Thursday, January 22, 2009
The spirit of “Hey, kids, let’s put on a show!” is not dead.
In the face of economic recession, as established stage venues tighten their belts, four optimistic young actors are starting a new theater company.
The Candy Project will specialize in little-known musicals that star twenty somethings like its founders: Cathy Hirsch, Andy King, Amanda Miller and Dan Chevalier.
All are known to area community-theater fans. Chevalier, Hirsch and King appeared in “Into the Woods” at Bellevue Little Theatre in September. Hirsch and Miller did Broad-Street’s “Great American Trailer Park Musical” last July. Hirsch and King were in “A Christmas Carol” at the Omaha Community Playhouse last month.
Hirsch and King hatched the idea over coffees In October. Directors and producers had recently asked each what sort of musicals they’d like to see done.
“We found that both of us had self-edited our responses,” Hirsch said. “We were thinking to ourselves, ‘Well, I really want to do this show, but they’ll never actually do that here.’ ”
From there, she said, it was a short leap to asking, “Why can’t we put on these shows?”
They approached Miller and Chevalier And found enthusiastic partners.
The next hurdle was finding resources. “We want to start with a simple show, with not much set, that can be done anywhere,” King said. “That show, hopefully, will fund the next one.”
What will fund the first show – they hope – is a cabaret Sunday at 7 p.m. at the P.S. Collective, 6056 Maple St . The four will perform tunes from some of the musicals they hope to stage: “The Black Suits,” “Homemade Fusion,” “Ordinary Days,” “The Wild Party” and “I Love You Because.” Other selections will come from more widely known titles: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Assassins,” “The Last Five Years,” “tick . . . tick . . . BOOM!” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”
Tickets, $l5, can be reserved at 502-7832.
The four hope to stage their first full musical by late summer at the P.S. Collective. Located in Benson’s Pizza Shoppe, the P.S. Collective has become a staging area for a variety of art forms, including cabarets and theater. It is the adopted home of SkullDuggery Productions, for example.
Friends and family are helping the young performers, loaning sound equipment, building the set, providing publicity photos.
“This is a first step, a learning experience,” King said. “We’re just ready for whatever.”
As for the economic bogeyman, Hirsch offered a comeback:
“These times are when the most innovative stuff comes out.”