Experimental Theater Travels Back in Time for Fun with Songs

By Faulkner, Mark | The Florida Times Union, September 18, 2002 | Go to article overview

Experimental Theater Travels Back in Time for Fun with Songs


Faulkner, Mark, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Mark Faulkner, Shorelines correspondent

In the spirit of the Jeannette McDonald and Nelson Eddy operettas from the '30s and '40s, The Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre opens its 2002-03 season this weekend with Rick Besoyan's Little Mary Sunshine. Besoyan's work is a tribute to and spoof of those musicals.

ABET will transform its temporary home at the Foundation Academy's theater into the Colorado mountains for the show. Then it's on to the stories of Little Mary, the proprietor of a small inn, and the interesting characters who stay there. The cast includes forest rangers, American Indians and not-quite-finished finishing school students. Of course, all of their exploits are best told in song.

"The earlier operettas were completely escapist fare, where everything ends happily and lots of things happen in between, mostly so they could stop and sing to each other," said the show's artistic director, Carson Merry Baillie. "This is all done perfectly straight. We don't make it a collection of cliches; it's just delightful and very, very funny."

Baillie said she and musical director Stephanie Galloway have enjoyed watching their younger cast members' reactions to how their characters strictly adhere to dating etiquette. After some convincing, they came to understand that's how romantic relationships began back then.

But the play has been updated slightly to fall in place with more modern times. Baillie said the executors of Besoyan's estate agreed to change some of the American Indians' dialogue, removing the broken English and made-up words the writer created to be their own language. It fit though. To spoof the operettas to the highest degree possible and get some laughs, Besoyan intentionally made each of his characters a stereotype.

As Gen. Oscar Fairfax, Bob Shellenberger said he's had fun playing this "dirty old man who comes out OK in the end." In a way, Shellenberger's picking up his singing career right where he left off -- his last musical also was an operetta.

"This came along, it looked like it would be fun and it is," Shellenberger said. "I've seen too many of these shows recently that are deep, dark or mysterious, and I'm just not that type of show person. I like the comedy, and this looked like it could be a lot of fun. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Experimental Theater Travels Back in Time for Fun with Songs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.