Stories & Cast Interviews
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! wows the crowd!!
It's a hit! Laughter spilled from the theatre into the lobby last night! The audience loved every moment of this little blockbuster!
I caught up with Christine DiTota and Travis Taber between shows and asked them about their challenging roles as understudies. They are poised to jump on stage at any moment, when needed! As luck would have it, Travis has already stepped in for several performances!
Christine: I was raised by a little Italian Woman named Isabelle Pugliese in a small apartment in Yonkers NY. My brother and I shared a room until he got a little too old and then I shared a room with my Mom. It was funny because one side of the room had religious artifacts cluttering the walls and the other side had pictures that I had ripped out of the latest "Teen Beat" magazine taped to the walls. Usually, the pictures that were hanging on my side of the room were of guitar playing, long haired icons. And on her side, the virgin Mary. We ate pasta at least three times a week and went to church every Sunday. It was a standard Italian household. Lots of food, fun, laughter and tears!
Travis: I grew up in Rochester, NY in a family of four; my parents and one older sister.
As a kid I was always doing impersonations and funny voices. I actually did my first musical when I was in fourth grade, I had the leading role in my church's Christmas show they put on. I really didn't know I wanted to pursue acting professionally until high school when I did a community production of Les Miserables. I had such an incredible experience, and the cast was amazing; it really drove me to audition for college programs.
Christine: My first year of college, I had decided I would become a pharmacist. I thought that was a strong/reliable choice. I got a job working in CVS in the pharmacy so that I would be ready. I had a meeting with my academic advisor and he took a final glance at the courses we had chosen and said "I've got an idea, how about you try taking a theatre class." I was a little surprised. Then I thought, hmmm, maybe as a hobby. I signed up for an acting class. The teacher put actors in pairs and gave out one scene for each couple to perform. I watched couple after couple get up and perform their scenes. The day came that it was my turn to perform my scene. I sat in a wheelchair, my character was handicapped, and began the scene. Something changed the moment I sat in the chair, I began to feel. And I forgot who I was for a moment. When the scene was over the whole class stood up and applauded. When I could finally focus again, on something besides the character I was playing, I saw everyone standing there, clapping, and I began to cry. It was a wonderful moment. I have pursued the theatre since then.....
Travis: I love Sunday In The Park With George, and obviously I would love to play George sometime in the future. I think though that my dream role, which I've already played once, is Georg in She Loves Me. I really love that show and the role is a lot of fun to do.
Christine: I love the classics! It is my absolute dream to one day get the opportunity to play Blanche DuBois in "Streetcar Named Desire".
This is my first experience taking on the role of an understudy. I'm finding it very interesting. It is crucial to pay very close attention to the choices the actresses are making. If ever I have to go on, I will need to honor their hard work.
Travis: This is actually my first time doing it also, and it doubles your responsibilities. It's important that you are aware of what both roles that you are covering are doing so that you are able to just jump in if you are needed. I personally took copious notes and made myself some diagrams to help me, and it worked pretty well.
Christine: There are over 40 characters in the play and all of them are so very different. I think that the key to developing each individual character is to find the correct body. I always ask myself, "How does this person walk, move, bend?" In my experience, that is truly the best way to unlock a character.
Travis: I think it's effective to just take one role at a time and break it down for yourself. I dive into each character when I'm working on that scene and then after I finish working and I reach a certain level I leave it, until the next time I work on it and then I try and find more facets within that world to expand upon.
Christine: I've worked in the children's entertainment business for the last 7 years. I'm a party planner/entertainer. It's a great job for an actor. I'll dress up as a Princess, Pirate or whatever character a child could possibly desire for their birthday. We play games with them, give out prizes, face paint, make balloon animals, etc. It's a lot of fun working with children and they ARE the toughest audience. Also, it provides a person with some of the funniest stories you'll ever hear in your life. The birthday party business is chock full of entertaining mishaps.
Travis: I work part time at Starbucks.
Christine: When I'm not on stage, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I love going to the theatre to see plays or musicals. Of course, there is the homebody side of me. I like to curl up on the couch with my husband and dog and watch a good movie.
Travis: I like to spend time with my wife Debra. I really enjoy golf, as well as disc golf, or for that matter any sport.
Travis: My Ipod has Everything just about, but some of my favorites are: The Format, MAE, Taking Back Sunday, Incubus, Motion City Soundtrack, Kanye, Coldplay, The Hoodies, Dead Poetic, Lloyd Banks....etc.
Christine: I don't have an IPOD.
Too Perfect to Change!
June is the month of love, weddings, and marriage proposals. So, there couldn’t be a more appropriate time for a production of the award-winning musical comedy that has resulted in more than 61 marriage proposals. If you are interested in proposing to your better half in front of a live audience during the show, contact Pia Haas in the publicity office. The Show Runs June 18th thru August 2nd!
The Cast...clockwise: Courtney Balan, Frank Vlastik, Jonathan Rayson and Noel Molinelli.