The little theater company that could came roaring back to life over the past two weeks, bringing a good chunk of Rockaway comeback spirit with it with its opening production “Rockaway Café – The Comeback” at its refurbished theater which sustained serious Sandy damage.
Susan Hartenstein in last week’s Wave (Hallelujah Rockaway Theatre Company! http://www.rockawave.com/ news/2013-07-26/Columnists/From_ The_ Art ists_ Studio.html ) captured the spirit of the RTC and its unique Fort Tilden WWII vintage theater.
“Rockaway Café is our story,” Hartenstein wrote. “A story told with great humor and poignancy. Cleverly weaving contemporary rock and pop songs and standards with original choreography, and based on an original concept by Susan Jasper and John Gilleece, we are taken from disaster to aftermath to daunting struggles to hard-fought triumphs and exuberant hope for the future. Opening night the waves of emotion and pleasure flowing back and forth between the talented cast and the highly receptive audience and the bonds within those groups were palpable.”
For an all-volunteer operation - from carpentry, set design, costumes, music, acting, dancing, singing, management, creativity – just think of an applicable word and apply to RTC – to not only come back so soon, but to do it with such verve and vigor while also rebuilding the theater is beyond remarkable. And the great band lead by Jeff Arsberger does not get mentioned often enough. They can play at my Bar Mitzvah in my next life anytime. Never forget the amazing local talent we have here in Rockaway and our extension in South Brooklyn where between the areas most performers seem to come from.
Nancy Re Cregan in a letter last week said, “The show features great “storm” songs like “Umbrella,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Let the River Run” just to name a few. There is also an original version of “I Will Survive” that recaps the strong character of Rockaway, Breezy, and Broad Channel.” The words were written by RTC stalwart Susan Jasper.
Here are links to some video I shot at the Friday and Saturday performances last weekend featuring some of the dynamic talent (young, teen, young adult, adult, and my generation – old.) https:// vimeo.com/71167899,https:// vimeo.com/ 71167899.
I dare you to watch them and not come to one of the 3 performances left this weekend: Friday, Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.
Reserve tickets at: www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org.
Soon after Sunday’s performance, new sets will be built and rehearsals will begin for the next show, Boeing, Boeing, opening September 20th.