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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 10, 2006


Theater group brings TV family to the stage in Voorheesville

By Michele O’Riley

VOORHEESVILLE — A very Brady time will be had in the village this month as the Theatre Guild of Voorheesville brings the seventies sit-com about a blended family to the elementary-school stage.

The community theater group is continuing a summer tradition of bringing television episodes to the stage.

"The president, Edward Bablin, has a lot of great ideas," said Director Deborah Conti. "Last winter he suggested doing it because we had done a production of The Twilight Zone."

The Brady Bunch was also chosen because of its appeal across generations, from the initial show, to later reruns, up until today on TV Land, said Conti.

The show was performed off-Broadway in the early 1990’s and The Classic Theatre Guild will follow this model.

"We wanted to pick episodes that were the best known and would transfer well to the stage," explained Conti.

The group chose three popular episodes to reenact:

— "The Only Child" where the Brady kids pretend they are invisible and that Jan, played by Brittany Finnigan, is the only child;

— "Oh My Nose" where Marcia, played by Shanna Maclasco, gets hit in the nose with a football; and

— "Our Son the Man" where Greg, played by Jacob Dick, turns his father’s den into a groovy, swinging pad.

Carol Brady will be played by Michelle Smith-Carrigan, Mike Brady will be played by Chas Treadwell, and Alice will be played by Jeannette Folger.

"It’s a light-hearted way to spend an afternoon or evening at the end of the summer," said Conti.

The guild’s publicity for the show urges Voorheesvillians to find out the answers to questions, such as:

— What did Carol Brady do all day long, anyway"

— Where did Greg shop for the items for his funky pad"

— Did Jan really say, ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"’

— How long did it really take for Marcia’s nose to heal""

The original Sherwood Schwartz show dealt with small-life dilemmas that were magnified to more than they really were, said Conti. The group will stay true to the show by using a humorous slant and really playing up the humor of each situation.

Conti and Joanne Agopovich, who are both directing the show, also plan on adding their own twists to the production.

"It will be different; we want people to feel like a real live audience," she said.

To give the Voorheesville theater-goers the feeling of being a TV studio audience, there will cue cards for applause and reenactments of period commercials.

Feeling at home in Voorheesville

The Classic Theatre Guild had been located at the Hilton Performing Arts Center in Albany. A recent relationship with the Voorheesville Community and School Foundation was instrumental in finding places to perform in the area.

The guild recently performed William Shakespeare’s As You Like It in Voorheesville’s Evergreen Park.

"There are not any theater groups in Voorheesville," said Conti. "We thought it would be the perfect place to start a theater group."

The guild hopes to have a new home in Voorheesville soon.

"We would love to eventually do a show at the performing arts center in Voorheesville’s high school, said Conti.

"Most of the actors in The Brady Bunch are from Voorheesville and the group is getting loads of support from family members of the actors," said Conti. She explained that auditions for the production were well advertised in Voorheesville schools.

"The community has been very cooperative and supportive and seems to be very excited about it," said Conti. "There is a general buzz about the project. Arts and education tend to bring people together."

***

The show will run Aug. 18, 19, and 20 and Aug. 25, 26, and 27 at the Voorheesville Elementary School. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances are at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $7 for adults with a two-dollar discount for senior citizens; children under 13 are free. For more information on The Classic Theatre Guild of Voorheesville or for group reservations, call 459-9826 or e-mail groovybradylady@yahoo.com.


It’s alive! Poetry found on every other Thursday at VPL

By Rachel Dutil

VOORHEESVILLE – Poetry is not a lost art in Voorheesville.

In fact, it is alive and thriving.

The Every Other Thursday Night Poets is made up of local poets who have been coming together with their poetry for 15 years. The poets meet twice a month on Thursday nights to read their poetry, critique each other’s work, and, at times, engage in heated debates.

Last Thursday night, a group of 15 poets, and a room full of family and friends gathered together at the Voorheesville Public Library to celebrate the publishing of a book of the group’s poems, titled Poetry Don’t Pump Gas.

Poet Tom Corrado explains at the beginning of the book, the story behind the title. He describes filling his car’s tank with gas during a stop in rural Maine.

"From her perch near the register, the cashier, a well-seasoned Mainiac, who had seen it all and then some, watched my fumbling for a few minutes," he writes, "then commented to all within earshot, ‘What the hell is he doing" Is he stupid"’ To which my friends, quick to fuel any fire, replied, ‘No, he’s a poet!’ Withering them with a look, she cut to the quick: ‘Poetry don’t pump gas!’"

And there was born the title for a book of poetry.

The paperback, with a sepiatoned photo of an old gas station on its cover, is 99 pages with short poems from 17 poets. It is being sold for $10 at the library.

Barbara Vink, who handles publicity for the Voorheesville Public Library, helped start the group with Corrado 15 years ago. Vink told The Enterprise last week that the Friends of the Voorheesville Public Library and the library board donated money to help with the publishing costs. "They were instrumental in this whole thing," she said.

Debut

At the book’s debut on Thursday, the library hallway showcased artwork from some of the poets. Mark O’Brien, who says he seeks the "mundane absurd," had artwork on display. O’Brien used wooden frames shaped like windows and incorporated words from his poetry.

The meeting room was filled with smiling faces, and poets excited about poetry in general and their book in particular.

"I absolutely love this poetry group," said Cathy Anderson, as she took the podium to read aloud one of her poems. Her statement seemed to reinforce how other poets felt. The love for the group appeared to be unanimous among all who attended the reception Thursday.

"Good poetry should really set people afire with appreciation of life," said Dennis Sullivan, another poet featured in the book. "Poetry calls people’s attention to being alive," he said.

Susan Riback has been with the group for 14 years. She told The Enterprise that she loves that poetry can be many different things. "In the group, everyone has a very different way of looking at the world, and we all get to really know each person’s voice," she said.

Ron Pavoldi refers to himself as "the token conservative" of the group. Meanwhile, Tim Verhaegen describes himself as the "openly gay poet."

Pavoldi said one of the biggest difficulties for him is "not losing my temper." He said the art world is typically full of "extreme left-wing views." Pavoldi has been writing poetry for 35 years, and writing with the group for the past 10.

"I am always up to a thoughtful argument," he told The Enterprise.

Verhaegen has been writing most of his life, and writing poetry for the last few years. He said that he wholeheartedly advocates the critiquing process. "Writers can be so sensitive to criticism," he said. "I love the variety of all the different opinions."


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