NEW CASTLE —
Stepping beyond footwork, McBeth said there is a camaraderie with those who spend so much time together at rehearsals.
“Everybody comes together and forms a little theater family.”
It’s obvious that bonds are developed. Cavalier instantly pointed out that junior Antonio Blundo’s three older brothers have been in the musicals, and Richardson and Hutchison are the third members of their family to take part.
That cast size of 37 has lessened from the 1980s when it numbered between 75 and 80.
As always, Cavalier plans to awe.
“The mere spectacle of this show will keep those even with the shortest attention span interested,” he predicted.
It’s snappy dialogue merged into dance. Then more zippy dialogue takes place. More dance follows, and the pattern keeps repeating for solid entertainment. Altogether, there are 12 musical numbers, and the director also refers to them as big.
Blundo whose role is Jimmy Smith observed that, “This would be exciting to sit in the audience because you get to watch the characters’ reactions.”
As the group of four gathered in a semi-circle in the auditorium to discuss the presentation, Blundo noted his part is “kind of goofy and that’s fun for me.”
There was laughter all around.
ACTING THE PART
Seniors Alex Covelli who dates Nanette and Fabio Perrotta who plays Billy Early round out the leading roles.
“We have three juniors and three seniors in those parts,” Cavalier confirmed, adding there are also three age groups represented — the 18-year-olds, Lucille and Billy who are between 35 and 40, and Jimmy and Sue who are in their 50s.
Playing a woman nearly three times her age was a challenge for Richardson.
“It took a lot of practice. Last year, I played a flapper and this year I have to be kind and motherly.”
It was also a stretch for Blundo who said, “I’m 17, not 50.”
“No, No, Nanette” involves three couples of different ages who go to Atlantic City in the midst of a blackmail scheme. The focus is on Nanette who, as a young, fun-loving Manhattan heiress runs off for a weekend, leaving her unhappy fiancé. Meanwhile, her father, Jimmy Smith, has become a millionaire and becomes the beneficiary for three beautiful women. His wife, Sue and the wife of his lawyer friend, Billy, become suspicious that Jimmy is having affairs. Eventually, he realizes he is bound to get himself in trouble and enlists Billy to try and get rid of the three women.
There are also three sets — which Cavalier says is rare for high school musicals — and two, 10-minute intermissions. The sets and costumes, which have a Great Gatsby feel, are rented.
And of course, timeless and delightful “Tea for Two” is fun for both players and watchers.
Blundo, who calls “No, No, Nanette” one of the greatest shows ever, noted it also adds some historical significance that references the Curse of the Bambino — Babe Ruth.
Cavalier concurs that the show appeals to all ages, and doesn’t include hokey or corny music.