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Published: Thursday, 6/11/2009

Valentine revisits a decade of shows; Glacity offers Shakespeare comedy

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Valentine Theatre is celebrating the end of its first decade with a Broadway-style revue and a Broadway star.

Beginning tonight, Nat Chandler, who starred with Sarah Brightman in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and played Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera and the title character in The Scarlet Pimpernel, will lead an ensemble of 21 local actors in songs from shows the Valentine presented over the last decade.

It s kind of neat, Chandler said Monday in the Valentine, prior to rehearsals for There s No Business Like Show Business. A lot of the songs I ll be singing come from roles I ve done on Broadway and in regional theater.

Dale s put together a terrifically talented cast of singers and dancers for the show, he said, referring to Dale Vivirito, who is shepherding his final show before retiring as the Valentine s artistic director.

Among featured numbers are Nothing Like a Dame from South Pacific, Class from Chicago, Sit Down, You re Rocking the Boat from Guys and Dolls, and The Impossible Dream from Man of La Mancha.

In the ensemble are Ashley Nowak, Cathy Skutch, Mark Tomesek, Tim Keogh, Christen Heilman, Jeffrey King, Ernestine Weathers, Bethany Brown, Rachael Cannon, Kimberly Connor, Mia Gladieux, Jeremy Holloway, Jennie Koranyos, A.J. LaPorta, Jamie Luster, Joshua Mohler, Paige Roberts, Doug Roy, Lisa Ramsey, Jeannine Stramel, and Andy Sweney.

A native of South Carolina, Chandler did his graduate work at Northwestern University near Chicago, then headed to New York where, in a show-biz tradition, he became a waiter. An agent heard him singing Happy Birthday at Cafe De Artistes and urged him to try out for the role of Lun Tha, the young lover, in a touring production of The King and I starring Yul Brynner. He got the role and made his professional debut in a theater at Cleveland s Playhouse Square.

Maybe because of that, maybe because of the roller coasters at Cedar Point ( We used to go over there and ride on our days off ), he has a soft spot in his heart for regional theater. I ve seen performances of musicals in local community theaters that have moved me more than they did on Broadway, he said.

From his demeanor, it s apparent that he expects There s No Business Like Show Business to be one of those.

There s No Business Like Show Business runs at 8 p.m. today-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Valentine Theatre, 400 North Superior St. Tickets range from $23 to $39. Information: 419-242-2787.

Shakespeare outside

The Glacity Theatre Collective takes to the great outdoors for its production of William Shakespeare s All s Well That Ends Well.

Scheduled in Alida Ashley amphitheater, near the center of campus at Maumee Valley Country Day School, the dark comedy revolves around the servant Helena, who falls in love with the nobleman Bertram and finds a way to get the king of France to approve their marriage. But Bertram doesn t want to marry Helena, and she must come up with a new plan to win his love.

Director Cornel Gabara s cast comprises Risa Cohen, Dave DeChristopher, Kevin Hayes, Gordon James, Holly Monsos, Corinne Natyshak, Ben Pryor, Nikki Soldner, and Pam Tomassetti.

Glacity urges theatergoers to bring a blanket and a picnic to the production. Should it rain, the show will go on in the Millennium Theatre at the school.

All s Well That Ends Well is scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday and June 19, 20, 26, and 27 in the Alida Ashley amphitheater at Maumee Valley Country Day School, 1715 South Reynolds Rd. Tickets are $15 (cash or check only). Tickets for matinees at 2 p.m. Sunday and June 21 and 28 will be on a pay-what-you-can basis. Information and tickets: glacity.tix.com or 419-530-2254.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com or 419-724-6130.



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