Tahlequah Daily Press


September 6, 2013

TCP bringing new musical to stage

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah boasts a large artistic community, and an upcoming production by Tahlequah Community Playhouse Inc. will feature its fair share of local talent.

“The Drowsy Chaperone,” a musical directed by Shawn Arthur, will have toes tapping and laughter echoing throughout the production, which opens Friday, Sept. 20.

“I saw this show when it made its initial Broadway run and then again on a subsequent national tour, and I liked it very much,” Arthur said. “The tunes are infectious and the music lends itself to a number of dance and production numbers.”

Since moving to Tahlequah from Southern California a few years ago, Arthur has had roles in the past two TCP musical adventures.

“I figured it was my time to take the reins of the musical. I have directed, assistant directed and or musical directed many, many musicals over the last 30 or so years,” he said.

What has Arthur most excited is the high level of talent and willingness to audition. Each of the 13 main characters is integral to the show and must be brought to life by an artist who can act, sing, and dance.

“I did not expect we would be able to cast the show with this many wonderfully talented individuals, from a professor of voice at NSU, to a distinguished local physician, to a choreographer/actor associate of mine who came to town from Southern California just to be part of this show,” Arthur said. “Plus three of the roles are played by members of the same nuclear family.”

The Man in Chair, a mousy, agoraphobic Broadway fanatic seeking to cure his “non-specific sadness,” listens to a recording of the fictional 1928 musical comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Arthur explained.

“As he listens to this rare recording, the characters appear in his dingy apartment, and it is transformed into an impressive Broadway set with seashell footlights, sparkling furniture, painted backdrops, and glitzy costumes,” Arthur said.

Assistant Director Bryn Smith would have taken any volunteer job in the show just to work with Shawn Arthur.

“He’s dynamic, professional and he knows show business like no one else I know,” Smith said.

Several performers have a least one musical under their belts, while others are professionals.

NSU Voice, Opera and Music Workshop Professor Dr. Shannon Unger plays the character Drowsy, her first role in a community theater production. She describes her character as over the top.

“It’s a chance to play broad comedy. I’ve played villains and other roles in operatic repertoire,” Unger said.

Choreographer Chantz Ward also portrays character Robert Martin, love interest to Dr. Tracey Childers’ character. He’s been a choreographer for about six years.

“I’m pleased with the amount of pure talent that’s on the stage and the pure dedication of the performers to this show,” Ward said.

As the Underling, Zack Zimbelman is excited to play his ukulele on stage in his second TCP production.

“The comedy we’re doing is relevant to the audience in very cheesy way,” he said.

Jo Ella Retherford was hooked after being in a musical last year. She plays Trix the aviatrix.

“I love to sing. TCP has allowed me to meet new friends and be a part of the community,” Retherford said.

At each performance of the six-show run, a guest “higher-profile” community member will tackle a “walk-on” role. Community members who have already committed include Brian Woodliff, CEO of Tahlequah City Hospital; Jason Nichols, mayor of Tahlequah; Brian Hail, CEO of Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital; and Sandra Becker, legendary creative artist and TCP veteran.

Text Only
  • wherearethey.jpg Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood

    As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
    In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
    Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Dream1.jpg Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters

    Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
    For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
    Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
    In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
    The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo


How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security