Meet Cabaret 2014 Performer Angela Henderson

April 22nd, 2014 No comments »

Angela HendersonIt’s miss Motormouth Maybelle, back to join us for the 15th Annual Cabaret Fundraiser! We’re excited to welcome Angela Henderson to the stage for Cabaret. Read on to get to know Angela – did you know she’s a professional singer?

LA: What was the first show you were involved with at Lyric Arts?
Angela: Hairspray was my first show at Lyric Arts, and I played Motormouth Maybelle.

LA: How has Lyric Arts changed your life?
Angela: Lyric Arts helped me to remember that my acting career started in the community, and I love giving back.

LA: What is the best part about being in a show at Lyric Arts?
Angela: Since I sing professionally, for me, it’s a humbling experience.

LA: Without giving too much away, what do you feel are the “wow” elements of the Cabaret Fundraiser?
Angela: Since this will be my first one, I really can’t say. I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.

LA: What three words best describe Lyric Arts? 
Angela: Quaint, growing, and a community embracing great talent.

LA: What is a dream show that you’d love to see produced on the Main Street Stage?
Angela: Wicked would be awesome!

LA: What has been your favorite experience at Lyric Arts?
Angela: Working with such talented cast and staff who are fast learners and kind hearted.

LA: Will you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Angela: I am a former member of the Grammy Award Winning group “Sounds of Blackness” who had vocal surgery in 2005, and the doctor said I would probably never sing like I used to. So with my God-given talents, I have proven the doctor wrong, and I will share my gift every chance I get.

LA: Can you give us a clue to which number you’ll be performing in the Cabaret?
Angela: The Wizard of Oz.

LA: Do you ever get stage fright?
Angela: Yes! If I didn’t, arrogance would take over, and that’s not me.

LA: What is your biggest acting goal?
Angela: To perform with or for Tyler Perry.

LA: Who is your favorite actress/actor?
Angela: I don’t really have a favorite, but I enjoy movies with Nicolas Cage in them.

LA: What are your favorite plays?
Angela: The Color Purple and Wicked.

LA: Can you share any special ‘tricks of the acting trade?’
Angela: Be true to your craft, and never let anyone steal your Joy!

Meet Cabaret 2014 Performer Warren Sampson

April 21st, 2014 1 comment »

Warren SampsonWe’re excited to have Warren Sampson joining us on the stage again to perform in the 15th annual Cabaret Fundraiser!  Previously seen on the Main Street Stage in Annie, Death of a Salesman, and Hormel Girls, Warren shared with us why he loves Lyric Arts, and some of his tricks of the trade.

LA: What was the first show you were involved with at Lyric Arts?
Warren: I was Drake in Annie. Incredible fun!

LA: How has Lyric Arts changed your life?
Warren: I have met so many great new friends and have found a new place to see shows with my family.

LA: What is the best part about being in a show at Lyric Arts?
Warren: The people you meet!

LA: Without giving too much away, what do you feel are the “wow” elements of the Cabaret?
Warren: The variety of songs and of shows presented.

LA: What three words best describe Lyric Arts?
Warren: Creative friendly people!

LA: What would be a dream show that you’d love to see produced on the Main Street Stage?
Warren: Jesus Christ Superstar.

LA: What has been your favorite experience at Lyric Arts?
Warren: Shaking hands with the man who actually knew the Hormel family and crafted the tombstone of JC Hormel.

LA: Can you give us a clue to which number you’ll be performing in the Cabaret?
Warren: I’m the old guy representing ‘Old Musicals!’

LA: Do you ever get stage fright?
Warren: Every. Single. Time.

LA: What is your biggest acting goal?
Warren: To stay active long enough to give Lear a real run for his money.

LA: Who is your favorite actress/actor?
Warren: Gary Oldman

LA: What are your favorite plays?
Warren: Macbeth, Betrayal, the Music Man

LA: Can you share any special ‘tricks of the acting trade?’
Warren: Acting is more ‘detail stuff’ and less ‘emotional stuff’ than you realize. And I find it works better if you don’t think as much about becoming the character, but instead find ways for the character to become you.

Meet Cabaret 2014 Performer Hannah Weinberg

April 21st, 2014 No comments »

Hannah-WeinbergThe 15th Annual Cabaret Fundraiser is right around the corner, and that means it’s time you met some of the performers who will make the music come alive! You’ll recognize Hannah Weinberg from this season’s Hormel Girls, last season’s Hairspray, and from teaching Lyric Arts education workshops. Read on to see what makes her tick, and get a hint at the song she’ll be performing in the Cabaret!

LA: What was your first show at Lyric Arts?
Hannah: The first show I was involved in at Lyric Arts was Hairspray in summer 2013, and I played my dream role of Penny Pingleton!

LA: How has Lyric Arts changed your life?
Hannah: I have met some incredible people at Lyric Arts who have become some of my closest friends. To share a stage with your best friends is the greatest gift I could ask for as a performer!

LA: What is the best part about being in a show at Lyric Arts?
Hannah: They really live by their motto, “Big city theatre, hometown charm.” The production quality is outstanding, everyone is professional during the rehearsal process and the expectations are high for every show, and they deliver! At Lyric Arts it still feels like you are a part of the community and something very special!

LA: Without giving too much away, what do you feel are the “wow” elements of the Cabaret Fundraiser?
Hannah: The “wows” of the Cabaret…there is something for everyone! The numbers we will be performing are fun and challenging! This cast is incredible, and are going to deliver some outstanding performances! It will be a wonderful show!

LA: What three words best describe Lyric Arts?
Hannah: Professional, Family, Innovative

LA: What would be a dream show that you’d love to see produced on the Main Street Stage?
Hannah: That is a hard question to answer, but I would love to see Bonnie and Clyde: the Musical and The Drowsy Chaperone at Lyric Arts!

LA: What has been your favorite experience at Lyric Arts?
Hannah: The process of Hairspray was the most fun I had ever had working on a show! I loved working with Scott Ford, and the cast was incredible! Every rehearsal we were laughing until we were crying and when we closed, everyone was sad to leave it!

LA: Will you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hannah: I am from a very small town and now I live in the Twin Cities. I went to school in California and studied Performing Arts and Music Education. There, I joined a performing arts group called The Young Americans where I was fortunate to tour across the USA, Japan and South Korea, performing and working with kids! I teach musical theater workshops at Lyric Arts and I love doing it! My favorite color is purple, and I love, love, love Disney!

LA: Can you give us a clue to which number you’ll be performing in the Cabaret?
Hannah: The song I will be performing mentions a lot of my personal favorite things, but it is not the Julie Andrews version!

LA: Do you ever get stage fright?
Hannah: I used to, but now I have a ritual before every show I do to calm my nerves. I dance backstage and do a goofy dance. I look quite ridiculous, but it is fun for me!

LA: What is your biggest acting goal?
Hannah: I would love to voice a Disney character in a movie, or originate a role in a show.

LA: Who is your favorite actress/actor?
Hannah: I am the biggest Julie Andrews fan!!!!! She is someone I have always admired!

LA: What are your favorite plays?
Hannah: I love a lot of plays. I love plays based on some of my favorite books, such as Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, Little Women, and Peter Pan! My favorite Shakespeare play is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

LA: Can you share any special ‘tricks of the acting trade?’
Hannah: Confidence is important! Respect the people you are working with; divas never prosper! The best advice I have ever gotten as an actor has been to go with your instincts because they are always right!

Dig Deeper – Results from Who Wrote Shakespeare’s Plays!

April 16th, 2014 No comments »

Thanks to all of you that came out to see The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage and voted for who YOU think wrote Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Henry V, Midsummer Night’s Dream and all the rest!  Over the past 200 years over 80 different authorship candidates and groups of people have been proposed as the “true” Bard.  We offered up just a few choices and here are the results…

In last place, with 28 votes:  Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, patron of the Blackfriars Theatre.

4th place, with 30 votes:  Plays by Committee and Other Nominations Category, which included Queen Elizabeth I, Miguel de Cervantes, and Sheik Zubayr bin William.

3rd place, with 33 votes:  Sir Francis Bacon, philosopher & scientist

2nd place, with 65 votes:  Christopher Marlowe, poet & dramatist, pioneer of Elizabethan blank verse

1st place, with 150 votes:  The Man From Stratford, William Shakespeare!

Click here to find out more about the Authorship Question from the Royal Shakespeare Company and thanks to everyone for playing!



Drumroll, please! It’s our 2014-2015 season!

April 15th, 2014 2 comments »

Last night we unveiled our 2014-2015 season, and we couldn’t be more excited! Keep an eye out for more information coming soon about season tickets and more, here on our website and on our Facebook page. We’ve got big things in store and we can’t wait to move forward with you!


September 2014: The Glass Menagerie

by Tennessee Williams
In this shattering classic, an aging Southern Belle longs for her youth and dreams of a better life for her children. Her restless son Tom—a would-be poet and the story’s narrator—gets swept up in his mother’s funny and heartbreaking schemes to find his painfully shy sister, Laura, a husband.

This four-character memory play—one of the most beautiful dramas in American theater—premiered in 1944 and catapulted Tennessee Williams from obscurity to fame.

This production will be directed by Resident Director Scott Ford.


October 2014: Young Frankenstein

Book by Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan; music & lyrics by Mel Brooks
This hilarious musical comedy is a wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend based on Mel Brooks’ film masterpiece, hailed by the American Film Institute as one of the funniest movies of all time.

The story follows bright, young Dr. Frankenstein as he aims to fulfill his grandfather’s legacy by bringing a corpse back to life. With help and hindrance from servant Igor, buxom lab assistant Inga, and needy fiancée Elizabeth, his experiment yields success and unexpected consequences.


Christmas 2014: A Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas

Music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Mike Ockrent & Lynn Ahrens. Based on the story by Charles Dickens
This theatrical and spirited version of A Christmas Carol puts the fantastic qualities of Dickens’ classic tale center stage. A swirling, dancing chorus of ghosts weaves through this uplifting holiday story of redemption, magic, and hope.

This faithful, loving, and brilliantly re-imagined Christmas Carol is, at turns, scary, delightful, dazzling, and laugh-out-loud-funny.


December “Mainly for Kids” 2014: Beauty and the Beast

By Mike Kenny; based on the book by LePrince de Beaumont
This adaptation of the classic fairy tale was originally produced by England’s Oxford Touring Theatre in 2005 and is a refreshing, funny new twist on a classic tale.

Beauty is a spoiled girl who has never had to work. To teach her a lesson, her fairy Godmother creates a series of challenges for Beauty that ultimately traps her in the estate of the Beast. It is when Beast releases Beauty that she realizes she loves him, and returns to Beast’s castle just in time to save him from death. It is a story of self-realization that will make you think, feel, and chuckle.


January 2015: Blithe Spirit

by Noël Coward
While doing research for his new novel, the fussy and cantankerous Charles Condomine invites the implausible medium Madame Arcati to his house for a séance.

Whilst consumed in a trance, Madame Arcati unwittingly summons the ghost of Charles’ dead wife Elvira. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira soon makes a play to reclaim her husband, much to the chagrin of his new wife, Ruth.

Blithe Spirit is one of Coward’s most sparkling comedies and the funniest ghost story ever written.

This show will be directed by Resident Director Bob Neu


Spring 2015: Into the Woods

Book by James Lapine, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
A rare modern classic, Into the Woods follows Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack—of beanstalk fame—and a baker and his wife, as they take a journey into the woods to make their wishes come true.

It’s a magical, bewildering place full of witches, wolves, giants and mysterious strangers, where familiar fairy tales get tangled up together. Wishes are granted here, but at a price.

Even storybook characters must face the music—of which there is plenty—in Sondheim and Lapine’s irreverent and beloved Tony Award–winner.


April 2015: Good People

by David Lindsay Abaire
In South Boston, this month’s paycheck covers last month’s bills, bingo is a night on the town, and tough, sharp-tongued single-mom Margie Walsh has just been let go from yet another job. Scrambling to make ends meet, she looks up an old flame—now a successful doctor—and risks everything in the hope he’ll help her make a fresh start.

An insightful comedy of class and culture, this recent Broadway hit about how the twists of fate determine our path is both darkly funny and surprisingly touching.


April “Mainly for Kids” 2015: Bunnicula

James & Deborah Howe, authors; Jon Klein, playwright; Chris Jeffries, composer
Chester the cat and Harold the dog are the best of pals. But, one dark and stormy night, their family comes home with a very strange baby rabbit who has sharp fangs instead of buck teeth, and who sleeps all day and prowls around his cage all night.

Meanwhile, all the vegetables in the house are drained of their color and turn white. Could this possibly be a coincidence, or could Bunnicula be a vampire? Chester thinks so – he’ll stop at nothing until he vanquishes the new arrival, even if it means the end of his friendship with Harold.


June 2015: Boeing Boeing

By Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverly Cross, revised by Francis Evans
It’s the 1960s, and swinging bachelor Bernard couldn’t be happier—he has a flat in Paris and three gorgeous stewardesses all engaged to him without knowing about each other. But Bernard’s perfect life gets bumpy when his friend Robert comes to stay and a new and speedier Boeing jet throws off all of his careful planning.

Soon all three stewardesses are in town simultaneously, timid Robert is forgetting which lies to tell to whom, and catastrophe looms. Boeing Boeing is a riotous farce and a hysterical whirlwind of mayhem.

This show will be directed by Resident Director Scott Ford.


Summer Musical 2015: Grease

Book, music & lyrics by Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey
Danny and Sandy fall for each other during a carefree summer fling. But when the school year begins, Danny is torn between his feelings for good-girl Sandy and his image with the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies.

This simple and well-known plot is set against the backdrop of 1959, a pivotal moment in American history, when rock and roll was in its infancy and everything in American culture was about to be turned upside down.

At its heart, Grease is an unconventional and rebellious musical about America’s tumultuous crossing over from the 1950’s to the 1960′s—all fueled by cars, drive-in movies, and, more than anything, rock and roll.

Donations Are Rolling In!

April 14th, 2014 No comments »

We’re officially in preparation mode for the 15th Annual Cabaret Fundraiser, coming up on May 9th and 10th, 2014. May seems like a long way away with all the crazy weather we’ve been having, but now that it’s officially spring the time is flying by!

wine bottles

We wanted to give a quick update and remind everyone that tickets are on sale now online or by calling the box office at 763-422-1838.

We’re accepting donations through April 26th, and we’re still in need of bottles of wine for our fun wine drawing game! To play the game, guests make a $15 donation, and then choose a bottle of wine anonymously by number. Who knows… some players will walk away with some expensive, delicious selections!

If you’d like to donate a bottle (or three) to this fun game, we would love to have your support. Did you know that just a $15 donation from one bottle of wine would buy activity books for a whole education workshop class? Ten bottles could buy new drills for our scene shop volunteers! If you’d like to make a contribution, you can drop off a donation at the box office during regular business hours, mail it to the theater (420 East Main Street, Anoka, MN 55303) or schedule a pickup by calling 763-422-1838.

We’ve received a lot of very generous silent auction donations – here’s a sneak peek of a few great items you could take home from the silent auction!

  • Keurig coffee maker
  • Nikon Coolpix camera
  • Bloody Mary drink supply basket
  • Beach supply basket
  • Herb garden supplies
  • Famous Dave’s barbecue kit
  • Liquor chiller refrigerated tap machine
  • Margarita supplies
  • Trendy, stylish purse and scarf combo from Jenson’s in downtown Anoka
  • Beautiful homemade scarves
  • Delicious Rainy Lake coffee supplies and mugs
  • Home decor items
  • And so much more!
herb garden basket beach basket Cabaret Bloody Mary Basket

Digging Deeper – Shakespeare Shorthand

April 9th, 2014 No comments »

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) was originally created by The Reduced Shakespeare Company.  They specialize in taking big ideas like Shakespeare, Comedy, and America and reducing, compressing, and distilling them in irreverent ways.  We found a website that does the same thing – with comics!  Here are some great examples of how Shakespeare’s beautiful, complex literature can be reduced to something you might read in your Sunday paper…  (All these and more provided by Mya Gosling at the io9 website.)


Macbeth ComicMidsummer


Cabaret, Cabaret, Cabaret: Meet the Emcees!

April 7th, 2014 No comments »

There’s always a lot going on at Lyric Arts, but now that spring has officially (we hope!) sprung, our planning for the 15th Annual Cabaret Fundraiser is in full swing!

Emcee Nick Menzhuber

As song choices and performers are being finalized, we don’t want to give away too much, but we can confirm the rumors that this year’s show will be emceed by none other than the amazing Tony Johnson and the fantastic Nick Menzhuber! These two will keep up the banter throughout the evening and have everyone in the audience rolling on the floor with laughter all night.

Emcee Tony Johnson

Audiences will recognize these two from past productions; Tony has emceed the Cabaret Fundraiser in the past, as well as performing in Picnic, DoubtMr. A’s Amazing Maze Plays, and more at Lyric Arts. Nick is currently acting in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), and has been involved in five other plays at Lyric Arts, including The Laramie Project, Noises Off, and Little Shop of Horrors.

We’re also still looking for donations to make this event the very best it can be – our goal is to raise at least 200 bottles of wine for our fun wine game – and we only have a month to make it happen! Check out our donation page to see all the different ways that you can get involved.Stay tuned for more cast announcements and song hints as we get closer to the wonderful day, and don’t forget to reserve your tickets – table seating is still available!

Dig Deeper – Can You Name Every Shakespeare Play?

March 19th, 2014 No comments »

In our upcoming show, The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), 3 actors perform all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 97 minutes!  Can you name them all?  See how many plays you recognize listed below and get your tickets now to see how our three actors achieve this monumental comedic feat!PremiereImage_Shakespeare

The Histories
Henry VI Part I, II, & III
Richard III
King John
Edward III
Richard II
Henry IV Part I & II
Henry V
Henry VIII

The Romances
The Winter’s Tale
The Tempest
The Two Noble Kinsmen

The Comedies
The Comedy of Errors
The Taming of the Shew
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Love’s Labour Lost
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Much Ado About Nothing
As You Like It
Twelfth Night
Troilus and Cresside
All’s Well That Ends Well
Measure for Measure

The Tragedies
Titus Andronicus
Romeo and Juliet
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Antony & Cleopatra
Timon of Athens

Dig Deeper – Costume and Character in Godspell

March 13th, 2014 No comments »

For the last 40 years, directors have been re-imagining the setting and characters for Godspell.  As a story about a modern community, the visual style of productions have shifted from decade to decade.  The show presents an interesting challenge:  to create characters that are clearly living in the present moment and to create a costume element or elements that provides a dramatic moment in which each characters joins the community of followers.  The most difficult challenge, as Stephen Schwartz describes below, is to create the illusion of everyday characters that could have walked in off the street but with very specific choices that illuminate character personalities and their individual dramatic arc.


Godspell Cast 2014
Lyric Arts Main Street Stage

The concept Don Scardino used in the Lamb’s Theatre revival, which was somewhat more relevant during the 80′s in New York City than it is now, was to start with the eight disciples as homeless people. So their garb continued the idea of “found clothing”, as if they selected items they found discarded or lying around. (Nevertheless, of course, these were actually carefully designed to reflect their characters, in the same way that the costumes the characters in CHORUS LINE wear, while appearing to be what they threw on to come to a dance call, are actually carefully designed from a characterization standpoint.) The point of the costumes in GODSPELL, whatever their style, should be that these eight people are replacing their daily clothes with something hastily put together which sets them apart from society and becomes an outward manifestation of their decision to follow the Jesus character. In the original production, the characters were never intended to be hippies, but rather to have chosen to put on bright, more colorful and slapdash raiment to match the sort of “contemporary clown” look that Jesus had.

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