The Actors and Artists of the Riverbend theater group continue to support nonprofit organizations in its fifth year of organization.
This summer, it will present “Give My Regards to Broadway,” featuring the music of George M. Cohen with familiar songs, dance numbers and memorable characters.
The group is partnering with the Jacoby Arts Center, which has a mission to nurture and promote the arts through education, exhibits, cultural programs and community outreach initiatives.
The theater group has completed four seasons of performance benefiting 5A’s Animal Shelter, Riverbender.com Community Center and the Alton Youth Symphony.
The group says it thrives through its continued sponsor Liberty Bank, Alton Community Service League, anonymous donors and ticket sales. Over the past four years, the group has given back approximately $10,000 to nonprofit organizations.
“Give My Regards to Broadway” combines showtunes of George M. Cohan with a story revealed in a toe-tapping musical. Director Dick Foster is opening a Broadway show but is having problems with money and his leading lady. Enter Mary Collins, an aspiring actress from New Rochelle, plus “Legs” Ruby, a bookie who is on the run from the mob. Just as all appears lost, a financial “angel” appears with the money to do the show, and Mary gets her big chance at stardom. The play is filled with fascinating character roles, including the “Donald O’Connor-type” pianist, Betty, the Virginia belle in the chorus, along with chorus girls and gangsters. The setting is a New York rehearsal stage. The Cohan songs are among his most memorable: “Give My Regards To Broadway,” “You’re A Grand Old Flag,” “Mary’s A Grand Old Name” and more.
Cast members are Rick Noak, Daniel Nosce, Joey Ciaramitaro, Latasha Burrell, Anna Schmidt, Becca Noak, Laney Gibbons, Lily Wilson, Bethany Tormino, Cate Hamilton, Morgan Ruden, E’niya Fields, Kerry Miller, Linda Kesler and Matt Contarino.
Production team is Director Sue Mueller, Vocal/Band Director Caitlin Peach, Choreographer Gordon Cragg, Technical Director Jerry Mueller and Andrew Noak on spotlight.
The group offers three performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 22, and Saturday, July 23, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 24, at the Nazarene Community Center, 400 N. Central in Roxana. Tickets are $12 and $8 and may be purchased at Liberty Bank in Alton, Jacoby Arts Center or at jacobyartscenter.org. Proceeds benefit Jacoby Arts Center programs in Alton. For information, call (618) 462-5222 or visit jacobyartscenter.org.