Denison Theatre Season Continues With Production Of 'Happy End'
Date of Event: February 23, 2001
Posted: February 15, 2001
The Denison University Theatre 2000-2001 season continues with its third production of the year, "Happy End," a landmark musical by two of the greatest collaborators of all time. The production opens at 8 p.m. Friday (Feb. 23) and continues with performances on Saturday (Feb. 24) and Tuesday through Saturday (Feb. 27-March 3) in Ace Morgan Theatre. Assistant professor of theatre Kevin Wetmore directs this production.
Written by Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht (under the pseudonym Dorothy Lane), "Happy End" is the dark and thoughtful forerunner of "Guys and Dolls," "Cabaret" and "Chicago." This play features lyrics by Brecht and music by Kurt Weill with the book and lyrics adapted by Michael Feingold.
Set in early 1919 in Chicago before the days of prohibition, the plot pits organized crime against the Salvation Army. Lieutenant Lillian Holiday makes a brave attempt to reform a group of gangsters led by Bill Cracker and the Lady in Grey (also known as The Fly). As she is making progress, she is thrown out of the Salvation Army because they fear she is too close to the gangsters. But since she is the most popular evangelist, they are forced to let her back into the fold. Meanwhile, the gang robs a bank on Christmas Eve; thanks to Bill's growing affection for Lillian, they decide to unite with the Salvation Army and open a new office downtown, to work on saving the souls of capitalists.
Playing the gangsters are seniors Joseph Miller (Quarryville, Pa.) as The Professor, William Kempy (Allendale, N.J.) as Sam, Whitney Burdsall (Avon, Conn.) as The Fly, junior Alexandra Berneis (Dexter, Mich.) as Miriam the gangster turned Salvation Army evangelist, sophomore Jason Seltzer (Pittsburgh, Pa.) as Bill Cracker and freshmen Mark Soloff (Pittsburgh, Pa.) as The Reverend, Scott Towler (Chesterfield, Mo) as Baby Face and Jon Olmstead (New York, N.Y.) as The Governor. The Salvation Army workers are portrayed by senior Bernard John (Uniontown, Pa.) as Brother Ben, juniors Evan Flowers (Delaware) as Sister Lillian, Abigail Chessen (Lewisburg, Pa.) as Sister Jane, Scott Esposito (Bentlyville) as Brother Hannibal and sophomore Tiana Gabriel (Cleveland Hts.) as Sister Mary. Members of the fold include sophomores Emily Horabik (Chardon), Melinda Hughes (Westlake), Kori Martodam (Maineville) and freshman Rebecca Schenck (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Major Stone is portrayed by senior Colette Sarns-Gaunt (Euclid) and the Cop is portrayed by freshman Matthew Orlins (Centerville).
Designing the production are theatre faculty members associate professor Peter Pauze, scenery and lighting, Vail artist-in-residence Amy Bradshaw, costumes, associate professor and music department chair Andrew Glendening, conductor and instructor Belinda Andrews-Smith, music director. Also helping behind the scenes are senior Andrew Sieja (Huntsville, Ala.), cinematographer, junior Elizabeth Brammer (Shadyside), stage manager, sophomores Kelly Little (Huntington Woods, Mich.), assistant stage manager and Dianna Craig (Ashland, Ky.), assistant to the costume designer.
Tickets for "Happy End" are $9 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $4 for students of all ages. Call (740) 587-6527 to reserve tickets and for more information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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