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.  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Meet the Cast: BJ Colangelo

BJ Colangelo is excited to return to her first Cleveland Theatre home with Mighty Goliath Productions as Penelope Pennywise. She was last seen as The Witch in BIG FISH and Mabel in The Pajama Game at True North Cultural Arts. Some of BJ's favorite roles include Mayzie La Bird (Seussical), Princess Winnifred (Once Upon A Mattress), Cathy (HAIR), Angel (When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?), Columbia (The Rocky Horror Show), Felicia Dantine (I Hate Hamlet), and Ensemble (Godspell).  When she's not performing, BJ is the co-founder of Sickening Pictures, an award winning film production company. She'd like to dedicate this show to her wonderful parents that put up with years of off-key belting and hideous baton costumes to get her where she is today.

Don't miss your chance to share the stage with BJ. You can join the chorus by coming to the first rehearsals. Our first rehearsal is this Friday October 30, 2015 at Learwood Middle School 340 Lear Rd Avon Lake, Ohio 44012. Just follow the MGP signs. Rehearsal starts promptly at 7:00pm

The last day to join this year's production is November 20, 2015, we hope to see you there! 

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Night With Mighty Goliath Productions

Mighty Goliath Productions has been entertaining theatre patron for over 55 years. This year we're producing a one night special evening of entertainment in addition to their one production a year. It will be a celebration of years past, a sneak preview of the current production of Urinetown, and it will also look to the future of what Mighty Goliath Productions might do in the future. It will feature over 20 performers performing numbers from over 20 shows.
This one night event will be held at the Lorain Palace Theatre in Lorain, Ohio on November 7, 2015. A cocktail hour with heavy hor d'oeuvres will start at 6:30pm and the show will start at 7:30pm. Tickets are available on Mighty Goliath Productions’ website ( for $25.00 but only until November 1, 2015. The only way to insure a seat is to purchase the tickets through  
Included in this evening will be raffles, presentations from Mighty Goliath Alumni, and a great time. This is a rare performance of Mighty Goliath members spanning many different generations.

Lorain Palace Theatre
617 Broadway Ave
Lorain, Ohio 44052

For more information


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Night With Mighty Goliath Productions

History is what makes Mighty Goliath Productions so special. We have a rich history of philanthropy and creativity. Our organization was born out of the PTA and has morphed into this non-profit that works tirelessly year round to raise money for our schools. 

This year we decided to reboot something we had done in the past every year, a revue. We would put on a show every year to kind of get people's juices flowing for the new show. It was an excuse to put on a show and have a great time. 

This year under the direction of Douglas F. Bailey II we have put together our event, 'A Night With Mighty Goliath Productions'. It features alumni of MGP from years past. It will highlight the past, present, and future of our organization. We will do numbers from shows we did ages ago, numbers from our current production, and numbers from shows we had been thinking about in the future. 

With over 20 performers and over 20 songs, this is going to be a night like nothing else. We will be hosting it at the Lorain Palace Theatre on November 7, 2015. We will have a cocktail hour starting at 6pm and the show starting at 7:30pm. There are going to raffles, food, and a cash bar. 

Come have fun. A night of fun for only $25.00. 

Get your tickets on our website using your credit or debit card. Can't wait to see you all there! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chorus Auditions

Now that I have your attention.

Mighty Goliath Productions has never held auditions for the chorus and we aren't going to start now. But there is some information you need to know.

When do we start rehearsing? October 30, 2015 

Where do we rehearse? Learwood Middle School 340 Lear Rd Avon Lake, Ohio 44012 to start

How often do we rehearse? Once a week, on Friday with the exception of tech Saturday and tech week.

How long does rehearsal go? We rehearse until 11pm which is when we need to exit the buildings.

When is the last chance I can join the chorus? November 20 is the last night you can join us.

You will get a full schedule when you join us. This will get us started. We can't wait to see you. If you have any questions, please email us at auditions [at] mightygoliath [dot] com.

October will be here before you know it. Are you ready? Because we are.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What's the show about?

We've got a few awesome things happening. First of all we launched our new Facebook page in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. In less than 24 hours we are rocking 200+ likes. Thank you so much for all the support. Our Facebook page will serve to get fast moving information out there. If you haven't 'Liked' it yet point your browser to

Speaking about the Facebook page we've seen a lot of you sharing the event for our auditions. If you aren't hip to the details, check the post just before this. People are talking about which 32 bars of music to sing and what joke to tell. We can't wait to see what you have planned. But there is a question that we have picked up on.

What is Urinetown the Musical! really about?

Urinetown is a lot of musicals into one. On the surface it is about a dystopian-future where a 20 year drought has ravaged the country and you can't use your own personal toilet. You have to pay for the privilege to pee essentially. If you don't pay up, the government sends you to a place called Urinetown.

To say this musical is about water conservation and being kind to our Planet, you'd be right on. But it isn't just about that. It also makes fun of government over reach. It also satirized the legal system, corporate mismanagement, populist movements, and yes, even Broadway musicals. This is a comedy, our goal is to get you to pee your pants (that wasn't an accident by the way) from laughing so hard.

The music has a little bit of everything Broadway has done...ever. There are tunes that would sound right at home in Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, and Les Misérables. The main character is Bobby Strong, which was at one point the most sought after roles on Broadway, so to say the Broadway establishment has given this play their large rubber stamp of approval is an understatement. Urinetown the Musical!won the Tony hat trick for best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Direction of a Musical in 2002.

We are excited to see how Douglas F Bailey II, or Doug as we like to call him, is going to stage this whole show. We know he has some really neat ideas that Mighty Goliath has NEVER done before. Reminds me of when we sunk the Titanic live on stage 10 years ago.

So follow along, we are excited you are here.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Tweeters beware

Lots of cool things have been going on over the summer. Urinetown the Musical! is our new show. We are ramping up a lot of awesome new things. One of which is our new twitter handle, @mightygoliathAL.

If you're a twitter junkie like me, we'd love to see you there. We will be posting audition dates, photos, contests, and much much more over there so drop on by and say hi. Use the hashtag #MGPUrinetown to welcome Mighty Goliath to the 21st century!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Coming Soon: Auditions

Want to audition for Mighty Goliath's Production of Urinetown? 

Get ready to polish off your 36 bars of audition music. 

Work out your best material so you can tell us a funny joke. 

Stay tuned because audition details are dropping soon. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Every year members of Mighty Goliath Productions anticipate our announcement of our next show. By the looks of it, people are really excited. 

But with a name like Urinetown, leaves some of us scratching our heads. Why Urinetown

So I did what any good blogger does, I asked the Director, Douglas F. Bailey II, why Urinetown? Also asked why he thought it was important for Mighty Goliath Productions to do it, and now that he is also our Board President, how does that play into his approach? 

Why not Urinetown??? Seriously though, I elected to pitch Urinetown to our board of directors for about a thousand and one reasons. My initial attraction to Urinetown was that it's my all time favorite musical, and in my opinion it is under produced by the community theater world. It is an in your face comedy with very serious undertones. When deconstructed to it's furthest degree, Urinetown is a musical about being responsible with our natural resources and not destroying our home and planet. Layer in a  love story, a greedy and corrupt organization, and two narrators who have no problem poking fun at themselves and the show, particularly the name of the show, and you've got a hilarious romp that leaves you thinking as you leave the auditorium. 
Another HUGE attraction to Urinetown is it's constant callback to other iconic musicals. Each musical number was modeled after a past show, from Hello Dolly! to West Side Story toFiddler on the Roof, there is something in show to get everyone's toes tapping. Finally, like all Mighty Goliath shows, Urinetown is family friendly and fun for all ages.

"Why do we go to the theatre?" Theatrical experiences are about entertaining the audience, but more over, I believe we as performers, directors, etc have a responsibility to use the power of theater for good. Mighty Goliath does that in raising funds for the performing arts of Avon Lake, but I think it is also important for our productions to have "take aways" for the audience. Last year's Seussical: the Musical was about inclusion and self worth; Urinetown  is about overcoming corrupt entitieand working to preserve this beautiful rock that we live on. Urinetown is not Guys and Dolls or other Golden Age Musicals, but it is a funny, beautiful show with a wonderful message that can still pay homage to the great musicals that came before it. i think it's important to continue to expose people to the different types of productions that exist, while still keep the scope very specific to our organization.

Does being the board president change the way you approach the show? 

The much longer answer is that art should not be tampered with based on the expectations of position. I respect my colleagues on the board and on my production team enough to trust that they know my vision for Urinetown and Mighty Goliath Productions as a whole are similar. We're here to raise funds to keep the arts alive. In order to that, we need to produce a fantastic musical. Urinetown was on my list of shows to pitch to the board of directors as the returning Director long before I became President of the Board. This production, with the support of the many talents of Might Goliath is going to be something that our audiences have never seen before. And I think they're going to LOVE it.

Auditions will be announced soon so stay tuned. We'll be very excited to hear from you soon! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sam Sarvas

Sam Sarvas photo: acgercak
Sam Sarvas is a Mighty Goliath Productions alum with an ambitious goal. She will graduate high school this year with a college degree. For most of us this seems impossible, but Sam took a bite out of the impossible and will do just that. Lorain County Community College has a program that lets high school students attend college and also attend high school. This is different that the typical post-secondary education that has been around for many years. This is a full-time program called Lorain County Early College High School.

The program is open to students in Lorain County who is a first generation college student, but it also accepts a short list of open enrollment students. That open enrollment is how Sam was able to take advantage of this groundbreaking program. Because she is at Lorain County Community College she can participate in the choral program there and also take voice lessons.

Sam is also the recipient of the MGP scholarship last year. $350 doesn't seem like a lot in the large scheme of things, but Sam was really able to maximize the benefits of the scholarship. She used her scholarship to buy an iPad, which seems silly, but in the age of electronics, hauling around an iPad for class not only cuts down on the items she will need for classes, but allows her to be a more mobile student. Most classes have homework assigned online Sam used her laptop to stay connected at all times, but that large piece of hardware was hard to carry around. By using the iPad she can also download coursework, books, and even research papers while keeping the load she has to bear to a minimum. Next year when she attends Cleveland State University to finish her 4 year degree, she will have a leg up on all the other freshmen entering college, because we will enter with an Associates Degree. Sam has chosen Cleveland State so she can be close to home and participate in MGP for years to come.

Sam has been able to take what some consider a small scholarship and use it for big things. Good luck next year Sam.

If you would like to apply for the Mighty Goliath Productions scholarship, click here. Deadline for Submissions is May 1, 2015.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Free Money

Seussical the Musical Production Staff (2015)
In 1959, I am not sure our founding founders thought about making Avon Lake one of the best communities nationwide to get a superior music education. Fast forward 56 years and here we are. Still raising money for the Avon Lake Schools.

As a whole, music education holds a place near and dear to our hearts. Many of our actors and actresses, stage crew, set designers, orchestra members, and audience members had some form of formal training at some point growing up. Whether it was band once a day, marching band, or drama club. We all loved our time in our school organizations.

Avon Lake is now one of 5 local communities honored with the distinction from North American Music Merchants as being one of 388 communities nationwide as being one of the best communities for music education. There are members of our board that went through the Avon Lake School system and would agree wholeheartedly that this is the case. There are those that participate in MGP that have never seen a school do so much for music education. Avon Lake residents should be proud to have such a great program in their city.

Music education isn't about playing an instrument. Music is a gateway to learning. Studies show that increases music education leads to better math grades, science grades, and opens students up to better critical thinking.

Mighty Goliath Productions wants to continue to support anyone who wants to further their music education into college. As per tradition MGP will award one small scholarship of $350.00 to a student this Spring. The requirements are simple; you must be enrolled (or enrolled for the Fall) in a two or four year college and have at least 3 years of musical theater experience. If you are interested in Applying all you have to do is click here. Once you've filled out the application, email it to our Board President, Doug Bailey ( douglasfbaileyii [at] gmail [dot] com ). Deadline for applications is May 1, 2015.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Striking the Set

photo c/o Samatha Sarvas
 Seussical the Musical has closed. The last day of February 2015 marked the last show for MGP's production and the agonizing process of tearing down the set that everyone worked so hard to build. The cast gathered on stage and took down the set, stored the costumes and all began speculating on next year's show.

It's always sad to wrap up a show. You pour your heart and soul into it from November til now, and the 5 shows you perform go so quickly. It always feels like there should be another show, another week, another month. 

But that's the fun of wrapping the show. The board meets soon, the new members of the board are brought up to speed and outgoing board members move onto taking a bit of a break. There they will start the process of closing the books on the show and work begins almost immediately on the next show. 

Stay tuned because we have a lot of ideas for things on the blog. It is going to be exciting. Thanks you for supporting the arts in Avon Lake, and that you for being amazing. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

We Are Family

(click to enlarge)

Mighty Goliath has filled the stage with tons of talented casts since 1959. In recent years MGP has been recognized for its choreography, actors, and actresses. There is an often overlooked dynamic of MGP casts that is uniquely MGP.


A lot of theater companies often talk about how much their cast feels like a family. You spend a lot of time with a cast every show, and MGP starts rehearsing the show on Fridays nearly 4 months before opening night. It can really start to feel like family, because in MGP's case, we are.

How many 13 year old kids do you know who often want to spend more time then necessary with their family? Not many, yet this year we have whole family units participating. Ian Atwood, who plays Horton the Elephant in Seussical the Musical is surrounded by family. His wife Jessie is the choreographer, his mother-in-law in the chorus and has helped with costumes, his father-in-law plays Dr Dink and is the assistant stage manager, his Cousin and Uncle have helped with sets and backstage as well. That is 6 folks from ONE family.

Family is what makes Mighty Goliath Productions operate. Not only do we put on a show to raise money for the Avon Lake Performing Arts Endowment Fund, but we also bring families together on stage. In a world full of distractions like video games and iPhones, MGP is still that beacon of family fun many families look forward to every single year. For 4 hours every Friday everyone puts away their distractions and focuses on putting on a great show, which is a feat considering how attached we all have become to our cell phones.

What does your family do for fun? Leave your answers in the comments.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Seussical the Musical

Well it's cold. I mean like really cold. Avon Lake Schools have canceled school for February 20, 2015. Well by a happy coincidence that also happens to be opening night for "Seussical the Musical". Now many folks would assume we are canceling the show. You know what happens when you assume don't you?


We've been working hard during this past tech week, putting the finishing touches on the show. We aren't canceling it. We know it will be cold, but they say the best way to stay warm is to huddle with a bunch of people. In a theater. Watching a show. With dancing. And singing.

Also you have to check out the behind the scenes video of what we have been doing all week. This video was the production of John Burgio, a student at Avon Lake High School. This video is the reason we raise money to keep the arts alive in our schools. The arts are the gateway to better math and science skills, better critical thinking skills, and a more creative atmosphere in general.

Come see us. The school might be closed, but the theater is certainly going to be open!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"And Then I'll Live Happily Happy...": MGP and My Battle With Pancreatic Cancer

By Brittney-Jade Colangelo

I've never been subtle about my disdain for Cleveland, OH.  I am a born and bred Chicago girl, and moving to Northeast Ohio was an incredibly strange and difficult adjustment.  Wait, you don't have a huge public transit service? Excuse me, you don't have an NHL team?  Hold the phone: YOU HAVE FLAT PIZZA?!  I can already hear you from the other side of the internet screaming, "If you hate it so much, why did you move here?"  The answer: Cleveland has an incredible theatre scene.

I had lived in the suburbs of Cleveland for only a month and a half when I saw an ad saying "MIGHTY GOLIATH PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS: ONCE UPON A MATTRESS AUDITIONS!"  Immediately, I knew I had to go. ONCE UPON A MATTRESS was one of my favorite musicals, and I had a bitter vendetta about losing the lead role on a school-rule technicality back in high school that needed to be remedied.  I was extremely excited to start audition preparations when I saw the little asterisk of *volunteer*.  If there's one thing I learned growing up near Chicago, if someone wants you do perform your art without paying's probably not worth your time.  I had all but written off MGP when I decided to check out their website before making any final decisions.

"Mighty Goliath Productions, most often referred to as MGP, is a musical theatre company comprised of adults, teenagers, and children from all over Lorain and Cuyahoga Counties that contributes funds towards the Performing Arts Department of Avon Lake High School, as well as the Endowment Fund for Avon Lake Public Schools. They have donated over $228,000 in proceeds to the Avon Lake Public Schools since 1959. The organization continues to be entirely comprised of volunteers who donate their time and talent as performing artists, technicians and administrators."

A theatre company donating their profits to the school theatre departments?  Okay. Yeah. I'll audition.

I showed up to the auditions and was immediately greeted by some of the most energetic and encouraging people.  Always afraid of being late, I was the first to arrive.  After filling out my audition paperwork, I sat in a room when it suddenly began to fill with dozens of people, all of whom spoke with one another like they were family.  I knew immediately that I wanted to work with these people.  I was called a week later and offered the role of "Princess Winnifred" one of the leading roles.  There were happy tears and an excited phone call to my mother.  My first audition in Ohio, and I nailed it.
Some of my favorite stills from ONCE UPON A MATTRESS

At our first read through, everyone introduced themselves and began saying how many shows they had done with MGP.  "This is my third show, this is my ninth show, this is my 30th show..."  I was amazed at the commitment from most of these people, and knew there must be something special about this group if they were coming back for more years than I had been alive on this earth.  The rehearsals for the show were hectic, frantic, and a ton of fun.  I made my first real friends since moving into a new time zone, and I finally started to feel like I might be able to find my place in this new chapter of my life.  As many people know, show weekends can be pretty intense.  I was running back and forth between job interviews and didn't have much time to breathe, let alone eat.  The stress and frantic nature of the show caught up to me, and I got sick.  In the middle of a Sunday Matinee, I felt extremely ill. In between scenes I was chugging water, pacing, and praying that I wouldn't throw up on stage.  Once the show had concluded, I changed out of costume and drove myself to the emergency room.  The doctors weren't really sure what was going on with me, so they did every test under the sun just to be safe. Blood tests, urine tests, CT scans, ultrasounds, everything. And that's when they found it. 

"We're not entirely sure what is making you feel ill, but there is something we need to tell you. Ma'am, we have noticed a large mass on the tail end of your pancreas. We are going to transfer you to University Hospital's Main Campus for a biopsy."

Within a week, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of 23. I didn't want to freak anyone out at the show so I told everyone "the tumor is fine, but it has to come out." I was lying through my teeth. I knew I had cancer, I just didn't want to ruin the show.  After closing night, I came clean on Facebook and announced to everyone the truth. I had a rare form of a neuroendocrine tumor the size of a tennis ball on the tail of my pancreas. The type of cancer I had is similar as the one that killed Steve Jobs.  To put it into perspective for you, I had a 4% survival rate.  FOUR PERCENT.  I was in another timezone, I didn't know anyone, and I was dying.
Two weeks after the show: Missing a spleen, 40% of a pancreas, a tumor, and 22 lymph nodes
My surgery was scheduled two weeks after the show ended. Pumped with one round of chemo (that did absolutely nothing) and some radiation, doctors removed my spleen, 40% of my pancreas, the tennis ball sized tumor, and 22 lymph nodes.  A week before, I was jumping on top of a table and belting my face off. Now? I was crying while clumps of brown curls intertwined the bristles of my hairbrush and trying not to laugh/sneeze/cry/hiccup/burp/cough/yawn/or take big breaths. I had staples across my abdomen, I wasn't allowed to go anywhere without a guide, and I couldn't eat solid food for almost a month.  I was a mess.  

Luckily for me, MGP was there.  The second I was out of the hospital, I had people offering to cook me dinner, clean my house, do my laundry, and most importantly...just sit and talk with me about something other than "how are you feeling?"  I was new in town and didn't know a single soul, and when I needed someone more than anyone, the MGP family came out in droves.  The doctors still aren't sure what made me feel so sick, but they know my symptoms were unrelated to the cancer.  If I hadn't auditioned for ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, I wouldn't have gone to the hospital.  I was so proud of this show that I wanted to fix whatever was making me feel sick as soon as possible, and it saved my life.  Cleveland may have a sad excuse for pizza and some abysmal pot holes (seriously guys, fix that), but it brought me to MGP, and with that, brought me the greatest support system I've ever known. 

Next week I will miss the first full run through of SEUSSICAL: THE MUSICAL! because I will be undergoing my next (and hopefully last!) surgery.  Once it's over with, I should be cured and cleared of this pesky cancer.  Normally, I'd be a nervous wreck...but I'm not because I know that I'll be returning to a supportive and welcoming group.  

My new family.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


This year's show is "Seussical the Musical" and we couldn't be more excited. The timing is perfect too; 2015 is the 25th year anniversary of Dr. Seuss' "Oh, The Places You'll Go!". Not only was this Dr. Seuss' last book, but it was also his best selling book selling more than 10 million copies.

This year's show is directed by a first time MGP director, Douglas Bailey. His ideas and thoughts behind the show are amazing, so we asked him to answer the question, "why Seussical?:

So for me Seussical is about acceptance of all kinds. The main reason I presented this show to the board was because I think that even though it is presented with characters we all remember fondly from our childhood, the message transcends all ages, colors, and creeds.
Horton faces some pretty dire circumstances as his story unfolds. He's harassed by the citizens of the jungle, he's sold oversees as a freak in a freak show, and ultimately put on trial for his belief that all people deserve to be treated as just that, people. "A persons a person no matter how small" is just one instance of the ideal of acceptance in the play.
Zoom in on Who and we meet JoJo who is a thinker. In the society presented in Who, that in itself is subject to many forms of derision. So much so he is sent of to military school to have the "silliness drilled from his head". 
All the while Horton and JoJo struggle with being accepted by their peers, Gertrude struggles with maybe the most difficult kind of acceptance; self acceptance. She is trying to get Horton's attention and goes through a pretty drastic cosmetic change in order to do so. She defies Dr. Dake's declaration that her tail is the right size and grows a bigger one instead. Of course, then she is unable to help her good friend Horton when he is kidnapped because she can't fly. 
Eventually these three protagonists overcome all of the terrible and silly things thrown at them. They are aided along the way by the Cat in the Hat, who is encouraging them to stick to the guns and keep being different in a way that only they can be.
I love this piece of theater and think that there is a lesson in it for everyone who sits in the audience to watch. 
Is this year's show a little silly? Yes, and we wouldn't have it any other way, but it carries a message that is timeless.

Tickets are on sale now through