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The Spot’s Upcoming Playbill Includes Some Firecrackers
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Tuesday, July 12, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Get ready for the Kit Kat Klub when The Spot presents its 2022-23 season.

The Ketchum theatre company unveiled its upcoming season for benefactors at its summer fundraiser Sunday evening on the lovely riverside lawn of Richard and Penny Weiss.

And the playbill includes the award-winning semi-autobiographical musical set in 1929-30 Berlin as the Nazis are ascending to power. The musical will take the stage in January.

“We love working on musicals and we know you love seeing musicals. This is a beautiful musical and,  unfortunately, it’s still relevant today,” The Spot’s lighting designer Sam Mollner told those watching the unveiling under tall cottonwood trees.

Members of the company sang and danced their way through the evening, offering a reprisal from this past season’s performance of “Sweeney Todd” and a piece that will shine in the upcoming season called “As We Stumble Along.”

The Spot heads into its eighth season with its most ambitious lineup yet:

  • “The Sound Inside” by Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Rapp—August 2022.

    The two-person play, which won six Tony Award nominations, is the story of a creative writing professor at Yale University named Bella who begins to mentor a brilliant but enigmatic student when one receives some hard-to-digest medical news.

    It’s a story about the fiction we write about the fictions we tell ourselves, said The Spot’s Kevin Wade. And it shows how conversations and meetings can change us forever.

  • “Pass Over” by Antoinette Nwandu—October 2022.

    The Spot has had the rights for this play since 2020 but COVID postponed it, said The Spot’s Natalie Battistone. But the wait is well worth it because Nwandu produced a new, more hopeful script that she couldn’t imagine a couple years earlier, Battistone said.

    The play, a cross between “Waiting for Godot” and “Exodus” in the Bible, revolves around two young black men who dream of their deliverance, even as they duck bullets and entertain hostile police officers.  

    “We are grateful to finally share this powerful work with the community,” said Battistone. “This will be presented at The Argyros so many more can see the work.”

  • “Drowsy Chaperone” by Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison and Martin & McKellar—December 2022. This musical, to be performed by The Spot’s Young Company, is a parody of American musical comedy of the 1920s. It opened on Broadway in 2006 and won five Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards.

    It starts with a mousy Broadway fanatic who listens to a recording of a fictional 1928 musical comedy and begins to see characters appear as his dingy apartment is transformed into an impressive Broadway set.

    Expect a hysterical comedy with big laughs and heavy dancing, said The Spot’s Yanna Lantz.

  • “Cabaret” by Kander & Ebb and Joe Masteroff—January 2023.

    This musical turned musical theater on its head as it wrecked cliches, reinvented the musical genre, dove into politics and survival instead of happiness and optimism and made an uber star out of Liza Minnelli.

  • “Medicine” by Enda Walsh—April/May 2023.

This dark absurdist work is devastatingly funny and yet devastatingly sad as it explores how we treat those we call mentally ill.  It revolves around a man who is having his yearly dramatherapy session with the help of two women, including one in a lobster suit.

Kevin Wade read about the play in the New York Times after its premiere in New York City, and Natalie Battistone was able to snag a copy of the play while there. The Spot then went around and around with the Irish playwright’s agents in countries as far away as New Zealand, finally securing a custom contract to produce it.

“Normally, our selection process involves math and analytics. This was one was all heart,” said The Spot’s Brett Moellenberg. “It’s brand new. We’ll be one of the first in the United  States to present it.”

The audience must’ve liked what they heard as they pledged $101,000 to The Spot that evening.

The Spot started with four young adults who had $3,000 and a dream of fearless theater and mentoring youth. Since its inception, The Spot has produced seven Young Company productions, 21 Mainstage Productions, 14 community events and concerts and four Rocky Horror Shows.

It’s engaged more than 500 Wood River Valley youth in programming opportunities on and off the stage, taught weekly private lessons for the community and provided tuition-free access for all students participating in the Young Company, which is supported by the Idaho Commission on the Arts.

Youth who have been involved readily endorse The Spot.

“They just inspire people,” said Lizzie Loving. “They ignited my passion for theater beyond what It had been before.”

“They’re so loving in all sorts of ways,” said Ida Belle Gorby.

“The Spot has always been a safe place for me,” added Elyse Duffield.

Noah Davis-Jeffers will take what she learned taking part in Spot productions this fall to a Connecticut boarding school with a powerful theater arts program.

“My time with The Spot has been incredible,” she said. “I loved ‘Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Cats.’ I loved the actors and I learned a ton about such things as how to project my voice in a big space and how to do it in a small space.”

Board president Michael Wade said The Spot put on a show worthy of Broadway in its last production—"Sweeney Todd.”

“It supports the youth of the valley, many of whom have gone on to colleges to train in theater. They put on longstanding Broadway musicals and they’ve done all that inside a 1,200-foot black box.”

“It’s been a difficult couple years for theaters to say the least,” added Yanna Lantz. “Theaters were forced to close doors just when we need them the most. There’s so much going on in the world today…Theater starts the conversations we need to have. We know our works are not for everyone, but they tell stories that need to be heard.”


 

 


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