St. Petersburg Times Online: News of southern Pinellas County
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Dandy debut, by George

The St. Petersburg Little Theatre will open the season with a patriotic bang.

[Times photo: Lara Cerri]
Caitlin Morris, Alana Clapp and Alicia Barlow, from left, practice a song while Joseph Fletcher shouts out a line as the ventriloquist for the production of George M!

By JON WILSON, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 11, 2002


ST. PETERSBURG -- The popular, flag-waving musical George M! opens the St. Petersburg Little Theatre's 78th season Thursday, and the theater will honor local firefighters and police officers as part of its "Celebrate America" theme.

Eleven schoolteachers are part of the 45-member cast, considered large for a community theater production.

The story traces the life of George M. Cohan, a major figure in early American musical theater. James Cagney popularized the role in the 1942 movie Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Veteran dramatists James Grenelle and Tim Topper share the lead in the Little Theatre production. Grenelle plays Cohan in his younger years. Topper, who portrays the older Cohan, leads the drama department at Perkins Elementary, magnet Center for the Arts and International Studies.

The show features several widely recognized songs, including Give My Regards to Broadway, You're a Grand Old Flag, Over There, Harrigan and the movie's title song.

[Times photo: Lara Cerri]
Musical director Jason Tucker, at the piano, nods to signify a change in the chorus. Travis Moore (who plays Walt), left, tape-records the rehearsal. Between them is Tim Topper, who portrays the older George Cohan. He leads the drama department at Perkins Elementary School.

"One of the most interesting things is we have a lot of people who are new to the stage," said director Jason Fortner. Working with so many newcomers can sometimes present a challenge, but "in this case, it's just been fun," Fortner said.

Fortner has lots of experience to pass along. He has appeared in musicals and plays both locally and with national touring companies for more than 30 years.

Musical director Jason Tucker also is accomplished, winning a community theater Lary Award in 2000 for choral/orchestra direction in West Side Story.

Cecil Cheek and Mary Lamb are co-producers.

Back to St. Petersburg area news

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
 
Special Links
Mary Jo Melone
Howard Troxler


From the Times
South Pinellas desks
  • Seminole proposes invitations to annex
  • Music in the Park series starts Friday
  • Gulfport refines its hopes for 49th Street
  • Awards show leaves host city speechless
  • South Pasadena to defend its mural
  • Gulfport refines its hopes for 49th Street
  • Newfound fame good news for cemetery
  • Naval rank is restored years after petty theft
  • A Day on the Job: Building a business from coffee cups
  • Business news
  • Links chapter salutes 17 'everyday heroes'
  • Incumbent Farkas seizes commanding lead
  • Quiet old hotel speaks volumes of city history
  • Dandy debut, by George
  • 9/11 schedule of events
  • Military news
  • Bear's win vaults creator into 'teddy bear history'
  • Women set to make return in doubles
  • Sarasota races continue to be big attraction
  • King is on his game in CGA Match-Play

  • Letters
  • Who hasn't been abused at a fast food joint?

  •