Avalon community theater set for ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ play

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It’s the off-season in Avalon. Oh, what to do?

As Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney said in those classic Andy Hardy movies of the 1940s… “Your dad has a barn, we can make costumes…let’s put on a show!”

That is just what Avalon Recreation Supervisor Sean Brannock has been doing for several years and bringing the adults of Avalon with him along the way into a homegrown community theater experience that the island city can call its own.

It’s the off-season in Avalon. Oh, what to do?

As Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney said in those classic Andy Hardy movies of the 1940s… “Your dad has a barn, we can make costumes…let’s put on a show!”

That is just what Avalon Recreation Supervisor Sean Brannock has been doing for several years and bringing the adults of Avalon with him along the way into a homegrown community theater experience that the island city can call its own.

Avalon has always been filled with a colorful cast of folk who make the Island their home. That has helped Brannock to find people to participate in these off-season theater productions that serve as a way help the Avalon community huddle together in the financially lean times and also raise a bit of money for community projects.

The money raised by this year’s production will help send some aspiring Avalon thespians to the bright lights of Broadway through Brannock’s and the city of Avalon’s Kids At Play program, a theater program for Avalon’s youth.

“We hope the community comes out and supports this fun local cast as they are helping raise funds for Avalon Goes…Back to Broadway,” Brannock said. “Kids at Play’s traveling group will be taking students over spring break to New York where they will see four Broadway shows and the sights along with participating in workshops with working professionals in the New York theater scene.”

The evening will include a pre curtain VIP party that will have hors d’oeuvres prepared by Avalon’s Chef Greg of Island Caterers and an open bar serving beer and wine. Admission for the VIP tickets is $35 for adults and $20 for students (no alcoholic beverages will be served to minors).

The cost for the show only is $15 and the money raised sans expenses will go toward the cause.

There will also be a silent auction held in conjunction with the event that will feature a variety of gift baskets.

Meet the Cast

The following is a list with short biographies of the adult cast members of Avalon’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

From director Sean Brannock: On Sunday February 10th, 2013 in the World Famous Casino Theater there will be a live performance of Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesseling and directed by Sean Brannock.  The cast is made up of an all adult and local cast.  These are your friends, neighbors, coworkers and fellow citizens.  Let’s meet them now:

Rosie Taylor – (Aunt Abby) is a Visitor Services representative for the Catalina Island Conservancy. She is also known Catalina Pinky from KISL radio (Ladies Night-Thursdays 6-8 PM). This is her fourth play with Sean and the gang; “I can’t think of a funner way to spend my free time”.

Mary Schickling – (Aunt Martha) is no stranger to the stage it is a major part of her life.  She holds a degree in theater and enjoyed a 25 year career in stand up.  “I feel blessed and happy to be working with this group and this is my fourth production with Mr. Sean.”

Rich “Mr. Z.” Zaneli – (Mortimer) is the driving force behind Kids in Nature where he is allowed to use his creativity and love for science to its fullest.  Mr. Z is no stranger to the stage and has participated in many community theater productions, as well as in the A.H.S. Theater Department.

Scott “Tom” Dennis – (Johnathan) by day is an administrator at the Catalina Conservancy and by night is a filmmaker and actor and has been performing on the Catalina stage for the past 7 years.  

“I’m enjoying playing the opposite character (Johnathan) of the one I first played in high school (Dr. Einstien).”

Debra “Ms. H.” Hunt – (Teddy) is the A.H.S. physical education teacher and cheerleading coach.  This is her fourth production with the community theater group.  “I love the people, the experience and the FUN.”

Lisa Keppel – (Elaine) is a server at C.C. Gallagher.  “I always jump at the opportunity to be on stage.  I’ve been involved in theater on the island for the past 21 years.  It’s an amazing program and I’m glad to be a part of it.”  

Mary Ellen Vona – (Dr. Einstien) has recently returned to the island from Maui.  While in Maui she played Josephina in “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” the smash Off-Broadway play.  She volunteers for Café Metropole and the Catalina Art Association.

David Hart (Klien) – is an instructional aide and coach for A.H.S.  He is also a massage therapist.  David has been working with Mr. Sean, the A.H.S. Theater Department and community theater for years.

Don Frankforther (Brophy) – is the liquor clerk at Von’s.  This is his first production but you may have seen him several times in the annual parades either in costume or floats of his own creations.  “I love bringing an idea from my head into reality.”

Skip Kohlhoff (Mr. Gibbs) – is a tour guide for Catalina Segways and a semi-retired computer systems analyst.

Pam Albers (O’Hara) – is the proprietor, chef and chief bottle washer at Café Metropole.  Pam has been in several performances over the years.

Jordan Monroe (Lt. Rooney) – is employed at the Catalina Island Museum and is also one of the station managers of K.I.S.L. Radio and volunteer extraordinaire.  Jordan is very creative and this is his second production on the Avalon stage.

Jimmy Guadagno (Witherspoon) – is new to the Island and is the drama teacher at A.H.S. along with co-director for the A.H.S. Theater Department.  This will be his stage début here on the island.

“Come out and support this fun local cast as they are helping raise funds for Avalon Goes…Back to Broadway,” Brannock siad.  

For tickets or additional information please call Elizabeth Wenger at 310-510-1745.

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