Theater season ends with a lighter note

In a year that has had a fairly serious theme in performances, the Northern Kentucky University Department of Theatre and Dance will end its season on a lighter note.
The NKU Department of Theater and Dance will perform the musical comedy “My Favorite Year” at Corbett Theatre to end its 2011-2012 season of main stage productions.
“It’s a blast,” said director Ken Jones. “It’s fun. It’s funny. It’s romantic. It’s all that stuff.”

“My Favorite Year” is a musical comedy based on the 1982 movie of the same name that starred Peter O’Toole. Set in 1954 in New York City, the musical tells the story of Benjy Stone, a writer for the “King Kaiser Comedy Cavalcade” variety show and his task of ensuring that guest star Alan Swann, a former idol of the silver screen turned alcoholic, makes it to the show.

“The whole musical is a memory of Benjy Stone,” said Seth Wallen, a senior acting major who plays the role of Swann. “It’s him kind of struggling to get Alan Swann to act right and then also his struggle to get his writing on the air.”

The comedy of the play is expected to be one of its main draws.

“I think the comedic aspect of this musical is going to be something that people are going to look forward to,” said Suzanne Blunk, a senior musical theater major who plays the role of Alice Miller. “It’s very slapstick, very physical and very outward and obvious.”

The show will feature a unique set called a unit set. It is a two-story structure that will stay on stage the entire time. Various sets will slide on and off the structure in order to change the scene with locations that include a house in Brooklyn, NBC television studios and other areas within New York City.
There will also be over 140 costumes, and since the play deals with a 1954 television show, some performers will be wearing outfits that would be seen around a television studio, such as showgirl costumes, caveman costumes and military costumes, Jones said.

“You kind of have that Hollywood look where everybody is dressed up in different costumes,” Jones said.
The show will feature some fast-paced dance numbers as well as slow songs, fast songs, ballads and a 20-piece orchestra that will be performing the music.
The show will open on Thursday, April 12, and run through Sunday, April 22. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling or picking them up directly at the box office.
“At the end of the day, everybody needs an escape,” Blunk said. “So come, sit back and have a laugh.”