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“Wonderettes” rock the Pendragon stage | News, Sports, Jobs

“Wonderettes” rock the Pendragon stage | News, Sports, Jobs

Julia Feinberg (Suzy), Hannah-Kathryn Wall (Missy), Miranda Macasero (Cindy Lou) and Kelly McCarty (Betty Jean) sing onstage during a dress rehearsal for “The Marvelous Wonderettes” at the Pendragon Theatre on Tuesday. (Enterprise photo – Galen Halasz)

SARANAC LAKE — The Pendragon Theatre’s newest show, “The wonderful prodigies”, aims to bring audiences a wonderful dose of nostalgia with vocal and theatrical performances by professional artists Julia Feinberg, Miranda Macasero, Kelly McCarty and Hannah-Kathryn Wall.

This jukebox musical’s interpretation of The Pendragon transports audiences to the hits of the ’50s and ’60s, bringing songs by Karen Chandler, Patti Page, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin and others to life on stage in Saranac Lake this month.

According to artistic producer Sarah Norris, the show will run from July 9 to 21 at 7 p.m., with some matinees at 2 p.m.

The show begins in the 1950s with four girls at their prom and then jumps ten years in the second act to the 1960s when the girls, now grown women, celebrate their ten-year high school reunion.

Norris said Pendragon chose this show because it “something fun for the summer.”

Miranda Macasero sings during dress rehearsal for “The Marvelous Wonderettes” at the Pendragon Theatre on Tuesday. (Enterprise photo – Galen Halasz)

“The audience recognizes the songs, sings along, dances and feels good,” She said. “It’s a show about sisterhood and friendship and it felt like a really good summer show to cool off from the heat.”

Wall and McCarty have acted in plays at the Pendragon for several summers, and Wall also directed children at Camp Pendragon during the third summer. Feinberg and Macasero are both first-timers at the Pendragon. Although half the cast is new, Norris said they have great chemistry together, which is evident in the way they use each other’s energy on stage.

All four cast members are professional performers with diverse theater backgrounds. Wall, McCarty and Feinberg have all appeared in notable off-Broadway productions, while Macasero is a rising student in the final year of his BFA in Musical Theater at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Norris said they contacted these actors in various ways, and offered the returning actors a role directly.

“We know how wonderful they are and the audience up here loves them, so we immediately offered them the chance to come back in the hope that they would. And they did,” She said.

Hannah-Kathryn Wall (Missy) and Julia Feinberg (Suzy) perform during dress rehearsal. (Enterprise photo – Galen Halasz)

Norris said they met the newcomers by advertising the show on online job boards like Playbill and their networks. Sometimes people would also refer friends and colleagues. Then theater staff held auditions for the actors who showed interest and had them send videos of themselves singing and acting. Director and choreographer Jessica Wagner reviewed the submissions to decide who to offer the roles to, Norris said. She said they had to choose “the right team, the right chemistry, the right performers for the job” and that Wagner did a great job of making this possible.

Norris said her role as artistic producer is to help directors assemble the cast and design team and plan seasons of shows to find “what an exciting season this could be.”

Norris praised Pendragon’s design team as valuable to the production. Like the cast, some are new to Pendragon while others are returning artists and designers, but she said they had “a really nice team effort.” Many local volunteers helped with the production and prepared costumes and props for the show.

Prom decorations are set up in the theater lobby, and anyone who comes to the show dressed as if they were going to prom will get a dollar off their drinks at the bar, according to Norris. In one corner of the lobby, there is an arch with tassels where people can tie their “Prom Pictures” and the theater will distribute gift bags.

“We want it to be a really entertaining experience,” said Norris.

Kelly McCarty (Betty Jean) sings during dress rehearsal on Tuesday. (Enterprise photo – Galen Halasz)

Norris said what she liked most about the show was the music.

“They are songs that I grew up with and I think the four actors can sing them and they bring the songs to life in a really exciting way,” She said. “I think the designers did a really great job of making us feel like we were in the (50s) and (60s).”

She said it was exciting to have a live band to accompany the singing. Many of the band members are locals, with the exception of Hawkins Davis Gardow, the keyboardist and conductor who is spending his second summer here.

Wagner said what she liked about this production was the show, “the whole show.”

“It’s a really nice overview of pop music from the ’50s and ’60s and it’s so much fun. My favorite part of the show is any part where the girls are just having fun together. … When they’re all there, just laughing and making the audience laugh, it’s just a joy to watch.” She said.

Miranda Macasero (Cindy Lou), Kelly McCarty (Betty Jean), Hannah-Kathryn Wall (Missy) and Julia Feinberg (Suzy) rehearse a scene for “The Marvelous Wonderettes” on Tuesday at the Pendragon Theatre. (Enterprise photo – Galen Halasz)

Wagner acted in a few shows at Pendragon before taking on her current directing role, first for the Muppet Cabaret and now for this show. This is her third year back at Pendragon, and she said she really enjoys it here.

Wall, who plays Missy, said she enjoys doing everything that goes into making a production a success, but her favorite moments are when the cast has fun together.

“It’s honestly about the process of putting the show together, and then when we’re on stage, we get this natural rhythm with each other, paying attention to little things and always trying to connect,” She said. “But my favorite moments are when I can sit down and watch them all. It’s always really nice, like, ‘Oh, look at how they’re walking, they’re doing well!'”

Like Wagner, the actors said they love coming to Saranac Lake.

“I love to see a tree,” Feinberg, who plays Suzy, joked.

Julia Feinberg (Suzy) poses during dress rehearsal for “The Marvelous Wonderettes” on Tuesday at the Pendragon Theatre. (Enterprise photo – Galen Halasz)

“This is also the nicest and most helpful community I have been in for a long time,” Macasero, who plays Cindy Lou, added.

This summer, Camp Pendragon will take place in Pendragon. “The Little Mermaid Jr.” from 8-18 August and “A moving festival reading series”, which will take place at Lake Clear Lodge and Resort, Sunset Bistro at Ampersand Bay Resort, Garagery and Bluseed Pavilion. The return of Pendragon’s Winter Carnival Show, “Boys and girls” will take place on August 1st and 2nd and will feature a new piece called “Sense” by Paula Stanic will run September 3-7. Stanic will be flying from London to Pendragon while she develops her script before Pendragon premieres the show Off-Broadway in New York City.


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