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Roxy Update

Rather than have Wuss-Out Wednesday, I shall provide a brief update on Roxy, the play being presented by the Herkimer County Historical Society at Ilion Little Theatre.  Full disclosure: as opening night gets closer this blog may become All Roxy All The Time.  For now we will content ourselves with an update.

For anyone who has missed my previous posts about the play, it is an original play, written by local author Jack Sherman, about a historical crime which happened right here in the Mohawk Valley.  In 1884 in the Town of Warren, Roxalana Druse killed her husband, Bill, with a gun and an ax.  She was later tried in the County Courthouse in Herkimer NY and hung in the 1834 Jail.

The story is set some 30 years after the murder.  Roxy’s son, George, all grown up now, is telling the story to his daughter, Florence.  It’s not like those old movies Steven likes to make fun of, where the whole thing is a big flashback.  Rather, the action switches back and forth between the past and present, with Florence asking questions and remarking on the events.  Sometimes within the past,  the action goes even further back; as a character testifies in court, the murder is re-enacted.

At our rehearsal last night things seemed to be going very well.  The transitions from present to past to re-enactment are getting smoother.  Characters are being developed.  It is beginning to feel like a play.

We have rehearsal again tonight and I fear I have not looked over my lines since yesterday.  I should perhaps hit publish and do that.  Roxy will be presented September 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20, at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, at Ilion Little Theatre, Remington Avenue, Ilion, NY. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students.  For more information call 315-866-6413.


ILT is a Blessing

Last weekend Steven and I had the pleasure of attending one of the performances of Bless Me, Father, Ilion Little Theatre’s first production of their 2013-14 season.

I feel a little bad that we did not attend the first weekend, because if this post had run a week ago, local readers would have had a chance to see the show. Then again, there were full or almost full houses every night, so some folks may have been doomed to disappointment in any case.

It was a very entertaining production, with plenty of laughs and a few touching moments. The cast was a nice mixture of new faces and old favorites (um, not so very old). I love community theatre so much, I probably would have enjoyed a mediocre or even a bad performance, but this one was top notch.

I guess I don’t want to say too much about it, though, because anyone who did not get to see it might feel bad. Let me instead, give a general shout-out to Ilion Little Theatre (ILT), a real gem of the Mohawk Valley.

The theatre is located on Remington Avenue in Ilion, NY, just behind Remington Arms (it’s a factory, not a hotel, for any non-local readers). The building is called The Stables, because it used to be the stables of the Remington family. It’s a small theatre, seating less than 100. That makes the performances intimate, and every seat is a good one.

The season is four shows, so anyone who missed Bless Me, Father still has a chance to catch Wait Until Dark, Don’t Talk to the Actors, and Funny Money. For more information, check out their webpage at Or you can like their Facebook page.

Dirty Work in the Works

I might be working Saturday so obviously Friday is Just Not the Same. Therefore, I will post lame tomorrow. Today is more in the nature of Preview of Coming Attractions (lame enough, you say? I explain, “Shut up”).

(Note for regular readers to ignore: Usually Friday is Lame Post Friday, where I post random observations and half-baked philosophy. I hate saying it every week, but I don’t want to confuse new readers, if any.)

My husband Steven, as you may already know, loves the theatre and is very talented at many aspects of it (I don’t just say it because I’m his wife). I started to say he is a noted thespian, but that sounded too hoity-toity, artsier than thou (although I liked that Saturday Night Live sketch about the Master Thespian. “I’m ACTING!”).

Where was I? Ah yes, praising my husband. He has acted in several Ilion Little Theatre productions and gotten praise from audiences, directors and fellow cast members. He has been wanting to direct, which he did in college and other community theatres. He’s a good director.

All this by way of introducing Ilion Little Theatre’s 2012 Fall Production, Dirty Work at the Crossroads.

Dirty Work is a gay ’90s melodrama. That’s 1890s, not 1990s, which featured a different kind of gay. Steven thinks I’m silly to worry that people will get the two confused. I think some people don’t know what a melodrama is.

A melodrama has a definite hero, heroine and villain, and the audience is encouraged to cheer and boo accordingly. I suppose there is a fear in these post-ironic times that audiences will go the other way, but I hope not.

The villain should be a truly evil, mustache-twirling bad guy; the hero brave, true and handsome; the heroine… well, I personally might be a little disappointed in the heroine, because I think she just needs to be beautiful, good and get rescued. I haven’t read the play yet, so I don’t know for sure. Maybe this heroine has a little more on the ball. I can hope.

Melodramas usually feature exaggerated characterizations and emotions, and wild, exciting plots. These are the plays where the heroine gets tied to the railroad tracks. I’m told that doesn’t happen in this play, although I quite thought it did, since the set features railroad tracks. Oh dear, I hope I haven’t given away a major plot point (or lack thereof). I’d better check with Steven before I post this.

Auditions for Dirty Work at the Crossroads are set for Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 5 and 6, at Ilion Little Theatre, The Stables, Remington Avenue, Ilion, NY. Production dates are October 19, 20, 21, 25, 26 and 27. For more information you can go to their website at or you can Like their Facebook page. You can also stay tuned to Mohawk Valley Girl, as I intend to post updates. I also plan to audition. Do you suppose my husband will give me a part?