AROUSING SUCCESS

BY MOLLIE S. WATERS                                                            

The Greenville Standard

 

Each year, area residents eagerly await the Greenville Area Arts Council’s annual production of “Puttin’ on the Ritz” (POTR).

This year’s show certainly did not disappoint.

The theme for the 2018 performance was “Don’t Miss the Magic,” and based on the crowds that showed up night after night, very few people missed the opportunity to see their neighbors shine!

For opening night, the house was packed with only about four or five empty seats in an auditorium that seats 450 people.

Act 1 opened with Keith Gibson as Gaston and Wayne Ingram as LeFou in the musical number “Gaston” from “Beauty and the Beast.”

Other songs from this Disney classic included “Be Our Guest” with Jennie Hamilton as Lumiere and Joni Thomas as Ms. Potts, and “Tale as Old as Time (Reprise)” with the adult cast of the show.

The youth cast took the stage next in several numbers from “Aladdin.”

First, Reagan McLain sang lead in both “One Jump Ahead” and “Prince Ali.”

Then Turner Vickery took on the role of Aladdin while Mary Virginia Meadows sang as Princess Jasmine in “A Whole New World.”

Next, the men’s cast performed a medley of Disney hits, including “Oo De Lally” from “Robin Hood” with Steve Norman singing the traveling minstrel role.

Act I concluded with two songs from “The Lion King,” including “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” with Hollis Edwards as Simba and Nancy Idland as Zazu. Stacey Edwards performed as Rafiki in “Circle of Life,” which featured a fabulous cast of costumed animals.

Act 2 opened with three songs from “The Little Mermaid.” They were “A Part of Your World” with Anne Kathryn Smith as Ariel, “Under the Sea” with Joseph Longmire as Sebastian,” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” with Lori Neilson as Ursula.

The next four songs were “Mother Knows Best” from “Tangled” starring Beth Cooper and Caroline Hartley, “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas” with Laura and Mary Ellen Simmons, “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from “Cinderella” with Morgan Gibson and Jaxon Beck,” and “Almost There” from “The Princess Frog” with Vicki Burt and Ceil Gregory.

The next five songs were all from “Frozen,” and they included “Frozen Heart” with the men’s group, “In Summer” with Stephen Hamilton and Zoe Coon, “For the First Time in Forever” with the girls’ youth group, “Love Is an Open Door” with Kalee Russell and Stirling Hamilton,” and “Let It Go” with Madison Castleberry as Elsa.

The finale was “Rhythm Nation” from “Happy Feet 2” featuring Laura Simmons, Rosie Till and the entire adult cast.

Audience members only had positive things to say about the performance.

Pam Sexton, a past cast member herself and the grandmother of performer Reagan McLain, said she looks forward to the show each year.

“It’s a community event,” said Sexton. “I love to see everyone come out and support this performance. Greenville has so much musical talent.”

The finale was “Rhythm Nation” from “Happy Feet 2” featuring Laura Simmons, Rosie Till and the entire adult cast.

Audience members only had positive things to say about the performance.

Pam Sexton, a past cast member herself and the grandmother of performer Reagan McLain, said she looks forward to the show each year.

“It’s a community event,” said Sexton. “I love to see everyone come out and support this performance. Greenville has so much musical talent.” “It’s a community event,” said Sexton. “I love to see everyone come out and support this performance. Greenville has so much musical talent.”

 

 

 

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