Monday, July 4, 2022

UPDATE: Broadway’s golden years are coming to the Williamsburg Players stage

The Williamsburg Players will present “Songs From the Golden Age of Broadway,” a tribute to 1940s-1960s classics.(WYDaily/Courtesy of The Williamsburg Players)

UPDATE: In light of harsh weather conditions and the recent lift in COVID-19 restrictions, the final two performances of the “Golden Age of Broadway” will be moving indoors at the Williamsburg Players theater. Tickets will be general admission, and all “car passes” from previous sales will be honored, Williamsburg Players spokesperson Jessi DiPette said. The shows will now take place indoors, with masks required for patrons, on Saturday, June 12 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

YORK COUNTY — The Golden Age of Broadway is coming to the Historic Triangle.

The Williamsburg Players, 200 Hubbard Ln, will present its latest outdoor show of its spring cabaret series in June.

Its third outdoor show since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Songs from the Golden Age of Broadway” will feature song selections from Broadway’s “Golden Years,” spanning from 1940 to 1964.

The cabaret show will be directed by Rosemary Allman, a Williamsburg Players alum who most recently directed the players’ 2019 production of “Anyone Can Whistle.”

Allman said that the concept for the “Golden Age” production came from wanting to introduce more of the unfamiliar musicals to younger audiences, while also catering to some of their senior theatre-goers who tend to be drawn to these classic shows.

The show will feature duets, trios and solo numbers from some of the more well-known Broadway classics, such as “Annie Get Your Gun,” “The Music Man,” “Kiss Me, Kate” and “South Pacific.”

The show will also include classics that some audience members might be less familiar with, such as a song called “Real Live Girl” from the 1962 musical “Little Me.”

Songs from the 1954 musical “The Pajama Game” will also be featured in the show, which Allman said will have both the male and female leads’ numbers to oppose each other. 

Numbers from other classics, like “Pal Joey” and “Wild Cat,” will also be featured.

Altogether, the show will feature about 20 performers. 

The production will also have an emcee, who will introduce each number and give the audience some musical theatre history. 

Allman said that one of the biggest challenges of putting this show together has been rehearsals.

Performances will take place at the theatre’s outdoor parking lot stage on June 5, 6, and 12.(WYDaily/Courtesy of The Williamsburg Players)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Allman had to incorporate more solos in the show rather than trios, duets or group numbers in order to allow for more isolated rehearsals. 

“In all the years I’ve done theatre, this has been the most unusual show I’ve done,” she said.

Last weekend was the first time that the whole cast was able to do an outdoor run-through of the show. 

Allman said that performing outside presents its own issues, including not having a “backstage.” 

“You can’t mask everything like you do in a normal theatre,” she said. “The talent has to sit off stage right in their own chairs and they have to have a protocol of how to come on stage for their own numbers. So a lot of it will be visible to the audience.”

RELATED STORY: Williamsburg Players returns to the stage with outdoor performances

But Allman enjoys the challenge.

“Theatre is theatre in my mind,” she said. “Just striving to get some good talent out there and use them to the best of their ability, that to me is always exciting artistically.”

The Williamsburg Players will also be giving back to the senior Life Plan Community that regularly supports their performances. 

The group’s spokeswoman and performer, Jessi DiPette, said that they will perform two shows at Williamsburg Landing on Saturday, May 22. Each performance will be a half hour shorter than the usual 90-minute production.

“In the regular season, it was never a Sunday matinee without a Williamsburg Landing bus coming to drop people off,” DiPette said.

The official performances of “Songs from the Golden Age of Broadway” will be held at the Williamsburg Players outdoor parking lot stage on June 5, 6 and 12 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Tickets for the performances can be purchased online.

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