KEENE VALLEY, NY- The Book & Blanket Players, sponsored by East Branch Friends of the Arts (EBFA), has been producing youth musicals-in-a-week summer theatre for 12 years in Keene Valley, usually at Keene Central School. This year the theatrical adventure continues with both performances at the Keene Valley Country Club (KVCC) in Keene Valley.
For the past two years, due to pandemic constraints, the Book & Blanket Players sought outdoor and alternative performance venues.
One of last year’s performances was at the KVCC, “a wonderfully ambient setting,” according to producer/co-director Kathleen Recchia.
“The KVCC was such a welcoming and gracious host that the Players are happy to be holding both performances at this intimate venue for the Summer 2022 youth theatre program,” Recchia said.
“Little Women: The Broadway Musical” is based on the novel by Louisa May Alcottis, and is written by Allan Knee with music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. It was first on Broadway in 2005 with Sutton Foster playing Jo March and Maureen McGovern as Marmie. It has since been produced in England and that production is currently streaming on Broadway HD.
This cast and crew are eager to bring their vision of this classic to life on Saturday, July 16 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, July 17 at 3 p.m. at The Keene Valley Country Club. The cast consists of fourteen students ranging in age from 8 to 18 years old. They will spend the week prior to the performances rehearsing at Keene Central School.
The students hail from various Adirondack towns, such as AuSable Forks, Jay, Westport, Wilmington, Willsboro, and Keene.
Cast members include: Mallory Arnold, Cooper Halloran, Cal Page-Bryant, Marah Bennett, Olive Stewart, Zoe Hadden, Ella Lobdell, Sadie Burgess, Jianna Giovacco, Yvetta Hofrichter, Lucy Ayres, Avery Hutchins, Maple Jane Judd, and Lucy Burgess.
Cooper Halloran (Laurie, left) with Mallory Arnold (Jo, right.) Photo provided by Kathleen Recchia.
EBFA was awarded grant funds from both the Pumpkin Hill Foundation and Stewarts’ Holiday Match Grant specifically for the youth theatre-in-a-week program. Thanks to another grant through the Charles R. Wood Foundation, microphones for the production were newly acquired by East Branch Friends of the Arts.
The production team includes vocal coach-master class teacher, Alisa Endsley. Ms. Endsley is known in the Broadway community. As a leading actress, Ms. Endsley has worked with some of the biggest names on Broadway including composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Director Trevor Nunn, and Tony-winning actors Patti LuPone, George Hearn, and Betty Buckley. Her talents have also taken her on many national tours and leading roles in London’s West End.
The Book & Blanket Players are pleased to have Alisa back as part of the team. Other members of the creative team are Rose Chancler, (Piano by Nature), Annie Scavo, Maddy Runyon, Lia Loomis, and Kim Peralta.
This is the 12th year for the Players to take on the musical-in-a-week format. They began with the musical “Mirette” followed by the first incarnation of the original musical “Road to Dannemora.”
Other productions have included “1776,” “Lend Me a Tenor, the Musical,” and the original theatrical/film: “Piano Portal,” and last year’s new and improved original musical of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice.”
“Little Women: The Broadway Musical” is free, however donations will be gratefully accepted. Reservations are required, as seating is limited.
Call (518) 487-0041 for more information, to make a reservation for either performance, and to confirm COVID safety requirements.
EBFA and the Book & Blanket Players are grateful to Stewart’s for awarding Holiday Match funds and the Pumpkin Hill Foundation to help fund this workshop and production.
Photo at top: Left to right: Lucy Burgess, Sadie Burgess, Zoe Hadden, Cal Page-Bryant, Jianna Giovacco, and Olive Stewart. Photo provided by Kathleen Recchia.
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