Adia's Blog: Gala-Riffic!

Question of the day: Is it Gah-lah or Gay-Lah? Either way, it's a really good time. If you have never been to an Opening Night Gala at Lyric Arts, it is definitely something you have to experience.  The gala for Footloose was my first major event at Lyric Arts and it was awesome! Great food, fun people, and, to top it off, an awesome show!

If you don't know, the Opening Night Gala takes place before the opening night performance of every regular season show at Lyric Arts (duh). Guests are treated to heavy appetizers and bottomless drinks upstairs in our dance studio where they can mingle with others and listen to music in a fun, party atmosphere. Footloose featured 80's music...extra fun.

At intermission, Gala participants have a VIP line at the wine bar to top off their beverages. They are also invited back to the wine bar after the show to enjoy dessert with the cast and crew. And if "dessert" doesn't catch your attention, I will add that it is from local Anoka business Truffles and Tortes. Ladies and gentlemen these are not pieces of cake that we are serving, they are little slices of heaven. The price of participating in our 2011-2012 galas is only $18 over the price of your ticket.

Here are some pictures from the Footloose Opening Night Gala. Want more info? Call the box office! Galas are limited to 50 people and frequently sell out so reserve your spot today!

Adia's Blog: A Day in the Life of Lyric Arts

So far, my blogs have mainly focused on the highlights at Lyric Arts: performances, workshops, interviews and all of the other exciting things that happen at a theater. Today, I thought I would give you an inside look into the day-to-day workings of how things run here at Lyric Arts. 9:45- Arrive (late) due to set-up for the Anoka County Fair (ARGH!) Jessica and Allison already have four people lined up at the box office to buy tickets.

10:00-Contemplate what to write about for my blog. Sip coffee while checking my email and the Lyric Arts Facebook and Twitter.

10:03- Get very excited to learn that Twin Cities Live wrote an article about Making a Scene based on the press release we sent over.

10:05-Write blog, publish to the website, and load it into our Facebook and Twitter

10:30-Laura arrives. She is working on a budget. We all feel bad for her.

11:00-Write a Press Release for "White Christmas" using quotes from an interview with director Rebecca Rizzio

11:30-Joanna arrives. Plays pleasant background music.

12:05: Post goes out on Facebook and Twitter. Anxiously await comments. (Please be good, Please be good, Please be good...)

12:30-Lunch. We all talk about how much we want to order in (Courtside delivers, you know),then decide we need to stick to our diets/budgets and heat a frozen dinner in the microwave. Frozen dinner is disappointing.

1:00-Start writing  press release for "A Spell of Cold Weather." Director Laura Bidgood is a quote machine!

1:15-Realize there is no pitter patter of little feet upstairs. Summer workshops ended last week. Get sad because I really like Thursday performances on the stage!

2:00-Meeting with Joanna and Jessica. We meet every Monday to check in and assign new projects.

3:00-Check on the Making a Scene photo booth. Contemplate trying on various hats and props but opt to be more professional and grown up. Put on a feather boa instead.

3:30-Update "Making a Scene" web page with new info. Visit box office. More people want Footloose tickets. These things are selling like Hot Cakes!

4:00-Work on the publicity binder with Joanna.

5:30-Bid adieu to Lyric Arts and head home for the night!


Adia's Blog: I'm Free!

For those of you who have tickets for Footloose, but haven't seen it yet, I'm sure the suspense is killing you! Clearly we can't put up the entire show for you to watch (not only is that illegal, it would make it really hard for us to sell tickets!) but here is a little bitty clip of the song "I'm Free!" It's not much, but hopefully it will be enough to get you through until it's time for you to see the show for real! Tonight is another awesome Footloose performance! If you are headed to the theater for the 7:00 show or for any of the shows this weekend, be sure you stop by the "Making a Scene" photo booth.

I just bought tickets for myself and my family for next weekend. I have only seen rehearsals up to this point so I can't wait to watch the magic for myself! So, for those of you who have already seen the show, what do I have to look forward to? Tell me your favorite parts of Footloose!

Adia's Blog: Footloose by the Numbers!

As I am sure you know, Footloose opened this past Friday and the audience LOVED IT! It was an incredibly successful weekend for the show. How successful? Let me break it down for you: 34 Footloose cast members

17 Scenes

5 Pit Members

17 Artistic Staff Members

11 Awesome 80's Prom Dresses

50 people at the Opening Night Gala

60 delicious gourmet mini-burgers from Lancer catering at the Gala

125 pieces of cake eaten by Gala participants and Footloose cast and crew

14 pictures taken in the "Making a Scene" photo booth

4 brightly colored boas used in "Making a Scene" pictures

2 Very Sore Intern Feet

25 volunteers on opening night alone

13 Performances left

228 seats sold-A Full House!

Thank you to everyone who helped make the opening weekend of Footloose so successful!

Adia's Blog: The Big Day Has Arrived!

Tonight is the night. The night we all cut FOOTLOOSE! The show is ready to go and we can't wait to get the sold out crowd into the theater to see this amazing production. If you aren't convinced that you need to see this show yet, you don't need to take my word for it. Check out this video from the Footloose cast. They know better than everyone what makes this show so special!

In addition to the excitement of Footloose, today is also the day that single tickets for next season go on sale. The box office is a-hoppin' with ticket orders so if you call and get the answering machine, make sure to leave a message. We will process tickets in the order of messages we receive so that is the best way to hold your spot!

We can't wait to see you all at Footloose in the coming weeks!

Adia's Blog: Make Your Scene!

Yesterdays adventure: setting up the "Making a Scene" photo booth in the lobby for Footloose! If you missed the photo booth at Riverfest, no worries. It will be available in the lobby through the entire run of Footloose. Here's how it works:

  • For $1 we will take your picture in the photo booth and send it to you via email. We will, of course, provide you with the necessary hats, boas, and accessories to make your picture extra jazzy.
  • For $5, we will take your picture, and send it to you but we will also place it in a photo collage that will be on display in our lobby to recognize you as a donor for the "Making a Scene" project.

If THAT"S not enough to convince you to participate, check out the pictures below of some of our lovely staff "Making a Scene" at Riverfest. Please keep in mind that these pictures were taken after a full day in 90 degree took a toll on our appearance and our sanity!

Meet Matt Berdahl who is Performing in "Footloose"

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Matt Berdahl, who is performing as Ren McCormack in Footloose . Read on to hear what he has to say about his experience thus far! LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular musical interested you?

MB: I believe both actors and audience members know this show and want to experience it at some point in time. In that way, it reminds me of some of the standards in musical theater, Grease, Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, etc. Plus, the soundtrack offers some Jukebox hits that even my ears perk up to. Any musical that has “Holding Out For A Hero” has my attention.

LA:  For those that are unfamiliar with Footloose can you tell us about the show?

MB: Footloose is largely based in a town where pain has immensely influenced the “moral compasses” of its inhabitants. This has caused the majority of the population to live their lives in a way they wish they didn’t. As time plays its part in each characters life, underneath all the songs and dancing(or lack their of), true growth occurs. After the show, hopefully you leave the theater not only entertained, but also with genuine thoughts of self-improvement.

LA:  Talk about the character that you play in Footloose. How have you developed this character?

MB: This question has always rubbed me in a weird way. Every character in any show requires the ability to pull from real life experiences and doing the necessary homework to understand the role. Each actor however has their own “magical” process/ method to their madness. In my opinion, it should stay just that. Personally, when I myself am an audience member I don’t wanna know “baggage” going into the show/ movie. I just wanna see the characters come to life and connect to what I am watching in that moment. Non the less, I am Ren McCormack.

LA:  Why should people come and see Footloose?

MB: It’s a staple. If you consider yourself a musical theatre fan and you haven’t seen it live on stage, fact is you need to. Lyric Arts also does a fantastic job of bringing their shows to the community though affordable tickets and multiple shows to fit any schedule.

LA:  Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

MB: It’s a positive cast and everyone is doing the job that is expected of them, if not more. Matt McNabb wants a show that Lyric Arts audiences remember as being the best at what it was. Everyone is very on board with that mentality. It is a good feeling to be apart of that.

LA:  What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Footloose?

MB: I had to hit the ground running when I came onboard for this production already in progress and one of the first things that WOW’ed me was how much the cast had already bonded and their level of energy. It was refreshing and really set the bar in my mind for a fun/ productive time.

LA:  What is your favorite aspect of the show?

MB: The scene work, without question. This show is known for the music and dancing but the heart of the story is in the narrative. Like in every show, the direction could go a number of ways and I am thankful that Matt McNabb steered the scenes that I am involved in towards an honest and genuine emotion as much as possible, even in this created theatrical world of song and dance.

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?

MB: All of it coming together! This show has so much singing, so much dancing, and so much acting that when all those elements “click” it will be a great feeling for not only me but the audience member’s sittin back and soakin it in.

LA:  What is your favorite play or musical? Why? 

MB: It is ever changing. I enjoy shows that affect me in a positive way. Not that I have to laugh and chuckle throughout the entire show, more so that it is through the laughter, anger, smiles or tears that I am inspired to be a better person.

LA:  What is your dream role to play on stage?

MB: There are several parts I hope to play before I leave this earth, however there is not one specific role that stands out amongst the rest. I guess my bucket list is always evolving with every show I am exposed to and as I navigate my theatrical strengths and passions. If you have any suggestions for me, I would love to hear em…. Really.

LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?

MB:  The Phantom Tollbooth in my middle school years. I wore the hats of stage hand, set builder and all around “techy” for the show, and it was my playground. Looking back I am glad that I have had the opportunity to experience all the different roles that encompass theatre. Just as in school, middle though college, with each new show or theater company I work with I am able to continually appreciate theater from a new angle. A liberal education is very enlightening and a strengthening foundation to stand upon.

LA:  Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

MB: I was raised in Moorhead, MN and have been active in theater and/or music all of my life in some way shape or form. After graduating from Moorhead High School, I made my way to Minnesota State University Moorhead with the goal of becoming an Art Major with an emphasis in Graphic Design. In true questioning college fashion, my focus changed between Art, Social Work, Criminal Justice, and Philosophy. In time however I was able to I pinpoint where my real passion was, Theater.  I graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre (Musical Theatre, Performance, and Directing with a Dance and Women’s Studies Minor).

I am the kind of person that likes to experience all facets of life. Over the years I had the chance to perform with multiple summer stock theaters, local and regional companies and even dabbled in film. I then took the opportunity to focus on children’s theatre with the National Theatre for Children, for whom I toured with for a year. This was a very rewarding experience both as a performer as well as a human being. After living on the road and traveling the country from Boston to Texas, I was excited to put down some roots and embrace the Twin Cities “Theatrical Scene”. This area always has something to offer and I am enjoying the present time with smiles of the future. Theater is my career, my passion, and my hobby. I am glad I can share what I love to do with people on the stage and off the stage.

LA: Any other area that you would like to comment on?

MB: You and I get out of it what we put into it, enjoy the show… enjoy life.

For more information about Matt please visit his website or find him on FACEBOOK.

Adia's Blog: Now Entering Bomont, Texas...

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, I give you THE FOOTLOOSE SET! The three screens that you are seeing will have images projected on them throughout the show and the pit orchestra will sit underneath the large platform in the center.












In "Making a Scene" news, Target will be sending us 70 volunteers to help get things started on Thursday, August 18th. How cool is that?! You can find all of the other "Making a Scene" donors on our website at

P.S. We also had a very special delivery at the theater this morning: Jessica's beautiful wedding dress! Congratulations Jess!

Meet Cassie Lanyon who is performing in "Footloose"

LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular musical interested you? CL: Footloose has always been one of my dream shows to be a part of because dance is such a big part of it.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Footloose can you tell us about the show?

CL: The show is about kids fighting for their rights in the small town of Bomont, TX, where they have made a law against everything from drugs/alcohol to dancing.  In the beginning, the kids in town followed these laws even though they didn’t agree with them.  But when Ren, a new kid from Chicago, turns the town upside down, the rest of his classmates face the decision of whether to follow or fight the law.

LA: Talk about the character that you play in Footloose. How have you developed this character?

CL: I am a member of the teen ensemble in Footloose, which means I dance more than anything else.  As an ensemble member, there’s only so much you can do to develop your character because you don’t want to draw attention away from the principle roles.  However, I have been trying to get into my character more by imagining what life would be like if things like dancing were against the law and then portraying those emotions on stage.

LA: Why should people come and see Footloose?

CL: It’s a great show for all ages and there’s something for everyone.  Adults can identify with the parents in the show, and the kids with their counterparts on stage.  Furthermore, the message of fighting for what you believe in is one that everyone can relate to.

LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

CL: I can honestly say that I think the cast of Footloose is incredibly talented.  From the first rehearsal, the actors in the principle roles had such great chemistry, and it just gets better every day.  Everyone has been working really well together, and that kind of energy just makes the show that much more believable for the audience.

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Footloose?

CL: I think the big contemporary musical numbers are a really powerful part of the show, as well as the multiple dance numbers.

LA: What is your favorite aspect of the show?

CL: My favorite part of the show is definitely all the dancing.  Dance has always been a big part of my life, so the amount within this show makes it a lot of fun for me.

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?

CL: I’m really excited to see everything come together and get a sense of the final product, but I think the costumes and styling are what I’m most excited for.

LA: What is your favorite play or musical? Why? 

CL: I would have to say that Chicago and Rent are tied as my top show right now.  Both are fun, controversial shows with great music (the jazz style of Chicago and the rock score of Rent).  Chicago also has the dance element that I love.

LA: What is your dream role to play on stage?

CL: My two dream roles go along with my two favorite musicals.  I would love the opportunity to be either Velma Kelly in Chicago, or Mimi in Rent (or both, if I could be so lucky).

LA: What is the first production you were ever involved with? What did you do in the production?

CL: The first show I was involved in was Dear Edwina Jr. at my middle school in 6th grade.  I was just a member of the ensemble, but I did get a small solo in which I sang the letter my character had written to “Edwina”.

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

CL: I am 19 years old and I love performing.  I have been dancing since the age of 3, and in musicals and plays since 6th grade.  I graduated in June 2010, and after a year of figuring out what I wanted to do with my life I am finally on my way to Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia to be a musical theater major.

LA: Any other area that you would like to comment on?

CL: Not really... I’m just super pumped to be a part of this show!

Adia's Blog: "Cut Loose" with Signe Mundfrom of "Footloose"

If you find yourself wanting to get up and dance or burst into an 80's jam at any point this week, have no fear. You simply have a case of Footloose-itis and it is completely curable because Footloose opens this Friday! In the meantime, satisfy your toe-tapping needs by checking out this interview with cast member Signe Mundfrom!

In other news, thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at Riverfest! It was a hot day to hang out on the blacktop, but it was so much fun talking to all of the Lyric Arts fans (new and old!) that we hardly even minded.

We also had a blast taking pictures in our brand-new photo booth to raise money for the "Making a Scene" mural project. If you haven't had your picture taken yet, we will have the photo booth available at all of the Footloose shows so that you can strike a pose to help is "Make a Scene!" More info is available at