Manzanita’s musical? You never know!

By Brian Cameron

“This is not your regular play that we’ve done,” said Producer Dick Huneke. “Its our first musical since we’ve become a true nonprofit.”
Starting May 13 a local rendition of Cole Porter’s famous stage performance “You Never Know” debuts at the NCRD’s Performing Arts Center and promises to bring the house down with a whopping 12 individual musical performances.  “You Never Know” is based on the play “Candlelight” by Siegfried Geyer and was adapted by Roland Leigh with the music and lyrics by Cole Porter himself.  At the time it was considered a flop prior to getting a great deal of attention with Porter’s other performance “Kiss me, Kate.”
The play takes place in Paris France in 1929 and follows the valet, Gaston, of Baron de Romer.  Sought by a woman named Maria, who is the Maid to Madame Baltin, she assumes her mistress’s identity in order to find out if Gaston is the Baron himself.  Hilarity and antics ensue as the Baron learns of this and decides to aide Gaston in courting the maiden Maria.
This type of musical is a first for the Riverbend Players, a nonprofit group of thespians, producers and directors and a rarity for Manzanita as a whole.  Adding song and dance numbers bring not only the skill of singing and oration to the actors but also throws in the added task of dance and choreography, making it quite the production at the end of the day.  Beside the actual performance this also marks the first large-scale production for Riverbend Players as their own 501c3 nonprofit organization.
“I have to take my hat off to all of our actors,” Director Jeff Slimal said. “The main thing though is that we have a crew of dedicated and passionate actors, some of which have never been asked to perform vocals, choreography and acting all at the same time.”
With a talented cast of local players “You Never Know” plans on offering Manzanita and the North Coast something fun to do for the whole family.  Starring Sedona Torres, Michael Dinan, Stewart and Karen Martin and Rene La Torre, the performance will also feature 12 musical sets which were directed by Bob La Torre as well as feature choreography by Rosa Erlebach.
Hoping for a strong opening the show starts on May 13 and plays additionally on May 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 7:00 p.m. and as well as a Sunday matinee at 2:00 p.m. on May 21 and 28.  Admission is $15 for adults and kids under 12 get in for free.
“This performance promises to be a great time for everyone,” Slimal said. “They’re doing a fine job and we can’t wait to show the audience what we’ve accomplished.”

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