Center Stage: ‘Second Chances the Thrift Shop Musical’ playing at Off Broadway Palm Theatre
The Off Broadway Palm Theatre and Dad Has A Project, blasted off the new Off Broadway Palm season with a world premiere of “Second Chances the Thrift Shop Musical” with Book Conceived and written by Tom Prather.
This sprightly, feel good musical has original music by Christopher Russell, with special lyrics Megan Orlowski, along with additional material Deborah Prather and Victor Legarreta. Directed and set designs Tom Prather. Whew! One could say this is a real family endeavor, made up of the entire Prather family, as well as the Prather family’s theater and work force family (a Broadway Palm cast of who’s who audience favorites, the backstage crew, who keep productions on track, front of the house tech people, plus the entire team of Palm employees who seat and feed the Palm’s audiences); the result of which is a super special entertainment the touches the heart.
In 2005, Tom was one of a group that was instrumental in kick starting and opening the Iona Episcopal Church Thrift Shop. This event and the characters and their stories that followed were the plus perfect recipe to get Tom’s creative juices flowing and Shazaam !!! “Second Chances, the Thrift Shop Musical” emerged.
According to Tom, the church’s thrift shop volunteers’ stories, as well as their interpersonal reactions were all fodder for a “Cheers T.V. show type of play.” The comings and goings that happen in a thrift shop always feature new shoppers, as well as donations in a continual round of looking and even finding a “second chance.” Actually isn’t that what life is all about, reinventing yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone, and taking a risk? Isn’t everyone and everything in a constant state of change, not necessarily on time, but in time?
Well according to our playwright Tom “donations, as well as the play’s characters, all are looking for a second chance.”
Now, according to me after viewing “Second Chances” I would not only agree, but add that one man’s no longer needed or wanted treasure, becomes another man’s newly discovered and beloved pleasure, proving once and for all that old adage —things get better the second time around.
Not only has Tom conceived and written this musical gem’s book, he has also designed an incredible, amazingly workable, inventive theater set and if that weren’t enough, Tom has cast and directed this enchanting musical. Fortunately Tom has the professional smarts to have also chosen the perfect team of collaborators, each worthy of mention and praise:
Original music- Christopher Russell. He also acts as musical director and plays a wonderful leading character Wally.
Next we have Megan Orlowski, who not only wrote the lyrics, she’s making her debut as a choreographer staging all the musical numbers, as well as playing a wonderful leading character- Allison.
T. Prather makes further use of his family by having Deborah Prather combine her comic writing skills with the ever popular character actor/singer/comic talent Victor Legarreta and scribing some of the funniest comic material seen on the Off Broadway Palm stage.
Speaking of Victor, he’s cast in three entirely different roles in this comic delight – Stan a volunteer regular, Sarah Leigh the got to be seen to be believed drag queen and the skuzzy, money grabbing landlord of the thrift shop Mr. Kleinbauer a sort of “Trump of Trash.”
Now onto the super cast, and they are just that super!!!!
We have the afore mentioned
Nadine Kelly Legarreta
Allison Megan Orlowski
Joe- Jerry Sciarrio
Janet- ML Graham
Tyler- Rendell De Bose
Stan/Mr.Kleinbauer/Sarah Leigh- Victor Legarreta
Ruthie/Reciept Lady/Abby/Daisy/Closet Woman/Stan’s Sister/Mitzi—–Caitlin Newman (seven count ‘m seven characters in all. Caitlin meets herself coming and going and each character is a gem)
Judy/ Stan’s Wife/Elaine/Sally/Carol/Daughter- another versatile actress Katie Pankow
Kurt- Justin Droegemueller
Time and space will not allow me to give proper credit to this dream team of 10, that keep this show on its toes, while laughter as well as a few heart tugging moments keep the audiences spellbound. Bravo!
I would be remiss if I didn’t credit the rest of the technical staff for this is a real family effort where everyone is an asset.
Musical Director Christopher Russell
Lighting and Sound Design Chris McCleary
Costume Design-Jim Conte
Technical Director/Stage Manager Paul Drechsel
Musical Numbers Staging Megan Orlowski
Assistant Director Paul Bernier
This upbeat show is just the zinger we all need to kick start the “new season” and we are off and running for a time of fun and frolic at the Off Broadway Palm’s latest offering “Second Chances the Thrift Shop Musical”. Since this show only plays till Nov.7 and there are only 100 seats in this small theater, I would strongly suggest to “get on the stick” and phone the Box Office now at 278-4422. Tthis production is bound to sell out fast. Oh yes and when you phone remind ’em Marsha sent you!