The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Fall, 2017

The Pink Panther is a series of comedy-mystery films featuring an inept French police detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau. The series began with the release of The Pink Panther (1963). The role of Clouseau was originated by, and is most closely associated with, Peter Sellers. Most of the films were directed and co-written by Blake Edwards, with theme music composed by Henry Mancini. Elements and characters inspired by the films were adapted into other media, including books, comic books and animated series.

In the first film, the “Pink Panther” is a large and valuable pink diamond.  The diamond is called the "Pink Panther" because the flaw at its center, when viewed closely, is said to resemble a leaping pink panther. The phrase reappears in the title of the fourth film The Return of the Pink Panther, in which the theft of the diamond is again the center of the plot. The phrase was used for all the subsequent films in the series, even when the jewel did not figure in the plot. It ultimately appeared in six of the eleven films. The name "the Pink Panther" became attached to Inspector Clouseau in much the same way that Frankenstein has been used in film titles to refer to Dr. Frankenstein's creation, or The Thin Man was used in a series of detective films.

The first film in the series had an animated opening sequence, created by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and set to the theme music by Mancini, which featured the Pink Panther character. It  was such a success United Artists executives decided to adapt the title sequence into a series of theatrical animated shorts, the first of which, 1964's The Pink Phink, won the 1964 Academy Award for Animated Short Film. Later, the cartoon Pink Panther had his own series of animated cartoons which gained its highest profile when aired on Saturday mornings as The Pink Panther Show.

The Series:

  • The Pink Panther (1963): In the original film, released in 1963, the main focus was on David Niven's role as Sir Charles Litton, the infamous jewel thief nicknamed "the Phantom," and his plan to steal the Pink Panther. Inspector Clouseau was only a secondary character as Litton's incompetent antagonist and provided slapstick comic relief to a film that was otherwise a subtle, lighthearted crime drama.
  • A Shot in the Dark (1964): This film was not originally intended to feature Clouseau, but the popularity of Clouseau caused him to become the main character, and made subsequent films more slapstick comedies. It is the first of two films in the series (the other being Inspector Clouseau) that features neither the diamond nor the distinctive animated Pink Panther in the opening credits and ending. Many critics, including Leonard Maltin, regard this film as the best in the series.  Clouseau bumbles his way through a murder investigation.  It also marks the first appearance of both Herbert Lom’s Inspector Dreyfus and Burt Kwouk’s Cato.
  • Inspector Clouseau (1968): Sellers declined to play Clouseau again so Alan Arkin takes over.  However, none of the recurring characters appeared (Dreyfus, Cato, etc.).
  • The Return of the Pink Panther (1975): This not only marks the return of the famous Pink Panther diamond, but also that of Peter Sellers, Edwards as director, Henry Mancini on music, and characters Dreyfus and Cato. Sellers wasn’t thrilled to be playing Clouseau again, and his relationship with Edwards was strained, but he needed the money.
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976):  Dreyfus’ insanity reaches a pinnacle, as he tried to intimidate the rest of the world into killing Clouseau.
  • Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978):  This film pits Clouseau against the French Connection.  It was the last in which Sellers played Clouseau.  He died two years after its release.
  • Trail of the Pink Panther (1982): This features Peter Sellers as Clouseau using unused material from Strikes Again, as well as scenes from previous released Pink Panther films.  It was intended as a tribute to Sellers but after its release, Seller’s widow sued Blake Edwards for tarnishing her late husband’s memory. It was a critical and commercial failure.
  • Curse of the Pink Panther (1983): Features a bungling American detective.  Clouseau returns after having plastic surgery to disguise his identity (he was played by Bond actor Roger Moore!) in a cameo.  It didn’t do well.
  • Son of the Pink Panther (1993):  An attempt at a revival, Edwards casts Roberto Benigni as Jacques Gambrelli, Clouseau’s illegitimate son by Maria Gambrelli, the murder suspect from Shot in the Dark.  Many former costars return, including Dreyfus and Cato, but it became the final installment in the original series.
  • The Pink Panther (2006): This reboot launches a new series starring Steve Martin as Clouseau, and Kevin Kline as Chief Inspector Dreyfus.  It is not a remake of the original film, and forms a new starting point for a contemporary series as Clouseau tracks down the thief who stole the famous jewel.
  • The Pink Panther 2 (2009): The sequel to the Martin film, with John Cleese as Dreyfus.

Our production tonight features not only our version of the 1960-70’s Saturday morning cartoon/comic book colors, but also a great deal of hard work with choreographing all the physical comedy and gags that were a part of the Clouseau persona.  With 22 different scenes, we have a whole lot of work going on behind the scenes, too! We have had a lot of fun getting it ready for you!   Another exciting development is the addition of a great group of ZCSTC newcomers both in tech and on stage.  We are excited about this influx of new talent joining our veterans!  We hope you gets some laughs and enjoy!

(Information from “The Pink Panther”, Wikipedia: The Online Encyclopedia.         Wikimedia, Inc. 2017.)

 
   

Kendra Bower -   Olga Berriosiva, Asylum Nurse

Elyse Dunn-     Orderly, Mrs. Stutterstutt, Mirage Club Patron, Oktoberfest  Band, Waitress

Courtnie Trego-   Dr. Duval, Mrs. Leverlilly, Mirage Club Patron, Polish Assassin with gun,  Scientist

Aineka Carlson- Margot Fassbender, Chinese Assassin

McKenna Woodyard- Insane Patient, Inspector Drummond, Mirage Club Patron, Norwegian      Assassin, Sarcastic Desk Clerk, Scientist

Payton Sims- Insane Patient, Mrs. Japonica, Mirage Club Patron, TV technician, Mexican Assassin, Scientist

Kira Doonan- French Lady, Mirage Club Backup Singer, German Agent/Pretzel Girl,

Brantley Bryan- Insane Patient, Mrs. Bullock, Mirage Club backup singer, Italian Assassin, Scientist

Cameron Wertenberger Inspector Jacques Clouseau

Tim Leslie- Paul Dreyfus

Tanner Thompson- Dr. Hugo Fassbender, Nigerian Assassin

Noah Harveaux-     Ainsley Jarvis, Irish assassin, Scientist

Alan Garcia- Insane patient, Hindu Harry, Arabian Assassin

Kyle Fergus- Insane Indian, Jean Tournier, Messenger, and a dog

Christian Fendell  - Orderly, Cairo Fred, German desk clerk

Mason Bower- Francois, Inspector McLaren, Chuck the Waiter,  Tango, Oktoberfest Band, Mafia Guy

Levi Bollinger- French Man, Cato, Mirage Club Emcee, Oktoberfest Band

Luke Nelson- Waiter, Mr. Shork, Mirage club patron, TV cameraman, Japanese Assassin

McKenna Woodyard, Brantley Bryan, Macey Emery and Shelby Sander-    The Pink Panthers

Tyler Hutt        Construction/Set Team

Alex Heggie

Steven Brant                                                                                                                         

Ethan Cooper

Trevor Emery

Xavier Hill

Assisted by Kai Tannehill and Caleb Wertenberger

Sophie Udell Costumes Production Team

Shelby Sander

Calla Isaac

Macey Emery Props Production Team

Kaylee Toop

Cast/Crew Photography Kim Wertenberger

Costumes Management Debra Geffe

Doomsday Machine Ryan and Hilary Woodyard

Lights and Sound Design Lynn Brant

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Annie--May, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Whicomb Riley’s 1885 poem “Little Orphan Annie” served as the inspiration for Harold Gray’s popular 1920s Chicago Tribune comic strip of the same name, as well as the popular Raggedy Ann doll. Gray followed the adventures of an 11-year-old orphan with curly red hair (and no eyes!), her wealthy benefactor, Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, and her loyal dog, Sandy.

In January 1972, lyricist Martin Charnin pitched the idea of creating a musical about Orphan Annie to composer Charles Strouse and librettist Thomas Meehan.   According to a pre-opening-night piece he wrote in The New York Times, Meehan thought Annie was a “rotten idea,” but was         convinced by Charnin’s interest in “the richness of the     character Annie herself—the lost, wandering child.”

Because the comic strip gave little to work with in terms of backstory and connections for the characters, Meehan emphasized that “Annie is in no sense a literal adaptation of Little Orphan Annie. Instead, the musical might best be described as having been suggested by Little Orphan Annie. The story as I constructed it is the story of a child’s Odyssey-like quest for her missing father and mother.” The three New Yorkers chose to set their new musical in their hometown, and “as a reaction against what was going on in the United States during the Nixon years,” they also placed Annie, Warbucks and company in the Great Depession, specifically 1933. Meehan thought “Annie could, in the musical, become a metaphorical figure who stood for innate decency, courage and optimism in the face of hard times, pessimism and despair.” This was a timely message in the mid-1970s, when New York City was in the midst of a financial crisis and Times Square had become seedy and crime-ridden.

Annie received its world premiere on August 10, 1976, at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, starring Kristen Vigard in the title role and Dorothy Loudon as Miss Hannigan, the alcoholic caretaker of the orphanage where Annie lives. Soon after performances began, producers replaced Vigard with a tougher young actress, 13-year-old Andrea McArdle on April 21, 1977. Annie was an instant hit. The show received 10 Tony nominations and won seven awards, including Best Musical. McArdle lost the Best Actress prize to Loudon, whose performance as Miss Hannigan became the stuff theatrical legends are made of. Annie went on to run for 2,377 performances and helped launch the career of replacement Annie, Sarah Jessica Parker.

In 1979, Columbia Pictures secured the rights to Annie in what would become a $50 million big-screen adaptation. In a surprising choice, Oscar winner John Huston was recruited to direct Annie. They cast Albert Finney as Oliver Warbucks (originally supposed to be Jack Nicholson) , Broadway veteran Ann Reinking as his loyal assistant Grace Farrell, and comic icon Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan. Broadway vets Bernadette Peters and Tim Curry played Miss Hannigan's scheming sidekicks, Lily St. Regis and Rooster Hannigan. To find a young actress for the crucial title role, scout Garrison True and a dozen assistants spent 10 months visiting 20 cities and auditioning 8,000 little girls before settling on Pennsylvania native Aileen Quinn.

The movie was shot in three states and featured several new songs and plot changes. Most noticeably, the Christmas-themed musical was now set in summer. “We were shooting in summer and it was hard to get snow in New York City,” Stark recalled in the documentary Lights, Camera, Annie! “So we shifted it to 4th of July, being a holiday season and being patriotic, [it] seemed perfect.”

The film was released in May 1982, and although it has grown to cult status, Annie was a letdown at the box office. Still, Annie received multiple Golden Globe and Oscar nominations, winning none. In 1999, Annie received a more faithful adaptation as a made-for-TV movie. The Emmy-winning ABC special starred Alicia Morton as Annie, Oscar winner Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan, and Broadway vets Victor Garber (Warbucks), Audra McDonald (Grace), Alan Cumming (Rooster) and Kristin Chenoweth (Lily).

Nearly 20 years to the day after Annie first took Broadway by storm, director and lyricist Martin Charnin helmed the first-ever Main Stem revival at the Martin Beck Theatre, opening on March 26, 1997 to tepid reviews and a whirlwind of controversy. The second coming of Annie closed after 239 performances. Fifteen years later, Annie was back on Broadway. A 35th Anniversary production opened on Broadway in 2012. Thomas Meehan revised the musical, with James Lapine directing. Lilla Crawford starred as Annie, with Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan, and Anthony Warlow playing "Daddy" Warbucks. This production closed on January 5, 2014, after 38 previews and 487 regular performances. It has been on national tour since, and a recent version featured Jane Lynch of Glee fame as Ms. Hannigan. In January 2011, Will Smith announced plans for a redux of Annie set in the present day. Academy Award-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis played Annie, and Jamie Foxx starred as Will Stacks (an update of Daddy Warbucks and a cell phone company magnate), Rose Byrne as Grace Farrell, and Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan, who is in charge of a group of foster kids instead of orphans.

This is ZCSTC’s 2nd production of this classic musical. Our first foray into this spunky story was 10 years ago, and we hope that many of our alumni from that show are in attendance tonight! Be sure to check out other sections in the program that help you understand the historical references, and also give you some more information about needs for today’s foster kids. Enjoy the show!

The Orphans:

Calla Isaac                                                               Mollie

Ally Andersen                                                        Pepper

Sophie Udell                                                           Duffy

McKenna Woodyard                                         July

Brantley Bryan                                                       Tessie

Brianna Stump                                                      Kate       

Courtnie Trego                    Annie

Kiri Schoonover Ms. Agatha Hannigan

Alan Garcia Mr. Bundles, laundryman

Ethan Cooper Sam, the Dogcatcher

Levi Bollinger Phil, the Dogcatcher

Samuel Olsen Lt. Ward, local policeman

Levi Bollinger Sgt. McKillian, policeman

Kyle Fergus Sandy, the dog

The Hooverville Citizens:

Noah Harveaux (Bill) Cameron Wertenberger (Eddie) Alan Garcia (Frank)

Tim Leslie (Harry) Ethan Cooper (Joe) Sam Olsen   (Al)

Levi Bollinger (Stan) Christian Fendell (Clyde) Tyler Hutt (Pete)

Kendra Bower (Billie) Ally Andersen (Delores D) Sophie Udell (Flo)

McKenna Woodyard (Lil) Brantley Bryan (Sophie the Kettle) Calla Issac (Sally Jo)

Elyse Dunn (Lucille D’Neal) Crystal Chavez (Apple Anne) Brianna Stump (Doris)

Savannah Castilleja (Dot) Macey Emery (Mary Betty)

The Warbucks Mansion

Aineka Carlson Ms. Grace Farrell, administrative secretary to Oliver Warbucks

Mason Bower Oliver Warbucks, billionaire

Christian Fendell Drake, the head butler

Savannah Castilleja Mrs. Greer, Housekeeper

Brianna Stump Mrs. Pugh, the Head Cook

Crystal Chavez Cecille, a Maid

Elyse Dunn Annette, a Maid

The Staff:

Cameron Wertenberger Noah Harveaux Alan Garcia Levi Bollinger

Tim Leslie Ethan Cooper Samuel Olsen Kyle Fergus

N.Y.C. Citizens Ensemble

Stars To Be Calla Isaac

Brantley Bryan

Brianna Stump

Usherette Savannah Castilleja

Noah Harveaux                                                     Rooster Hannigan, con artist and Ms. Hannigan’s brother

Kendra Bower                                                        Lily St. Regis, Rooster’s girl (named after the hotel)

NBC Radio: The Oxydent Hour of Smiles

Tim Leslie                                                                Bert Healey, the star of the Hour of Smiles

Ethan Cooper                       Wacky, the Dummy

Samuel Olsen Fred McCracken, Ventriloquist

Levi Bollinger Jimmy Johnson, radio’s only masked announcer

Kyle Fergus The Sound Effects Guy

Alan Garcia Al, the Producer of the Hour of Smiles

Brianna Stump Bonnie Boylan, of the lovely Boylan Sisters trio

Kendra Bower Ronnie Boylan

Crystal Chavez Connie Boylan

The White House

Cameron Wertenberger President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his first term

Alan Garcia Henry Morganthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury

Tim Leslie Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior

Samuel Olsen Cordell Hull, Secretary of State

Christian Fendell Francis Perkins, Secretary of Labor

Kyle Fergus Louis Howe, Advisor and Secretary to the President

Tyler Hutt Marine Guard

Levi Bollinger Justice Louis Brandeis, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

The Crew:

Tyler Hutt                                                                                Construction/Set Team

Alex Heggie

Steven Brant                                                                                                                                                                

David Grigg

Luca Westfall

Luke Nelson

Payton Sims          Costumes Production Team

Ariz Rodriguez

 Macey Emery       Props Production Team

Kaylee Toop

Shelby Sander     Painting/General tech

Brooke Mason

Steven Brant, Ariz Rodriguez, David Grigg             Lights/Follow spots

Alex Heggie and Luke Nelson                Sound

Payton Sims             Stage Management

Tyler Hutt and Luca Westfall                  Set Management

Kira Doonan and Kim Wertenberger             Cast/Crew Photography

Debra Geffe              Costumes Management/ Seamstress

Alyssa Andersen          Program Bio Editing

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