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‘Oklahoma,’ ‘Kiss Me Kate’ Make Musical Magic – QNS.com

‘Oklahoma,’ ‘Kiss Me Kate’ Make Musical Magic

An exuberant second act pleased a packed house on opening night at Theatre by the Bay. The troupe’s “Oklahoma” featured strong leads, a capable supporting cast and an eager ensemble. The FSF Community Theatre Group’s first weekend of “Kiss Me Kate” was a true delight with talented key players and great support.
Producer/director Larry Bloom is loyal to the community. As usual, public school children participated alongside white-haired veterans. As Curly, David Yudell really powered his emotions into every solo and duet. That included classics “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ ” and “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.” His romantic interest, Laurey (Savannah Gordon) was an equal match in stage presence and her sweet, solid voice. Her duet with Curly, “People Will Say We’re In Love” and “Many a New Day” with the western women were charming.
Aunt Eller (Sue Fiebert) kept the O.K. in Oklahoma, with her strong western accent and practical morality. Ado Annie (Sharon Decoursey) musically complained “I Cain’t Say No.” Sinister Jud Fry (Justin Muscat), slightly nave but well intentioned Will Parker (Eli Koenig), slick but self sabotaging salesman Ali Hakim (Steve Hoffman), uninhibited Gertie Cummings (Tanya Fiebert) and Ike Skidmore (Tom Albano) provided lively entertainment.
The singers and dancers of the ensemble deserve a bow, especially in their stirring version of “Oklahoma!” “Encore” to Musical Director Alan Kingsley, Choreographer Caron Eule and Co-Producers Barbara Koenig and Martha Stein.
Call 718-428-6363 for directions to the show at the Bay Terrace Jewish Center; 13-00 209th Street in Bayside.

‘Kiss Me Kate’
The FSF Community Theatre Group is presenting the musical comedy “Kiss Me Kate” for two more weekends in Flushing. This play within a play takes a divorced diva and her egotistical ex-husband and places them in Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.” The result is sophistication and slapstick with adult innuendo and impish sight gags.
Producer/Director Maryellen Pierce has assembled a group of full voiced, witty performers. Amanda Doria plays shrewish Lilli with incredible physical humor and a powerfully beautiful voice. Her leading man and nemesis Fred (Michael A. D’Emidio) is outstanding with a twinkle in his eye no matter what the situation. Stunning Lois (Alison McGlynn) conquers every man she meets. Her unshakeable suitor Bill (Nick Radu) manages to turn a blind eye to her dalliances. His other eye is on the racehorses.
The amiable supporting cast includes Monica Barczak, Danny Maldonado and Jimmy O’Neill as a great caricature of General MacArthur. Two hit men (Michael Beltran, Brendan Kerney) are also great caricatures. Another dozen singers and dancers sing and dance “Another Op’nin’ Another Show” and other favorites. Musical Director Paul L. Johnson, choreographers Farrah Connell and Maryellen, and other backstage leaders (Pauline & John Baratta, Cookie, Linda Cashman, Charlene Greenberg and Debbie Clouden) have helped create a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Call 800-260-6789 or 516-354-3017 for tix and directions to the Free Synagogue of Flushing, 41-60 Kissena Boulevard.

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