Theater – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 23 Jan 2020 22:07:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.5 Thingamajig Theatre Company’s “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” http://www.pagosasun.com/thingamajig-theatre-companys-the-texas-homecoming-revolution-of-1995/ Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:00:48 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=195824

Photo courtesy Laura Moore

The cast members of Thingamajig Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Jennifer Faletto’s “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” show off on their new homecoming gowns — little knowing the scandal that is about to unfold at their Texas high school. The comedy, directed by Thingamajig’s Laura Moore, features local actors (from left) Jackie Kleckner, Ericka Vincent, Lisa Jensen, Haleigh Sowerby and Nadia Werby, and opens next week on Friday, Jan. 31, running for two weekends through Feb. 9. Tickets are available at pagosacenter.org and by calling the box office at 731-7469.

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Record number of Thingamajig artists honored in statewide BroadwayWorld awards http://www.pagosasun.com/record-number-of-thingamajig-artists-honored-in-statewide-broadwayworld-awards/ Sun, 26 Jan 2020 12:00:53 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=195827

Photo courtesy Carole Howard
Perry Davis Harper, wife Amelia Davis and son Christian Davis are three of a record 51 members of Thingamajig Theatre Company’s cast and creative team who were nominated for honors in the 2019 statewide contest sponsored by BroadwayWorld Denver. Thingamajig received two wins and more nominations than any other professional theater in the state.

By Carole Howard
Special to The PREVIEW

A record 51 members of Thingamajig Theatre Company’s cast and creative team with exceptional talent were nominated for awards in the 2019 statewide contest sponsored by BroadwayWorld Denver.
Two brought highest honors to Thingamajig, as Laine Wong won best lighting design and Boni McIntyre won best music director, both for the musical “Jekyll and Hyde.” As well, Thingamajig nominees were among the top three vote-getters in most categories.
Thingamajig received more nominations than any other professional theater in the state, with Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre and Denver Center for the Arts in second and third positions.
“Seeing Thingamajig’s name repeated so frequently at the top of the ballot is in itself a win and makes us very proud,” said Tim Moore, producing artistic director and co-founder of the theater with his wife, Laura Moore, executive director. “Unfortunately, having so many of our actors, directors and designers nominated in many categories resulted in the vote being split among them. So, having our artists place in the top three in so many categories is amazing.”
Thingamajig honorees
Here are the cast members and productions that made it to the final ballot in this prestigious competition:
Best musical: “Jekyll and Hyde,” “The Who’s Tommy” and “Ring of Fire.” Best play: “box.”
Best actor in a musical: Perry Davis Harper (“Jekyll and Hyde”), Trevor Brown and Caleb Michael (“The Who’s Tommy”), Steven Sitzman (“Ring of Fire”) and Nick Abbott (“Ring of Fire” and “Momma Mia”). Best actor in a play: Dennis Elkins (“box.”).
Best actress in a musical: Amy Harper and April Willard (“Momma Mia”), Bailey Claffey (“Jekyll and Hyde”), Allie Tamburello (“Ring of Fire”) and Danielle Poznanovic (“The Who’s Tommy”). Best actress in a play: Marion Bienvenu (“A Christmas Carol”).
Best director of a musical: Melissa Firlit (“Jekyll and Hyde”) and Pia Wyatt (“The Who’s Tommy”). Best director of a play: Elkins (“A Christmas Carol”).
Best supporting actor in a musical: Brown and Michael (“The Who’s Tommy”), Abbott (“Jekyll and Hyde”), Asher Van Meter (“Momma Mia” and “The Who’s Tommy”), Tommy Paduano and Rayshaughn Armani (“Ring of Fire”), Sitzman (“Ring of Fire” and “The Who’s Tommy”). Best supporting actress in a musical: Samantha Luck (“Jekyll and Hyde”), Bailey Claffey (“The Who’s Tommy”), Tamburello (“Momma Mia”), Kristina Miranda Sloan (“Momma Mia”).
Best supporting actor in a play: Tyler Price Robinson (“A Christmas Carol”). Best supporting actress in a play: Johannah Laverty (“A Christmas Carol”).
Best choreography of a musical: Wyatt (“Momma Mia” and “The Who’s Tommy”). Best costume design of a musical: Nanette Cheffers (“The Who’s Tommy” and “Ring of Fire”) and Kate Mott (“Jekyll and Hyde”). Best lighting design of a musical: Laine Wong (“The Who’s Tommy”). Best set design of a musical: Matt McCarren (“Momma Mia”). Best small ensemble musical: “Ring of Fire.”
Best young adult in a musical: Christian Gonzales (“The Who’s Tommy”) and Elise Yeager (“Alice in Wonderland Jr.”) Best lighting design of a play: Laine Wong (“A Christmas Carol”). Best small ensemble of a play: “box.”
High-caliber competition
Thingamajig competes in the impressive Denver-area professional theater market, which also includes Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Creede Repertory Theatre, Arvada Center, Evergreen Players, Su Teatro, Merely Players, Town Hall Arts Center and many more.
Said Tim Moore: “The high number of nominations for our performers speaks to their professionalism and the quality of entertainment they bring to Pagosa Springs. Their enthusiasm and Broadway-caliber performances never cease to energize and enrich our highly sophisticated audiences.”
Added Laura Moore: “These awards directly reflect the support and enthusiasm our patrons have for our stellar performers and production staff. We are very proud of them all.”
This year’s awards honored productions that opened in Colorado between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2019. Regional productions, touring shows and other shows were included in the statewide awards categories. This means that the caliber of the competition is extremely high.
BroadwayWorld is the largest theater site on the Internet, covering Broadway in New York, the West End in London and other key artistic locations worldwide. This year’s awards attracted a record number of nominations and votes in more than 100 cities across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America.
Winter season underway now
Thingamajig’s exciting winter season is currently underway. “A Very Perry Christmas” and “A Grand Night for Singing” featuring the music of Rogers and Hammerstein opened the season during the holidays.
The next show is “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995,” a comedy by playwright Jennifer Faletto that was workshopped at Thingamajig’s 2018 Playwrights Festival. It takes the audience on a comedic visit to the stalls of the girls’ restroom in a Texas high school, where all the secrets unfold. It opens on Friday, Jan. 31, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 9.
Thingamajig is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional theater in residence at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts that produces dramas, comedies and musicals year-round. The company was co-founded in April 2011 by the Moores, both of whom won individual BroadwayWorld awards for their work in 2017.

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‘The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995’ set to open Jan. 31 http://www.pagosasun.com/the-texas-homecoming-revolution-of-1995-set-to-open-jan-31/ Tue, 21 Jan 2020 12:00:27 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=195479

Photo courtesy Bill Hudson
Ericka Vincent, Nadia Werby and Jackie Kleckner play three of the high school girls dealing with a school scandal in the upcoming Thingamajig Theatre Company production of Jennifer Faletto’s “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995,” opening at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts on Jan. 31 and running through Feb. 9.

By Bill Hudson
Special to The PREVIEW
Act I, scene one:
Setting: The girls’ bathroom at a suburban high school near Houston, 1995. The doors to the stalls are closed and feet can be seen beneath three of the stall doors. One by one, the stall doors fly open and three high school girls emerge.
Sammy: “It’s a dark day in Texas.”
Tammy: “What are you talking about? It’s like Christmas morning …”
Jess: “It’s so good it’s like Christmas and your birthday on the same day.”
Sammy: “Like if you were Jesus.”
Jess: “No, Sammy, it’s not like if you were Jesus.”
Sammy: “Well … if Christmas and your birthday were the same day …?”
So begins the Thingamajig Theatre Company production of “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” by playwright Jennifer Faletto, currently in rehearsal at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts as the final offering of the 2019-2020 winter season.
Thingamajig just wrapped up its wonderful holiday musical, “A Grand Night for Singing’”on Jan. 12, which followed on the heels of an original and festive Christmas production titled “A Very Perry Christmas.”
For the last several years, Tim and Laura Moore, artistic director and executive director for Thingamajig Theatre Company, have been staging a comedy with local actors as the finale for the winter season, presented as a staged reading. Previous productions have included Eve Enseler’s “The Good Body” and two original comedies by Pagosa Springs playwright Karl Isberg.
This year’s offering by Faletto was workshopped during Thingamajig’s annual Playwrights Festival in 2018, and the Moores have decided to present a more fully produced version this winter as a staged reading. The cast — all local actors — includes Ericka Vincent as Sammy, Jackie Kleckner as Jess, Nadia Werby as Tammy, Lisa Jensen as Abby and Haleigh Sowerby as Crystal.
It’s the Friday before Homecoming and yet another school scandal has emerged. Crystal Andersen has allegedly committed an unspeakable act with the Texas state flag. But all is not lost. In a culture where legacy and tradition often go unquestioned, one student is able to change the consciousness of her community.
“The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” opens on Jan. 31 and runs for two weekends, through Feb. 9. Tickets are available online at pagosacenter.org and by calling the Pagosa Center for the Arts box office at 731-7469.
Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to perform and produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round.

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Thingamajig Theatre Company’s Tim Moore setting off on cross-country casting trip http://www.pagosasun.com/thingamajig-theatre-companys-tim-moore-setting-off-on-cross-country-casting-trip/ Sun, 12 Jan 2020 12:00:33 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=194635

Photo courtesy Carole Howard
Tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 10, Thingamajig Theatre Company’s Tim Moore will set off on a rigorous month-long travel itinerary that will take him to tried-and-true audition venues as well as some new ones in his search for the best performers for the four Broadway hits that will make up the summer 2020 musical season.

By Carole Howard
Special to The PREVIEW
The phenomenal success of Thingamajig Theatre Company at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts since its opening in April 2011 has depended on many factors, not the least of which is the genius of its co-founders, the husband and wife team of Tim Moore, producing artistic director, and Laura Moore, executive director.
They have an uncanny ability to consistently produce intelligent, entertaining and timely shows with humor, heartache, great storytelling and extraordinary music. But if you ask Tim Moore how to produce a good show, he will say simply, “We need nothing more than great actors telling a story the best way they can.”
So, how does Tim Moore find and identify talented actors to come to Pagosa Springs to perform for local audiences and out-of-town visitors?
For starters, he has a unique ability to quickly size up not only an individual actor’s skills in the areas of acting, singing and dancing, but also to assess how each one will fit into the various roles in the upcoming season and meld into a cohesive theatrical team, recognizing that each actor plays parts in four different shows.
Summer 2020 musicals
A look at this summer’s musicals and Tim Moore’s travel schedule over the next month explains how he builds a successful season and then carefully casts the actors, singers, dancers and designers who bring it to life.
He will be casting the four Broadway hits that will make up the summer 2020 musical season: “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is a Tony award-winning Victorian melodrama. “Bright Star” is a drama featuring country bluegrass music composed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. “Wizard of Oz” is an adaption by Andrew Lloyd Webber of the classic film. “Godspell,” based on the Gospel of Matthew, was nominated for a Tony for best original score.
Tomorrow, he is setting off on a rigorous travel itinerary from Jan. 10 through Feb. 11 that will take him to tried-and-true audition venues as well as some new ones in his search for the best possible performers for these shows.
Moore’s casting venues
As the theater capital of the USA, New York City provides a wealth of recruiting opportunities for Thingamajig. As always, Tim Moore has set up multiple private auditions. He also will audition for the first time at the A1 Conference and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, as well as at Wagner College on Long Island.
Among Thingamajig’s distinguished New York City alumni are Dennis Elkins, Melissa Firlit, Craig Dolezel, Philip Eng, Kenny Tran, Robert Rice, David Dines, Rachael Valencich, Bear Manescalchi, Melissa Melendez, Serita Amani Nash, Sheldon Steele III, Shugah Henry, Halley Daigle, Aaron Catano, Bailey Claffey, April Lillard, Daniela Delahuerta, Marcus Rocio, Kat Macari, Justin Hofstand, Adam Sowards, Charlie Tingen, Sheldon Steele, Corinne Holland, Corey Price, Jocelyn Lonquist, Helen Regula, Hannah Zilber, Alex Johnson, Abbey Kane, Ian Lah, Audrey Crocker and Robert Lee Poole III.
Another stop will be the Unified Performing Theatre Auditions in Memphis, Tenn. Known as UPTAs, this venue has been a guaranteed source of impressive talent for Thingamajig over the years because every February it brings theater, cruise ship and other artistic recruiters together over four days with close to a thousand professional performers looking for creative work.
NSU provides unique talent
Moore also will travel to Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU), perhaps the least known and yet best source of huge talent for Thingamajig.
Over the years, 16 brilliant and highly popular NSU actors, directors and choreographers have graced Thingamajig’s stage: Ryan Hazelbaker, Taylor Marrs, Alisha Munds, Marion Bienvenu, Pia Wyatt, Tyler Price Robinson, Samantha Rohr, Asher Van Meter, Emily Ricalde, Trevor Brown, Rayshaughn Armant, Rosa Campbell, Jessi Miller, Jesse McFarland, Cassidy Giddens and Andrew Lewis.
“I’ve been thoroughly impressed with how professional the NSU students, graduates and teachers are,” Tim Moore said. “They are serious, prepared and tireless in their execution of performance art — certainly some of the most passionate, well-trained artists in today’s market.”
Actors enjoy working in Pagosa
“We’ve grown from very humble beginnings almost 10 years ago to become an invaluable live theater company in this region with a growing national reputation and a supportive patron base that is second to none,” Tim Moore said. “The word is out among the auditioning actors that Thingamajig is a great place to work because of the professional environment and the warm welcome they receive from the Friends of the Theatre and other patrons and supporters of Thingamajig.
“Living in the new actors house also is a huge plus, given that it was built especially for them. And Pagosa’s spectacular setting and scenery are big selling points as well.”
Added Laura Moore: “Even in our wildest dreams we didn’t imagine how quickly this amazing community would jump on board with their support and loyalty. It can only get better as we approach our 10th anniversary.”
Thingamajig is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to perform and produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round.

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‘A Grand Night for Singing’ running through Jan. 12 http://www.pagosasun.com/a-grand-night-for-singing-running-through-jan-12/ Thu, 02 Jan 2020 22:00:55 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=194208

Photo courtesy Jeff Laydon

By Bill Hudson
Special to The PREVIEW
Thingamajig Theatre Company closed a well-attended run of its original holiday music revue, “A Very Perry Christmas,” on Christmas Eve, with an appreciative full-house audience singing along with the three dozen holiday songs arranged by musical directors Bob Hemenger and Perry Davis Harper, and performed by Harper; his wife, Amy; their children; and a cast totaling 21 adults and children, with a live five-piece backup band. This marked the first original musical production at Thingamajig to be spearheaded by the Harper family, but hopefully not the last.
Thingamajig’s winter 2019-2020 season continues at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts (PSCA) with the five-actor production of “A Grand Night for Singing,” another musical revue featuring Perry and Amy Harper, plus actor-vocalists Jesse McFarland, Jessi Miller and Cassidy Giddens, also backed up by a compact live orchestra with Paula Millar on piano, James Kiker on bass, Jean Broderick on cello, Grace Weirsma on woodwinds, and Joanie Knabb on drums and keyboard.
The show opened just before Christmas to a sold-out crowd and continues tonight, Thursday, Jan. 2, running through Jan. 12. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees start at 2 p.m.
Composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II have been called, by some fans of American musical theater, the greatest writing partnership of the 20th century. They worked as a team from 1943 until 1959, producing some of Broadway’s best-known musicals, including “Oklahoma,” “Carousel,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and their final collaboration, “The Sound of Music.”
Said Thingamajig Artistic Director Tim Moore, “Seeing ‘Grand Night’ in rehearsal I knew we had something for our audience that was unique and special. But on opening night, I was not prepared for how much this music spoke to our audience. These are the songs and show they grew up with, all wrapped up in fresh, contemporary arrangements that breathe new life in the classics that built the American theater songbook. ‘Grand Night’ is absolutely one of my favorite offerings we’ve produced to date.”
The original Broadway production, conceived by Walter Bobbie, opened in 1993 and was nominated for two Tony Awards, for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue. Like the Broadway original, Thingamajig’s “Grand Night” is a revue of selected Rodgers and Hammerstein compositions, including many song favorites from their hit musicals, as well as numbers from their lesser known, but still successful, shows such as “Flower Drum Song” and “State Fair.”
Scenic Designer Laura Moore, Lighting Designer Elaine Wong, Costume Designer Adrienne Young and Director Andrew Barratt Lewis have kept everything tastefully simple, staging the action with the orchestra members in the rear and using a minimum of stage pieces and props, letting the music itself shine without any clutter. Although the songs will be familiar, the music takes off from the original versions, specially arranged to incorporate the whole cast, instead of being a series of solos and duets, with complex harmonies and rhythms that make the music fresh and exciting, more than half a century after the original shows appeared on Broadway.
That is to say, the show is all about the music itself.
Thingamajig’s 2019-2020 winter season will continue with a readers-theater version of “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995,” a hilarious comedy by playwright Jennifer Faletto that was workshopped at Thingamajig Theatre’s 2018 Playwright Festival. It takes the audience on a laugh-out-loud visit to the stalls of the girls’ restroom in a Texas high school, where all the secrets unfold. “The Texas Homecoming Revolution” opens Jan. 31 and runs through Feb. 9.
Tickets for “A Grand Night for Singing” and “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” can be purchased on the PSCA website, https://pagosacenter.org, or by calling the box office at 731-7469 (SHOW).
Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional nonprofit theater in residence within the PSCA. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round.
The theater was co-founded in 2010 by the Moores, both extraordinary actors and directors in their own right. Their mission is to provide high-quality theater experiences at a low cost to our community, thereby making art accessible as well as providing a major economic driver for Pagosa’s tourism industry.

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‘Grand Night for Singing’ to open Saturday http://www.pagosasun.com/grand-night-for-singing-to-open-saturday/ Fri, 20 Dec 2019 12:00:04 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=193301

Photo courtesy Bill Hudson
Thingamajig Theatre Company performers Jessi Miller and Cassidy Giddens take a ride in a theatrical “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” during a rehearsal for “A Grand Night for Singing” at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Watching from the background are Amy Harper and Jesse McFarland. The revue opens this Saturday, Dec. 21, in repertory with “A Very Perry Christmas” and runs through Jan. 12, 2020.

By Bill Hudson
Special to The PREVIEW
Thingamajig Theatre Company, Pagosa’s nonprofit professional theater company now in its ninth season, is pleased to announce the opening of “A Grand Night for Singing,” a musical revue showcasing the classic songs of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.
Said Thingamajig Artistic Director Tim Moore, “It’s been said that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s songs are like snowflakes: no two are alike … and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Great American Songbook.”
Moore selected Director/Choreographer Andrew Barratt Lewis to helm the production, with a cast of new and returning actors and singers — Cassidy Giddens, Amy Harper, Perry Davis Harper, Jesse McFarland, and Jessi Miller — with musical direction by Paula Millar, scenic design by Laura Moore, lighting by Elaine Wong and costume design by Adrienne Young.
This fresh musical revue includes 30 legendary songs including favorites like, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” and “If I Loved You.”
The show opens this Saturday and then continues after Christmas, from Thursday, Dec. 26, through Jan. 12, 2020, with performances at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
More than five decades after Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s final collaboration — “The Sound of Music” — their musical legacy still comes across as fresh and vital, and allows for up-to-date interpretations by the Thingamajig performers.
“A Grand Night for Singing” was originally presented cabaret-style at the Rockefeller Center in New York, featuring songs from such lesser-known works as “Allegro,” “Me and Juliet,” “State Fair” and “Pipe Dream,” as well as from mega-hits like “Carousel,” “Oklahoma,” “The King and I,” “South Pacific” and “The Sound of Music.”
The Broadway production, directed by Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Pamela Sousa, opened in November 1993 at the Criterion Center Stage Right, where it ran for 52 performances. It was nominated for two Tony Awards, for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue.
Thingamajig’s “Grand Night” performers are also appearing in the theater’s current production, “A Very Perry Christmas,” an original revue conceived and with musical direction by Davis Harper with live music performed by saxophonist and vocalist Bob Hemenger, pianist and vocalist Taryn Palmer, drummer Greg Booher, guitarist Will Spears and bassist James Kiker. The show also features Pagosa vocalist Johanna Laverty, plus a dozen youthful singers from Davis Harper’s new children’s theater class. The music ranges from Franz Gruber’s “Stille Nacht” to the Harry Connick Jr.-style “It Must’ve Been Old Santa Claus.”
“A Very Perry Christmas,” a family-friendly musical showcase featuring more than 30 holiday favorites, plays tomorrow, Friday Dec. 20, with more performances on Dec. 22-24.
“We’ve been having a lot of fun with the Golden Age style of songs, from the Christmas movies that our audience grew up watching,” Davis Harper explained. “And we’re also traveling to Texas, Italy, Hawaii and Ireland.”
The song list also tips its hat to the American West with John Denver’s “Aspenglow” and Steve Weisberg’s “Christmas for Cowboys.”
“A lot of people have asked — and this show is definitely going to be ‘kid-friendly,’” Davis Harper explained. “One of the performances is on Christmas Eve, so we absolutely wanted a show that the whole family could enjoy. There’s something for everybody, but also come to sing along. If you feel like singing along, then go ahead and sing along, because that’s really what we want you to do.”
The final show in Thingamajig’s 2019-2020 winter season will be “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995,” a hilarious script by playwright Jennifer Faletto that was workshopped at Thingamajig Theatre’s 2018 Playwright Festival. It takes the audience on a laugh-out-loud visit to the stalls of the girls’ restroom in a Texas high school, where all the secrets unfold. “Texas Homecoming Revolution” opens on Jan. 31, 2020, and runs through Feb. 9, 2020.
All the shows are being presented at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.
Tickets for “A Grand Night,” “A Very Perry Christmas” and “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” can be purchased on the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts website, pagosacenter.org, or by calling the box office at 731-7469 (SHOW).
Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional nonprofit theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round.
The theatre was co-founded in 2010 by Moore, producing artistic director, and his wife, Laura Moore, both extraordinary actors and directors in their own right. Their mission is to provide high-quality theater experiences at a low cost to our community, thereby making art accessible as well as providing a major economic driver for Pagosa Springs’ tourism industry.

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‘A Very Perry Christmas’ to open for seven-show run http://www.pagosasun.com/a-very-perry-christmas-to-open-for-seven-show-run/ Thu, 12 Dec 2019 22:27:10 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=192881

Photo courtesy Bill Hudson
Perry Davis Harper and Amy Harper rehearse with some of the children who will be doing the professional actors and musicians in the holiday performances of “A Very Perry Christmas” at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. This original Thingamajig production opens tomorrow night, Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale at pagosacenter.org or by calling 731-7469.

By Bill Hudson
Special to The PREVIEW
A group of Pagosa Springs’ favorite theater artists and musicians, including actors/vocalists Perry Davis Harper, Amy Harper and Johanna Laverty, plus saxophonist and vocalist Bob Hemenger, pianist and vocalist Taryn Palmer, drummer Greg Booher, guitarist Will Spears and bassist James Kiker, will be combining their considerable talents to create “A Very Perry Christmas” on the heels of another exciting Broadway in the Mountains summer season with the Thingamajig Theatre Company.
“We’ve put together a wide range of music for this show,” said Davis Harper, who conceived the production with Thingamajig Executive Director Laura Moore and Artistic Director Tim Moore. “So there’s something for everyone, I think — dating from the 1300s, with Franz Gruber’s ‘Stille Nacht’ to the Harry Connick Jr. style ‘It Must’ve Been Old Santa Claus.’
“And we’ve got a new take on ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch’ because they recently released a new animated version of that story. Bob Hemenger will be singing that one.
“We’re having a lot of fun with the Golden Age style of songs from the great old Christmas movies that our audience grew up watching. And the songs span much of the globe as well. ‘Stille Nacht’ is, of course, originally a German composition that we know as ‘Silent Night’ and we’re also traveling to Texas, Italy, Hawaii and Ireland.”
Davis Harper will be playing an Irish-style drum called a bodhrán for the Irish song, “Christmas in Killarney.” The song list also tips a wide-brimmed hat to the American West with John Denver’s “Aspenglow” and Steve Weisberg’s “Christmas for Cowboys.”
“A Very Perry Christmas” — an original family-friendly musical showcase featuring more than 30 holiday favorites — will open at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts (PSCA) tomorrow night, Friday, Dec. 13, with a few special guests, plus a dozen young Whatchamawhozits from Davis Harper’s new children’s theater class. The show will offer a total of seven performances, running through Dec. 24.
“A lot of people have asked — and this show is definitely going to be ‘family-friendly,’” Perry explained. “One of the performances is on Christmas Eve, so we absolutely wanted a show that the whole family could enjoy. There’s something for everybody, but also come to sing along. If you feel like singing along, then go ahead and sing along, because that’s really what we want you to do — is to be part of this Christmas party.”
“We are blessed to be spending our first Christmas in Pagosa Springs,” said Harper. “Our family loves this time of year and the traditions that come with it — some passed down through the years and some we’ve established in our own home. Perry, our children, and I are excited to share our family traditions with you and yours.”
Thingamajig Theatre has two more shows in production for the 2019-2020 winter season. “A Grand Night for Singing” is a fully produced show featuring classic songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein from famous Broadway shows. It opens on Saturday, Dec. 21, and runs through Jan. 12, 2020.
“The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” features a hilarious script by playwright Jennifer Faletto that was workshopped at Thingamajig Theatre’s 2018 Playwright Festival. It takes the audience on a laugh-out-loud visit to the stalls of the girls’ restroom in a Texas high school, where all the secrets unfold. “Texas Homecoming Revolution” opens on Jan. 31, 2020, and runs through Feb. 9, 2020.
Tickets for “A Very Perry Christmas” — and the other two winter season shows — can be purchased on the PSCA website, pagosacenter.org, or by calling the box office at 731-7469 (SHOW).
Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional nonprofit theater in residence within the PSCA. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round. Their mission is to provide high-quality theater experiences at a low cost to our community, thereby making art accessible as well as providing a major economic driver for our tourist industry. They also provide youth — many of whom are recipients of scholarships — with low-cost, hands-on educational opportunities to see and participate in professional productions of important plays.

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‘A Very Perry Christmas’ to open Dec. 13 http://www.pagosasun.com/a-very-perry-christmas-to-open-dec-13/ Wed, 04 Dec 2019 12:00:57 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=192183

Photo courtesy Bill Hudson
Perry Davis Harper, creator and musical co-director for the upcoming Thingamajig Theatre Company production “A Very Perry Christmas,” rehearses with several of the youngsters who will lend their voices and high energy to the family-friendly show, opening Dec. 13 and running through Dec. 24 at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.

By Bill Hudson
Special to The PREVIEW
Fifteen ambitious young singers have begun warming up their voices and improving their vocal technique in preparation for the upcoming Thingamajig Theatre Company holiday show, “A Very Perry Christmas,” under the direction of the show’s creator — actor and vocalist Perry Davis Harper.
Said Mila Miller, one of the young performers: “I started singing when I was 4 years old … it’s just been a big part of my life. I performed in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ when I was 4, and then I was in ‘Annie’ here at Thingamajig, and it was really fun. That’s how I got into theatrical stuff …”
The young performers include Kimberly Beasley, Jenavieve Betts, Karina Brown, Rayleen Hamilton, Christian Gonzalez, Daniel Gonzalez, Gabriel Gonzalez, Chance Hurt, Lucille Kleckner, Miller, Evie Welsh-Rhodes, Gemma Slingerland, Janzen Tuggle-Rapp, Bella Werby and Hannah Woodhall.
Explained Tuggle-Rapp: “I did my first play here at the Center for the Arts two years ago — ‘Willy Wonka’ — and my part was as an Oompa Loompa. But before that, I was always acting out around the house and my parents — with all the stuff that I do — they said, ‘We have to get him into acting.’ And they say that still to this day!
“So this is my second time with Thingamajig, and I’m really excited about ‘A Very Perry Christmas’ …”
This Christmas-themed show was conceived by director Harper as a family-friendly celebration of all the various musical aspects of the Christmas season, supported by a compact orchestra including saxophonist Bob Hemenger — who is co-directing the music — plus pianist Taryn Palmer, drummer Greg Booher, guitarist Will Spears and bassist James Kiker. The adult vocalists will include Harper Davis, Amy Harper, Johanna Laverty, Cassidy Giddens, Jesse McFarland, Jessi Miller and Hemenger.
“I have always been a big fan of music,” said Betts. “My first play was in kindergarten … and then I did ‘Mission Moo Shu’ [written by Thingamajig staffer Tyler Price] here at Thingamajig, and that was really fun … we did a whole bunch of songs, like ‘Planet Janet’ and ‘Do Re Mi’ — songs that we really liked …”
In “A Very Perry Christmas,” the kids will be featured on classic Christmas season songs like “Away in a Manger,” “Feliz Navidad” and “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” as well as novelty numbers like “I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”
“I sometimes feel embarrassed when I sing in front of people,” said Welsh-Rhodes, “For some reason. I don’t know, I guess it’s just something I’m going through … But when I’m singing in a group like this … I basically know everyone in the group now …”
Harper’s holiday production is part of Thingamajig Theatre Company’s 2019-2020 winter season, which kicked off in October with “Men on Boats” and continues into January with “A Grand Night for Singing” and “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995.”
Explained Werby, “I’ve been in several plays at the Center — ‘Annie’, ‘Mission Moo Shu’, ‘Seussical’ — and I used to be in a choir for a year, but the director retired. I also do skits at home; that’s one of my favorite things …
“I feel like, whenever I sing and perform, it makes other people happy … and it makes me happy …”
“A Very Perry Christmas” opens on Dec. 13 and runs through Dec. 24 at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Tickets are available on the pagosacenter.org website or by calling 731-7469.
Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional 501(c)(3) theater company in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round.

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‘Willie Wonka the Musical’ http://www.pagosasun.com/willie-wonka-the-musical/ Fri, 29 Nov 2019 12:00:10 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=192145

SUN photos/Randi Pierce

Curtains Up Pagosa continued its celebration of 30 years of community theater with four performance of “Willy Wonka the Musical” Thursday through Sunday. The production, based on the Roald Dahl book, featured a large cast and crew to help kick off the holiday season.

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‘A Very Perry Christmas’ set to begin Dec. 13 http://www.pagosasun.com/a-very-perry-christmas-set-to-begin-dec-13/ Thu, 28 Nov 2019 12:00:40 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=191697 By Bill Hudson
Special to The PREVIEW
Vocalists and theater artists Perry Davis Harper and Amy Harper have successfully relocated their family to Pagosa Springs following an exciting “Broadway in the Mountains” summer season with Thingamajig Theatre Company — and here, it’s already time to celebrate the 2019 holiday season.
Which is exactly what Thingamajig has in store for us, beginning on Dec. 13 with the opening night of “A Very Perry Christmas” — an original family-friendly musical showcase featuring Davis Harper and Harper and a cast of local musicians and performers including vocalist Johanna Laverty, saxophonist and vocalist Bob Hemenger, pianist Taryn Palmer, drummer Greg Booher, guitarist Will Spears and bassist James Kiker.
Also included in the cast, look for the young Whatchamawhozits from Perry’s new children’s theater class. And how about two or three special guests? (To be revealed when the time is ripe.)
The show will offer a total of seven performances, running through Dec. 24.
“A lot of people have asked — and this show is definitely going to be ‘kid-friendly,’” Perry explained. “One of the performances is on Christmas Eve, so we absolutely wanted a show that the whole family could enjoy.”
“I’m really excited and honored to be a part of this wonderful show,” said Hemenger. “Perry has put together a truly special evening of Christmas cheer and song guaranteed to warm the heart and put a big smile on your face!”
Unlike typical Thingamajig productions — which bring to life successful Broadway musicals at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts — “A Very Perry Christmas” is an original production created especially for Thingamajig, to celebrate the holiday season “Pagosa style.”
“We are blessed to be spending our first Christmas in Pagosa Springs,” said Harper. “Our family loves this time of year and the traditions that come with it — some passed down through the years, and some we’ve established in our own home. Perry, our children and I are excited to share our families traditions with you and yours!”
Thingamajig Theatre has two more shows in production for the 2019-2020 winter season.
“A Grand Night for Singing” is a fully produced show featuring classic songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein from famous Broadway shows. It opens on Dec. 21 and runs through Jan. 12.
“The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” features a hilarious script by playwright Jennifer Faletto that was workshopped at Thingamajig Theatre’s 2018 Playwright Festival. It takes the audience on a laugh-out-loud visit to the stalls of the girls’ restroom in a Texas high school — where all the secrets unfold. “Texas Homecoming Revolution” opens on Jan. 31 and runs through Feb. 9.
Tickets for “A Very Perry Christmas” — and the other two winter season shows — can now be purchased on the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts website, pagosacenter.org, or by calling the box office at 731-7469 (SHOW).
Thingamajig is an award-winning professional nonprofit theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round.
The theater was co-founded in 2010 by Tim Moore, producing artistic director, and his wife, Laura Moore, both extraordinary actors and directors in their own right. Their mission is to provide high-quality theater experiences at a low cost to our community, thereby making art accessible as well as providing a major economic driver for our tourist industry. They also provide youth, many of whom are recipients of scholarships, with low-cost, hands-on educational opportunities to see and participate in professional productions of important plays.

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