This year marks the 20th season that Ashland Productions has brought high-quality, family-friendly theater to the east metro community and beyond—and the organization is only growing.
What’s happening at Woodbury’s hub for local theater, the Merrill Community Arts Center.
Woodbury’s Aspire Music Academy started taking shape in July 2016, when owner Lori Sager was directing a series of musicals with local students.
Stage dogs are acting, dancing and barking their way into the theater.
Wooodbury Community Theatre’s A Christmas Story - The Musical opens on The Loft Stage this month. The holiday comedy takes place in the 1940s, following young Ralphie as he attempts to convince his parents, teacher, Santa and anyone else who will listen that a Red Ryder BB gun is the perfect Christmas gift. With dozens of classic, quotable lines and plenty of laughs, this show appeals to kids and adults alike.
Carter Bannwarth is a freshman at East Ridge High School with an uncommon extracurricular life. At just 15 years old, the Woodbury teen is already a professional musical performer and actor whose extraordinary talent and self-assured presence have earned him a slew of roles on stage and on screen. “Carter’s a triple threat,” says Michael Brindisi, artistic director at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, who has now worked with Carter on two productions: Mary Poppins and Camelot. “He sings, he acts and he’s a great dancer. But most of all the kid’s a total professional.”
Woodbury’s own Aleks Knezevich is starring as Danny in the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ current production of Grease. Knezevich, who attended Woodbury High School, decided to join choir his junior year. Through the people in that choir, he took a chance at theater. “The only show I ever did was my senior year,” Knezevich says. “It was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and I played the role of Pharaoh.”
Set in September 1934, Lend Me a Tenor is an award-winning, fast-paced comedy. The production focuses on the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. Tito Merelli is the greatest tenor of his generation and is set to perform a solo as Otello. Before the performance, he accidentally takes too many tranquilizers and is thought to be dead. General manager Saunders persuades his assistant to step in, only to have Merelli awaken and jump into costume, leaving two Otellos wreaking havoc and confusion onstage. “I’m excited about it because it’s a non-musical, believe it or not,” says director Lenore Weir.
Woodbury Community Theatre is ready for the holidays and will soon transform the Loft Stage into a Miracle on 34th Street. Based on the movie and featuring a book and score by Meredith Willson, Miracle on 34th Street – The Musical runs December 4-13 at the Loft Stage and is a perfect holiday choice for all ages.
November brings the high school musical season to Woodbury; here’s what you’ll see on local stages this fall.
East Ridge High School – Fiddler on the Roof