Lake Wildwood: ‘The Drunkard’ promises to be great night of theater |

Lake Wildwood: ‘The Drunkard’ promises to be great night of theater

We are fortunate to have our very own Lake Wildwood Little Theatre and a talented and eager group of residents ready to “strut their stuff” in the interest of theater, art and good fun.

The next production, “The Drunkard,” starts a nine-day run Nov. 7. More than three-quarters of the tickets were sold the first day they were available, and rehearsals are going full steam ahead.

Director Carole Ellisen and producer Jim Vardon, their assistants Vicki Cambron and Lynn Carlsen and musical director Vicki Goss were thrilled at the great turnout for auditions. The cast includes a number of regulars, some talented residents who had not been seen in a while and some brand new faces.

Choreographer George Jayne and accompanist Roberta Frank, both from Grass Valley, round out the talented group.

According to Carole, who has lived in LWW for 15 years and directed eight local plays, “The Drunkard” is one of the longest-running melodramas in the history of theater. Written in 1844, it was updated with music and lyrics in 1964. This was the first musical score written by a very young Barry Manilow.

I had the pleasure of attending a rehearsal this week, and what a hoot! This large and enthusiastic cast provides over-the-top drama, music, lights and sound effects to the hisses and boos of the participating audience.

Clarissa Schnitzius is new to LWW and did a wonderful job singing a solo as 11-year old Julia. I also watched a very rousing rendition of “Have Another Drink.” The cast was having such a good time that I am sure the play will not disappoint. Skip Tyrrell comes alive as villain and tempter Lawyer Cribbs. Cap Wallington as William and Cathy Jones as his crazy sister, Agnes, seemed to enjoy both the acting and their new personas. Another highlight was watching the entire cast in a scene where The Salvation Army, led by trombone-playing Ward Thompson (aka LWW Citizen of the Year), brings the show to its rollicking conclusion as the cast sings “Do You Want to be Saved?”

Rik Augustin plays the lead as Edward Middleton, the drunkard. Rik has been singing since he was a child and has had leading parts in many well-known plays. And not to be missed is Tamara Fouyer as his sweet leading lady, Mary, and Carol Manfrin as her mother.

Judith Blake will play the historical (and hysterical) character Carrie A. Nation. Prior to her LWW life, you may have seen her on the TV screen in “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Father Knows Best,” “The FBI” or in any number of national television commercials.

This “riches to rags and back to being saved” story line will have a little something for everyone.


Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood? Contact Shirl Mendonca at shirlmentdon

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