Just in from Bonnie J. Toomey:
The Sandwich Players Want You To Be Their Guest
The Sandwich Players will present "Club Sandwich" a Cabaret-style dining experience part of the yearlong Sandwich 250th Sestercentennial celebration on Saturday, February 23rd at The Sandwich Town Hall. I spoke with director Kitty Greene last Saturday at the Town Hall shortly after the cast rehearsed "Thank You for the Music" by ABBA. The mood was lively as performers blocked the number "Fever" wearing colorful boas. Greene and her older brother, Leo Greene, Jr., grew up watching performances that her father and her friends' parents gave as part of the Sandwich community theater group which members say was founded more than thirty years ago.
"My mother did lots of production work and was the chairperson of the Sandwich Players for a long time. Although I was a bit young at the time, the experience created a very positive feeling in me towards the whole process," says the friendly and energetic director. After earning a degree in Spanish from The University of Southern California, she returned to Sandwich and eventually became a member of the Sandwich Players.
"I basically "inherited" the chairperson position from my mother who was ready to retire from that post," says Greene. Concerned that participation in the group was waning, she decided to take on the responsibility. "Not wanting that community art to become extinct I took on the role," says Greene, who considers herself a can-do person full of ideas. Around that time Heather Hamilton, a contemporary of Greene's and theater professor at Plymouth State University who had directed several successful Sandwich Players productions, was relocating, leaving the thriving theater group without a resident director or theater expert.
Last year the Sandwich Players struggled to find a director for "Coyote's Christmas Carol," a show that Greene felt connected to the content she was teaching in her Spanish classes at the Sandwich Central School. Greene currently teaches Spanish at the Kennett High School. "I decided to direct it myself," says Greene. It was her directorial debut and turned out to be a success.
Leo Greene, Jr., Master of Ceremonies, characterizes the cast of Club Sandwich as, "Energetic and dynamic – it's going well!" He says the production promises a taste of old classic dinner theater with new acts and plenty of surprising performances. They both extend their appreciation to pianists Tom Robinson and Mary Fleischmann who will be accompanying the serving, singing and dancing cast with fun numbers like "Be Our Guest" and "Oompah-Pah" as well as the entire cast of performers and musicians involved. "We hope to reinvigorate and reestablish the venue for people to take part in Community Theatre," Leo Greene adds with a smile.
The Sandwich Players is planning "Unnecessary Farce" for May. "We want to bring back the era of many of the excellent and huge productions done in the past such as "Trial by Jury" and "The Pirates of Penzance"", says Leo Greene. His repertoire experience includes Sandwich Players, Sandwich Junior Players, Palo Alto Community Theatre, Advice to the Players, and The Barnstormers, with his first performance as a child character in a production of "Curious Savage" in early 1980.
Kitty Greene says Club Sandwich was inspired by a desire to add something fresh to the yearlong Sandwich 250th celebration and hopes to provide an enriching and lighthearted community experience during the midwinter festivities of the Winter Carnival. This will be the Sandwich Players' second Cabaret-style production, the first of its kind presented in the '80s, "a show remembered fondly by many," she says, adding, "hopefully this night will have people laughing and talking for some time to come!"
Dinner will be catered by local Sandwich volunteers and supported by Marie Gerli of Marie Gerli Catering who will offer her expertise and loan equipment.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 23rd at the Town Hall Theater. Showtime kicks off at 7 p.m. Patrons who present a "Club Sandwich" ticket at the Corner House Inn, just steps away, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. will enjoy a drink special prior to the show. Tickets are $25, advanced purchase at the Town Hall, Mocha Rizing, and the North Sandwich Store.