EASY Theatre
Archive Page 2009

L to R Front Joe Holcomb Michele Maher, Chris Maher, Stefanie Marcus, Hank Nations, Dominic Holcomb, Sherry Witte, Virginia Haladyna Back: Desmond R. Devitt, Nick Collier, Lisa & Will Holcomb, Charlie & Laura Goff, Richard Dodwell, Danne Absher, Mike Witte, Keaton Holcomb, Kody Dyer, Landon Holcomb. Not pictured: Chester Eitze and Lisa Picciandra 
Sunday in the Park
Written and directed by Engela Edwards
Conceived by Engela Edwards & Chester Eitze 

Chester Eitze challenged Engela Edwards to write a musical for his Silver Aniversary Season and calling it "Sunday in the Park". Having studied the music of early composers when writing, Engela challenged herself to write a musical using only music from the time period.

Engela spent months doing research on the music, art, life as it was at the start of the 20th century .  She then held auditions and cast the show.  She handed out six group numbers for the cast to learn and sent them away while she wrote the show.   Engela crafted characters and a story line for the musical.  She wrote "Sunday in the Park." using the original lyrics from the music and poetry of the time period.  She also rewrote and adapted some of the lyrics to fit. 

It was the story of the citizens of Bastrop on one a single Sunday at the begining of the 20th century.  She then brought the performers back together and directed, choreographed, and costumed the show.  It had a successful run from April 17 to May 9, 2009 at the Bastrop Opera House and raised much needed funds for the Opera House. 

Engela wrote: 

The show is "A Perfect Day" This premiere production captures the beautiful, funny, heartwarming moments in the park on a Sunday at the beginning of 20th century. It was a time when cars shared the roads with horses, and flying was still new. As photography became more available, artist left documenting all the gritty details of life to the photographers while the painters tried to communicate more the pleasing colors and emotions of life. They found beauty, as I do, in the simple things: babies, children, first love, young couples, courting, weddings, families, romance, a baseball game, a church, a dance, boating, seniors, a county fair, a flower seller, a storyteller, a drive, a stroll in the park, a dance in the dark.  I used these impressionist painters as my inspiration. For my paint box, I used popular songs mostly written from 1900 to 1921.

The same way the impressionists painters captured a moment in time with light and color, I wanted to capture the feelings of a community with sound and movement. The actors move across the stage like brushstrokes on a canvas, playing out the moments of their lives. Populating the park are all levels of society from the socialite to shop girl, from the working-class cop to the flirting dandy, from the current trendsetters joyously rushing to the next new invention, to the town elders relishing and sharing their memories. I think the characters, their stories, and their relationships are timeless.

The show is a product of many thousands of hours of effort. We hope that all who see this sweet and charming story will take with them a memory "painted this perfect day with colors that never fade," as song writer Carrie Jacob-Bond would say.

More info below.

EASY Theatre
Back: Keaton, Will, Landon; Front: Dominic, Joe, and Lisa HolcombMike Witte, Sherry Witte, Dominic Holcomb

Charlie and Laura Goff.Sherry and Mike Witte.

,

 Stefanie Marcus, Danne Absher

Nick Collier, Desmond R. Devitt, Danne Absher

.front Virginia Haladyna and Landon Holcomb; back Keaton Holcomb and Kody Dyer

Lisa Holcomb, Richard Dodwell, Laura Goff

Lisa Holcomb, Richard Dodwell, Laura Goff

Back: Laura Goff, Sydney Aguilar
Front: Jared Ballejos, C.J. Goff, Danielle Huber, Lauren Ballejos, Preston Goff; 
Will and Lisa Holcomb
Will and Lisa Holcomb

 
Jared Ballejos & Lisa Picciandra
Jared Ballejos & Lisa Picciandra

 
 
Stefanie Marcus & Danne Absher
Stefanie Marcus & Danne Absher

 
Sunday in the Park:  Musicale
Fridays and Saturdays, April 17 May 9, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. 
Written and directed by Engela Edwards
Conceived by Engela Edwards on a dare from Chester Eitze 
A day in the life of Bastrop.  Beautiful people, voices, costumes, dances, and smiles.  Includes songs from the best composers of the period. 
Two acts. 
Rated G
$10 Adults; $8 Seniors 60 up; $7 Students; $5 children 14 and under

We were grateful that Michael Meigs of AustinLiveTheatre.com preserved the program for us. You can see a pdf scan of it here.

Choreography & staging: Engela Edwards, with  Laura Goff & Chester Eitze

Chester Eitze titled the production "Sunday in the Park," and with the help of those dedicated to the preservation of American popular music, we tell a story of our community using only the lyrics of popular songs from the era when the opera house was built. 

Accompanists Abbreviations:

  • BE: "Perferssor" Bill Edwards
  • RR: Rick Rubins
  • WT: Warren Trachman (Restored Player Piano Roll)
  • JB: Jeff Brister
  • CR: Colin Roth
  • TS: Terry Smythe (Restored Player Piano Roll)
ACT 1
"Ja-Da" RR
    M&L Bob Carleton 1918
Children's songs:
   "London Bridge"
   "Three Blind Mice"
   "I'm a Little Teapot"
   "Ring Around the Rosie"
   "Hey Diddle Diddle"
"Ain't We Got Fun" WT
    (M) Richard A. Whiting; (L) Raymond B. Egan & Gus Kahn 1921
"The Sidewalks of Bastrop" BE
   (M) Charles B. Lawlor; (L) James W. Blake 1894 (lyrics adapted by Engela Edwards 2009)
"Some Sunday Morning" WT
   (M) Richard A. Whiting; (L) Gus Kahn & Raymond Roan 1917 (very slight lyric adaptation by Engela Edwards 2009)
"Whispering Hope"
   (M&L) Septimus Winner 1868
"When You Wore A Tulip and I Wore A Big Red Rose" RR
   (M) Percy Wenrich; (L) Jack Mahoney 1914
"Second Hand Rose" BE
   (M) James F. Hanley; (L) Grant Clarke 1921
"Red Rose Rag" BE
   (M&L) Percy Wenrich 1911
"He'd Have To Get Under (Get Out And Get Under)" BE
   (M) Maurice Abrahams, (L) Grant Clark and Edgar Leslie 1913
"Somebody Stole My Gal" BE
   (M & L) Leo Wood 1918
"If You Can't Get A Girl In The Summertime (You'll Never Get A Girl At All)" CR
   (M) Harry Tierney; (L) Bert Kalmar 1915
"Kiss Me, My Honey, Kiss Me" RR
   (M) Ted Snyder; (L) Irving Berlin 1910
"When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em" BE
   (M) George Gershwin; (L) Murray Roth 1916
"I'm Just Wild about Harry" TS
   (M) Eubie Blake; (L) Noble Sissie 1921
"You Can Tango, You Can Trot, Dear: But Be Sure and Hesitate" CR
   (M) Harry Van Tilzer; (L) Andrew B. Sterling 1914
"Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
   (M) Eliphalet Oram Lyte; (L) R. Sinclair 1852 (Lyrics adapted by Eliphalet Oram Lyte1881)
"Row, Row, Row" BE
   (M) Jimmie V. Monaco; (L) William Jerome 1912
"Put Your Arms Around Me Honey" RR
   (M) Albert Van Tilzer; (L) Junie McCree 1910
"Pretty Baby" BE (M) Tony Jackson and Egbert Van Alstyne; (L) Gus Kahn 1916
"Can't You Take It Back, and Change It for a Boy?" JB
   (M & L) ChaUaway, Thurland, 1911
"Which? Grand Baby or a Baby Grand" JB
   (M) Hampton Durand (L) Irving B. Lee 1909
"Cuddle Up A Little Closer, Lovey Mine" RR
   (M & L) Karl Hoschna 1910
"I'm The Captain of The Broomstick Cavalry" RR
   (M&L) Carrie Jacobs-Bond 1890
"You're A Grand Old Flag" RR & BE
   (M & L) George M. Cohan 1906

Intermission

ACT2
"At the County Fair" JB
   (M) Allen Spurr (L) Herb Hayworth 1915
"Delaney's Donkey"
   (M & L) William Hargreaves 1921
"They Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dawg Aroun'" BE
   (M) Perkins Cy.; (L) Oungst Webb M. 1912
"I'll Say She Does" WT
   (M &L) Bud De Sylva, Gus Kahn, & AI Jolson Period (piano roll)
"You Ain't Heard Nothing Yet" PS
   (M &L) AI Jolson, Gus Kahn & Bud De Sylva 1919
"That Baseball Rag" BE
   (M) Clarence Jones; (L) Dave Wolff 1913
"The Baseball Glide" BE
   (M) Harry Von Tilzer; (L) Andrew B. Sterling 1911
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" BE
   (M) Nora Bayes-Norworth; (L) Jack Norworth 1908
"Wait Till The Sun Shines Nellie" RR
   (M) Harry Von Tilzer; (L) Andrew B. Sterling 1905
"Pucker Up And Whistle ('Till The Clouds Roll By)" CR
   (M&L) Blanche Franklyn & Nat Vincent 1921
"Going Up" RR 
   (M) Louis A. Hirsch; (L) Otto Harbach 1917
"Didn't You?" RR 
   (M) Hugo Felix; (L) Anne Caldwell 1920
"Golly How They Loved Me in Lampasas"
   (M&L) Stanley D. Woodmance
"After You're Gone" RR
   (M) Turner Layton; (L) Henry Creamer 1918
"I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" BE
   (M) Joseph E. Howard and Harold Orlob; (L) Will M. Hough and Frank R. Adams
"What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?" 
   Restored Player Piano Roll (M&L) Howard
   Johnson / Joe McCarthy / Jimmy V. Monaco 1916
"You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)" BE
   (M) James V. Monaco; (L) Joe McCarthy 1912
"I Told You So" WT
   (M) Albert Von Tilzer; (L) Lew Brown 1920
"For Me and My Gal" BE
   (M) George W. Meyer; (L) Edgar Leslie and E. Ray Goetz 1917
"A Perfect Day" RR
   (M &L) Carrie Jacobs-Bond 1910

Sunday in the Park: Musicale (c) Engela Edwards 2009

The Talented Cast:
Adults
Youth
Charlie Goff 
Chester Eitze 
Chris Maher 
Danne Absher 
Desmond R. Devitt 
Hank Nations 
Laura Goff 
Lisa Holcomb 
Lisa Picciandra 
Michele Maher 
Mike Witte 
Nick Collier 
Richard Dodwell
Stefanie Marcus
Sherry Witte
Will Holcomb
C.J. Goff
Danielle Huber
Dominic Holcomb
Jared Ballejos
Joe Holcomb
Keaton Holcomb
Kody Dyer
Landon Holcomb
Lauren Ballejos
Preston Goff
Sydney Aguilar
Virginia Haladyna

The Wonderful Crew

  • Stage Manager: Danne Absher
  • Asst. Stage Manager: Cindy Thompson
  • House Manager: Terri Dyer
  • Lighting Design: Chester Eitze with Engela Edwards
  • Lighting Technician: Randy Combs
  • Sound & video design and tech: Engela Edwards
  • Costume Design:  Engela Edwards
  • Sets, costumes, props: Chester Eitze, Engela Edwards, Evelyn Tillinghast, the devoted cast and their families, Danne Absher, Michele Maher, Stefanie Marcus, Terri Dyer, EASY Theatre & Bastrop Opera House stock
  • Production Video: Bill Edwards
  • Photos, posters: Engela Edwards
  • Programs: Engela Edwards & Bill Crawford
  • House crew: Hal and Christine Huber, Mark and Kathleen Ballejos
We're very appreciative for the additional help provided by: 
Terri Dyer, Bill Crawford, Cindy Thompson, Danne Absher, Lisa Holcomb, Laura Goff, Michele Maher, Randy Combs, Stefanie Marcus, Kathleen Ballejos,
Christine Huber, Rachel Edwards, Louis deSpain, Bastian Tugemann, Daniel Pustka, Warren Trachman, "Perferssor" Bill Edwards, Colin Roth, Rick Rubins, International Association of Mechanical Music Preservationists, Robert Maine, Terry Smythe, and Jeff Brister
And a very special thanks to our amazing families for their love, patience, and support.

PerfessorBill.com
ParlorSongs.com
IAMMP.org
HalcyonDaysMusic.com
BastropAcademyOfMusic.com
EASYtheatre.com
BastropOperaHouse.com

Review by Austin Live Theatre / Central Texas Live Theatre

Video feature on the Opera House and Sunday in the Park.  Created for and by KEYE CBS Channel 10 Austin

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