director. Actorsingers has presented Kathy with the Penny Award, the Life Member Award, and the Actorsingers Hall of Fame Award.

Kathy makes her livelihood as an insurance agent “which is not fun!” She also likes gardening and restoring furniture.

In The Spotlight - Jed Holland & Martha Daniels Holland 

Music Director & Choreographer The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Monday, May 5, 2014 10:37:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight

Jed Holland is the Music Director and Martha Daniels Holland is the Choreographer for the upcoming production of The Music Man May 9-11. They are thrilled to be working together with this large cast of 67 very talented adults, teens and children! The Music and Choreography is so much fun in this production, including the much loved songs "Ya Got Trouble", "Goodnight, My Someone", "Seventy-Six Trombones", “My White Knight” and “Shipoopi”.

Jed has been involved with Actorsingers since 1981, where he has enjoyed many productions in and out of the Orchestra Pit. Martha has been involved with Actorsingers since 1987, where she met Jed in that year’s production of The Music Man. Jed was playing the piano and she was one of the teenage chorus dancers, and now they are happily married with 5 children. In fact all of their children - Andrew, Becca, Mike, Mary and Christopher - are involved with this production of The Music Man, which makes this production very special for them! They are also excited to be working with their Chilean exchange student Ismael as one of the dancers in this show.

 Since Martha’s appearance in her first show, The Music Man, in 1987, theatre has had such an impact on her that she has been involved in nearly all Actorsingers productions, in one way or another, ever since! Martha takes great pleasure in choreographing shows, but still enjoys being onstage occasionally. Jed loves Music Directing and especially loves working on shows with Martha and the entire family!

 Martha has served as past Actorsingers Vice President and board member. Jed served as the original Actorsingers webmaster and performed that duty for many, many years. Jed is a past unsung hero recipient, Martha is a past Actorsingers Wall of Fame recipient, and both Martha and Jed have received lifetime membership awards.

 By day, Jed is a software engineer, and Martha is a full-time Realtor with RE/MAX Properties and loves her work. For fun, they experience great joy spending time with their family and friends and of course going to see all the live theatre they can!

In The Spotlight - Michael Coppola 

Harold Hill in The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Monday, May 5, 2014 12:01:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight

Michael Coppola plays Harold Hill in the upcoming production of The Music Man. Michael lives in Portsmouth, NH with his partner Ron Levesque.  He grew up in the small town of Rowley, MA and has lived in Miami, Newburyport and Epping in between.

Harold Hill is one of Michael’s favorite roles “ I love the whole look and feel of the show - it’s a fun show and a fun time.”  Michael’s  first A/S show was Oklahoma - Curly, then he was in The Producers - Leo Bloom, and then Chicago - Billy Flynn.

Michael has performed in over 100 shows with just about every group in southern NH and the seacoast area. “There are a few out there that I have not had the pleasure to work with, but I'm sure that day will come!”

What was Michael’s reaction when he was cast? ” I was very happy :) I'm not getting any younger and, well, eventually you gotta start playing the older roles.”

Harold is a travelling salesman who makes a living by swindling people and then skipping town. “In real life I am a Real Estate Broker - hmmmmm :)  Not that I've ever swindled anyone or skipped town - just saying. If you need to buy or sell a house ..... call me ;)”

“I think the most challenging part of this or any role in a period piece is keeping the character true to the time period. Whether it is language, body movement, etc., you don't want the audience to watch and think ‘oh look it’s Michael playing a part in a show’.  The best compliment is when the audience says, I forgot it was even you up there :) That’s when you say to yourself - I did it right.”

The Music Man was the first live show Michael ever saw, with his Mother and Grandmother.  “There was a travelling show and it came to our high school - I'm guessing I was probably about 13 years old or so. They had a complete band and everything. It was just very captivating. “

Why does Michael do theatre?  “Well,  where else can you be a travelling salesman one month, maybe a mass murderer a few months later, then become a fairy tale character, a baseball player, a gambler, a loving husband, a hated father, a roller-skating bride groom ..... You get the idea.  It’s truly the best way to express yourself creatively that I know, while giving something to others, might they be looking for a laugh, a cry, something thought provoking or just a few hours away from reality.”

As mentioned above, Michael is a real estate broker and has been since 1991. “When I have any free time, I enjoy spending it with friends, playing games, cooking, travelling - you know, the basic stuff lol - I'm not a triathlete or a skydiver or anything interesting like that.”

In The Spotlight - Caity Glover 

Marian Paroo in The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Sunday, May 4, 2014 9:52:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight

Caity Jeanne Glover, from Manchester, plays Marian Paroo in The Music Man, her very first show with Actorsingers!  Caity has always wanted to play Marian since she sang ‘Till There Was You” in a middle school concert, “When the opportunity presented itself to audition, I couldn’t pass it up!”

When Caity found out she was cast as Marian “ I screamed! And it was very early in the morning so I woke up my roommate, oops!“            

Marian is the town librarian, and the music teacher. “I connect with Marian because although she gives off a cold persona, she is smart and strong and hopeful.  And she wishes on the evening star, which is something I have done many times in my life. J “

Caity finds the most challenging part of bringing Marian to life is making the portrayal of her unique. She has a clear idea about what motivates Marian, “and I see her as so much more than just a ’stuck up librarian’”.

Caity’s earliest theatre memory was when she was 10 “my mother thought it would be a good idea to get me involved in theatre because I was a chatterbox who was always singing and dancing. My first show was a musical about Robin Hood and I played one of his merry men. And that was it; I was bitten by the acting bug and haven’t stopped performing since!”

Caity has worked with many area theatre groups including StageCoach Productions in Nashua, Milford Area Players, Nashua Theatre Guild, and most recently The Community Players of Concord.  “Being involved in theatre makes me feel like I never really have to grow up; I love the ‘play’ aspect of it.”

When Caity isn’t on stage she is a call analyst for a nurse coaching hotline. For fun she enjoys bike riding, baking, watching the Bruins, and she is obsessed with theme parks and roller coasters!!

In The Spotlight - Craig Plummer  

Marcellus in The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Friday, May 2, 2014 5:23:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight

Craig Plummer, from Brookline, NH, plays Marcellus Washburn in The Music Man.

Craig describes Marcellus as ”a former compatriot of Harold Hill (or, as I refer to him, Gregory) who is a sort of loveable, bumbling, faithful sidekick character.  I feel that I have a lot of Marcellus in me and look forward to bringing that out on stage. The biggest challenge for me is truly being Marcellus and not just being myself on stage.  I have always loved to sing but doing so while trying to be someone else is a whole different level.  Hopefully my enthusiasm and connection to the part will shine through.”

Why did Craig audition? “I love to perform and the role of Marcellus seemed like a perfect role for me to audition for.  I also wanted to have the opportunity to perform on stage with both of my kids.  The opportunity to be involved with something that we all enjoy so much is a true joy!  I was overjoyed to not only be cast in the show, but to be cast in the role of Marcellus.  I hope to bring an "exuberant goofiness" to the role!”

Craig is no stranger to the stage “I had the good fortune to be in Annie with the Actorsingers a couple of years ago, and participated in a show called Midsummer's Magic, put on by Stagecoach 2 summers ago. I also had the good fortune to be portraying Thomas Jefferson in 1776 last summer with Bedford Off Broadway.  Where else in my life do I have the opportunity to get on stage and do what I love to do for a crowd of people?  The thrill of performing and hearing the audience laugh and applaud is unmatched in other parts of my life.”

What was Craig’s first memory of theater? “I had the role of one of the Trolls in The Hobbit in elementary school.  Some might say typecast but I vehemently disagree :-)”

Craig owns his own business doing college advising for families in the Southern NH and Northern Massachusetts areas. “ I am fortunate that my work is a joy to me, and that I get so much out of helping the families with whom I work.  For fun, I am an avid golfer and am working toward participating in more road races as a runner.”

In The Spotlight - Katie Tocci  

Zaneeta Shinn in The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Thursday, May 1, 2014 4:42:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight

Katie Tocci from Nashua plays Zaneeta Shinn in The Music Man. Katie auditioned for the show because I hadn’t been in a production in many years and missed doing shows like crazy! This is just such a fun show and I was so excited to audition for a chance to be a part of it!”

Katie joined Actorsingers at the age of seven, after coming to see a production with her family.After my first show, I was hooked! I participated in most of the kids and teen productions from 1997-2004 including the infamous “Pasta Shows!” I have also choreographed several of the children’s productions. In 2007, I was a member of the Female Ensemble in "Oklahoma." Actorsingers was where I grew up. It is so nice to be back home again! Theater brings me so much joy. It is nice to be able to escape to a make-believe world where singing in the middle of a crowded street or dancing in the middle of a library is expected! I am at my most confident, my most happy, and my most inspired when I am doing shows!”

How did Katie react when she was cast? “I found out that I was cast as Zaneeta from my mother. It was about 6:30 am on a snowy morning when she ran into my room screaming, “Congratulations!!!” I originally thought that she meant “Congratulations…it’s snowing…we have a snow day!!” After I woke up and I realized she meant that I was cast in "The Music Man", I immediately had to go to the website and see for myself. Much screaming and dancing commenced after that!!”

Katie’s character Zaneeta Shinn is the “oldest girl” of Mayor and Mrs. Shinn. She is a giddy school girl who has a thing for the bad boy in town, Tommy Djilas, whom her father does not approve of.  How does Katie connect with Zaneeta ? “I, and I think any girl who has done something her parents wouldn’t approve of one time in her life, can connect with Zaneeta! I think the most challenging part of bringing Zaneeta to life is capturing the perfect, “Ye Gods!” for every emotion!”

What was Katie’s earliest theatre memory? “My earliest theater memory dates back to my very first show, “I Swear I Saw a Dragon.” I can remember learning my line, “Pete’s dragon wrecked the school!” but being too mousy for anyone to hear so it ended up being a three person line!”

Katie loves “spending time with my family, friends, and my boyfriend. They are my fun! I am also kept very busy by my amazing little first graders who I love going to work for every day!”

In The Spotlight - Shira Grossman  

Youth Ensemble in The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:58:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight

Elzashira "Shira" Welin Grossman makes her onstage debut in the Youth Ensemble in The Music Man!

Last summer Shira attended Camp Runoia in Maine. “I participated in a play written by camp staff as the personification of “Age” and I had so much fun. After that taste of theatre I wanted to try out for a show and The Music Man was one I knew and loved.”  Shira was very excited to see her name when the cast list was posted.

How does Shira connect with her character? “I am part of the ensemble, and I’m one of the kids in the town.  I like hanging around with the other town kids just like I like hanging around with my friends.”

What was Shira’s earliest theatre memory? “When I was 4 years old, I got to go back stage and see the “Beast” before and after his make-up. I also remember the long staircase in that production of Beauty and the Beast. ”

Shira enjoys playing with friends, gymnastics, turning cartwheels, violin, skiing, dance, and reading.

In The Spotlight - Pam Thornhill 

Pick a Little Lady (Mrs. Gardner) in The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:01:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight

Pam Thornhill, from Nashua, plays Mrs. Gardner, one of the Pick a Little Ladies in The Music Man.

Pam has performed on stage since Jr. High School, becoming an Actorsingers member in 1976 for several years, including serving as V.P. on its Board of Directors. Pam has performed with many theatre groups in the area, including Nashua Theatre Guild, where she played Louisa in The Fantasticks and won the NHCTA Best Actress award.“ I feel that I was given a gift to bring moments of joy to others and to myself. Musical theatre feeds my soul and allows me to be totally myself without judgment - to be of like mind and like kind with others who share the same passion is wonderful for me.”

Pam’s earliest theatre memory was going to NYC on the train with a friend at the age of 14 to see a matinee of Mame.

Pam finds the most challenging part of her role as a Pick a Little Lady is “acting snobby and hoity-toity” but is able to connect to the character “by remembering my French-Canadian grandmother from Nashua who would gossip with her other French-Canadian lady friends.

Pam is a marketing communications professional for a large security company.  She enjoys anything musical, reading, entertaining, and spending time with friends and family. “I am an adventurous sort, so I am up for just about anything!”

In The Spotlight - Heidi Guidmore 

Dancing Ensemble in The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Monday, April 28, 2014 2:42:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight

 

Heidi Guidmore, from Nashua, is a member of the Dancing Ensemble in The Music Man and this is her first production ever!  She auditioned for Music Man with the love and support of her boyfriend Cam Morin, who is also in the Dancing Ensemble.  When Heidi was 6 years old, she went to see her first musical with her grandmother, and, you guessed it: they saw The Music ManThe Music Man has always held a special place in Heidi’s heart, and she is performing in memory of her Grandmother.  Heidi has always wanted to do a theatrical production, and being cast in The Music Man is a dream come true! Heidi was ecstatic to be cast - after auditioning on her twenty-first Birthday and finding out that night she was cast, “it made my birthday that much more special!”

 

Heidi’s love for theatre and musicals started at a very young age, performing at Rosita Lee Dance Center and Showcase Performing Arts Center, where she danced and nationally competed for 18 years. Heidi’s earliest theatre/dance memory was when she was in her first ballet performance to a dance called Snow Babies.  “ I was in this white feathered costume and my mom had me wear one of my dad’s giant button up shirts so I wouldn’t get my bright red lipstick all over it.” 

 

Heidi feels honored and blessed to be surrounded by such a wonderful cast and crew. “I get the joy of performing on-stage and the thrill of pure excitement from doing what I love - the big musical numbers are like magic!  I am so excited to be a part of the Music Man production! “

 

Heidi is currently a junior at Rivier University, majoring in Early Childhood Education/Special Education and Human Development, and she will be graduating in 2015.

In The Spotlight - John Potelle 

Plays Oliver Hix in The Music Man
Posted by Evelynn Decker Saturday, April 26, 2014 9:48:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight

John Potelle, from Milford NH, will be performing in his very first theatrical production ever! It’s The Music Man May 9-11.  

John plays Oliver Hix, a member of the School Board who leads a very mundane life until he discovers he can sing Barbershop!  Recently, in real life, John also started a Barbershop quartet, Perfect Fourth, and he finds it very eye-opening. Singing quartet four part harmony is a real rush! There's nothing like it!
 

What does John find the most challenging part of bringing his role to life?  “As this is my first show, everything is a challenge; from learning lines, to singing with choreography. Singing barbershop is the easy part!”

 What was John’s earliest theatre memory?  “I was a very shy kid, but I remember my whole 6th grade class being forced into a "production" of Swinging on a Star, complete with props. But a much better memory is an 8th grade English class trip to Boston (from central Maine) to see a production of West Side Story - amazing...”

When asked what do you get from theater that you don’t get from anything else you do, he replies “I'm about to find out!”

When John isn’t performing with his real life Barbershop quartet, he works by day in the computer and technology field. But his real love is music - jazz, Broadway and classical.  He also plays guitar and saxophone.  Currently he sings tenor in several groups: Souhegan Valley Chorus in Milford, NH; the Valleyaires; the barbershop quartet Perfect Fourth; and St Patrick's Church Choir.
 

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