Our Current 2018-2019 Season:

Our Current 2018-2019 Season:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Rick Mickley Magically Ages 35 Years in 35 Seconds in Holiday Farce



The many faces of Rick Mickley:  Mr. Yarmowich (up left); 
Paul Gordon (right, with Ansley Barnard as wife Kaitlyn);
and Dr. Tim (down left, with Tristan Seaver as husband Jerry)
PHOTOS by Jim Kelly
In Let Nothing You Dismay, adoptive parents Allie and Kevin await the ultimate Christmas present – the birth of their child on Christmas Day!   But against their wishes, their entire extended family descends on the hospital while they wait.  Ten actors play 25 roles in this crazy holiday farce at the Farmington Players Barn Theater, which runs November 30 – December 15.   Barn veteran Rick Mickley plays three diverse roles:  Kevin’s father, Paul, a 55 year-old New York politician with a 30 year-old trophy wife; Doctor Tim, age 53, a gay married veterinarian; and Mr. Victor Yarmowich, a spritely 88 year-old Jewish man.  Of all the actors in this play, Rick’s characters have the widest age range which presents some interesting challenges.  As he says, “Aging 35 years in a quick change play means my acting will have to sell my age and character. I have to distinguish the characters by voice changes, costumes and delivery. Luckily, they are very distinct characters and present individual challenges, but it’s easier to get into character because they are so different:  Paul – the politician – is the exact opposite of me. A fun challenge to be egocentric. He’s a tough character because it’s all about him. Dr. Tim is happy, caring, and generous, just like me. And Mr. Yarmowich is just fun. A happy caring man.”

The main theme of Let Nothing You Dismay is family, and being there for each other in times of need.   Rick can definitely relate to this because, as he says, “I recently lost a very close loved one, and my family and friends stepped up big time to be there for me. Even when I thought I just wanted to be alone, they stayed by my side to get me through a tough time. (That’s why I keep them around!)”  And Rick knows that “as we get older, we surround ourselves with the people we choose to be around, the family and friends we love. Those people help us make life just a little more enjoyable. Our family isn’t chosen but they love us unconditionally, and are there for us, sometimes whether we want them or not, and most often, it’s for the better.”  This show brings these messages home by reinforcing the “great lesson and reminder that family and love is unconditional, and we need to surround ourselves with that love always, but especially during the holidays.” 

Rick sees Let Nothing You Dismay as “the perfect holiday show!  It’s got everything!  New life, death of a loved one, old love, new love, humor, politics, food, animals and cultural diversity, to name a few. The one liners are hilarious, and the depth of the characters happens so fast in the great dialogue the author has put together.”   Rick has also been impressed by “the challenge from director Tony Targan to find our characters and bring out their personality in the short times they are on the stage. He has made it very comfortable for us to dig into our own past to bring out the people we want the audience to see. That is the sign of a great director!”   

Let Nothing You Dismay has 10 performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater from November 30 – December 15.  The show is proudly sponsored by Weinstein Jewelers.  Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Multiple Roles Do Not Dismay Kristi Schwartz As She Excels in Holiday Farce


Kristi Schwartz (center) as Linda, who is mom
to a rocket scientist Allie (Shay Curran, left) and a brain surgeon Angie (Ansley Barnard, right)
PHOTO by Jim Kelly

In Let Nothing You Dismay, adoptive parents-to-be await their baby’s birth on Christmas Day.  Against their wishes, their entire extended family descends on the hospital.  Ten actors play 25 roles in this crazy holiday farce at the Farmington Players Barn Theater, which runs from November 30 – December 15.   Like most actors in this show, Kristi Schwartz plays three very different characters.   As Kristi says, “Being in this show has been on my ‘bucket list’ because of the challenge of playing so many different roles.  When I am in a show, I put so much effort into my character, even making up a backstory that helps me with playing my character more effectively.” 
Kristi describes her three larger-than-life characters as follows: 
Tawny is a very shallow, vain, trashy kind of girl!  She is overly concerned with her appearance and drinks vodka to ease the pain of her loneliness.  She just lost her cat, who may have been her best friend.  She is very proud of her daughter, Kaitlyn, and tries to live through her.  She was a ‘pageant’ mom who feels that outer beauty is the way to be successful in life.  Deep down, she is a very lonely character and she craves family, no matter how crazy the family may be!”  Tawny was a former model, and while Kristi has very little in common with Tawny, Kristi does hold the title of "Miss Saline 1992"!
Deb from Upstairs is a very open, hippie-sort, who is not afraid to insert herself into any conversation or situation.  She is able to read people's auras and uses crystals to help guide her through her day at the hospital.  Deep down, she wants to help and guide the expectant parents through this childbirth process.  She acts like she is just another member of the family and truly wants to support everyone while she is there, whether they ask for help or not!”  While Kristi herself is not as assertive as Deb, she enjoys the challenge of playing Deb because “it teaches me that sometimes it is okay to be open, especially when you are helping others.”
Linda is a very selfish, arrogant, controlling person.  She has her own opinion about things and does not mince words to convey that to others.  She loves her daughters Allie and Angela very much, but does not want them living their lives in a way that is not parallel with her plan for them.  For me, the most difficult challenge in playing Linda is trying to balance the short, curt, domineering side with her loving side.  Linda needs to remain in control at all times, which to her means to boss everyone around.  I find it fun to play Linda because she can be the character that people love to hate.” 
Despite her characters’ differences, Kristi finds that “the one thread that binds them together is the fact that they all crave family.  In one way or another, they want to belong.”  Family is the main theme of Let Nothing You Dismay, and Kristi can relate to “how crazy, different, and loving a family can be at times.  I come from a very large immediate and extended family with many different personalities.  We often find ourselves on opposite sides of an issue, but at the end of the day, this family is there for me no matter what!”  Kristi feels that audiences will connect with the families in this play because “Life is about our interconnectedness and this show exemplifies that.  It also may make some feel thankful for what they do have.  I love that it is set during the holiday-time for a funny, feel-good experience.  The entire cast and crew is like another family to me and I am blessed to be part of this!” 
Kristi works as an instructional coach for the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools and lives in Canton with her husband, Keith, and three children, Colin, Allie, and Drew. 
Let Nothing You Dismay has 10 performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater from November 30 – December 15.  The show is proudly sponsored by Weinstein Jewelers.  Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Jason Wilhoite Loves the Family Dynamic of Let Nothing You Dismay

Jason Wilhoite as Leonard, a Jet's Pizza delivery guy who is the "baby daddy" in Let Nothing You Dismay
PHOTO by Jim Kelly

Let Nothing You Dismay truly puts the “fun” in a dysfunctional family!  The Gordon and Saperstein families collide over the expected birth of a baby on Christmas Day.  At the center of the chaos are adoptive parents Allie and Kevin, whose plans for a “cozy couple’s Christmas” are derailed when their extended families show up uninvited at the hospital.  In the Farmington Players production, Jason Wilhoite plays adoptive father Kevin. As Jason says, “Kevin and Allie are forced to balance the stresses of becoming parents in somewhat uncommon fashion and that balance is at the center of the story. I love the well-crafted dialog of the show’s open and getting the chance to collaborate with another actor back and forth as we set the stage for what’s about to unfold. It’s so important to create the chemistry between Kevin and Allie from the very first look.”
Like all actors in this crazy farce, Jason plays multiple roles.  In addition to Kevin, Jason says, “I also play Leonard, who is ‘the baby daddy!’ But I really love that he is so much more than that. While Leonard and Lizzie face an all too common situation of an unexpected baby before they are truly ready, the couple makes the brave and loving choice of adoption. I really want to share the love and connection Leonard and Lizzie have for each other and the great gift they give to this very appreciative pair who will welcome their baby boy into a crazy and loving family.”

Jason enumerates the themes of this show as “family, imperfection, forgiveness, admiration, second chance, and renewed hope. The fabric of this show is extremely complex. Much like the relationships of any family, we see the multidimensional and changing-on-dime emotions that come from a group who call themselves a family. What I truly love about the story is that it is not a family based on traditional blood connections alone, but extended to those we choose to make part of our family. It’s really beautiful to be reminded that a family is greater than just siblings and parents; it’s about those who support you, those who inspire you and care for you, no matter what the situation. I’m blessed to be part of this kind of family off stage and I’m honored to share this onstage family with our patrons.”

Jason knows this show will resonate with audiences because “we all have families. However you personally choose to interpret a ‘family’ is your choice, but we have people we love and respect and who make the world bearable just having them around you. The holidays always seen to remind me of that truth and this show beautifully brings that message to life. The complexity of family and the dynamics we share with people who have lived with us through those life moments of triumph and sadness is an immeasurable gift. This show celebrates those gifts and brings us a truthful modern American family in a loving, personal and accessible way. I’m sure our audiences will leave the theatre in laughter and gladness and perhaps even with a warm tear welling in their eyes.”

Jason feels a special connection to Let Nothing You Dismay because he was part of the team who selected this show for the Barn’s season.  And, on a personal note, he says, “Ironically, my little sister is pregnant and expecting her first baby. She’s due in December and I look forward to being on the other side of the story in real life.”

Let Nothing You Dismay has 10 performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater from November 30 – December 15.  The show is proudly sponsored by Weinstein Jewelers.  Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Gary Weinstein Shines Like a Diamond in Let Nothing You Dismay

Gary Weinstein as the befuddled Milford Gordon
PHOTO by Laurie Smalis

Let Nothing You Dismay is the story of two families that collide – then unite – over the adoption of a baby born on Christmas Day.  Adoptive parents Kevin and Allie plan to have a “cozy couple’s Christmas” while they await the birth of their child, but their plans unravel when the hospital is overrun by their extended families, who just couldn’t stay away.  Family takes on many forms in today’s modern society, and for Gary Weinstein, his Farmington Players “family” has an important place in his life.  As Gary says, “the level of talent and quality of performance that this theater brings to their stage has the feeling of family which is superior to any other. This show in particular has brought out some true thespians that are willing to take on this unknown theatrical work, which requires the highest level of discipline for the different characters that each actor will portray.”

Ten actors play 25 roles in this crazy farce, and the characters and costumes change ever more rapidly as the play progresses.  Like most actors, Gary plays three different roles, which he describes as follows: “Milford is 80 years old, a man in pursuit of his own unspoken tasks.  He’s a crotchety, gruff old man who wants to be left alone to do his own thing. …  Ivan is Bulgarian with a comedic use of the English language.  I play Ivan as a strong ‘bouncer type’ with wide shoulders, arms folded, and mostly with a scowl on my face. … Oscar is married to Linda and the loving father of Allie. He’s Jewish with his own comedic Jewish inflections.”

In addition to acting in this show, Gary’s Weinstein Jewelers is also the proud sponsor of the play.  In his usual fashion, Gary has a special promotion planned for patrons who attend the show.  Each winner of the 50/50 raffle drawing will also receive a $50 gift card to Weinstein Jewelers!  In addition, on closing night, all 10 prior 50/50 winners will be entered into a drawing for an additional gift card worth $1,000.00!!!   With performances scheduled from November 30 – December 15, these gift cards come just in time for holiday shopping.

Gary knows audiences will love this show because it’s “a laugh a minute, yet touches many of life’s daily experiences and challenges as it relates to family. The themes of this show are best described as life’s simplest lessons:  Family unity, life longevity and having children in the modern family.”  When Gary first read this script, “I found myself laughing out loud. As I got into it further into it, I was intrigued and excited for the possibilities and challenges of portraying three distinct characters in the same show.” Gary thanks director Tony Targan and assistant director Michel Noble for their “clear-headed communication and commitment to detail of each character for this production.”

Gary’s most recent roles at the barn have included William Blore in And Then There Were None, Ed Noonan in The Vast Difference, Tony in The Full Monty, Mr. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank, Robert in Boeing Boeing, and Dr. Einstein in Arsenic & Old Lace.

Let Nothing You Dismay has 10 performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater from November 30 – December 15.  The show is proudly sponsored by Weinstein Jewelers.  Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.


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