Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mighty Goliath Productions Takes Risks to Bring Urinetown: The Musical to Life

(Avon Lake, OH)- Mighty Goliath is deep into production of their next show, the Tony award winning musical, URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL. Rehearsals started back in October, and once a week the cast, crew, and orchestra get together on Friday to rehearse. Mighty Goliath Productions is unique in a few ways. One way is the commitment of the cast and crew. Unlike many other community theatre groups, Mighty Goliath is comprised entirely of volunteers. Not a single person takes a salary or money for their time and efforts put into creating the show. Another way Mighty Goliath Productions is unique is their mission. They are a non-profit that donates the profits of their shows to Avon Lake's City Schools. Their money has gone to fund the Performing Arts Center, Drama Club, Orchestra, Band, and Choir programs.

This partnership with Avon Lake Schools was founded in 1959, when it was organized as a PTA group at Avon Lake's Eastview Elementary. It has since grown into a destination for theatre goers all across the Cleveland area. Mighty Goliath Productions has attracted some of Cleveland's most talented actors and actresses, musicians, and directors along with many families.

A hallmark of a Mighty Goliath Production is the large ensemble musicals. To be in the chorus you don't need to try out, simply show up and commit to the once a week rehearsal. This has allowed entire families to take the stage together. Children as young as 6 months old have been on stage in a Mighty Goliath Productions.

This year many see Mighty Goliath Productions as taking a large risk in producing URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL. Why? Because of the name. URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL may be the worst name of a musical in the history of musicals; but that is the joke. For the first time in its 57 year history, Mighty Goliath is going to have the orchestra right on stage. There will be scaffolding, platforms on the prosceniums, special lighting, and the action will be put so much closer to the audience, it is sure to delight any casual theatre goer.

URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL debuted on Broadway in 2001 after Greg Kotis was traveling Europe and came across a pay-per-use toilet. He teamed up with Mike Hollman and together they brought this musical to Broadway.

URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL is a journey through a world where toilets aren't free and you have to pay to use the "public amenity". The show is filled with symbolism about overreaching government, corrupt public institutions, and corrupt government officials, and lobbyists. It also poke a lot of fun of Broadway musicals in the process. Not only does it explore really tough themes like water conservation, but it is done with laughter and absurdity.

URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL presented by Mighty Goliath Productions runs February 19, 20, 26, and 27 at 7:30pm and a matinee show on February 21 at 2:00pm. All performances are at the Avon Lake Performing Arts Center 175 Avon Belden Rd; Avon Lake, Ohio 44012. The Mighty Goliath box office phone number is 440-508-MGP1 (6471).

About Mighty Goliath Productions:

Mighty Goliath Productions is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit fundraising organization the benefits the performing arts programs for Avon Lake City Schools. Our impact enriches the cultural life of the community. We focus on our unique ability to provide a professional, fun, philanthropic theatrical experience for our volunteers and audiences alike. for more information visit

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Meet the Cast: Kevin Cline

Kevin Cline (Mr. McQueen)-is excited to be making his debut at Might Goliath Productions with this amazing cast and crew! He was last seen inBig Fish (Amos Calloway) at True North, where he also appeared in The Pajama Game (Vernon Hines), Jesus Christ Superstar (Priest 3) and A Christmas Story: The Musical (Santa). He has also appeared in The Addams Family (Uncle Fester) at Broadview Heights Spotlights, and Suessical: The Musical (Horton) at Brecksville Little Theater. He wants to thank his family and friends for their unending support.

You can still share a stage with Kevin and many more talented performers. The deadline to join is November 20, 2015. Rehearsals are Fridays 7:00-11:00pm at Learwood Middle School 340 Lear Rd Avon Lake, Ohio 44012. For questions please call 440-508-MGP1. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Meet the Cast: Natalie Fischer

Natalie Fischer (Ms. Millennium) – Natalie is a Junior at Elyria Catholic HS and it’s her 10th show with Mighty Goliath. Favorite Mighty Goliath roles include: Little Girl in Ragtime, Duffy u/s in Annie, Charlotte in Oliver and the purple Bird Girl in Seussical the Musical. Natalie has been seen in many shows/performances with Truenorth Cultural Arts, Lorain Community Music Theatre, Hathaway Brown Theatre Institute, Lorain Palace Theatre and Chinon, France. This past summer she was lucky to be cast as Mark’s Mom in the School Edition of Rent at Hathaway Brown Theatre Institute which received wonderful reviews. Natalie’s dream is to become a director, performer or writer on the Broadway or Off-Broadway stage in NYC. She’d like to thank her family and friends who continue to support her, Barbara for her vocal training and friendship and to Douglas for giving me the chance to work on this production. Break-a-Leg to the Cast and Crew!

You can still join the ensemble for this year's production and share a stage with Natalie and many other talented performers. The deadline to join is November 20, 2015. Rehearsals are Fridays 7:00-11:00pm at Learwood Middle School, 340 Lear Rd Avon Lake, Ohio 44012. Call 440-508-MGP1 with any questions. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Night with Mighty Goliath Productions: Recap

The crowd takes the stage at the Lorain Palace photo: Andy Dudik
From the opening number 'A Night with Mighty Goliath Productions' whisked through the night taking the audience on a journey. This journey that would take them into the past, through the present, with looks to the future.

The Lorain Palace, in many ways, was the perfect venue for this magical evening. The Lorain Palace Theater takes you on the same journey just by walking through the doors. The recently restored gem of a theater gives you a taste of what it was like back in the early 1920's when it was first built. As patrons walked down to the stage you pass 1,362 seats to find their place on stage. The space was the star of the show until the first number, then it played the perfect backdrop to the music and performers on stage.

The audience was just as much on stage as the performers were. This was as much a celebration for them as it was for Mighty Goliath Productions. Without the audience's support both creatively and financially Mighty Goliath wouldn't exist, putting them on stage Saturday night was very important.

'A Night with Mighty Goliath Productions' was a fundraiser to kick off the campaign for Urinetown: The Musical. Douglas Bailey not only volunteered to direct this special one-night-only event but he also performed and emceed the evening.

The lineup for the evening was tremendous with the brilliant accompanist Matthew Grittner who played the piano as if it were just an extension of his hands.

Ian Atwood, Douglas Bailey, and Tim Schuerger kicked off the evening singing a selection from Guys and Dolls (1984,2002) followed closely by Natalie Fischer, Marisa Petticord, and Julie Warren singing 'I Know It's Today' from perhaps a future MGP production of Shrek: The Musical. Gabbi Capello was our first soloist of the evening singing 'The Spark of Creation' from the musical Children of Eden, another show that MGP might consider doing in the future.

Reprising their roles as Horton the Elephant and Jojo from last year's production of Seussical (2015) was Ian Atwood and Marisa Petticord singing the heart string tugging, 'Alone in the Universe'.

Steve, Nicci, and Jessica (photo Andy Dudik)
Not to forget the dancers, Jessica Atwood and Nicci Cassara Billington danced away while Steve Schuerger, reprising his role from Once Upon A Mattress as the Jester, sang 'Very Soft Shoes' followed by Brett Hall as Sir Harry and Julie Warren as Lady Larkin singing 'In A Little While' from the same show.

Meg Whitman, reprising her role as Laurie, backed by Natalie Fischer, Gabbi Capello, and Morgan Williams sang 'Out of my Dreams' from Oklahoma (1976,1994,2013). Rick Fortney then took the stage to reprise his role as Judd with 'Lonely Room'.

Looking ahead to the future was Jim Kotora and Tim Schuerger singing 'All For The Best' from Godspell.

'Goodnight My Someone' from the musical Music Man (1973,1991,2004) was Sung by Natalie Fischer and Ally Yellets. Natalie shared with the audience that Music Man in 2004 was her first show with Mighty Goliath. She was five years old and has since grown into a fine performer and she and Ally both showed that with this selection.

Meg Whitman came back on stage and sang a selection from Cry Baby called 'Screw Loose' which she said was the exact opposite of her role as Laurie. Steve Schuerger and Brett Hall paired up to sing 'Hey There' from the Pajama Game (1978,2000) followed the the Act I finale of Nicci Cassara Billington and Jessica Atwood taking the dance floor once again to dance the 'Hot Honey Rag' from Chicago.

Intermission there were raffles from prize baskets filled with goodies from the Cleveland Browns Alumni, Pat O'Brien Chevrolet, Bubba's Q, Gallucci's, The Lorain Palace, House of Blues, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and John Christ Winery.

Kicking off Act II was Jennifer Bertoni sticking up for the bit part players in 'What Happened To My Part?' from Spamalot followed by Jim Kotora singing 'Hushabye Mountain' from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, both shows that might be in the future for MGP. Morgan Williams took the stage right after with 'Castle on a Cloud' from Les Miserables, a show that we've been really anxious to do.

Rosa Gasden took the stage backed up by Gabbi Capello, Natalie Fischer, Meg Whitman, BJ Colangelo, and Tony Heffner. She belted the soulful tune, 'I Know Where I've Been' from Hairspray, which brought the house down. An audience member said, "Someone has to follow that?". That's when Ally Yellets took the stage to sing 'Far From the Home I Love' from Fiddler on the Roof (1980,1999) and showed that someone CAN follow Rosa.

Bringing us into the present day was Sarah Lynn and Douglas Bailey singing the hilarious tune, 'Follow Your Heart' from this year's production of Urinetown (2016). This was Sarah Lynn's return to the stage after years and years of stage managing.

Tony Heffner (photo Andy Dudik)
Titanic (2005) took Mighty Goliath to new heights when the set designer, Gary Fischer, was asked to build a set that would sink. In 2005 they did just that and to celebrate a feat of engineering and craftsmanship Tony Heffner took the stage to sing 'Barrett's Song'. Tony stayed on stage as Brittney-Jade Colangelo joined him to sing 'Suddenly Seymour' from Little Shop of Horrors which is another show that could be in our future.

Coming down the home stretch Ian Atwood and Douglas Bailey sang 'Confrontation' from Les Miserables with such precision that the audience had smiles from ear to ear. Sarah Lynn Bailey took the stage for a final time that night showing that she can hold her own as a soloist when she sang 'A Way Back to Then' from [title of show].

Rick Fortney came back to talk about how Mighty Goliath shaped his life including the decision to pursue a career in the theater and he then sang 'Mama a Rainbow' from Minnie's Boys. This was a tribute to his mother who was a long time organist for Mighty Goliath Productions.

Haunting us all with a rendition of 'The Witch' from Big Fish, Brittney-Jade Colangelo. Brittney-Jade played Princess Winifred in her first Mighty Goliath production after moving from Chicago. She knew absolutely no one except for her boyfriend, who was sitting stage right. She said, "Mighty Goliath has really been a family" and helped her get through some tough times including pancreatic cancer.

For the Act II Finale every performer took the stage once more to do 'Freak Flag' from Shrek.

At the end of the night we raised money for the performing arts and took a tremendous journey through time as we looked back on what made MGP great and where we could go in the future. Everyone in the crowd was on their feet by the time it was over and their hands were so sore from clapping so much.
Entire cast of A Night with Mighty Goliath Productions (photo Andy Dudik)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Meet the Cast: Jenny Petticord

This is Jenny’s fourth show with MGP, having joined on for Oklahoma and participated in the shows since then.  She’s grateful to MGP for the chance to perform with her daughter, Marisa, and for the motivation to get out of the house on those cold, wintery Friday nights when she would otherwise curl up into an introverted, grouchy blob. She’s thrilled to have this featured role, her first since high school, thirty-uhh, cough, cough—years ago.  Jenny is an ESL teacher and Wilson Reading instructor for Westlake City Schools.  She enjoys wogging (walking + jogging), yoga, reading and sailing when she’s not at work.  Jenny is married to Dan and has two children, Danny and the afore-mentioned Marisa. Thank you, Dan and kids, for encouraging me to audition (i.e. calling me a chicken).

You too can share the stage with Jenny by joining us in the chorus. You can join by coming to the first rehearsals starting TOMORROW! October 30, 2015 at 7:00pm. Rehearsals will start at Learwood Middle School 340 Lear Rd Avon Lake, Ohio 44012. The last night to join the chorus is November 20, 2015.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Meet the Cast: Timothy Richard Parks

Timothy Richard Parks is incredibly excited to be a character in Mighty Goliath Productions performance of Urinetown for his third year with this group. He is glad to have this chance to work with such an amazing group and with such delightful people. Most recently he has played George Dawson in Carrie: The Musical at Sandstone Summer Theatre and J. Patrick Hopkins in American Enterprise at Lorain County Community College. He would like to thank Douglas Bailey and SarahLynne Bailey for allowing him the privilege of being in this show. 

Welcome back to Mighty Goliath Productions Tim; we're so glad to have you. 

You can share a stage with Timothy Parks too, just need to come to our first rehearsal the Friday October 30, 2015 at Learwood Middle School 340 Lear Rd. Avon Lake, Ohio 44012 

Rehearsal starts promptly at 7:00pm. 

November 20, 2015 is the last day you can join this year's production. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Meet the Cast: Johnathan Telepak

Johnathan Telepak (Officer Barrel) is delighted to be making his debut with Mighty Goliath Productions.  He has previously been involved in such shows as Pride and Prejudice, West Side Story, The Wizard of Oz, and A Christmas Story at the collegiate, high school, and community levels. He also recently contributed to acting in commercials for his place of work. John studied Theatre at Baldwin Wallace University and currently sings with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra Chorus. He is excited to be part of this amazing production of Urinetown, and also to get a chance to work with Doug Bailey.

Welcome to the Mighty Goliath Productions' family Johnathan, we're happy you are with us. You can join our chorus this Friday October 30, 2015 at Learwood Middle School 340 Lear Rd Avon Lake, Ohio 44012. Rehearsal starts promptly at 7:00pm.

November 20, 2015 is the last day you can join this year's production.