By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – The Regatta Players are totally flashing back to the 1980s in its fifth season, which began July 17 with the second annual Gala at Southgate at Shrewsbury. It included a cabaret show titled “Awesome ‘80s,” staged in the facility’s Flanagan Theater.
The audience got a sneak peek of song-and-dance numbers from their upcoming musical comedy set in 1985, “The Wedding Singer,” to be presented at that theater with 8 p.m. performances Friday, July 31; Saturday, Aug. 1; and Saturday, Aug. 8; and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Aug. 9.
Several of “The Wedding Singer” cast members performed double-duty by also delivering solos or duets in “Awesome ‘80s.” Some production team members managed triple-duty.
The Gala began with a silent auction to fundraise for the community theater group. Eighteen businesses donated items including restaurant gift certificates, theater tickets and hotel stays. Contributing to the ambience was a jazz trio consisting of Max Halpern on drums, Victor Pacek on bass, and Mano Sundaresan on keyboard.
Next, Doug Buell and Dan Monopoli co-hosted “Awesome ‘80s,” featuring that decade’s songs from Broadway and pop radio. It opened and closed with numbers from “The Wedding Singer,” which musically tells the story of a rock-star wannabe. The cast includes Barbara Andreano, Kristl Courtemanche, Laura Gulli, Danny Hutchins, Dan Monopoli, Tessa Newell, Ryan Pound, Stephanie Sarkisian and Ron Vorce, with ensemble players Jeff Dodd, Katelyn Doe, Krissi Forgues, Nathan Goulart-Pasco, Katie Monopoli and Justin Smith.
Joining them onstage in “Awesome ‘80s” were Julia Dobner-Pereira, Luke Dombroski, Kate Hultgren, Carly O’Brien, Patrice Peris and Charles Pietrello.
Production team members for both shows are Kira Cowan, director; Bonnie L. Narcisi, music director; Katie Monopoli, choreographer; Dan Monopoli, assistant director; Wilson Belbin, stage manager; and Joanne Smith, production manager.
“The Wedding Singer” tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance. For information, email email@example.com; call 508-925-0583, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. only; visit regattaplayers.com or follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/124566067681106/
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.