Thursday, October 01, 2009

The thrill of a lifetime ...

... a long lifetime (91 years), one of the highlights of which has to be seeing yourself portrayed—however briefly—onstage in a New York theater. That was the honor accorded Mrs. Raymond (Mitzi) Scott on Sunday September 20, after she flew in from the west coast to attend a matinee of Powerhouse, the FringeNYC Festival biographic musical fantasia about her late husband. The cast was told Mitzi would be attending one of the four "Fringe Encore" (extended run) performances, but were not told which—to prevent an added layer of stage jitters (particularly for Clare McNulty, who offered a very sympathetic portrayal of Mitzi). The highly animated performance zoomed along smoothly, and Mitzi adored the show, after which she was introduced to the house and presented by the cast with a bouquet of roses.

The snapshot above was taken outside the Actors' Playhouse on Seventh Avenue after the final curtain. Left to right: Josh Luxenberg (writer); Jon Levin (director and concept); Hanley Smith (Dorothy Collins); Clare McNulty; Eric Wright (Mel, Puppet Designer and Builder); Mitzi Scott; Ben Dziuba (Chuck); Deborah Radloff (Pearl Zimney); Erik Lochtefeld (Raymond Scott); and Jesse Garrison (Carl).

Following the initial August run, the cast was awarded the FringeNYC 2009 Excellence Award for Outstanding Ensemble. The show was one of 20 (out of over 200) that earned a September slot in the Encore series. The next step—if the theatrical gods show favor—is for Powerhouse to open Off-Broadway. Here's hoping. A larger venue and a more accommodating budget would magnify the show's abundant charms.

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