2009: Vol. 21, No. 2

The Calumet Player

Spring 2009

Volume 21, Number 2

From The President

Dear Friends

A lot has happened since our last newsletter in Fall 2008. We had a very successful production of Annie Get Your Gun -- several Board members heard comments that it was one of the best shows the Players have done. Thanks go out to the wonderful cast, crew and orchestra but also to the directors, Mike Aubin, Tom Maksimchuk, and Sara Perfetti who guided this production.

Our building renovation was completed in late summer with new lighting, safety doors, windows and paint on the front exterior trim. With the new lighting in place, we held several work bees in the building this past fall to organize and clean – a task much needed!

Our 2009 season is shaping up very nicely and should be both exciting and appealing to our audiences. In May, Mick McKellar will direct the play Anatomy of a Murder, based on the best selling book by Upper Peninsula author, Robert Traver. This production will also mark the return of the Players to the Calumet Theatre stage for a non-musical production. Mick says the play takes place mostly in the court room, and plans to use some audience members as part of the “jury” cast. For those of you who have always considered becoming an actor in the Players now could be your chance to be in the spotlight without having to attend rehearsals or learn lines! Mick will pre-select a number of audience members prior to each evening’s performance. The performance dates are May 14, 15 and 16, 2009.

Coincidentally, 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the movie version of the book, directed by Otto Preminger and filmed in the Marquette County area. The Players were told at the end of February that our play will be part of the 50th anniversary celebration taking place in the U.P. this summer. Check our webpage for more details -- http://www.cplayers.org/ or the Peter White Public Library webpage at - http://www.uproc.lib.mi.us/pwpl/

2009 is also the 30th anniversary of the Calumet Players – hard to believe it! We in the planning stages of a 30th Anniversary Reunion Dinner and we hope to include cast members from past shows singing some of our most memorable songs from throughout the years. We’re hoping we can also locate all of our former directors and choreographers to help celebrate this mile-stone in the Players history.

And, to finish up our season, we’ll bring back the first musical the Players ever performed – The Music Man. Performance dates will be in September with auditions on July 6, 7 and 8, 2009. As usual, in addition to needing new actors/actresses, we are always looking for more crew members – sound, lighting, sets, costumes, stage help – so if you’re interested, please contact me at sandy@mtu.edu or 337-1256.

Lastly, I want to thank our Board of Directors for all of their work behind the scenes and their dedication throughout the year. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to do the quality performances that we have in the past 30 years.

Sandy Lewin

Calumet Players President

It was a dark and stormy night in 1951...

Anatomy of a Murder...

It was a dark and stormy night in 1951...seven shots rang out, piercing the brittle silence of the Lumberjack Tavern in Big Bay, MI. In seconds, the life of Mike Chenoweth, a former state police officer, sharpshooter, and owner of the tavern -- was gone in a pool of blood. Seven holes pierced his body, one in the center and six more in a perfect circle around it. Lt. Coleman A. Peterson, a U.S. Army officer stationed at the anti-aircraft artillery range near Big Bay, would be tried for murdering Chenoweth, in revenge for allegedly raping Peterson's wife. He was successfully defended by John Voelker, a local attorney who would later become a Michigan Supreme Court Justice, and under the pen-name of Robert Traver, would write his now famous novel: Anatomy of a Murder.

OK, so maybe it wasn't a dark and stormy night, but the rest of the story is true and helped make Otto Preminger's brutally dramatic 1959 black and white movie Anatomy of a Murder, an American classic. A stage play based on the book was written by Elihu Winer and will be produced by the Calumet Players on May 14, 15, and 16, 2009 at 7:30 PM, in the Calumet Theatre, in Calumet MI. The cast is all Players veterans and the list is available on the Calumet Players Web site at www.cplayers.org.

The play is as honest and dramatic as the book, a bit less complicated than the movie, and a true picture of the rough and tumble nature of mid-20th century American jurisprudence. Don't miss this uniquely dramatic event upon the 50th anniversary of shooting the movie in Marquette, Big Bay, Ishpeming, and Michigamme in 1959.

In conjunction with this show we will be raffling off an autographed copy of the novel by Robert Traver. Tickets will be available at each production and the cost is $1.00 per ticket or 6 for $5.00.

“He’s a music man. He’s a what? He’s a what? He’s a music man …”

THERE is nothing more disarming than the gentle form of flattery that suggests our children have some unsuspected artistic talent. "Professor" Harold Hill is a con man who sells musical instruments, pretending that he will teach youngsters to play them and form a town band. His plan to carry out the scam at River City, a small town in Iowa, is thwarted when he becomes attracted to Marian Paroo, the local librarian, who immediately recognizes him as the fraud he is. When some of the town officials become suspicious of him, he forms them into a barbershop quartet. He gets around the ladies of the town by encouraging them to put on a concert and he wins Marian over by his kindness towards her younger brother, Winthrop, who was shy and withdrawn for several years over the death of his father before Hill arrived. Although she recognizes his scheme, Marian falls in love with him and helps him to escape detection. Hill is eventually found out, but decides to stay in town and face the music. Finally, the townspeople realize that even though he lied about the band, he did so much for the town (including the city officials, the ladies of the town and Winthrop) that they forgive him. The best known song in this musical is undoubtedly the stirring SEVENTY-SIX TROMBONES, but there are many others you will be ready to sing along with: GOOD-NIGHT MY SOMEONE, PICK-A-LITTLE TALK-A-LITTLE, TROUBLE, and TILL THERE WAS YOU.

“For many it may seem like only yesterday that the Calumet Players put on THE MUSIC MAN, but truth be told, it’s been 15 years since it was performed at the Calumet Theatre and I think it’s high time that we re-introduce one of the world’s greatest musicals to the next generation of actors and theatre go-er’s. There are many terrific parts in this show for all ages and I hope to see a lot of new, and returning, faces at the auditions on July 6th, 7th, and 8th.

~ Sara Perfetti, Director of the 2009 Calumet Players Production of THE MUSIC MAN.

"Ah, what a glorious 30 years!"

In November 1979, a small group of community people performed Pure As The Driven Snow. Unbeknownst to them ... the Calumet Players would still be going strong 30 years later, with hundreds of members under its belt. It has been a journey to say the least.

Sometimes it's been rocky, sometimes we've had hills to overcome, sometimes the sailing was perfectly smooth with clear skies up ahead, but one thing can always be said ... it has never been DULL.

There have been 22 plays, 28 musicals, and 7 musical revues that have helped to shape us into what we are today. We would like to thank all of our past and present donors, audience members, crew members, cast members, designers, choreographers, directors, dancers, musicians, and anyone else who has helped in some way, shape, or form over the past 30 years. Thank you for your support and participation. We look forward to working with you for many years to come!

You know you work in Community Theatre if...

    • you’ve ever had to haul a sofa off stage while wearing a dinner gown and high heels

    • you’ve ever appeared onstage wearing your own clothes

    • you’ve ever cleaned a tuxedo with a magic marker

    • you’ve ever appeared onstage in a costume held together with hot glue

    • you’ve ever appeared in a show where the cast outnumbered the audience

    • you’ve ever appeared on stage in an English drawing room murder mystery where half of the cast spoke with Southern accents

    • you’ve ever appeared in a show where an actor leaned out through a window without opening it first

    • the set designer has ever told you not to walk on the left hand side of the stage because the floor’s still wet-- 5 minutes before the curtain opens

    • you can find a prop in the prop room that hasn’t seen the light of day in ten years, but you don’t know where your own vacuum cleaner is

    • you’ve ever gotten a part because you were the only guy who showed up for auditions

    • ~ Excerpts taken from http://www.youknowster.com/jokes/view/325

Your Membership Counts!

While the Calumet Players generate most of our revenues from our productions, a good portion also comes from membership dues. Sometimes it makes the difference between our showing a profit or a loss. Producing shows is an expensive endeavor and any support we receive from you, our patrons, is greatly appreciated.

If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who would like to receive this newsletter twice per year (or more), please drop us a note at the address listed elsewhere in this issue. If you have any questions about your membership, please feel free to write us a note.

The Calumet Players is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization.