AOS Copacabana programme Autumn 2015


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Programme for AOS production of Copacabana Oct 2015

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Tuesday 27 October – Saturday 31 October 2015 7:30pm each night Special Matinee Performance 2:30pm Saturday 31 October The Amey Theatre Abingdon School, OX14 1DE


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Jo Pickering, Iain Launchbury, Laura Huang, Simon Blainey, Kat Ballard-Martin Phil Hughes, Helen Hawkins, Dave Cousin, Linda Harris, Debbie Wilde


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Abingdon Operatic Society PRESENTS COPACABANA Music by Barry Manilow Lyrics by Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman Book by Barry Manilow, Jack Feldman and Bruce Sussman Orchestrations by Andy Rumble This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd Barry Manilow’s Director - Jennifer Scott Musical Director - Mark Denton Choreographer - Gemma Hough THERE WILL BE AN INTERVAL OF TWENTY MINUTES BETWEEN THE ACTS PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL MOBILE PHONES ARE SWITCHED OFF The use of all cameras, video and audio equipment is prohibited PLEASE NOTE THAT SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON ABINGDON SCHOOL PREMISES, INCLUDING ALL OUTSIDE AREAS For lost property enquiries please call 01235 526106 Refreshments are available in the foyer conservatory If you would like to become a member of AOS, please contact the Membership Secretary by emailing:


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Message from the Chairman ~ John Nye W elcome to tonight’s performance of Copacabana. Just the mention of the title prompts two thoughts – hot, sunny Brazilian beaches and the hugely popular song by Barry Manilow, on which this musical is based. It is a pleasure to welcome back Jennifer Scott, our director, who took charge of 42nd Street for us last year. Jennifer has been aided and abetted by her daughter, Gemma Hough, our choreographer, whom we are very pleased to welcome back for the third time in that role. We also welcome, once again, our Musical Director, Mark Denton, whose links with the Society go back more than 30 years, on stage and off. Barry Manilow’s obvious talent as a singersongwriter, set alongside his love of dance, gave rise to a television musical seven years after the release of the hit song ‘Copacabana’, which subsequently grew into this full stage musical. Most of the songs were totally new ones written especially for the musical, but there is no mistaking Barry Manilow’s distinctive composing style, which incorporates memorable tunes. Add to that the glitz and glamour associated with the Copacabana nightclub of New York, and an infectious toe-tapping musical is the result. Outside, the evenings may be drawing in and the autumnal chill might be making itself felt, but let us transport you to New York, and to the heady atmospheres of the Copacabana Club and the Tropicana Night Club, Havana, Cuba ‘for the party of your life’! Harry Foster The Society was saddened to receive the news, in April, of the death of Harry Foster, Life Member. Harry was an active member during the 1980s and served as Chairman between 1986 and 1987. He performed on stage as well as directing for us. He was instrumental in setting up the twinning link with Het Belcantogezelschap, the operatic society of Sint Niklaas, Belgium. Having moved back to his roots in North Yorkshire, Harry retained an active interest in AOS. We extend our condolences to his son and daughter and their families. 2


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Director ~ Jennifer Scott A schoolteacher by profession, Jennifer was born in the North East of England and moved south to Bristol about 36 years ago. She was delighted to be asked to direct Copacabana for AOS this year, as this is a very popular show with lots of singing, dancing, acting and of course gorgeous costumes. This is the second show that Jennifer has directed for AOS, the first being 42nd Street a couple of years ago. Again the cast has been brilliant, very enthusiastic and happy to work hard during rehearsals. There has been a great buzz of excitement as well as a lot of exhaustion. Originally a dancer herself (dancing since she was three years old), Jennifer has thoroughly enjoyed working with Mark (Musical Director) and is, of course, thrilled to be working again with Gemma, her daughter, who has choreographed this show brilliantly. Jennifer and Gemma have worked together on a great number of shows over the past 17 years in the Henley and Maidenhead area. She is proud to say the production team for this show has been superb and she is very grateful for all the help she has received from the backstage team. A thank you also to Kerry Callaghan, who has been the dance captain and helped the cast learn the dance routines. Jennifer has also appeared on stage over the years, some of her favourite roles being Adelaide (Guys and Dolls), Gladys (Pajama Game), Aunt Ella (Oklahoma!), Mrs Meers (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Widow Corney (Oliver!), Mavis (Stepping Out), Velma (Chicago) and Mrs Potts (Beauty and the Beast) As far as directing is concerned, her favourite shows have been Barnum, Singin in the Rain, 42nd Street, Mack and Mabel, The King and I, Kiss me Kate, Crazy for You and, of course, Copacabana. 3


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Musical Director ~ Mark Denton Mark’s passion for music began as a chorister with Pembroke College Choir, Oxford. His musical education was developed as a music scholar at Magdalen College School after which he studied Performing Arts at Middlesex University. This is Mark’s seventh show with AOS. He has previously appeared in 42nd Street, Half a Sixpence, The Mikado, Irene and as Kurt in the Society’s 1983 production of The Sound of Music! Recent credits include Musical Director for The Full Monty (BMH Productions), The Pirates of Penzance (Oxford Operatic Society), Oklahoma! and Joseph (Ipswich Orpheus Chorale, Brisbane) and Sweet Charity (AOS). His favourite stage role has been Patsy in the 2009 production of Spamalot with IOC. Choreographer ~ Gemma Hough Gemma graduated from Middlesex University where she studied Performing Arts, majoring in Dance. She has choreographed many shows over the years including: 42nd Street, Crazy for You, Oliver!, Singin’ in the Rain, The Producers, Beauty and the Beast and La Cage Aux Folles. This is Gemma’s third show with AOS after 42nd Street and Sweet Charity. Gemma has also performed frequently on stage over the years, memorable roles including Kathy (Singin’ in the Rain), Peggy (42nd Street), Polly (Crazy for You), Millie (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Lola (Copacabana). Professional credits include Jeeves and Wooster, Countdown to Murder, Soldier’s Wife and a series with Heston Blumenthal. She also performs with the ‘Dolly Mixtures’ a professional singing group which performs songs from 30s to 60s era. 4


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Copacabana ~ A Synopsis T he story follows Stephen, a young aspiring songwriter, as he composes what he hopes will become a hit musical. He imagines himself in 1947, where a young singer, Lola la Mar, arrives in New York City hoping to become a star. She soon meets Tony Forte, who tends bar at the famous Copacabana Nightclub. He and a kindhearted former Copa Girl, Gladys, persuade Sam Silver to give Lola a job at the club. Tony and Lola fall in love. Rico Castelli, a gangster from Cuba, and his girlfriend Conchita arrive at the club. Sam confronts Rico about the disappearance of Copa Girls each time he comes to the club. Rico meets and becomes interested in Lola. He drugs her and flies her back to Havana to star in his own nightclub Tropicana. - the In Havana, Rico informs Conchita that her place in the show will be taken by Lola, which doesn’t go down well. Back at the Copacabana, Tony, Sam and Gladys learn that Lola has been taken to Cuba. Tony immediately heads off to save her and Sam agrees to help him. Tony and Sam, now in Cuba, find Conchita and ask her for help. She agrees and tells Lola to play along. Near the end of her performance, Tony runs onstage. However, Rico is close behind, waving a gun and he takes aim at Tony. A single gunshot is heard and a body falls. Conchita, saving Tony and Lola from the perils she faced for years, has shot and killed her lover, Rico. National Operatic and Dramatic Association A bingdon Operatic Society is very proud to be a member of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association and you may notice a number of the members of our front-of-house team wearing their NODA long service medals tonight. NODA’s vision is that amateur theatre should be successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part, at all levels. They support the education and information needs of individuals and groups, contributing greatly to the continued success of amateur theatre in the UK. As usual, a NODA representative will be attending the show during this week and feeding back to the Society on the production with the helpful and much anticipated ‘NODA crit’ — a review of the performance and all aspects of the production. 5


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Q&A T ell us a little about your professional and musical background. Music ran in my family, both on my mother’s and father’s side. At primary school, I was inspired by the late Avril Dankworth, sister of Johnny, and then strongly encouraged by the headmistress, Frances McManus John Nye Whether onstage in tonight’s show, conducting from the pit as Musical Director, or working behind the scenes as Chairman of AOS, mathematician John Nye is always a key player in our Society. We thought we’d try to find out a little more about him. Knowles, sister of comedy actor Michael Knowles, to audition for an Exhibition at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, which I was lucky enough to be awarded. Do you think that love of music and maths is somehow closely related? W e l l , there was a very


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influential Maths teacher at my school who was also an excellent amateur baritone, and I could cite many other examples of musical mathematicians. I think that it is the patterns the two have in common, as do foreign languages I’m told, but I missed out on them! How did you first get involved in musical theatre? Gilbert and Sullivan, first and foremost. At school, then after I left school, and then once I was teaching. When and why did you first join AOS? Summer 1994. The combination of Katie encouraging me to have a life outside the 7 day a week environment of a boarding school, and Chris Waite, who was teaching one of our children at the time. Which was your first AOS show as Musical Director? Cabaret, a great show, but technically one of the toughest musically. Who’s your f a v o u r i t e composer for musical theatre and why? For that, I would have to turn to opera, from which musicals were born and so my answer would be Puccini (with Wagner a close second). Puccini captured beautifully the outpouring of the human soul in a way matched only by my favourite composer, Sergei Rachmaninov. With a busy professional life, why work on the AOS committee too? I was asked to do so (twice!) and the job needed doing. You’ve been chairman of AOS for some years now, so what’s the biggest challenge? Attempting to blend youthful enthusiasm and talent, with the need to maintain standards, and a hard-headed business approach, and then, at the same time, trying to ‘look after’ the membership. Do you think AOS has a bright future? It does. The challenge is encouraging audiences to value live performance, whether it be on the stage, in the concert hall, or even on the sports’ field – the ‘flick of a switch’ is easy, but not half as rewarding. Without its audience, AOS would perish. 7 Do you prefer, being on stage or in the orchestra pit with baton in hand? That is a bit like being asked “do I prefer Champagne or Beef Wellington?” Both! How do you wind down when show week is over? The ‘clear out’ from the theatre, as well as being a practical necessity, is, I find, cathartic. It ‘lays the ghosts’. What’s been your proudest moment? I have been very fortunate. Possible contenders would be the 40 second quick change into tails in 42nd Street, catching ladies twice in Chess and Hello Dolly!, playing Zeus in Orpheus in the Underworld, and of course conducting my wife Katie and daughters Louisa and Hannah in shows. But the absolute jewel in the crown for me would have to be The Sound of Music, which gave me pride in so many ways; not least pride in Katie (the director), the wonderful cast, the children, the orchestra and the Society. What’s next for you? Musically directing The Music Man. Never a dull moment!


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Principal Cast Stephen/Tony Forte Samantha/Lola La Mar Gladys Murphy Sam Silver Rico Castelli Conchita Alvarez McManus Willie Maitre Choreographer Mr Brill Auditionee Just Arrived Girls Paul Bruce Stephanie Nash Joy Skeels Rob Bertwistle Michael Winiarski Kerry Callaghan John Nye Tom Codd Dave Cousin Daniel Dyer Jon Ridley James White Cate Davis, Sarah Hunt TAP DANCERS Kate Brock, Jane Digby, Sarah Field, Sarah Hunt, Tara Hunter, Jo Pickering CHORUS Alice Aldous, Kat Ballard-Martin, Simon Blainey, Di Bryan, Beverley Burnham, Alice Diaper, Hannah Dray, Linda Harris, Helen Hawkins, Laura Huang, Phil Hughes, Iain Launchbury, Rebecca Peberdy, Jan Skarp, THE ORCHESTRA Reed 1 Reed 2 Reed 3 Trumpet Trumpet French Horn Trombone Lorna Edwards Raymond Brien Joanna Rhind-Tutt Luke Scott Rob Cooper Ingrid Turner Graeme Hollingdale 8 Trombone Keyboard 1 Keyboard 2 Guitar Bass Kit Percussion Malcolm Gunningham Sue Payne Mark Denton Gary Mullins Mark Hooper Dave Hadland Chris Fletcher-Campbell


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Scenes and Musical Numbers ACT ONE Scene 1 Somewhere in Stephen’s Imagination / Stephen’s Studio, Present Day ‘Copa Opening’ (Stephen, Company) Scene 2 Grand Central Station, New York, 1947 ‘Just Arrived’ (Lola, Women) Scene 3 The Copacabana, 1947, Evening ACT TWO Scene 1 Stephen’s Studio / The Tropicana Nightclub, Havana ‘Havana/Caramba’ (Conchita, Chorus) Scene 2 Backstage, The Copacabana ‘Who Am I Kidding’ (Sam, Willie, McManus, Gladys) Scene 3 A Bedroom In Rico’s Compound, Havana ‘This Can’t Be Real’ (Lola, Stephen) Scene 4 The Stage Of The Tropicana, Rehearsal, A Few Hours Later Scene 5 The Tropicana Stage, Several Nights Later ‘El Bravo’ (Lola, Tropicana Dancers) Scene 6 The Tropicana Stage, Minutes Later / The Copa, A Few Days Later ‘Sweet Heaven 2’ (Tony, Lola, Chorus) ‘This Can’t Be Real’ Reprise (Tony) Scene 7 Stephen’s Studio, Present Day ‘Finale Act Two’ (Stephen, Company) ‘Copacabana Finale’ (Stephen, Company) ‘Dancing Fool’ (Tony, Copa Boys) ‘Sweet Heaven’ (Tony, Copa Girls and Boys) Scene 4 Various Audition Rooms In New York, The Next Day ‘Audition Montage’ (Male Auditioner, Lola, Tony, Girls) Scene 5 Outside The Copa, Late Afternoon ‘Copa Girl’ (Gladys) Scene 6 The Copacabana, Late Afternoon ‘Man Wanted’ (Lola) ‘Who Needs To Dream’ (Tony, Copa Girls) Scene 7 The Copa, Several Weeks Later ‘I Gotta Be Bad’ (Lola, Copa Girls) ‘Bolero D’Amore’ (Rico, Chorus) 9


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Tony Forte ~ Paul Bruce Paul is very excited to be back performing with AOS again, after his first performance as Rolf in The Sound of Music. Paul currently works as a bartender at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons. He has always had a passion for music and performing and has been in a wide variety of shows with various companies, including OYMT, Oxford Operatic and the University of Portsmouth Dramatic Musical Society. Notable roles include Danny Zuko in Grease, Maurice in Beauty and the Beast, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Fletcher in Strike Up The Band and Nanki-Poo in The Mikado. Paul is also a keen musician and plays the cello and double bass and has been a past member of OCYO. He is very much looking forward to the show and hopes you enjoy the performance. Lola La Mar ~ Stephanie Nash Copacabana is Steph's third show with AOS and her first principal role for the Society. Having played a postulant nun in The Sound of Music, the character of Lola is quite the opposite, but equally enjoyable. Steph is not a stranger to the stage. Her passion for musical theatre started during her school years, where she took part in various productions. This led to a performing arts course where she improved in all three disciplines of musical theatre and played the role of a Kit Kat Girl in Cabaret and Serena Katz in Fame, as well as taking part in many showcases. Steph now enjoys performing as a hobby while studying Social Work at university. 10


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Sam Silver ~ Rob Bertwistle “And now for something completely different” as the well-known saying goes – and this is certainly a very different role from the recent ones that Rob has played. You may have seen him as Max in AOS’s last production of The Sound of Music, but on this occasion Rob plays a night club manager (of the club of the title) and gets to have lots of fun playing a reluctant hero and having his clothes taken off on stage – watch this space! On a more serious note - Rob recently attended the exhausting NODA Summer School at Warwick University, where he studied Directing Musical Theatre, so he says again – watch this space – he may be sitting, biting his finger nails, next to you in the audience in the not too distant future! He hopes you enjoy the show! Gladys Murphy ~ Joy Skeels In over 30 years performing on the amateur stage, this is Joy’s first time in Copacabana. Gladys is the 37th principal role that Joy has played in those years. Her favourite five past roles are Calamity (Calamity Jane), Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady), Sally Brown (Me & My Girl), Polly Baker (Crazy For You) and Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street. Joy has recently also had the opportunity to direct a couple of productions for AOS, with Crazy For You in 2012 and Sweet Charity in 2014, and she’s very much looking forward to directing Barnum for AOS in 2016. Outside AOS, Joy has recently switched careers from banking to working as a teaching assistant in a primary school, which she insists is far more rewarding. 11


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Rico Castelli ~ Michael Winiarski Copacabana will be Michael’s first time on stage since high school in Connecticut. Now settled in the UK with his wife and two children, his performances have been restricted to kids’ bedtimes with his guitar. After seeing his son perform with the Musical Youth Company of Oxford, he was amazed and inspired and thought he’d better get on stage before it’s too late! Now Michael is absolutely ecstatic to be playing the role of Rico and can credit Rico’s accent to watching numerous re-runs of Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo in US 60s sitcom I Love Lucy as a child. Michael would like to formally apologise to Conchita, Lola, Sam and Tony for being so nasty! He would also like to thank everyone at AOS for being so welcoming! Conchita Alvarez ~ Kerry Callaghan Kerry has been a member of AOS for the last 16 years and has been privileged to play many roles over that time. She has loved the challenges that each show brings and has particularly enjoyed not only rehearsing the part of Conchita, but also being the dance captain for Copacabana. Rehearsals have been as demanding as ever, but filled with laughter and plenty of steps to learn. It's great to see the youngsters leading the show and Kerry feels honoured to support them on and off stage. Kerry really hopes you enjoy this vibrant show and that you will return to support AOS with its next venture, The Music Man, in which Kerry will be taking on the full reins of choreographer. 12


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Production Team Director Musical Director Choreographer Production Coordinator Stage Manager Assistant Stage Managers Stage Crew Jennifer Scott Mark Denton Gemma Hough Barry Greenaway Barry Greenaway Nick Cook, Tom Venn Patrick Biggs, Liz Dray, Lucy Littlejohn, Nicola Macpherson, Dick Richards, Shirlaine Venn, Mike Waite, Dave Williams, Julie Winfield Mike Waite Abingdon Operatic Society Border Studio Dan Ebberson Amey Theatre Nigel Millward Matt Smith, Tom Venn Amey Theatre Triple C Costume Hire, Maidenhead Operatic Society Rosie Littlejohn, Katie Nye, Emily Wilkes, Lynne Winter Abingdon Operatic Society Frankie Wilson Claire Dowdeswell Abingdon Operatic Society Sue Richards Denise Evans, Sue Payne Di Bryan, Tricia Cook, Barbara Denton, Cate Franklin, Iain Launchbury, Jane Maggs, Amanda Robinson, Lorna Stevenson Walker Marilyn Moore Ian Skeels George Riddell Jenny Willis Marilyn Moore Vaughan Billings Chris Bryan Felice Armstrong, Debbie Bater, Chris Biggs, Lorraine Bowker, Alison Brown, Jean Bunce, Brian Burrows, Tricia Cook, Dennis Garrett, John Goss, George Green, Pat Greenaway, Kath Hadris, Hugh Hercus, Maggie Ingram, Mike Maggs, Martin Mellor, Jessica Payne, Ian Pickering, Robert Rees, Daisy Robinson, Gordon Skidmore, Gill Skidmore, John Smith, Tom Tompsett, Chris Turton, Chris Waite Pam Verrell 13 Stage Carpenter Set supplied by Backcloths supplied by Lighting Design & Operator Lighting equipment supplied by Follow Spot Operator Sound Operator Audio equipment supplied by Costumes supplied by Makeup Wigs supplied by Properties Design Assisted by Properties supplied by Prompt Rehearsal pianists Rehearsal refreshments Archive Programme Design & Production Photography Publicity Coordinator Box Office Front of House Manager Assisted by Front of House staff Confectionery



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