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The Scene on Stage: Musical evokes comedy of 1920s posted on 11/01/2018

Colin Murray, Sandy High School (SHS) theater teacher, received a recommendation for “No, No, Nanette” as a musical that would be good for a production, as it had a good number of roles for the talented young women at the school. He took the plunge, and in the early going had a realization about what the show would demand, due to the amount of dancing involved.

“You forget how much time and effort goes into dancing,” Murray said.

But with the help of choreographer Sandy Shaner, the production is on point, offering the story of Jimmy Smith, a publishing millionaire, his frugal wife and their adopted daughter, Nanette. All three wind up in Atlantic City, where the threat of scandals put marriages at risk and comical entanglements ensue.

“It’s very much that kind of musical comedy of the 1920s feel; there’s a lot of mistaken intentions,” Murray said. “In the end, everybody ends up with who they should end up with and its happy. If there’s a message, it’s probably that it’s when people really love each other, love will win out in the end, even if there’s road bumps along the way.”

Murray added that while much of the younger crowd will not likely be familiar with the music, veteran theatergoers and music fans will probably know a few, especially since they were used in variety shows on television during the 1950s and 60s, including “I Want to Be Happy” and “Tea for Two.”

He described the songs as “ear worms,” noting the audience will come out of the theater humming them.

“I think they’re very catchy,” Murray said, adding that it is “exuberant music” similar to George Gershwin.

He also noted the musical includes a couple of numbers that include tap dancing, a style of dance that most of his students had no prior experience with. But he’s looking forward to the performers getting the unique thrill of tap dancing in front of an audience.

“It’s such a percussive and rhythmic form, it affects audience in a way that most music and dance doesn’t,” Murray said.

Sandy High School Drama presents “No, No, Nanette,” by Vincent Youmans, Irving Caesar, Otto Harbach and Frank Mandel, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17, at 37400 SE Bell Street in Sandy. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students and senior citizens. For more information, call 503-668-8011, ext. 7313.

Proof rescheduled at Wolfpack Theater

Wolfpack Theater’s production of David Auburn’s “Proof,” scheduled for a production run last month, got pushed back into November when a member of the cast had a mental health crisis following the opening weekend.

The show’s director, Howard Bickle, addressed the topic on the theater’s Facebook page.

“We pray for healing and are beyond grateful that he is still with us,” Bickle wrote. “He is a brave, talented, and beautiful individual.”

The show, about a troubled young woman in the aftermath of the death of her brilliant father, will now run from Thursday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Dec. 2. The theater will also donate 10 percent of sales from the run of the show to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Multnomah.

Bickle described the play as a “psychological mystery” that poses the question of what does somebody do when their friends and family don’t believe them.

The Wolf Pack Theater presents “Proof” from Thursday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Dec. 2, at 39570 Pioneer Blvd. in Sandy. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $18 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors.

By Garth Guibord/MT




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