Academy Players current production is "Love Notes" which is an evening of Romantic One-Act Comedies, Song and Chocolate. There are six one act plays with three of them directed by JoAnn Bromley and three by Frank Borrelli while the music direction is by Ron Procopio. The fun filled evening has three plays and two songs in each acts while desserts are served at Intermission. The evening is designed to help the audience enjoy Valentine's Day and the theme is love. All the shows are funny, the songs are lovely and the desserts are scrumptious. JoAnn and Frank do topnotch work with all their shows and their amazing cast members each get a moment to shine in their shows while Ron is dynamite playing mood music and the music for the vocalists. What a wonderful way to spend a cold winter night being warmed by lovely shows, lovely music and last but not least chocolate.
The theme of love is different in each of the six shows and the acting of everyone is wonderful. The first directed by JoAnn, is "Reservations for Two" which is about going on a first date and stars Rebecca Rosenberg and Christopher Miller. The reservations in the title not only refer to the restaurant but to the couple's feelings for each with silverware and water glasses flying everywhere. Next is the first vocalist, high school senior, Kim Kalunian who has a gorgeous soprano voice, singing Gershwins' "Someone To Watch Over Me". The second show directed by Frank, is "Under the Balcony" which is about Romeo and Juliet and a surprise visitor who stumbles into the scene, Casanova. He makes it bawdy farce and it stars Kristeen Kates as Casanova and Jamie Dellorco and Adriano Cabral as Juliet and Romeo. "Single and Proud" is the next show directed by JoAnn and is about a psychologist teaching a class for singles with only two people in it. The teacher tries to match up this three timed married grandmother with a 32 year old guy in her class. Suddenly a young girl bursts into the class to bring about unexpected results and more hilarity to the play. The teacher with a multitude of lines is played by Danielle Scholle, while the grandmother is played by Alex Lorraine who is dressed in a slutty dress and keeps nodding off during the class. Steven Bartholomew plays the long suffering man who endures the insults and taunting of the two women. It seems like the woman of his dreams finally arrives but his dreams turn into a nightmare very quickly. Kristina Drager, a freshman at RIC is gangbusters in this role, eliciting many laughs at her crazy antics. The last song of the first act is "Vanilla Ice Cream" performed by Kristeen Kates who has a glorious high soprano voice which soars off the charts in this number.
Act 2 opens with "Big Nose" directed by Frank. It is a show about the worst acting troupe in Georgia. Two awful actors recite lines while being heckled from a woman in the audience. One of the actors storms off in anger but returns to a joke telling duel with a big nosed actor, with the prize being to kiss a lovely actress in the show. The two awful actors who play the Captain and his soldier, are played by Rick Casey and Adriano Cabral while the drunken heckler is played by veteran actress Joann Maccarone. Christopher Miller plays the big nosed Cyril, Kristina Drager is the gorgeous, Roxy and Allison St. Rock who is clad in blonde wig ala Mrs. Wiggins from the Carol Burnett show, is the stage manager. The next vocal selection is "Moments in the Woods" sung beautifully by Jamie Dellorco, a senior at RIC who also plays the nose picking Juliet in a show in Act 1. The next show directed by JoAnn, is "Blind Date Mate" which is about an older couple setting up a younger couple on a blind date but is it actually a blind date or not. Patricia Cousineau and Steve Bartholomew are the older couple while Kristeen Kates and Adriano Cabral are the younger couple with a mysterious secret. The last show is "The Real Problem" directed by Frank, which is about three Shakespearian women, Katherine, the shrew, Desdemona and Juliet, Ann Boleyn, Henry Vlll's second wife, who appears here as a head in a table, and Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic who is ancient looking. They meet in Hecate's restaurant to discuss their relationships with their men. Joann Maccarone is perfectly bitchy as Kate, Danielle Scholle is patient and kind as Desdemona ( quite the switch from the pushy long winded teacher she plays in the first act) Kristina Drager is the dippy, lovesick Juliet who can't live without her Romeo, while the scene stealing head is well played by Sue LaPorte as Ann Boleyn and the hag who casts spells and serves real blood drinks is well played by Alex Lorraine who limps across the stage like Igor, "Young Frankenstein's sidekick. The final song of the night, "The World Goes Round" is sung by Frank Borrelli who belts it out wonderfully, ending the romantic night of one acts on a high note. So for a splendid way to spend Valentine's Day weekend, be sure to catch "Love Notes" with excellent acting and singing to warm your heart and tickle your funny bone at the same time.