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GAIL WHITE Show funds the right stage for Stage Left



Published: Fri, November 2, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Where can you be entertained by performances from "Fiddler on the Roof," "The King and I," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "The Sound of Music" all in one evening and under one roof?

Visit the Salem Golf Club at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 as the Stage Left Players of Lisbon begins a fund-raising journey toward a performance hall of their own.

For the last nine years, Stage Left Players has performed at various locations around Lisbon. For the past four years, the group has inspired audiences from the New Lisbon Presbyterian Church Outreach Center.

The center, a renovated church that is now used for youth programs, has proven to be an impressive spot for the players' productions.

Thankful for the gracious use of the facility that has allowed the acting troupe to expand and grow, the Stage Left Players has outgrown the facility. The group needs a "stage" of their own.

They think they have found just the right one.

The site: In a small plaza just past the center of town, behind a few store fronts and offices sits an historical landmark -- the former Rex Theatre on West Lincoln Way.

The seats of the old movie theater are gone. The slanted floor where those seats lined the aisles has long since been covered over by a level floor to accommodate the businesses that use the space for storage.

What remains of the Rex, however, is the stage.

Though performances were viewed on a big screen in the Rex's heyday, the Stage Left Players have high hopes of bringing live theater to the forgotten stage.

"It's neat to see. Old movie posters still hang on the walls." says Missy Kemats, chairwoman for the fund-raising event.

"They are using it for storage now. It will need a lot of renovations," Missy acknowledges. But there is a twinkle in her voice. She is envisioning the potential.

So, the journey begins for this group of actors to raise enough funds to buy and renovate the Rex so that the show can go on.

An evening of dinner and dancing at the Salem Golf Club will be the setting for the Stage Left Players' initial fund-raiser. A silent auction, 50/50 raffle and drawing for a $100 shopping spree will add delight to the evening.

Revival: Without a doubt, however, the highlight of the evening will be the performances of some of the past productions of the troupe.

Group members have delved into their history and will be resurrecting some of their past performances.

Tevye and Golde will sing "Do You Love Me" from a Stage Left production two years ago of "Fiddler on the Roof."

"Judas" from last year's production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" will sing "Heaven on Their Minds."

A reunion of the children from "The Sound of Music," performed four years ago, is sure to be a hit.

"Friedrich is 6 feet 6 inches now," says Kandy Cleland, entertainment chairwoman for the event. "All the Von Trapp children are teen-agers now."

Undoubtedly, "Do, Re, Mi" will be sung in a lower key.

Children play an important role at Stage Left.

"We have a very strong youth theater program," Kandy explains.

Each year, Stage Left directs several children's productions and is host of summer children's theater camps.

Preview: Along with the performances from past productions, the audience will be treated to a preview of a show to be performed next summer.

The musical production "Cabaret" won't open for nearly nine months, but the directing team of Kandy, Jodine Pilmer and Adam Roberts will sing and dance to the provocative tune "Two Ladies" at the Nov. 10 event.

It will be an evening to remember the old and celebrate the coming of the new.

A perfect mix for this group of talented performers hoping to give an old stage new life.

For ticket information, call (330) 424-7654.

gwhite@vindy.com




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