Patriot Players to Perform "Once Upon a Disney: Music Revue"
The Patriot Players at Patrick Henry Community College invite Disney lovers and the entire community to an upcoming musical revue featuring 17 to 20 songs that span the Disney song catalog.
"Once Upon a Disney: Music Revue" comes to the stage at Walker Fine Arts Theatre at 7:30 p.m. March 13. Admission is free. This event is a "give-what-you-can" fundraiser to benefit the Patriot Players performing arts program at PHCC.
While many members of the cast have performed or sang onstage before, others are performing in a musical for the first time - some with their families.
Jeanelle Doby is part of the Disney cast, along with her daughter Cailan and her husband Steve. She said her daughter was interested in doing the show and her husband wanted to get involved, so she had to say yes. "It's my first time doing a musical and it's been a lot of fun, but it's hard work," she said. "The choreography is probably my favorite part." Jeanelle said she's seen just about every Disney movie ever made several times, and that performing in this show "has been a really special thing to do with my family." Cailan heard about the show through her piano instructor and said she was extremely excited to tryout because she loves Disney. This also will be her first time onstage. "I'm really loving it so far, and I'll definitely try out for another one," she said. "Disney characters are so much fun, but my favorite is Princess Anna from ‘Frozen.'" Steve has sang and performed for most of his life. He'll be performing a solo sang by Cruella De Vil from the Disney movie "101 Dalmatians." "I've been in a musical before at the Black Box (Theatre), and I really liked it," he said. "I currently play in a Christian band that travels to other churches, so I have a lot of fun singing... It's great doing this with my family."
Devin Pendleton, artistic director of Patriot Players, said a variety of members make up the cast, including current PHCC students, alumni, nurses and high school students. "And all of the cast members are huge Disney fans," he added. Picking a show that would appeal to many people throughout the community was important for this fundraising event, Pendleton said. "We wanted to provide an event that the community can enjoy with their entire families," he said. "They can come, see the magic of Disney and pay what they want to pay. Every donation is accepted and encouraged." Pendleton said the show will feature several mash-ups and compilations of Disney songs that will make the audience see Disney in a new way. On opening night, Pendleton said he would like to see "a packed out house of Disney fans. We want to see people singing along, having a great night and experiencing the magic of Disney."
Patriot Players Director Jane Leizer said the cast is a "great group who have been fabulous to work with." She said almost everyone who came out to audition knew most of the songs and sang them during the first rehearsal. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun," Leizer said. "I think everybody is going to leave here smiling and singing songs for several days after just because Disney songs are fabulous. We've got everything from slow ballads to Cruella De Vil."
This show will feature a full orchestra with eight to nine parts, including Deborah Burgess, musical director, on the piano. Others will play the keyboards, drums, violin, flute and bass. "I knew musicians from the area who were willing to donate their time to help us out for this," Burgess said. "Some of them are extremely talented. We have some who play in symphonies and some are my current students."
In addition to the Doby family, the cast includes Tyler Amos, Sidney Coulson, Stacey Davis, Valeria Edwards, Sarah Foley, Nelson Harper, Robbie Hendrix, Alyssa Hollandsworth, Kristina Hudson, Brandon Martin, Heather Minter, Demi Richardson, Samantha Roberts, Bailey Sharp, Lanessa Sharp and Isaiah Young.
After Disney, the Patriot Players are kicking it in high gear for "Shrek: The Musical." Auditions are Monday, March 17 from 6-9 p.m. and on Wednesday, March 19 from 6-9 p.m. Performances will be held May 30- 31 at 7 p.m., June 1 at 2 p.m. and June 5-7 at 7 p.m. For additional information, call (276) 638-8777 ext. 0460 or visit www.patrickhenry.edu/patriotplayers.