Tred Avon Players Performs “The Odd Couple” August 10-20

Tred Avon Players performs one of Neil Simons’ most well-known plays, The Odd Couple, directed by Ed Langrell with Assistant Director Alison Lynch.  The play opens August 10 and runs through August 20 at the Oxford Community Center as Simon celebrates his 90th birthday this July.  He was born Marvin Neil Simon in the Bronx in New York City. During his long life he married Diane Lander, Marsha Mason, Joan Baim and is currently married to Elaine Joyce.

He is a writer and producer. Almost every one of his 30-plus plays, mostly Broadway comedies, has also been adapted into a motion picture. Simon has received more Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer in the history of show business. He became so successful financially that he backs his own plays.

L-R sitting: Zack Schlag, Bill Gross, Patrick Fee, Paul Briggs, Brian McGunigle. L-R standing: Lisa Roth, Bob Chauncey, Annie Dietz

As Simon once mentioned of his writing, “I don’t like writing for comedians. I like writing for actors. The best comedians are the best actors.”Among his most well-known plays are Brighton Beach Memoirs, Plaza Suite, Biloxi Blues, Barefoot in the Park, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Sunshine Boys, Broadway Bound, Sweet Charity, Chapter Two, Lost In Yonkers, for which he received a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and The Odd Couple.

His brother, Danny Simon, began writing the The Odd Couple and unable to finish he asked Neil to take it over. Neil did in exchange for sole author credit, however, he continues to pay Danny 10% of everything the play generates. Simon based the play on his brother’s divorce.

Sitting L-R: Annie Dietz, Bob Chauncey, Lisa Roth, Standing: Bill Gross.

Neil Simon sold film and TV rights to Paramount Pictures in 1967. Paramount produced two theatrical films, three live-action TV series and an animated series based upon the play. In 1968, The Odd Couple was made into a film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. An updated version of the 1965 show appeared in 2002 with the title Oscar and Felix: A New Look at the Odd Couple.

An ABC sitcom featuring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman ran from 1970–75.  In the fall of 1975, ABC aired a cartoon version of the play entitled The Oddball Couple, in which the roles were played by a cat and dog named Spiffy and Fleabag.

In 1982, ABC aired a new version of the series, The New Odd Couple starring two African American actors, Ron Glass and Demond Wilson.  Simon also wrote a female version about two women, Olive Madison and Florence Ungar.

Tred Avon Players will perform the original stage play showcasing the two mismatched roommates, a fastidious, hypochondriac Felix Ungar (Bob Chauncey) whose marriage is ending and the sloppy, easygoing recently divorced Oscar Madison (Bill Gross).

L-R around table: Zack Schlag, Patrick Fee, Bill Gross, Bob Chauncey, Paul Briggs, Brian McGunigle.

Felix, a neurotic, neat freak news-writer is thrown out by his wife and moves in with his friend Oscar, a slovenly sportswriter. Oscar enjoys life, with careless spending, excessive gambling, and a poorly kept house filled with spoiled food. Felix, however, is incapable of enjoying anything and only finds purpose in pointing out his own and other people’s mistakes and foibles which is extremely annoying to those around him including their friends and poker buddies.

The four Poker buddies bring along their own wit and laughs to the card table. Murray (Patrick Fee), Speed (Brian McGunigle), Vinnie (Zack Schlag), and Roy (Paul Briggs). Excitement seems to come into their lives with a visit from upstairs neighbors, Cecily (Anna Deitz) and Gwendolyn Pigeon (Lisa Roth), a pair of giggly English sisters. The former is a divorcee and the latter is a widow.

Director Ed Langrell brings out the best of the characters to create a hilarious and laugh filled performance.  The production crew includes assistant director, Alison Lynch; producer, John Norton; stage manager, Rob Lynch; stage crew, Bill Roth, Lynne Heller, and Madeline Webb; costumes by Janet Pfeffer, Barbara Mann, and Lisa Roth; Light design by Skipper Marquess and tech by Tom Gross; Sound design by Patrick Fee. Set design and construction by Lawrie Jessup.

Performances are Thursdays, August 10 & 17 at 7:30 pm.  Fridays and Saturdays August 11, 12, 18, & 19 at 7:30 pm, Sundays August 13 & 20 at 2pm. Tickets are $20 adults, $10 for student.  Call for reservations 410-226-0061.

Tred Avon Players Announce this Year’s Foster Scholarship Winners

The Tred Avon Players have awarded David H. Foster scholarships to five Mid-Shore students who will use the funds to help further their college educations. This year’s recipients are Julia Gannon, Clair Gross, Catharine Jacobs, Michael J. McCormack and Summer Snead.

David H. Foster scholarships are awarded annually to students who are judged on their commitment to Mid-Shore community theater and contributions to TAP productions. They also must show a balance of community service, creativity and scholarship.

Julia Gannon plans to attend Washington College as a creative writing major in the fall. She has worked on many TAP plays, most recently “Cemetery Club.”

Photo, from left, Michael McCormack, Summer Snead, Claire Gross, Herb Ziegler, Catherine Jacobs, and Julia Gannon.

Claire Gross plan to study biology and anthropology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the fall. She wants to become a paleoanthropologist. Here most recent TAP show was “A Man of No Importance.”

A student at North Caroline High School, Catharine Jacobs has been a volunteer in a many shows, including TAP’s current production of “Lend Me a Tenor” as assistant director. She expects to attend Chesapeake College and later pursue a bachelor’s degree in teaching.

Michael J. McCormack has been involved in Mid-Shore theater productions on stage or behind the scenes for the last 10 years. A senior at Saints Peter and Paul High School, he enjoys the challenges of theater production and wants to major in arts and entertainment management when he enters college in the fall.

Summer Snead has been in a range of shows for TAP and other community theater groups since she was six years old. She plans to study musical theater in college in the fall.

A legend in the TAP community, Foster was a board member, director, actor, producer and writer for nearly three decades. His love for theater and working with young people converged in his directing three plays at Easton High School. He also taught acting to youngsters at the Oxford Community Center for many summers and mentored theater-loving high-school seniors in their pursuit of acting in college and summer theater programs.

Donations may be made in David H. Foster’s memory at any time to TAP, PO Box 444, Oxford, MD 21654, Attn: David H. Foster Scholarship Fund. The Tred Avon Players are funded by grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive, and from the Talbot County Arts Council.

Tred Avon Players to Present Madcap Comedy ‘Lend Me a Tenor’

The Tred Avon Players will present Ken Ludwig’s side-splitting comedy “Lend Me a Tenor,” opening April 27 and running through May 7 at the Oxford Community Center. The second production in TAP’s 2017 “season of comedy,” the play is set in the world of opera and directed by Zack Schlag.

Lend Me Tenor

TAP’s “Lend Me a Tenor” cast, seated from left, Jared Koenig, Jaclyn Royer. Standing, from left, Missy Barcomb-Doyle, Alison Lynch, Craig Brittingham, Nick Grande and Ashley Chroniger. Photo Courtesy: Cid Collins Walker

Called one of the funniest modern stage comedies ever written, “Lend Me a Tenor” revolves around the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, where the general manager, Henry Saunders, is primed to welcome world-famous tenor Tito Morelli, also known as “Il Stupendo,” to appear for one night only as Otello in the Verdi opera. The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, passes out. Believing Morelli is dead, the frantic Saunders persuades his assistant, Max, to get into Morelli’s Otello costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s Il Stupendo. Saunders’ scheme succeeds admirably, but the high jinks that ensue are sure to leave Oxford audiences teary-eyed with laughter.

Evening performances of “Lend Me a Tenor” are scheduled for Thursday (“Thrifty Thursday,” featuring two-for-one tickets), April 27; Friday, April 28; and Saturday, April 29, all starting at 7:30 p.m. A Sunday matinee on April 30 begins at 2 p.m. The following weekend, evening shows are set for Thursday through Saturday, May 4-6, at 7:30 p.m., with the run wrapping on Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m. 

The Tred Avon Players are funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.                                            

For more information, contact Cid Collins Walker, publicity, at cidcollinswalker@gmail.com, (202) 210-8383.

Tred Avon Players Auditions for Production of ‘The Odd Couple’

The Tred Avon Players have scheduled auditions for August performances of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” directed by Ed Langrell. Auditions will take place Tuesday, April 4, and Wednesday, April 5 at 7 p.m. at the Oxford Community Center. If you are unable to make either of the two audition dates, please contact the director for alternate arrangements (details below.)

The principal characters are Oscar Madison, a slovenly, recently divorced sportswriter, and Felix Ungar, a fastidious, hypochondriac news-writer whose marriage is ending. Supporting characters are poker buddies Murray, a New York City policeman; the sarcastic Speed, mild-mannered Vinnie; the witty Roy, Oscar’s accountant; and Cecily and Gwendolyn Pigeon, Oscar and Felix’s giggly upstairs neighbors, a pair of English sisters.

“The Odd Couple” will open at the Oxford Community on Thursday, August 10, and run weekends through Sunday, Aug. 20.

The Tred Avon Players are funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

For further information, contact Ed Langell at president@tredavonplayers.org or call (410) 310-5660.

TAP Opens 2017 Season with Poignant Comedy “The Cemetery Club”

From left, Susan Patterson, Lynn Sanchez, Maggie Garey, Brian McGunigle and Anna Dietz in a scene from TAP's The Cemetery Club. Photo Courtesy: Cid Collins Walker

From left, Susan Patterson, Lynn Sanchez, Maggie Garey, Brian McGunigle and Anna Dietz in a scene from TAP’s The Cemetery Club. Photo Courtesy: Cid Collins Walker

The curtain will rise on The Tred Avon Players’ 2017 season with “The Cemetery Club,” directed by John Norton, opening Thursday, Feb. 16, and running through Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Oxford Community Center.

The play, written by Ivan Menchell, is a touching comedy-drama about three widows in Queens, N.Y., who gather once a month to visit their husbands’ graves and talk about life and love. A trio of TAP veterans will appear in the key roles. Lynn Sanchez plays Lucille, while Maggie Garey and Susan Patterson grace the stage as Ida and Doris, respectively. Brian McGunigle plays Sam and Anna Kusinitz-Dietz returns to the TAP footlights as Mildred.

Coinciding with the opening of “The Cemetery Club,” TAP has announced a modification in its scheduling this season. Performances will run two consecutive weekends instead of the previous three with four shows per week—Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings plus two Sunday matinees. In addition, curtain time for all evening performances, including Thrifty Thursday, which features two-for-one tickers, will be 7:30 p.m. Curtain for Sunday matinees will remain the same, 2 p.m. Doors will now open 45 minutes before curtain instead of an hour. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $10 for students.

Performances of “The Cemetery Club” are set for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 16 to 25 at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, Feb. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students. Thrifty Thursday, offering two-for-the price-of-one tickets is Feb.16 at 7:30 p.m.

The Tred Avon Players are funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

For further information contact Cid Collins Walker, director of publicity, at cidcollinswalkergmail.com, or (202) 210-8383.

Tred Avon Players to Open 2017 Season with “The Cemetery Club”

cemetery-clubThe Tred Avon Players will launch their 2017 season with “The Cemetery club,” directed by John Norton, opening Feb. 16 and running through Feb. 26 at the Oxford Community Center.

The play, written by Ivan Menchell, is a poignant comedy-drama about three Queens, N.Y. widows who gather once a month to visit their husbands’ graves and talk about life and love. Ida is sweet- tempered and ready to begin a new life; Lucille is the feisty embodiment of the girl who just wants to have fun, and Doris is afraid of change and tied to the past. Their convivial relationship, however, is disrupted when Sam, a widower, and the lively Mildred, enter the scene.

Performances of “The Cemetery Club” are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 16 to 25, at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, Feb. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. at the Oxford Community Center. Thursday, Feb. 16, is “Thrifty Thursday,” featuring two-for-one tickets. Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for students with ID. For tickets, visit www.tredavonplayers.org or call 410-226-0061.

The Tred Avon Players are funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.                                                   

Tred Avon Players Set Auditions for “The Cemetery Club”

cemetery-clubThe Tred Avon Players have scheduled auditions for their next production, “The Cemetery Club,” opening in February 2017. Auditions will take place at the Oxford Community, located at 300 Oxford Road, on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m., and Monday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.

“The Cemetery Club” is a touching comedy-drama is about three widows who live in the same Jewish community in Pittsburgh. Once a week, they gather to visit their husbands’ graves and meet at a deli afterward to talk about their lives. Roles are available for four women, ages 50 to 65, and one man age 50 to 65. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script, according to director John Norton. Rehearsals will begin in early December.

The three main characters are the priggish Doris; Lucille, who just wants to have fun; and Ida, a sweet-tempered woman ready to begin a new life. The supporting characters are Sam, a widower, and Mildred, a glamorous and slightly younger widow.

Performances of “The Cemetery Club” are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 16 to 25, at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, Feb. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. at the Oxford Community Center.

Actors who want to audition and anyone interested in working on the production crew can contact John Norton for more information at (410) 924-8642.

The Tred Avon Players are funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive, and from the Talbot County Arts Council.

Tred Avon Players Close 2016 Season with Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons”

allmysonsThe Tred Avon Players will present Arthur Miller’s powerful drama “All My Sons,” opening Oct. 20 and continuing weekends through Nov. 6 at the Oxford Community Center. Directed by Ed Langrell, “All My Sons” centers on a middle-class American family living in a small town a few years after World War II. The play follows the family through revelations about their past as they navigate the relationships among father and sons, and love and loss. Performance dates are Friday and Saturdays, Oct. 21, 22, 28, 29 and Nov. 4 and 5 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Oct. 23, 30 and Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. “Thrifty Thursday, featuring two-for-one tickets, is Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. For reservations call 410.226.0061 or visit www.tredavonplayers.org.

The Tred Avon Players are funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Acclaimed Irish Musical “A Man of No Importance” Opens Aug. 11 in Oxford

TAP Cast rehearses a scene from A Man of No Importance

TAP cast rehearses a scene from “A Man of No Importance.” (Photo Courtesy of Cid Collins Walker)

The Tred Avon Players’ production of the critically acclaimed musical “A Man of No Importance” opens Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Oxford Community Center, running weekends through Aug. 28.

The play, with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, tells the story of an amateur theater group in 1964 Dublin and their leader, Alfie Byrne, who is determined to stage a version of the controversial play “Salome” by Irish writer Oscar Wilde.

“I fell in love with this musical instantly and it seemed the perfect show for TAP and the Oxford Community Center stage,” said director Joe Tyler.

“Along with comedic scenes, interesting characters and a beautifully written score, ‘A Man of No Importance’ is sure to provide everyone an evening of great performance and a feel-good ending,” he added.

TAP FINAL AMONI POSTER

Poster Design: Madison Fox and John Norton

“A Man of No Importance” centers on Byrne (played by Randy Bachand), a bus driver who holds secrets he can’t share with anyone but his imagined confidante, Oscar Wilde (David Cherry). Alfie’s attempts to put on a production of “Salome” are thwarted by local church authorities as he confronts the forces of bigotry over “a love that dare not speak its name.”

“A Man of No Importance” is a rare gem in the canon of musical theater, one which combines the depth and drama of a play with the lyricism and comedy of a musical. It premiered in New York in 2002 at Lincoln Center and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for best off-broadway musical.

The play debuts at the Oxford Community Center Aug. 11 with “Thrifty Thursday,” featuring two-for-one tickets.  Other performances are Fridays and Saturdays, Aug. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees Aug. 14, 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for students with ID. For tickets, visit www.tredavonplayers.org or call 410-226-0061.

TAP is funded in part by a General Operating Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, with funds provided by the State of Maryland and by the National Endowment for the Arts, and by a similar grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, agencies which believe that a great nation deserves great art, and that promotion of the arts is good for our families, our businesses and our communities.

Auditions set for TAP’s production of “All My Sons”

Spy featured image proportionsAuditions for the Tred Avon Players’ production of Arthur Miller’s drama “All My Sons” will be held at the Oxford Community Center June 28, 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. Readings will be from the script. Actors who cannot make these dates or times should contact the director, Ed Langrell, at (410) 310-5660 or by email at EDL13@goeaston.net. The script calls for five males (two ages 55 to 65, two 28 to 35 and one 30 to 40), and four females ( two ages 25 to 30/35 and two 55 to 65 and 40 to 50, respectively).

Miller’s awarded-winning play follows the Kellers, an all-American family, through revelations about their past and the reality of their present as they navigate the relationships between fathers and sons and cope with love and loss. Performances are Thrifty Thursday Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays October 21, 22, 28, 29 and Nov. 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. and Sundays Oct. 23, 30, and Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.

The Tred Avon Players are funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive, and from the Talbot County Arts Council.

Media contact: Cid Collins Walker, Director of Publicity (202) 210-8383 private/direct