Ocean State Theatre less than a month away from opening
Ocean State Theatre Company has been busy converting the former industrial building at 1245 Jefferson Boulevard into a 409-seat theater in time for their Dec. 5 opening. Already, the risers and plush seats have been installed, a process that took the construction crew about three days.
The casts of the inaugural shows at the theater are set to arrive this week, and soon rehearsals will be underway.
Amiee Turner, the producing artistic director at the theater, said progress at the theater has been moving along, despite setbacks due to the weather.
"We lost quite a bit of time due to Sandy but are working really hard to make it up,â€ť she said. â€śIt is a very exciting time right now with the seats having been installed, paint going on the walls, and the grid for the theatrical lights about to be hung. It has always been a tight schedule, but thanks to our amazing crew pitching in and our landlord Mutual Properties and their fantastic group of workers, we are poised to welcome our first audience in three weeks."
Earlier this week the theater announced the players who would star in the â€śSantaLand Diariesâ€ť and â€śThe Winter Wonderettes.â€ť
Both shows will include cast members from past Theatre by the Sea Shows, the historic seaside venue at which Ocean State Theatre Company served as the producing entity for five years.
â€śSantaLand Diariesâ€ť is the hilarious, yet sardonic account of a Christmas elf working in SantaLand at Macyâ€™s department store. Having first surfaced as an essay by David Sedaris on NPR's Morning Edition, â€śSantaLand Diariesâ€ť has grown to become a seasonal staple of regional theatres across the country. Some adult content and humor make this the perfect â€śnaughtyâ€ť companion for the holiday opening.
Theatre By The Sea favorite Lennie Watts, who recently played the Man in Chair in Theatre by the Seaâ€™s production of â€śThe Drowsy Chaperoneâ€ť in 2011, stars as Crumpet the Elf. Turner will direct the production.
â€śThe Winter Wonderettesâ€ť will help you ring in the New Year with the girls at Harperâ€™s Hardware preparing for their 1968 holiday party. The Marvelous Wonderettes bring their signature harmony to songs from â€śO Tannenbaumâ€ť and â€śWinter Wonderlandâ€ť to â€śMele Kalikimakaâ€ť and â€śJingle Bell Rock.â€ť
Also directed by Turner, with musical direction by Boston Conservatory grad and Broadway performer Dan Micciche, and choreography by Christopher Kirby, â€śThe Winter Wonderettesâ€ť features the talents of Lulu Lloyd, who was praised by critics for her portrayal of Judy in OSTCâ€™s production of â€ś9 to 5: The Musicalâ€ť; Melissa Robinette, who portrayed Finchâ€™s love interest, Rosemary, this past summer in â€śHow to Succeed in Business Without Really Tryingâ€ť; New York actress Kim Morgan Dean, who is currently taking on the title role in â€śAlwaysâ€¦Patsy Clineâ€ť at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in West Virginia; and Erin McCracken, who won rave reviews for her portrayal of Tracy Turnblad in â€śHairsprayâ€ť in 2011. â€śThe Winter Wonderettesâ€ť will be presented from Dec. 5 through Dec. 30.
Tickets for â€śSantaLand Diariesâ€ť are $25 for previews and $25 to $47 for regular performances. Tickets for â€śThe Winter Wonderettesâ€ť are $39 for previews and $39 to $54 for regular performances. Discount rates for groups of 20 or more are available by calling 245-1426. Tickets are available at the theaterâ€™s box office Tuesday through Friday from 12 noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 12 noon to 4 p.m., via telephone by calling 921-6800 during regular box office hours and online 24 hours a day at OceanStateTheatre.org.
Subscriptions and single tickets for the Inaugural Season, which includes â€śFoolsâ€ť by Neil Simon, â€śRentâ€ť by Jonathan Larson, â€śRaceâ€ť by David Mamet and â€śThe King and Iâ€ť by Rodgers and Hammerstein, are also available.