Opera House Players’ Summer Youth Theater to present ‘Bugsy Malone, Jr.’

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Broad Brook - posted Wed., Jul. 10, 2013
The Opera House Players’ Summer Youth Theater will present 'Bugsy Malone, Jr.' on July 26 and 27 at the Broad Brook Opera House. Courtesy image. - Contributed Photo

The Opera House Players’ Summer Youth Theater will present “Bugsy Malone, Jr.” on July 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. at the Broad Brook Opera House.

“I chose this show because it has great music, fun dances and a great storyline,” said director Sarah Hayes, who has been directing and choreographing for the youth theater company for more than eight years. “It has the entire cast on stage all the time. They’re busy playing multiple characters and moving sets.”

Hayes, who began taking on directing roles in 2007, has several credits to her name, including “Camp Rock,” “Suessical,” “Annie,” “Oliver” and “HONK,” and she has many more choreography credits. She has also performed in a number of musicals at such venues as the Little Theatre of Manchester and the Broad Brook Opera House. She teaches the first grade at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Elementary Magnet School and enjoys working with children of all ages.

Based on a book by Alan Parker, with music and lyrics by Paul Williams, “Bugsy Malone, Jr.” is a made-for-children spoof about 1920s Prohibition-era gangsters, and based loosely on events in the lives of infamous New York City gangsters such as Al Capone and Bugs Moran. The plot revolves around lead character Bugsy Malone trying to settle a rivalry between opposing gang leaders Dandy Dan and Fat Sam. However, instead of Tommy-guns, the gangsters in this show use “spurge guns” - when shot, the victim freezes and is no longer able to be a gangster.

The production includes a catchy and enjoyable score by the same composer as “The Muppet Movie.” The Opera House Players’ production features young actors from East Windsor as well as from the surrounding towns of Tolland, South Windsor, Vernon, Granby and Enfield.

Hayes said she most likes this program because it allows the cast to be involved in every part of the production, from creating costumes, to designing the sets, to acting as stage managers. “They learn more than just music, dance and acting. This whole program is designed to have each participant gain a sense of responsibility and respect for each other and the theater,” she said.

The production is part of an eight-week summer youth program for children ages 7 to 18 which begins with auditions, and then meets three evenings a week with extra rehearsals the week of the show. It culminates in two staged productions.

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