The STARS 2000 Teen Theatre Company production of All Shook Up will be double cast.
Performing on January 14, 16, 22, 28
Tom Deans Fiegel…Chad
Performing on January 15, 21, 23, 29
Performing in all shows:
Braden Sweeney…Ensemble/Dance Captain
Backstage in her dressing room at the New Amsterdam Theatre, where she is a reigning Ziegfield star, Fanny Brice sits thoughtfully at her dressing table. Tonight Fanny’s mind is on something more important than the show. Her husband, Nick Arnstein, will be coming home after serving a prison sentence. Now she must make a decision about their future.
As she ponders her problem, the sights and sounds of her past come back to her. First, she remembers herself as a stagestruck teenager; awkward, unattractive but fiercely determined to get ahead in the theatre. Using her best efforts Fanny’s sharp-tongued but sympathetic mother tries to make her come to her senses, but Fanny continues to audition and get turned down. Finally Fanny overwhelms a vaudeville hoofer with her iron will to succeed and her unshakable self-confidence. He agrees to coach her in singing and dancing, and they spend time practicing routines. At last she is given a chance; of course she wows the audience.
Fanny is quickly smitten by Nick Arnstein, an elegant man, who has come to the theatre to pay off a gambling debt. She has little time for mooning over him because producer Florenz Ziegfield has sent her a telegram offering her a spot in his current Follies. Fanny is a hit in her first Ziegfield appearance, and Nick is coincidentally on hand to offer congratulations. He goes with Fanny to her mother’s opening night block party on Henry Street. Some months later they meet again. This time they’re in Baltimore and they enjoy a private dinner at an exclusive restaurant. That does it. Fanny cannot leave Nick ever again. At the railroad station where the Follies company is to board a train for Chicago and Nick one for New York, Fanny decides to leave the company and follow her love. She feels this is her one chance for happiness and is determined not to let anything stand in her way.
Fanny and Nick are married and move into a mansion on Long Island. During rehearsals of a new Follies, Nick approaches Ziegfield backstage about investing money in a gambling casino he plans to build in Florida. Ziegfield declines, but Fanny insists on putting up the necessary capital. Fanny’s opening night of the new show is ruined by Nick’s failure to appear. After the performance he comes to her dressing room and tells her that his casino venture has failed and she has lost her money.
She tries to treat the bad news lightly and not make Nick feel even worse, but Nick feels Fanny is making light of his ventures and complains that she treats him like a child. For the first time Fanny begins to have doubts about their relationship. Now she anonymously tries to put up money for him in another venture. But when he finds out about this, he becomes incensed; he is not comfortable being so dependent on his wife. Out of desperation he gets involved in a shady bond deal. Nick is soon arrested for embezzlement. Mrs. Brice makes her daughter take responsibility for her part in what has happened.
The final scene in Fanny’s dressing room is a continuation of the first scene in the play. Nick, just out of prison, enters. While they still love each other deeply, it is obvious that their marriage can only bring unhappiness to both of them. Reluctantly, but inevitably, they part. Fanny courageously resolves to get on with her life.
Music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill. Book by Isobel Lennart from an original story by Miss Lennart. Produced for the Broadway stage by Ray Stark. New York production supervised by Jerome Robbins. Original production directed by Garson Kani.
- If a Girl Isn’t Pretty – Mrs. Strakosh, Mrs. Brice, Eddie Ryan and People
I’m the Greatest Star – Fanny Brice
- Cornet Man – Fanny Brice, Snub Taylor and Keeney Chorus
- Who Taught Her Everything? – Mrs. Brice and Eddie Ryan
- His Love Makes Me Beautiful – Ziegfeld Tenor, Ziegfeld Girls and Fanny Brice
- I Want to Be Seen With You Tonight – Nick Arnstein and Fanny Brice
- Henry Street – Henry Street Neighbors
- People – Fanny Brice
- You Are Woman, I Am Man – Nick Arnstein and Fanny Brice
- Don’t Rain on My Parade – Fanny Brice
- Sadie, Sadie – Fanny Brice and Friends
- Find Yourself a Man – Mrs. Strakosh, Mrs. Brice and Eddie Ryan
- Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat – Ziegfeld Company and Fanny Brice
- Who Are You Now? – Fanny Brice
- The Music That Makes Me Dance – Fanny Brice
- Don’t Rain on My Parade (Reprise) – Fanny Brice
- Jessica Fisher – Fanny
- Chelsea Nenni – Younger Fanny
- Samantha Samuels – Mrs. Brice
- Jody Black – Eddie
- Peter Budinger – Nick
- DC Scarpelli – Mrs. Strakosh
- Linda Davis – Mrs. Nadler
- Mary Kidwell – Mrs. O’Malley
- Suzie Shepard – Mrs. Meeker
- Luke Chapman – Ensemble
- Pablo Jara – Ensemble
- Derek Miller – Ensemble
- Stephanie Lacambra – Ensemble
- Melissa Heinrich – Ensemble
- Savannah Stratton – Ensemble
Diablo’s DC Scarpelli moonlights as a singing billionaire in Diablo Theatre Company’s hit revival of Annie
By: Peter Crooks, Diablo Magazine
Diablo Theatre Company’s newest revival of the classic musical Annie has received rave reviews and done boffo box office at the Lesher Center for the Arts. Here at Diablo, we’re extra excited about the show because our senior designer at Diablo Custom Publications, the supremely talented DC Scarpelli, is wowing audiences in the Daddy Warbucks role.
What did you do to research the character of Daddy Warbucks? What interesting discoveries did you make about the character/the Annie comic/the musical?
I jumped into Little Orphan Annieland for a while, and Warbucks is fascinating… Harold Gray, the comic’s creator, was ultra-conservative, and Warbucks epitomized the free-market ideal of the Self-Made Man. “No help needed—I can pull myself up from pauper to billionaire in no time—this is America!” An unabashed war profiteer in both World Wars, he declared himself a general in WW2 and fought the Axis powers on his own even before the US had entered the war (“Sometimes, Annie, you have to do these things yourself…”).
He operated above the law and his enemies tended to disappear mysteriously. Those enemies were, among others, scheming “foreigners” of every description, Communists, Union organizers, corrupt politicians and assorted “pinkos.” Despite being the richest man in the world, he put on no airs. When Daddy went flat broke, as he did every so often, he’d sometimes have to borrow from Annie’s piggy bank, leaving her an IOU until he (inevitably) regained his billions.
Warbucks in the musical is much less volatile and shady, and he certainly has no political soapbox. We’re in the depths of the Great Depression, and the country is at its lowest. He’s a Republican, yes, and he mistrusts Democrats, but he knows he must work with the Roosevelt administration to get his empire—and the nation’s workers—back to work. We’re on the brink of the New Deal, this massive, nationwide job-creating, faith-restoring mobilization, and Warbucks has a great part in igniting that fuse. And what’s the spark? Where does the optimism come from? The hope for a better tomorrow even though today is awful? A penniless kid. “The least among us.” I think Harold Gray might even approve.
What do you do to get into character before the show?
I age myself a bit. A few extra shadows. Some highlights under the eyebrows. (Eyebrows = comedy.) Technically, I’m about 15 or 20 years too young for Warbucks. But I’ve read 50 since I was 20. I put on the Big Boxy Suit. I say “Annie” a few times to get the broad A in my head. I’ve given him a big, Patrician New York accent—broad As, soft Rs, but well short of Connecticut lockjaw. I make sure he has all his cufflinks and stickpins ready. Daddy requires a little bling. I glower at my husband (Peter Budinger, who plays Rooster, one of the musical’s villains), whose dressing table is next to mine. Playing enemies is a good way to relieve those little home tensions… “You forgot to take out the garbage…” “Wait… WHO forgot to take out the garbage?”
That’s it, really. Then I drink a gallon of hot tea with honey and hope for the best. (And I make sure not to look at my own bank balance.)
Albert Finney played Warbucks in the 1982 film version of Annie, which was directed by the great John Huston. Favorite Finney performance? Huston film?
I’m sure I should say Tom Jones or The Dresser or The Gathering Storm…but honestly, my favorite Finney movie is kind of a kitschy one: Murder on the Orient Express. He’s a great Poirot in high camp mode, and that movie’s a hell of a lot of fun.
As for Huston, it has to be a Bogart film. I’ll let The African Queen edge out The Maltese Falcon and Key Largo. Actually, now that I think about it, my Warbucks voice is sort of Hepburn in a Bogey register…
What would Daddy Warbucks make of the current economic situation in the US?
Well, the situation in Annie is a direct analog of where we are right now. This isn’t surprising: it was written in 1977 and set in 1933, both times when we were also facing huge economic crisis and a new Presidential administration. The situation is shockingly similar in terms of both the dire state of the nation and the need for all sides to come together. I think Daddy would tell all parties to put all the their hogwash aside, stop wasting time and energy attacking each other, and come together on what common ground they have for the sake of keeping the country together. He would flush all the self-serving pundits and commentators and get men and women of power to roll up their sleeves, make some sacrifices, and create a country for us to believe in.
What real life economic player in today’s world is closest to Daddy Warbucks?
Oh, gosh… Probably Warren Buffett at the beginning of the musical and Michael Bloomberg at the end of the musical. And Oprah at intermission.
Diablo Theatre Company’s production of Annie plays at the Lesher Center for the Arts through October 2. For tickets, click here.
By Lou Fancher, Lamorinda Weekly
September 15, 2010
In a time when family togetherness is on the endangered species list, Diella and Meaghan Wottrich have found a novel way to beat the trend. When the Diablo Theatre Company’s Annie opened on September 10, the Lafayette duo strolled and strutted across the Lesher stage together-taking the quaint idea of a mother/daughter dance to a whole new level.
The musical, scheduled for a Broadway revival in 2012, follows the exploits of feisty orphan Annie and is based on Harold Gray’s famous comic strip.
Meaghan, 11, appears as Emma, an orphan friend to title character Annie. “She makes sure we don’t get in trouble with the woman who runs the orphanage,” Meaghan explains. Her mother plays the role of Cecille, the maid and seamstress to Annie. “She’s sweet and kind, and dedicated to making things run smoothly,” Diella Wottrich says.
They might be speaking of themselves: during an interview they coach and gently correct each other, sometimes overlapping in their earnest efforts to answer.
“I never really pictured myself doing this,” Wottrich begins. “I was so shy.” It’s hard to believe this tall, head-turning woman, who speaks expressively and with good humor, ever hid behind a parent’s leg. Miraculously, the passage of time and opportunities to emerge from her instinctive shell led her to where she stands today. “Now, I feel like I’m not complete,” she says, about the periods when she is away from the stage.
Meaghan, on the other hand, is 100 percent hooked and full of third-grade fearlessness. She’s already well-versed in rules of the stage, having appeared with The Ballet School, Town Hall Theatre Company and with her mother in Contra Costa Music Theatre’s Oklahoma! “Being onstage at the Lesher was just amazing,” she says, leaning forward, her blue eyes wide with wonder. “If I looked, I could see people…but you aren’t supposed to look at specific people.”
Her mother, drawn to the twin magnets of music and dance, remembers seeing a Broadway production of Annie at the age of 11. “I remember thinking, ‘Gosh, I would love to be on the stage doing that!’” After high school experiences in musical theater, she pursued degrees in psychology, married, and started a family; performing in Marin’s community theaters and holding onto a “long term dream of having children who were interested in theater.”
Now, spliced between work and children, Wottrich appears in East Bay productions. “I have an agreement with my family that I do one a year,” she says, “although this year, Annie came along after Oklahoma and we just couldn’t pass it up.”
Like her mother, Meaghan is more than a one-trick theater pony. She’s an avid soccer player, sharing a dedication to the sport with her father. “I like being goalie best,” she says. “You have to always keep an eye on the ball.” On stage, she’s much the same, saying, “I concentrate on myself to do the right thing and I watch other people to make sure it’s all ok.”
They both learned more than just lines from their time on stage. “I’ve learned this before, but I keep learning that people who are mean in the play are actually really, really nice,” Meaghan says. Her mother, practical, but no less magical, says she discovered “how much I appreciate that we have the same passion and this time together.”
Asked about the future, Wottrich says, “I’d love to have a leading role opportunity…but this is just fine-ensemble roles-as long as I am dancing and singing.”
Asked if she’d like a leading role, Meaghan nearly jumps out of her chair. “Yes, I definitely do!” she says. “I want to continue doing this for a long, long time.”
Annie runs through October 2; for more information go to www.dloc.org.
Directed by Marilyn Langbehn
Choreographed by Suzanne Brandt
Musical Direction by G. Scott Lacy
Bob Wallace…Jeffrey Adams
Phil Davis…Stephen Perez
Betty Haynes…Alicia Teeter
Judy Haynes…Sharon Rietkerk
Ezekial Foster…James Coniglio
Mike Nutty…Stephen Foreman
General Henry Waverly…Dan Cawthorn
Susan Waverly…Lauren McNutt
Martha Watson…Nancy Sale
Ralph Sheldrake…Christopher M. Nelson
Mr. Snoring Man/Ensemble…Dustin Riggs
Mrs. Snoring Man/Asst. Seamstress/Ensemble…Kerry Chapman
Character called Dance Captain/Ensemble…Alex Acevedo
Train Conductor/Ensemble…Greg Lynch
Ensemble…Dane Paul Andres
- Overture (The Company)
- Happy Holiday (Bob, Phil and Sheldrake)
- Happy Holiday/Let Yourself Go (Bob, Phil and the Chorus)
- Love and the Weather (Bob and Betty)
- Sisters (Betty and Judy)
- The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing (Phil, Judy and Quintet)
- Snow (Phil, Judy, Bob, Betty, Snoring Man, Mrs. Snoring Man, Passengers)
- What Can You Do With A General? (Martha, Bob and Phil)
- Let Me Sing and I’m Happy (Martha)
- Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep (Bob and Betty)
- Blue Skies (Bob and the Chorus)
- I Love a Piano (Phil, Judy and the Chorus)
- Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun (Martha, Betty and Judy)
- Sisters (Reprise) (Martha, Betty and Judy)
- Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me/How Deep Is the Ocean (Betty and Bob)
- The Old Man (Bob and Men)
- Let Me Sing and I’m Happy (Reprise) (Bob and Men)
- How Deep Is the Ocean (Reprise) (Bob and Men)
- The Old Man (Reprise) (Bob and Men)
- White Christmas (The Company)
- I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (The Company)