Thursday, August 28, 2014

Laughter on the Lakeshore Featuring Many of Your HAR Faves! Come Join Us!

            “Barbecuing Hamlet” a fast paced farce, is the featured play at the second annual Laughter on the Lakeshore, a partnership benefiting the Office of Continuing Education at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc, and Heart-A-Rama. The show will be presented Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the UW-Manitowoc University Theatre. Tickets are $12 and are available at the door, at LaDeDa Books and Beans, 1624 New York Ave, or online from the UW-Manitowoc website
Special pre-show events will take place prior to the Saturday performance. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. there will be live music by “Givin’ Up the Ghost,” with a cash bar and food, featuring pulled pork sandwiches, candied bacon and more available from Village Hearthstone Restaurant.

So here's the 411 on the play....When Margo Daley leaves New York and moves to small town America to accept her dream job, directing a production of “Hamlet”, she has no idea what lies in wait.  Her new employers, The Peaceful Glen Memorial Players, perform in a renovated funeral home, above the apartment of an obnoxious tenant who regularly, and with vigor, pounds on the ceiling when rehearsals get the least bit noisy. 
            Four well meaning but eccentric townsfolk attend auditions for a play that requires a cast of thirty.  In addition, Margo must insert the names of the theatre’s sponsors in the show.  There is no end to the absurd local requirements Margo must follow in order to please the dysfunctional theatre council.  In the spirit of the wildly popular mockumentary “Waiting for Gufman”, “Barbecuing Hamlet” pokes good natured fun at the community theatre experience.

            Cast members include Tina Prigge, Joey Putman, Ellen Peronto, Rick Oswald, Gary Moore, Lori Krueger, Jason Prigge, Charles Allger, James Gordon, Jerri BurkartKelly Becker, Tom Bartelme, and Dr, Charles Clark, Dean at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc.
            Suzanne Lawrence, Director of Continuing Education is the producer and Bev Denor is the director.  Set builders and painters include Chris Lochmann, Tom Bartelme, James Gordon, Kevin Hansen and Terry YorkChris Lochmann is sound and light technician. Karen Schweitzer-Olson will stage manage with assistance from Maddie Hansen and Teak Prigge.   Poster design and marketing team includes Teresa Satori and Heidi Dahlberg.
The play is written by Pat Cook and produced in arrangement with Eldridge Publishing Company.
For more information, contact Suzanne Lawrence at 683-4702 or visit

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Toast to Hearty Fund-raising

 Diane Hansen (HAR general co-chair, Karla Ludholz, Regional VP American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate, Tom Bartleme, HAR general co-chair)

HAR 2014 raised a total of $88,500
$79,650 given to the AHA 
The rest will be used for local needs as they arise.

44 year total?  $2,469,402
So...will we hit 3 million by our 50th anniversary show?  With your help...we sure will!

Over 44 years, 97,614 patrons have laughed with us and at us and generously donated for the good of others.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tired and Trapped (and perhaps a bit of embellishment - you be the judge)

After a night of pizza, partying, long good-buys and promises of keeping in touch, Heart-A-Rama 2014 ended. Or did it?  For most, yes, but the next morning, several people were hard at it, dismantling the final trappings of a successful show.  Tom, Terry, Kevin and Chris assembled scaffolding in order to undress the stage (horrors!), taking down the curtains, hearts and transporting the flats and larger props into storage.  The transport alone took several trips, so next year...let's find a truck and LOTS of heavy lifters for this last bit of business.

Diane and Bev made final sweeps through dressing rooms, hallways and bathrooms (again, horrors!).  They collected abandoned items and both tried to secretly catch a few minutes of  nap time while the others weren't looking.  That failed.  Soon they found themselves assigned the task of delivering Tom Brokeheart's lectern to its storage closet in the basement.  Mustering up what strength they could, the two wheeled the giant apparatus across the gym floor and into the lobby.  

Another brief nap ensued, and again the duo was rudely awakened with a rather loud reminder to get their butts moving.   Diane took charge.  She led the way, steering the cadaverous piece of furniture, guiding it through springy-hinged doors, and expertly maneuvering herself and the equipment into position so as to be the one responsible for  pressing the button to open the elevator door.  In they went.  Anticipating a leisurely ride to the basement, they began talking about the show, and brainstorming ideas for HAR 2015.  Despite the lack of sleep, the conversation was lively and filled with snorts, guffaws and near trouser dampening giggles.  Five minutes or more had passed before Bev said "Hey Diane, we're not moving.  I think we're stuck."

Diane, agile minded woman that she is, said she had the phone number of the Community House attendant in her purse.  He could be called; he could call Judy; Judy could call the fire department, and in no time, there would be a rescue.  Nope.  Purse was back in the gym and they were locked in the elevator.  Again, Diane's mind, that precision instrument, went into problem solving mode.  (So, why was Diane doing all the thinking you're probably asking.  Well, I'm not sure, but Bev hates heights and small rooms, so according to Diane's version of the story, she was whimpering in a corner - a small corner of the elevator.)  "There must be an emergency phone or button in here somewhere, don't you think," Diane asked?

"I suppose," replied Bev, who was not crying but rather laughing to the point of near breathlessness.  "Why don't you just press the button to the basement?  That could work."  And it did.

 Moral of the story - if you're going to be travelling in an elevator with Diane, take charge of the buttons immediately, no matter how much she protests.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Musicals and Mayhem

Presenting....your Heart-A-Rama 2014 musical cast currently starring in "The King of All Cases."  You can catch their act May 1, 2, 3 and 8,9,10 at the C.E. Hamilton Community House in Two Rivers.  But then, if you're reading this, you are most likely familiar with HAR and already have your tickets.  If you don't, rush over to Manitowoc Piggly Wiggly or Inman's Jewelers in Two Rivers while the selection is still good.

What sort of case has this group looking so serious?  That's Judge Cutie in the green wig.  She will have the heavy task of deciding a case that could potentially ruin a lifelong friendship and end a bromance.  She does not take this responsibility lightly, and will most likely  be needing help from the audience to make her final judgement.

This is just one of the many skits casts and crews are rehearsing.  Oleo.  Statins.  Opie.  Cats.  Condiments.  Toilet seats.  They'll all turn up one way or another during the show. 

It's time to LEGALIZE HEART-A-RAMA.  And, if you don't watch your step, 
you might find yourself in a mug shot.  

If you're wondering how this show all comes into being, here's a short synopsis.  Shortly after the end of a run,  general co-chairs and producers meet to brainstorm themes for the coming year.  Once a theme is chosen, directors meet to divide up responsibilities.  Then the weeks of writing begin.  No, the scripts do not fall from the sky; each director pulls together a group to crank out a script.  Sometimes things fall into place nicely, sometimes there are revisions and revisions and revisions before a script is done.

Even before February auditions, crews begin to assemble to plan food, shirt designs, sell advertising, design the program.  And that's just a sliver of what takes place behind the scenes. 

After auditions, directors spend up to three hours deciding who will be given parts.  The chart at the left is one tool they use to make decisions.  In round 1, directors choose who they want in each role.  Round 2, they look for conflicts.   For example, if someone is in back to back skits, they won't have time for costume changes.  Finding and eliminating those conflicts is challenging.  Round 3 is for balance.  Is someone in 4 or 5 skits?  If so, that needs to be changed.  Round 4 - compare casting with conflicts listed on individual audition sheets to see if the people cast have enough open rehearsal dates.  After each round, names and casting slots are read and checked to be sure that all directors have the information correct.  Time consuming, but fun...and word in the wind has it that there is sometimes wine and cheese to aid the process.

What happens after all of this?  Stop by again to find out.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cast and Crew Ticket Sale

It's time to 

Cast and Crew ticket sale
Wednesday, March 19
Lincoln Park Field House

Tickets will go on sale to the general public shortly after at Manitowoc Piggly Wiggly and 
at Inman's Jewelers in Two Rivers.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Legalize Heart-A-Rama Auditions

Time to get caught in the act
....of fund-raising fun, that is!

Thursday, February 6. 7:00
Sunday, February 9, 1:00
Capitol Civic Centre

  • Please bring a complete and accurate list of March, April and May conflicts. Knowing your schedules helps directors make casting decisions.   

  • Be prepared to read and sing...and perhaps dance a bit.

  • A costume committee rep will be at auditions to measure everyone.

  • Special skills needed:  Andy Griffith type accent, ability to sing harmony, ease in learning dance moves (there are two big dance numbers this year).  A fiddle player would be nice, too.

  • You must be 21 years old.  You must be available for all scheduled rehearsals as well as dress rehearsals on Sunday, April 26 (approx 2:00) and Monday, April 27 (approx 6:00), and all performance dates: May 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10.

  • Bring your A game....the talent bar gets higher each year,

So, who will end up in the slammer?  
Why is the big cow down for the count?  
And, is it true, can it be...are the cats really back? 
 We'll see.