Friday, July 30, 2010

Opera Returns Aug 12 to Soo Theatre with Gianni Schicchi

Opera returns to the Soo Theatre for its fifth season with another comedy in English. Professional singers take the stage this August to join the ranks of Soo Opera Theatre’s Artistic Director Karen Hughes and her local cast in this modern satire of a greedy Italian family.

Gianni Schicchi is a one-act comedy by Giacomo Puccini. Director Timothy Murphy of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario returns to the Soo Theatre for a second season, bringing his flair for comedic timing to the production. Baritone Thomas Gunther from Cincinnati, Ohio and tenor Scott Wichael from Kansas City, Missouri will both be making their Soo Theatre debut.

Karen Hughes and Patty Gartshore of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario have been preparing the singers and Dr. John Wilkinson is conducting the orchestra. Local singers (Sam Burdick, Bob Cooper, Maureen Delaney-Lehman, Matt Gilbertson, Michael Irvine, Lola Kennedy, Elizabeth Kinghorn, Meghan Lee, Mik Patton, Tom Peer, Jesse Strieter, Matt Zook) and orchestra members from the Eastern Upper Peninsula and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario have been busy in rehearsal this month.

Set in present day New York, Buoso Donati has quietly passed away in bed. His relatives are mourning quite dramatically over his death; that is, until they find out they aren’t in the will. All the while Rinuccio (Scott Wichael) is begging his family to let him marry Gianni Schicchi’s (Thomas Gunther) daughter, Lauretta (Karen Hughes). Rinuccio’s family will not allow him to marry Lauretta since she does not have a trust fund. Rinuccio calls Schicchi without the family’s knowledge. Rinuccio explains to them that Schicchi will be able to help them find a way to get themselves included in the will. Zita (Maureen Delaney-Lehman) angrily explains the situation to Schicchi, who is just as angry at the negative reception he and his daughter have received. Lauretta sings “O Mio Babbino Caro,” begging her father to let her marry Rinuccio. Schicchi devises a plan to get the family into the will. As Schicchi assumes the role of the deceased Buoso Donati, so ensues this hilarious one-act comedy.

Mark your calendar for Soo Opera Theatre’s Gianni Schicchi August 12th and 13th at 7:30 pm and August 15th at 2:00 pm. Ticket prices are $15.00 for general admission and $10.00 for students. Group rates are available by calling the theatre at (906) 632-1930. Soo Theatre Project is located 534 Ashmun Street in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Come, join, and support your local community at Soo Theatre Project.

Monday, July 19, 2010

International Idol Winner Opens for Meat Loaf on July 24 at Kewadin Casinos

Kellan Perron performs during the 2010 International Idol Vocal Competition finals at the Soo Theatre. Photo courtesy of Tom Ewing.
Local student and winner of the Soo Theatre International Idol vocal competition will open for Meat Loaf at the Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Summer Festival on Saturday, July 24.

Twenty-nine contestants competed for over $2,000 in cash in two different divisions, 13-and-under and 14-and-over. This is the third year for the International Idol competition which, this year, focused on the theme “The Possible Dream.”

Kellan Perron, a Bay Mills resident and the Grand Champion of the 14-and-over division, received the opportunity by Kewadin Casinos to open for American rock icon Meat Loaf, as well as $500 worth of studio time at Lake Street Studio in Brimley, a Music-In-The-Park guest appearance, and an opportunity to perform in a stage production sponsored by the Soo Theatre Project.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to not only do something that I really love to do but to do it on such a major stage and with a professional crew of people at Kewadin,” said Perron. “I can’t wait to perform!”

The casino’s three-day summer festival will be held from July 22 to 24.

It will feature four national headlining acts, including 1980s rockers Bret Michaels and Vince Neil, modern rockers 3-Doors Down, and American rock icon Meat Loaf. The festival will also feature celebrity appearances with autograph sessions with Henry “The Fonz” Winkler, former Lion football players Billy Sims and Herman Moore and the famous Playboy Playmates, Shannon James, Brittany B. and Amber Campisi, celebrity chef & spinmaster Marc Weiss “The DJ Chef," and a strolling magician.

The festival will also have food and merchant vendors, a golf simulator, bumper cars, Rock Band Wii, a NASCAR Simulator, electronic bull riding, Baggo tournament, daily food eating contests, and fireworks at the end of each day.

Three-day passes to the festival are available as well as single-day passes. The three-day passes include entry into all concerts and three days of festival activities. A limited number of tickets will be available. Cash sales will be available at the box office during the festival. All festival events will be held at Kewadin Casino Sault Ste. Marie from noon to 10 p.m., rain or shine. Admission to the concerts is general. Gates for the festival open at 11 a.m.

More information on the festival can be found on the Kewadin Casinos website (, as well as its FaceBook and Twitter pages.

For more information about this year's International Idol Vocal Competition at the Soo Theatre, including photos of the competition, see the International Idol Winners Page on the Soo Theatre website.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guys and Dolls Opens Tonight at the Soo Theatre!

Soo Theatre is proud to present Guys and Dolls, opening Thursday, July 15th at 7:30 pm. This Soo Theatre production is directed by Bob Koger, with music directed by Karen Hughes Beacom, choreography by Dianna George, and conducted by Dr. John Wilkinson. The cast, crew, and orchestra consists of talented community members from the Eastern Upper Peninsula and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

This classic American musical will be performed in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan at the historic Soo Theatre Auditorium. Shows are being held on July 15th-17th at 7:30 pm and July 18th at 2:00 pm. The box office opens one hour before showtime, and seating will begin 30 minutes prior to opening curtain.

Ticket prices are $18.00 for general admission, $14.00 for seniors, and $10 for students. For further information or group ticket rates, please contact the Soo Theatre main office at (906) 632-1930. The Soo Theatre is located at 534 Ashmun Street Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Don’t miss this opportunity to support your locally talented community members and the Soo Theatre Project!

The Crapshooters (from left to right, Jesse Strieter, Ben Dietrick, Sam Burdick, Matt Gilbertson, Dr. Richard Morrison, Mark San Angelo, William VanVallis, Andrew Lucas, Matt Schnurer and Seth Witucki) and Nathan Detroit (middle, Dr. Richard Morrison) are trying to find a location in New York City to hold their illegal crap game. Set designed by Director Bob Koger with set painting led by local artist Randy Krause.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Don't Miss Guys and Dolls July 15-18 at the Soo Theatre!

While rehearsing the opening scene of Guys and Dolls, cast members Jesse Strieter, Ben Dietrick, Sharon San Angelo, Ginger Stratton, Hollyann Beck, Melina Talentino, and Casey Strieter stopped for a photo. Sets for the Broadway musical were designed by director Bob Koger, with set painting by Randy Krause and Abby Jewel.
Local talent will be gracing the Soo Theatre stage in the Tony Award-winning musical Guys and Dolls July 15-18, 2010. This acclaimed musical is directed by Bob Koger, music directed by Karen Hughes, conducted by John Wilkinson, and choreographed by Dianna George. There are over forty cast members and stage running crew from the Eastern Upper Peninsula involved in this grand production.

Guys and Dolls is a classic American Musical set in the streets and gambling circles of early 1950's New York City. The plot centers around Nathan Detroit (Dr. Richard Morrison) having to come up with funds for the location of an illegal craps game. Gambler Sky Masterson (Christian Perron), who is known for taking crazy bets that he eventually wins, gets maneuvered into a bet by Nathan Detroit that he, Sky, cannot take street missionary Sarah Brown (Shirley Wilkinson) on a dinner date in Cuba. Adding further complication to the plot, Nathan has problems of his own with his nightclub dancing fiancĂ©e of fourteen years, Miss Adelaide (Lola Kennedy). Adelaide is applying the pressure for Nathan to marry and start a family. Thus, the hilarious complications begin, resulting in one of America's most beloved musicals. The show brings us such songs as “Bushel and a Peck,” “If I Were a Bell,” “Adelaide’s Lament,” “I've Never Been in Love Before,” “Luck Be a Lady,” and, the title song, “Guys and Dolls.”

Other cast members of the Soo Theatre production are Hollyann Beck, Robin Bergsma, Sam Burdick, Ben Deatrick, Twyla Fredrickson, Matt Gilbertson, Wade Leppien, Andrew Lucas, Becky McCauley, Mark San Angelo, Sharon San Angelo, Jim Schmidt, Matt Schnurer, Sally Schremp, Ginger Stratton, Casey Strieter, Jesse Strieter, Melina Talentino, Jim Taylor, William VanVallis, Mary Witucki, Seth Witucki, and Matt Zook.

Guys and Dolls will be performed July 15th-17th at 7:30 pm and July 18th at 2:00 pm at the historic Soo Theatre Auditorium. Ticket prices are $18.00 for general admission, $14.00 for seniors, and $10 for students.

For further information or group ticket rates, please contact the Soo Theatre main office at (906) 632-1930 or visiting our website at Soo Theatre is located at 534 Ashmun Street Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Please join us in supporting local talent within our community.

Show Poster

Benny Southstreet (Matt Gilbertson) reads the Evening News during a scene from Soo Theatre’s Guys and Dolls as Nathan Detroit (Dr. Richard Morrison) pays close attention.
Hot Box Dancers Dixie (Casey Strieter, left) and Lulu (Mary Witucki, right) cross Broadway Avenue with Miss Adelaide (Lola Kennedy, center) to get back to the Hot Box Nightclub.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Kellan Perron and Hollyann Beck Win 2010's International Idol Contest

Kellan Perron (center left) and Hollyann Beck (center right), division winners of the Soo Theatre's 2010 International Idol Vocal Competition, display their prizes. They are flanked on the left by Judges George Snider and Allison Miller and on the right by Sponsor Bob Arfstrom. The contest was held for four Sundays in June, with the final competition taking place on June 27.
The final competition of International Idol was held Sunday, June 27 at the Soo Theatre. The vocal competition started June 6 with 29 competitors in two age group divisions and ended with eight finalists. All of these talented performers are from the Eastern Upper Peninsula and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The three finalists for the 13-and-younger division were Caitlin LeBlanc, Eva Perron, and Hollyann Beck. The finalists in the 14-and-older division were Morgan Steele, Kierstan Jacobson, and Kellan Perron.

The competition was fierce, but Hollyann Beck and Kellan Perron emerged triumphant in their respective divisions. For more details and links to photos and videos, see the 2010 International Idol Winners Page.

Thank you to our sponsors: Bob Arfstrom for providing the prize money in the 14-and-older division; Lake Street Studio for donating recording time for the winner of the 14-and-older division; Old Mission Bank for donating the savings bonds for the 13-and-younger division winners; and Jennifer Compo and All Good Soundz Entertainment for providing musical accompaniment for the contestants. Thanks also to our banner sponsors: The Back Door, Neville's Superette, Dondee Lanes, and Erickson Appliance and Furniture.

Many thanks to Mark San Angelo, who did an excellent job as MC; the competition's judges George Snider, Allison Miller, and Amy Preville; stagehand Dan Harris; sound and lights tech Taylor Brugman; and contest coordinator Dennis Brooks.

Thanks to all of the contestants for participating in this exciting competition and special congratulations to the winners!

Further information can be obtained by calling the theatre at (906) 632-1930 or visiting our website at Soo Theatre is located at 534 Ashmun Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Come, join, and support local talent within your community!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Soo Theatre Presents Vocal Gala Friday July 2

The benefit performance at Soo Theatre will feature students of the Vocal and Opera Workshop, which took place this week. The workshop is being taught by guest instructor Dr. Christopher Hollingsworth and Soo Theatre instructor, Karen Hughes. The vocal program’s focus is to teach the students techniques for performance and preparation in opera and musical theatre.

Performing in the Vocal Gala will be Abigail Albrecht, Sarah Bomber, Brandon Carr, Matt Gilbertson, Lola Kennedy, Becky McCauley, Gabbie Pepin, Sally Schremp, and Shirley Wilkinson. The students will be presenting solo and ensemble pieces from musical theatre and opera genres.

The Soo Theatre Vocal Gala will be on Friday, July 2nd at 7:00 pm. Admission is $5.00 at the door. For further information please call the theatre at (906) 632-1930 or visit our website at Soo Theatre Project is located at 534 Ashmun Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Come, join, and support these local, talented performers!

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