Real Desperate Housewives
TACONIC STAGE COMPANY SETS NYC PREMIERE FOR
"THE REAL (DESPERATE) HOUSEWIVES OF COLUMBIA COUNTY MUSICAL"
Witty tuner, which began at Lighthouse Marina Dinner Theater in 2011,
will have NYC run March 7 to 28 at Laurie Beechman Theatre in Midtown.
Production features local luminaries in their original roles.
WHERE AND WHEN:
March 7 to 28, 2013
Thursdays only at 7:00 PM. Doors open at 6:00 PM for dinner or drinks.
Laurie Beechman Theatre at West Bank Cafe, 407 West 42nd Street (west of 9th
Ave.), New York City
Presented by Taconic Stage Company.
Tickets $25.00 (plus $15 drink or food minimum)
Box office: Brown Paper Tickets, 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/291419
TRANSPORTATION: Theater is near most subways via Times Sq. Station & Port
Authority Bus Terminal. Parking garage is nearby at 42nd St. betw. 9th & 10th
Running time: one hour. CRITICS ARE INVITED on or after MARCH 7.
NEW YORK -- "The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County Musical" by
Carl Ritchie (book, lyrics, director) and Wayne Moore (music) is a Coward-esque
evening from the Taconic Stage Company in Copake, NY, which it took by storm in
the summer of 2011. Thinly guised as the confessions of four 40-something women
on reality TV, this four-character musical spotlights the culture-clash between
spoiled, egocentric "weekender" women and their working class "townie"
counterparts in a rural upstate community. The show delights with savvy
performances, high-heeled lyrics and the poison of its cocktail-party chit-chat
dialogue. To share it with a wider audience, Taconic Stage Company will present
the piece in its NYC debut March 7 to 28 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407
West 42nd Street.
The show's songs lampoon such subjects as sexual fantasies toward your caterers,
the tendency of "Cidiots" to look down their noses (what's left of them) on the
year-rounders, and the bragging rights you get for Dutch ancestry if you're from
an old local family--a form of retaliation for the weekenders' scorn. We learn
from "Don't Fool Around on Your Broker" that it's easier to dump your husband
than your real estate agent. In "Get a Little Work," a maid lampoons her
employer's plastic surgery by giving herself a facelift with duct tape. The
cast features Meg Dooley, Lisa Franklin, Constance Lopez and Diedre Bollinger.
Carl Ritchie, who is Artistic Director of Taconic Stage Company in Copake, NY,
wrote the compact tuner two years ago. Ritchie is a Canadian-born
playwright/director who moved from NYC to his weekend home at Copake Lake in
2002. He has a flamboyant wit and a unique eye for local color. A few years
ago he was elected to a four year term on the Copake Town Board, where he also
served as Police Commissioner (he quips, "My first vote as an American was for
myself."). This musical sparkles with the acute wit of an insider who has
witnessed the crossfire of savvy urbanites and country people upstate and lived
to write about it.
Taconic Stage Company presented the piece at The Lighthouse Marina Dinner
Theater on Copake Lake, NY through the summer of 2011. Peter Bergman
(berkshirebrightfocus.com) wrote, "In the hands of clever wordsmith Carl Ritchie
you have a blast." Gail Burns wrote in Gailsez.org, "Ritchie has written a
boffo script and lyrics and the ladies deliver the goods." Marion Hunter wrote
in The Columbia Paper, "This Taconic Stage audience came prepared to laugh, and
they responded to everything with non-stop, unfettered enthusiasm.."
Carl Ritchie (book & lyrics, director) was born in New Brunswick, Canada and
began his career as a child actor. After playing Oliver in a 1000-seat venue in
his hometown, he insisted--at age 11--on moving 1000 miles away to Toronto to
pursue an acting career. He had his own apartment there at 14. Subsequently,
after living as a teen in Burma and graduating from high school in the
Himalayas, he attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Ritchie
has acted, written and directed for theaters worldwide, from Rangoon to Soho.
He is author of over 20 plays, which have been performed in over 100 theatres in
the US, Canada and as far away as New Zealand. He has written two other
musicals with Wayne Moore, "Senior Moments" (Taconic Stage, 2010) and "I Know I
Came Here for Something," (Taconic Stage, 2009, Las Vegas and L.A. 2010-13). He
contributed material for the widely performed British revue "Fascinating Aida"
(2009-2010). His award-winning Quebec productions include the long-running "La
Cousine Germaine," which ran through the summer of 2011 in a 700-seat theater
east of Montreal. His comedy "Family Values" ran four months at Irish Arts
Center in 1996-7, was optioned as a sitcom and is currently being performed in
French in Canada as “Sacree Famille!” He polished the screenplay of "The Ladies
Room," a film starring John Malkovich and Lorraine Bracco. His whodunit farce,
"Any Body Home," written with Elise Dewsberry, was published by Dramatic
Publishing in 1999. His last production at West Bank Cafe was a pair of
one-acts, "Stoop" and "Ladder" (1993). Concurrent with this project he is
workshopping a new musical in Los Angeles, “Love Bytes”, as book writer, with
music & lyrics by touring artist Ann McNamee and “vocal coach to the stars”
Wayne Moore (composer) wrote "There's No Place Like Hollywood" for Stella Adler
Theater in L.A. He wrote "Senior Moments" and "I Know I Came Here for
Something" with Carl Ritchie. His TV and film credits include music for HBO's
cartoon "Frog and Toad are Friends," PBS' "Frontline," the film "Be Well" with
Milton Berle, and two Emmy-nominated shows, "Down for the Count" and "Whatever
Happened to Childhood?" He has provided specialty material for Debbie Reynolds,
Michael Greer, Liz Torres, Rose Marie, Holly Woodlawn and many others. He
recently worked on the musical, "I Love Lucy - Live," a hit in Los Angeles and
The four actresses are well known for their performance work in the Hudson
Valley/Berkshires region and in Capitol Area theaters.
Meg Dooley has appeared in plays and musicals upstate, where her credits include
Bertha in "Boeing Boeing" at Theatre Barn; Mother Lord in "High Society," Mrs.
Higgins in "My Fair Lady," and Sister Sophia in "The Sound of Music" at
Mac-Haydn; and Sally in "Follies," Rosemary in "Picnic" and Judith Bliss in "Hay
Fever" at the Ghent Playhouse. In NYC, she is a member of the Blue Hill Troupe,
one of the oldest Gilbert and Sullivan societies, and a frequent participant in
readings, workshop productions and cabarets. Other roles include Smitty in "How
to Succeed," Isabel in "The Pirates of Penzance," the Waitress in "Working" and
Mrs. Crosby in "The Goodbye Girl." But her favorite role is the uber-bitch,
Melody, in "The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County Musical," a role
she originated in 2011.
Constance Lopez originated the roles of Natalia Pushkin in "Pushkin-A Poet’s
Search for Honor" (Westbeth) and Pauline in "The Widow and the West Indian
Workman" (Harlem Theater), both Off-Broadway. She is active in commercials,
industrials and film. Upstate, she is resident choreographer and co-founder of
The Two of Us Productions and RARE, Inc. in Copake. At RARE, she has done local
industrials, commercials and film work, and prepared students for the local
Columbia County's Got Talent competition and for film auditions. She
coordinates and performs in RARE's murder mystery season as well as in its
cabarets. She teaches and directs children’s theater, including the Seymour
Smith Drama Club and a summer musical theater workshop with Debra Jo Hughes at
Hudson Valley Academy of Performing Arts. Recent roles include Mother in
"Ragtime" and Diana in "Next to Normal." She created the part of Carol, a
weekender wife recently abandoned by her husband, in "The Real (Desperate)
Housewives of Columbia County Musical."
Lisa Franklin has appeared in "Hairspray" and "South Pacific" at Albany's Park
Playhouse and "Legally Blonde," "The King and I," Meet Me in St. Louis" and "The
Sound of Music" at Mac-Haydn Theatre, among others. She has also appeared in
productions of Schenectady Light Opera and in "La Boheme" and "Die Fledermaus"
in Wuerzburg, Germany. She holds a Master's Certificate in Opera from
Conservatory of Music in Wuerzburg and a Master of Music in Opera from
Binghamton University in conjunction with the Tri-Cities Opera, where she
performed in "The Magic Flute," and "Lakme." In NYC, she played Velma Von Tussle
in a zesty performance of "Hairspray" at FSF Theatre in Flushing. She is also a
pianist. Her twelve-year-old son, George, recently appeared on Broadway in "A
Christmas Story." In "The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County
Musical," she is stepping into the role of Katrina Van Ginkle, the local of
Dutch descent, for the first time.
Diedre Bollinger has appeared in straight, musical and children’s theatre,
improv, cabaret, choirs, litigation and police training programs, erotica
readings, murder mysteries, puppetry, voice work, industrials, and films. She
has an androgynous quality and has appeared in "trouser" roles as Mephistopheles
in "Doctor Faustus," Marley in "A Christmas Carol," Robin in "Robin Hood,"
Starkey in "Peter Pan" and Off-off Broadway as Melville in "A Tanglewood Tale."
Her "skirt" parts include Mrs. Martin in "The Bald Soprano," ‘Senora’ Satan in
"Don Juan in Hell," Jessie in "'night, Mother" and Virgin Mary in "Butterfingers
Angel." In Carl Ritchie's productions, she has played "skirt" parts in "Senior
Moments," "I Know I Came in Here for Something" and "Grace and Glorie." She
created the role of Danny, the mostly macho maiden who cleans Melody's house, in
"The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County Musical."
Musical Director and Pianist John Moran has over 120 productions to his credit
including "Damn Yankees" with James Handy, "Mame" with Leslie Denniston, "Aida"
with Trevor Eaton and "West Side Story" with Lanny Mitchell. He has toured
extensively in the United States and Europe, at venues ranging from Disney Land
to the American Embassy in Switzerland. He has performed with the Yale
Whiffenpoofs and Harvard Crocodillos, as well as such artists as Eddie Condon,
Lionel Hampton, Max Kaminsky, and Pete Seeger.
Costume design is by Joanne Maurer. Sound is by Stephen Sanborn.
Taconic Stage Company (producer) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to
enrich, educate and entertain the community in Columbia County, New York. The
troupe, founded three years ago by Carl Ritchie, performs at the Lighthouse
Restaurant and Marina on beautiful Copake Lake and at St. John in the
Wilderness, a gothic revival church in Copake Falls, NY.
The New York City run of "The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County
Musical" will be March 7 to 28, Thursays only at 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:00 PM
for dinner or drinks), in The Laurie Beechman Theatre of the West Bank Cafe, 407
West 42nd Street (west of 9th Ave.), New York City. The theater is near most
subways via Times Sq. Station and across the street from the Port Authority Bus
Terminal. A parking garage is nearby at 42nd St. betw. 9th & 10th Ave. Tickets
are $25.00 (plus $15 drink or food minimum). To purchase tickets, call Brown
Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 or go to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/291419.
# # #
CRITICS ARE INVITED on or after MARCH 7.
"The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County Musical" by Carl Ritchie
(book, lyrics, director) and Wayne Moore (music) will be presented March 7 to 28
at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42nd Street, NYC. L-R: Constance
Lopez, Meg Dooley, Diedre Bollinger, Lisa Franklin. Photo by Michael Molinski.