Event date: 7/8/2016 8:30 PM - 7/10/2016 4:00 PM Export event
50 Years of Musicals from the Summer Place Theatre
Naperville Central High School Auditorium, July 8-10, Friday & Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 3:00pm
Compiled and arranged by one of Summer Place’s own, this original musical revue will have you singing along to your favorite tunes from shows like Hello Dolly, Into the Woods, and West Side Story.
An ensemble of energetic singers provides the backbone of this show as they perform exciting medleys of beloved Broadway hits, mixed in among solos given by some of the Summer Place stars who originally sang them on our stage!
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Our Director: Cynthia Lauren Grant
Cynthia Lauren-Grant has created the Summer Place’s last four original Musical Revues, as well as this year’s “50 Years of Musicals from the Summer Place Theatre.” She is the producer/director for the show, as well as being a performer.
Cynthia grew up in Bensenville, but gravitated to Los Angeles to “be a star,” where she worked as an actress and singer for The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville Theatre and the Birdcage Theatre at Knott’s Berry Farm.
In Illinois, Cynthia has worked with the Tempo Players and the Magical Starlight Theatre. A Naperville resident, she was asked to be on the Board of Directors of the Summer Place Theatre in 1993, after playing “Peter” in their production of “Peter Pan.” It was her first production with the Summer Place, along with her then 5 year old son Corin, now an actor in Los Angeles. One of her early responsibilities for the Board was the theatre’s mailings. The mother and son team “licked and sticked” over 3000 labels per mailing! Since that time, Cynthia has performed in many Summer Place productions, as well as serving as secretary, producer, music director and House Manager.
Cynthia holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education, with a minor in Theatre, from the University of Illinois. She is a retired vocal music teacher with the Naperville Public Schools, and plans a second career in the world of voiceover performing.
Our Producers: Ted Waltmire, Cynthia Lauren Grant
Rehearsal Accompanist: Joline Bastounes
Technical Director: John Vales
Sound Designer: Giana Biddle
With Songs From All These Great Shows!
Introducing Our Cast
Jean Austin is a vocal instructor and performer in the Wheaton area. She received a MM from Northern Illinois University, and did a stint as an adjunct professor for a few years, before retiring to spend more time performing and traveling.
She played in both productions of Oklahoma! She was Laurie in 1976 and Mrs Skidmore in 2013. She was Fiona in Brigadoon (1980) and Tuptim in The King & I (1987 - while just barely pregnant with their son Matthias, who is now an Equity actor). She also played in the pit orchestra for a couple years at the tent, under Bernie Izzo's baton.
Her husband Stan has also joined us on stage. He played Ike Skidmore in 2013’s Oklahoma! and was in our Jinglemania! Cabaret.
Jean and Stan will be singing “People Will Say We're in Love" from Oklahoma! and "Almost Like Being in Love from Brigadoon," plus Jean will lead us in “Shall we Dance” from The King & I.
"I remember during one performance of Brigadoon that there was a terrific thunderstorm. The rain was pounding away on the metal roof, making it very hard to project, especially as performances were in the round! To add to the adventure, this was in the day before body mics!"
Jennifer Barber is a Universal Banker at the downtown Naperville Bank and Trust. She moved to Naperville from Arkansas in September.
This is Jenni's first production with Summer Place Theatre. She will be featured in the songs "I'm in Love With A Wonderful Guy" from South Pacific and "Anything Goes" and "You're the Top" from Anything Goes. She also has a solo in "Tonight" from Westside Story.
“I was part of many shows in Arkansas and looks forward to being part of many shows here.”
Bob Cappetta is an emeritus mathematics professor at College of DuPage. He has performed in Summer Place productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Reuben), Oklahoma (Ensemble) and Nine-to-Five (Dick). He participated with Summer Place Singers in the musical revues "Music and the Movies" and "Jinglemania." In addition he has sung in Summer Place's two most recent Christmas shows.
Bob thoroughly enjoys the experience of working with a team to bring a production to the stage.
He will sing Song of the King and Anything You Can Do.
Kelley Dale has been a private voice and piano teacher for the last thirteen years.
Kelley is new to Summer Place, but some of her favorite past roles have included Fraulein Kost in Cabaret, Crissy in Hair, and Maria in The Sound of Music.
She'll be singing Out of My Dreams from Oklahoma.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to the musical theatre stage after a five year mommy hiatus."
Noreen Emerson is a Sales Compensation Designer/Manager and was a Board Member of Summer Place from 2012 to 2015. She’s co-produced Oklahoma! (2013) and produced The Desk Set (2014), but she’s also been on stage.
Noreen was The Lady in the Blue Suit in The Desk Set (2014), the Summer Place Theatre Cabaret (2015) and part of the Summer Place Singers since 2015.
Noreen will be singing featured parts in Happiness, Favorite Things and I feel Pretty.
“I have had so much fun and met so many talented people working with Summer Place Theatre! One of the things that really made me laugh was that one of my sons did not realize that I was The Lady in the Blue Suit in The Desk Set. He did not recognize me at all! Thanks Steve and Sabrina for your great make-up tips!”
Cindi Erickson is a mortgage underwriter to feed her family and an artist to feed her soul.
Cindi was in the ensemble of Oklahoma! (2013), played Missy in Nine to Five (2014) and has been in several of our Summer Place Singer Cabarets.
Cindi has also been on the Summer Place Board of Directors, and produced Nine to Five (2014) and William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead in 2015.
Cindi will be singing "What I Did for Love", "If I Loved You" and "Nine to Five".
“One of my greatest joys with Summer Place has been to be on stage with my children, Adriana and Matthew, in Oklahoma! That experience sparked a new hobby for the 3 of us, and we have been in several productions at Summer Place since then. Not only that, but I've made some of my closest and dearest friends working with Summer Place.”
High-tech sales by day, Kevin Erwin began his local theater career in 1983 in Thornton College’s West Side Story. He appeared in the Chicago-based “Opening Night, Broadway-Our-Way” revue throughout the 1980’s, and at The Second City Theater, alongside Chris Farley, before becoming a regular in the “Funny Bone Comedy Club” circuit in the 1990’s. Since then, Kevin has taught at “Only A Stage” in Naperville, has appeared at The Royal George Theater in Chicago, and has had various community theater roles, including “Joseph” in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Now appearing in his second Broadway revue with Summer Place, Kevin will be singing “Luck Be A Lady,” from Guys and Dolls, and “Tomorrow,” as “Annie” (“Mannie”), from Annie, among other things.
“I’d like to sincerely thank Summer Place for their great kindness and support during both the loss of my mother, Mary, in 2008, as well as the very recent passing of my dear wife, Kari. Guys, the show must go on, and you’ve helped me to see that. Thank you all so much! “
Daniel Ewen is a music teacher. He has been a Summer Place Singer for several years.
He’ll be singing This is the Moment from Jekyll and Hyde and Tonight from West Side Story.
Tairen Foster is a flight attendant for American Airlines based in Chicago.
Tairen was in the ensemble of The Sound of Music (1997) and played Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden (2008), Herman and Daddy Brubeck in Sweet Charity (2010), and Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde (2013).
He’ll be singing Rhythm of Life from Sweet Charity as well as the beautiful song Lily’s Eyes from The Secret Garden along with the other original cast member, Mike Placzek.
“Secret Garden was my dream show and Archibald Craven was my dream role. I worked with my vocal coach for a year to prepare for that show. One year prior to the night we opened, I almost died from complications from surgery. I remember getting ready to make my first entrance and realized how fortunate I was be on stage with the most amazing cast I ever worked with, in my dream role. I thank God for that moment and for the life long friendships I made in that show.”
Carl Gilmore works as Romeoville Campus Evening Coordinator for Joliet Junior College and is also an Adjunct English Instructor there. He serves as President of the Plainfield Public Library District Board of Trustees.
Carl played Gad and The Butler in our 2012 production of "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat" and Andrew Rally in "I Hate Hamlet" (1996). He also served as Box Office Manager 1996-97.
Carl will sing "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph, "... Modern Major General" from Pirates of Penzance, and is in the trio performing "The Egg" from 1776.
“While I greatly enjoyed singing and dancing my way through the Middle East of the Old Testament in "Joseph ...", my most memorable time onstage with Summer Place was literally swinging from the chandelier - well, the rope that raised and lowered it anyway - in the middle of the sword fighting sequence from "I Hate Hamlet." Thankfully, the choreography demands of this Revue are less demanding.”
Don Gingold runs a website company by day and dabbles in acting and voiceover the rest of the time, with Summer Place and the Naperville Independent Film Festival.
Don played Lazar Wolf in Fiddler (2003), Doc in West Side Story (2007), General Howell in Kiss Me Kate (2009), Senex in Forum (2007), the Ring Master in Barnum (2006), the Sheriff in Footloose (2006), Old Ben in The Secret Garden (2008), Potiphar in Joseph (2012), Mr. Tinsworthy (as well as “The Corpse”) in Nine to Five (2014), the Voice of the Book “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” (2014), and both Merlin and Pellinore in Camelot (2015).
He’s also involved in production. Don was on our Board from 2004-2009 and recently joined again with his daughter Emma. He produced The Secret Garden and Camelot and is currently our Publicity Chairman.
Don will be singing If I were a Rich Man from Fiddler, Comedy Tonight from Forum and There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute from Barnum.
He was in each of these shows although not the lead roles. “I auditioned for the leads in Fiddler and Barnum but lucky for me I didn’t land them. And I filled a vacancy for Forum. Ken Kaden made a great Tevya and a perfect match for our Golde. Steve Lugowski was phenomenal as Barnum. But those characters are in every scene. Ken and Steve were run ragged! I was in a few scenes and still sang great duet numbers with the leads (“To Life” and “Join the Circus”). That was easy by comparison!”
Cynthia Lauren-Grant has created the Summer Place Theatre’s last four original Musical Revues, as well as this year’s “50 Years of Musicals from the Summer Place Theatre.” She is the producer/director for the show, as well as being a performer.
Cynthia has been on the Summer Place Theatre’s Board of Directors since 1993, after portraying Peter in SPT’s production of “Peter Pan.” Her son Corin, then 5 years old, played Skeeter, one of the Lost Boys. Cynthia and Corin vowed to be the greatest Mother & Son team in theatrical history, or at least in Summer Place Theatre’s history, and went on to performed in “The Music Man” (1994) as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn and a Boy’s Band member, members of the Mission Band in “Guys and Dolls” (1995), “Annie Get Your Gun” (1996) as Dolly Tate and a Townsperson, and “Barnum” (2006) as Barnum’s Museum Guide and the Barker/Stiltwalker. Cynthia was also seen in SPT’s production of “Into the Woods” as Cinderella’s Mother/Granny/Giant’s Wife, as well as the Woman in “A Defenseless Creature” from The Good Doctor,” and Mrs. Stanley in “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” Corin was seen in SPT’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” as Officer Klein.
Cynthia has served as Musical Director for SPT’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and is currently SPT’s House Manager and the founder/manager of SPT’s Summer Place Singers, who perform as goodwill ambassadors throughout the community. She is a retired vocal/general music teacher with the Naperville schools, and is pursuing a voiceover career.
Cynthia will be singing “Send in the Clowns” from “A Little Night Music,” with Steve Zeidler, “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music,” with Lisa Wukitsch, and reprising her role as Peter Pan singing “I’m Flying/Neverland/I Won’ Grow Up.” Her son Corin is now a working actor in Los Angeles. If his schedule allows, he will be here to recreate his role as Skeeter the Lost Boy, performing with his Mom as Peter.
“We had had “flying” training by “Flying By Foye” for the four days of Tech rehearsal for “Peter Pan.” As “Peter,” I thought that the flying was done by computer. Not so! I wore a harness that had a wire attached to the back. I had two “flying” handlers. When I needed to go up, the handler literally jumped off of a ladder to get me into the air! Then a second handler would pull me back and forth across the stage on an overhead track. The nursery set was a 3 sided room set, but the side walls were cut away to give the impression of walls. Along one of the cut-away walls was a fireplace with a mantel. I would “fly” across the stage from one cut-away wall to another and occasionally land on the fireplace mantel. Opening night did not go quite as planned. The handler who was to get me up in the air didn’t have me up high enough to clear the cut-away walls, and I had to lift my knees so my legs would not hit the wall! When I landed on the fireplace mantel, the handler who pulled me back and forth across the stage did so with such gusto and speed that I almost went right through the fireplace wall! I could hear my Mother in the front wall gasping! I think she almost fainted!”
“Also in “Peter Pan,” the Lost Boys would line up by heights. Corin was the littlest Lost Boy and didn’t go anywhere without his coonskin cap! He would stand at the end of the line of Lost Boys jumping up and down yelling, “Peter’s coming! Peter’s coming!” with the tail of the coonskin cap flapping up and down. He was just darling!”
“I hadn’t initially auditioned for “Guys and Dolls,” but Doc Shanower, the director of the show, called me and asked if I would be in the Mission Band. I told him that I had a young son and did not have babysitting available. He told me to bring Corin along and he would find a spot for him in the show. The costumer made Corin a little Mission Band uniform to match the others, and every time the band came on stage, Corin trailed behind them playing a triangle! He’s probably been the only child to have ever appeared in a production of “Guys and Dolls.”
Mackenzie Grattan is a German teacher at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, where she assists with the yearly spring musical. She also spends her summers traveling and teaching theater camp at Wheaton Drama.
She played Guenevere in last season’s Camelot. It was her first time on the Summer Place stage and we look forward to her next performance.
To hold us over, she’ll sing I Loved You Once in Silence from Camelot along with If Ever I would Leave You with her Lancelot Bobby McNeilly.
“My favorite Summer Place memory was watching my knights compete for my affection in a Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin' Wings challenge!”
Phyllis Guasta worked in the Human Resources field as a Generalist, a Manager, and a Recruiter, for an Electronics Company, an Architectural Firm, a Food Processing Plant, and the City of Naperville. Currently she enjoys caring for her two Grandsons twice a week while her daughter works (as a Human Resources Manager).
Phyllis was in Sweet Charity (2010), played Electra in Gypsy (2011), She Loves Me, and most recently in Spamalot (2015) as the Mayor, and is a member of the Summer Place Singers.
She was also in Life with Father (1978) and A Streetcar Named Desire when Summer Place was still under the Tent.
She’ll be singing Gotta Get a Gimmick, I Can Do Anything Better Than You (Duet), and I Feel Pretty (Quartet).
“As Electra I had to light up, and the lights had several heavy battery packs held in my costume. During one performance, one of packs fell out, and I just tossed it around and the audience never suspected that it was a costume malfunction.”
Tracy Kay is a teacher at district 25 in La Grange.
Tracy was in the ensemble of Oklahoma! (2013) and played Kathy in Nine to Five (2014) and is a regular in the Summer Place Singers.
She’ll be singing the title song from Nine to Five.
“I had a million costume changes in 9 to 5. They went so fast I had to change in the wings; I never got back into the dressing room!”
Craig Mahlstedt was a board member from 1976-2001 and yes he got to rescue the “damsel in distress” for his opening number. In the years that followed he performed in Boys Next Door, Others Peoples’ Money, Inherit the Wind, and 1776. He directed The Happy Time, Picnic, On Golden Pond, Dracula, and many others.
“I have fond memories of summer nights sitting near the box office listening to the plays in the background, talking with Roger and Doc and watching as Doc scooped up hapless, stray cats and tossing them over the fence to prevent them intruding on our productions. On one such occasion, I remember turning to Roger and saying, ‘I never heard a cat say holy shit before!’”
Jan Mahlstedt was a board member from 1976-2001. She began her work here starring opposite her husband in the 1977 production of Caught in the Villains’ Web and was honored to perform in Life With Father, Steel Magnolias, Rumors, Brigadoon, Pirates of Penzance, Side by Side By Sondheim, Most Happy Fellow, and many more. Jan directed You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Annie Get Your Gun, Jesus Christ Superstar, and 1776. She began the winter show with Quilters and helped create Magical Starlight productions for the Summer Place.
Since moving to Burr Ridge Jan and her husband have been active with the Theater of Western Springs where in addition to performing and directing she has recently been an acting instructor and coach for the Children’s Theater summer program. Three grandchildren now stay center stage for her.
“There are too many wonderful memories to count. In edited shorthand: a flooded backstage where we lifted the youngest actors onto the prop tables for safety; a collapsed roof caused by the heavy snows of 1979 and bringing our newborn son in a basket to work at getting the “tent” ready for the new season; scurried trips to the port-a johns; serving cake and punch during intermission; planting flowers with Sharon and Pat during which Susan pulled our son out of the lagoon; and through it all Doc’s riveting blue eyes, constant smile, and that gorgeous voice shouting “LOUDER”! We love all who have served the Summer Place Theater.
Bobby McNeily is an actor, singer and local politician and has been on stage as well as on television is shows like Tosh.0 and Chicago PD.
His first Summer Place show was Barnum! in 2006. He played Amos Scudder and helped P.T. Barnum with his first Emporium. Bobby returned in 2015 to play Lancelot in Camelot.
He’s returning again this year to reprise, "If ever I would leave you", with his Guinevere, Mackenzie Grattan.
“I learned how to juggle for Barnum!”
Elizabeth Nystedt is an elementary music teacher and chorus director at Coleman Elementary School in Elgin, and cantors and sings with her church choir at St. Scholastica in Woodridge.
Elizabeth was in Guys and Dolls in 2008.
Elizabeth will be singing Little Bird, Little Bird from Man of La Mancha, My Favorite Things from Sound of Music and I Feel Pretty from West Side Story.
“The summer I was in Guys and Dolls was one of the best summers of my life. Not just because of the fun of the show, but because of the friends I made and the adventures we had outside of the show.”
Many people in Naperville know Chad Pedigo as Special Events Manager at Bridge Communities and very active in the community, but did you know he was our Kenickie in the 2011 production of Grease?
Chad will be recreating Greased Lightnin’ along with the rest of the men in the chorus.
Sharon Place and her husband, Roger, began their relationship with the Summer Place in 1973 when Sharon played Cora in "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" and Roger had the lead in "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers." They were hooked...from then on their Summers revolved around the Summer Place. They were either acting, directing (Roger), or assistant directing (Sharon.) Their daughters, Susan and Jennifer were involved as well. As a matter of fact, all four Places managed the theatre for two summers while the performances were still at the pavilion.
Sharon and Roger were on the board of directors for many years. They performed together in "Mary, Mary", "The Odd Couple", "42nd Street', "Mame" and "Into the Woods." When Roger passed away, Sharon took a hiatus for a bit and then after a few years returned to perform in "How to succeed in Business", "The Man who came to Dinner", and "Spamalot."
She’ll be singing Bosom Buddies from Mame along with Jan Mahlstedt.
“I recall one Spring clean up at the pavilion when 6 baby opossums were found in a couch on stage...Yipe!”
Mike Placzek is a Global Supply Chain professional who has worked in 20 countries. Acting in community theatre productions is a much enjoyed hobby, as is attending professional productions with his wife and daughters.
With Summerplace Theatre, Mike played Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside III in Mame (2000), Emile De Becque in South Pacific (2003), and Neville Craven in The Secret Garden (2008). Over the past 30 years, west suburban audiences have also enjoyed Mike’s performances in roles like Edward Rutledge in 1776, Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly, Tommy Albright in Brigadoon, Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun, Bill Sykes in Oliver, and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls.
Mike will be reprising his role of Neville Craven in the Lily’s Eyes duet from The Secret Garden and also singing Old Man River (Showboat) and Camelot (Camelot).
Playing Emile De Becque in 2003 had a kind of coming home feeling for me. I played Lt. Joe Cable in a South Pacific production directed by Verna Esposito for The Tempo Players back in 1984. And 19 years later, guess who directed me as Emile De Becque in the Summerplace production? The younger than ever Verna Esposito.
Grace Catherine Politowicz is new to Summer Place this year. She is a vocal performance major at Aurora University who participates in all of the AU choirs, the annual Opera Scenes concerts, and the Blue Notes and SASS a capella groups. Aside from school, she also teaches beginning piano students.
Grace Catherine will be singing "I Could Have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady, "Somewhere" from West Side Story with Bobby McNeily, and the gospel song "Waitin' for the Light to Shine," from Big River.
“I've met so many wonderful people and am very grateful to be a part of the 50 Years of Musicals From Summer Place Theatre. I very much look forward to working together in future productions!" So do we, Grace!
Christopher Roe has spent the last 12 years in higher education, working as a professor and academic dean for business and management.
Chris has been in previous Summer Place productions. This is his third year singing in the Summer Place Singers, plus he was Richard in "The Desk Set”. Outside our troop, he was Max in "Lend Me a Tenor", Nick in "Over the River and Through the Woods", and Jafar in "Aladdin,” directed musicals such as "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "Pinnochio" and enjoys performing improv.
Chris will be singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Spamalot, "Waitin' for the Light to Shine" from Big River, and "Together, Wherever We Go" from Gypsy along with Lisa Wukitsch.
During the school year Emily Sites teaches high school choir and music theory, as well as private voice and piano lessons. But then, it’s Summer Time!
Emily joined Summer Place last year when she appeared in Camelot as a Courtier and Dancer.
She will be singing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from Evita and “Everything’s Alright” from Jesus Christ Superstar.
“I had a lot of fun in Camelot and am excited to be able to come back for a second summer! “
Ted Waltmire is a former librarian who has been involved with Summer Place since 1977.
Ted appeared in Damn Yankees (1977), A Streetcar Named Desire (1979), Guys and Dolls (1979), The Most Happy Fella (1980), God's Favorite (1981), The Good Doctor (1983 & 2010), Kismet (1991), Gypsy (2010), Harvey (2012), The Man Who Came to Dinner (2013), Oklahoma! (2013), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2014), and Monty Python's Spamalot (2015).
He was Musical Director for The Fantasticks (1985), A Little Night Music (1987), Man of La Mancha (1996), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1997), Into the Woods (2001), She Loves Me (2003) and Big (2004).
He was Vocal Director for The Music Man (1993 & 2016), Gypsy (2010), and How to Succeed (2014). He accompanied the Summer Place Singers for Even Stephens in 2009. He’s been on our Board of Directors since _____ and has produced numerous shows.
He’ll be singing The Company Way from How To Succeed along with fellow cast member from the same show Marc Yaculoo.
Lisa Wukitsch is a music teach in district 203 and was a Board Member of SummerPlace for many years. She produced Ghost Stories in the Park in the Dark for Summer Place but she’s also been on stage. She was Poppy in Nine to Five (2014) and part of the Summer Place Singers since 2006.
She’ll be singing the title song from Nine to Five along with fellow cast members Cindi Erickson and Tracy Kay.
Steve Zeidler is currently President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Summer Place. He’s a long-time actor and producer of our shows.
He played Don Quixote in the Man of La Mancha (1996), Andrew Carnes in Oklahoma! (2013), Big Jule from Guys & Dolls (2008), Miles Gloriosus in Forum (2007), Julian Marsh in 42nd Street (1998), Daddy Warbucks in Annie (1999), Samuel Chase in 1776 (2001), Cinderella’s father in Into the Woods (2001), Uncle Jocko and Cigar in Gypsy (2011), J.B. Biggley in How to Succeed in Business (2014), and King Arthur in Spamalot (2015).