In just a few days The Villages Resident Lifestyle Group SMASH Productions will premiere months of hard work with their latest production, The Honeymooners: From New York to The Villages!
SMASH productions group leader Susan Feinberg has an extensive history with music, acting and entertainment as a whole.
“I have been involved in entertainment since I was a kid with many years of dance lessons. My house was filled with show tunes and opera music.”
Even as a teen, Susan was booking groups for a local teen center. She continued this passion not only through college, but professionally as well.
“I was in charge of developing and marketing Digital Quality Audio and Video products for a Global Telecommunications Company.”
It is no surprise that when Susan moved to The Villages 10 years ago, she began producing and promoting almost immediately.
“I first started producing and promoting programs at Temple Shalom, including concerts and plays. One highlight was the summer concert series with The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra.”
SMASH Productions was launched 5 years ago as a vehicle for Villagers to perform in quality productions and as Susan explains,
“to have a bigger stage and venue for full scale shows and productions”.
The group also takes pride in their partnerships with local charities since its inception. The Honeymooners will support the Villages Shrine Club and YOUR Humane Society SPCA.
Behind The Scenes With The Honeymooners!
The Honeymooners from New York to The Villages is an original play written by Tina Shapiro and Carol Azzarone-Onuschak.
Susan explained a bit about the shows narratives,
“The Honeymooners is funny with nonstop laughs. Our performers and crew have poured their hearts into bringing out all the nuances of the characters and what makes them come to life in The Villages community.”
This production is a bit different than past performances from SMASH on the Savannah Center stage. Susan states this will be the group’s first piece that is not a full musical.
“(This) enabled us to cast some new actors. But since we have some of our best SMASH singers in the show, there will still be a little bit of music and dancing.”
Bringing the Lifestyle to Life
There is vast opportunity for Villagers to join various clubs of all sorts, including theatre clubs. It is important to many to stay involved in activities that they have carried with them or get involved in something new to try for the first time.
Susan explains why this is something unique and important that The Villages offers.
“There is so much talent in The Villages between people who have performed continuously since they were kids, took a hiatus while working or raising a family, or (those) who just started to perform after moving here. It is enjoyable to blend the unique talents together in front of AND behind the curtain.”
The group may be reaching their final days of rehearsal, but that doesn’t stop them from having fun.
“We work hard but we laugh during the entire rehearsal.”
Expect The Unexpected
The Honeymooners from New York to The Villages is sure to be a hoot. This group’s effort to take an original script and bring it to life with a Villages twist including cast favorites Golf Scene, Sleepwalking Act and even a National Raccoon Convention at our own Savannah Center are sure to leave the audience in tears from laughter!
A final word from Susan explains the experience best,
“Live theatre is the fuel that sparks imagination. Expect the unexpected! If you enjoy a good laugh while supporting Villages Theatre, please join us at The Honeymooners show March 15-17 at the Savannah Center.”
The Villages Musical Theater dates itself back to 2001 with their first musical, “South Pacific” in the Spring of 2002. Since then, the group has become quite familiar with the Savannah Center stage.
Some recent productions include “My Fair Lady,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Oklahoma,” and “The Music Man”.
One of the greatest things about performing in The Villages, says new leader Ed Slivken is, “[it] is like performing for friends and neighbors.”
He further explains that the neighborly atmosphere that performing in The Villages creates “gives an added boost in the efforts to put on a great performance” in return.
A Change in Leadership
Ed Slivken recently became the new Chairman of The Villages Musical Theater, but has an extensive history with theatre in The Villages as a whole.
“My neighborhood social club was entertained one month by a Villages group performing a Murder Mystery. I contacted them to see if I could participate and one thing led to another. I started off as a roadie hauling and setting up equipment!”, Slivken explains,
“When I got a small role in The Villages Musical Theater production of “Brigadoon” I discovered that there is so much more to putting on these shows”.
The Villages Musical Theater group is bringing a musical classic to The Villages this Spring, April 5-7th, with Disney’s Beauty and The Beast!
As many may remember from the original Disney movie, “There are several large numbers that are impressively choreographed and staged”
Slivken further explains that the characters will be superb! A production of this scale also allows the opportunity for a large cast to be involved, which gives more members of the group a chance to participate in the Savannah Center spotlight!
When asked what scene he favors most, the response landed on a personal favorite.
“My favorite scene is “Be Our Guest.” This extensive song and dance number features all of our castle dwellers like Mrs. Potts the teapot, Cogsworth the clock, as well as a large array of costumed dining ware!”
With quality talent, a large cast and extensive costuming this show will be the Belle of the balll!