2007-09-21 / Community

RTC Celebrates Anniversary With 'Rockaway Café '07'

A Wave Review

The cast of "A Rockaway Café, 07" The cast of "A Rockaway Café, 07" The Rockaway Theatre Company opened its annual musical revue, The Rockaway Café, on Saturday night to a packed house and thunderous' applause. The show is a celebration of RTC's ten years at the Post Theatre in Fort Tilden and what better subject for a musical tribute than a retrospective of the company's musical productions over the past 10 years? Some of the best numbers from 12 great musicals were performed by RTC's best singers and dancers. Much of the material was performed by the actors and actresses who originally performed them on the RTC stage.

The show is directed by RTC Artistic Director, John Gilleece. The musical direction is provided by the talented and handsome Walter Birkhold and the fabulous musical arrangements are the result of collaboration between Jeff and Heather Arzberger. The emcee/narrator of Rockaway Café '07 is RTC's own "wild and crazy" James Frank, aka Sherman the Geek, aka Dr. Frankenfreuder, etc.

Listing all the great musical numbers and the shows from which they came would spoil the fun for people planning on seeing the show, but some highlights are definitely worth mentioning. Miss Adelaide (Nicole Mangano) of Guys and Dolls and her hotbox girls are back. The girls are a mix of original and replacement beauties which includes: Najat Arkadan, Janet Brady, Aurora Dreger, Catherine Leib, Gabrielle Mangano, Amanda Millwater, Kathleen Ribolla, Jodee Timpone and Barbara Tawil. Veteran RTC performers like Nancy Sturgis, Rob Fahn, Matt Smilardi, Cathy Murfitt, Rona Prince, David Risley and John Gilleece reprise some of their original roles, while the terrific voices of more recent RTC acquisitions from the past two seasons such as Bruce Rebold, Chaz Peacock, Jai Sada, Cliff Hesse, Lori Santopetro, Mike Ruocco and the incredible belting of Kathy Valentine further enhance the marvelous medleys.

The real stars of this show are the members of the incredible chorus of adorable children consisting of Caroline Kelly, Indigo Signoretti, Celene and Carly Ebert, Ryan D'Emic, Nicholas Tsatsis, Casey Stabiner, Nikole Wolf, Siobhan Brandman, Catherine Muldoon, Moshe Acevedo, Miranda Cornell, Jannna and Leila Sturgis and Sophia Zweifler. Soloing in "I'd Do Anything for You" and "Matchmaker" are Michael Morley, Celene Ebert and Dianna Sturgis.

If you like great Broadway musicals, you'll want to get up to Fort Tilden and see Rockaway Café '07. There are only five more shows. Animal lovers who are thinking of bringing home a new pet won't want to miss the matinee on Sunday, September 23, at 2 p.m. This is the annual Carol Jasper Memorial Benefit Show. Proceeds from this performance are donated to the North Shore Animal League and adorable, adoptable pets will be available in the theater lobby. There are also shows on Sept. 22, 28 and 29 at 8 p.m. The final performance of Rockaway Café '07 will take place on September 30, at 5 p.m. Don't miss out... seats for some performances are already sold out. Call the RTC Hotline, 718-850-2450 now! A Rockaway Café like this one won't come along again until 2017.

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