The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 15, 2013

Rabbit Run hosts Rodgers & Hammerstein

Madison theater collaborates with Lakeland for production


KIRTLAND —  Rabbit Run Theater “Goes to the Movies” with its 2013 season as all of the barn theater’s productions for the summer have appeared on the silver screen.

 It all starts with a celebration of the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein, whose nine Broadway musicals were also blockbuster movies.

In a collaborative effort with Lakeland Community College, Rabbit Run presents “A Grand Night for Singing,” a musical revue of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most popular tunes. It opens March 16 at the Rodehorst Performing Arts Center on the grounds of Lakeland Community College.  

It captivated audiences on Broadway in the early 1990s with its familiar melodies and imaginative arrangements and staging.  This production is directed by Brendan Sandham, with musical direction by Lincoln Sandham.

Sandham has directed and acted in numerous productions at Rabbit Run Theater as well as at other theaters in northeast Ohio including The Beck Center, the Fine Arts Association, Chagrin Valley Little Theater, Lakeland Civic Theatre and the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild.

Three men and three women perform such Rodgers and Hammerstein favorites as “Maria,” “Shall We Dance?” and “Some Enchanted Evening.” While the songs are familiar, the script gives them a fresh approach with a subtle story line woven throughout.

There are only four opportunities, March 16, a matinee on March 17, followed by evening performances on March 22, and a special benefit performance on March 23.

To complete the experience, theater patrons may enjoy a pre-show meal at Lakeland’s Mooreland Mansion under the direction of Mooreland’s newly acquired chef, Sheila McCormack.

McCormack has prepared three separate menus for this event:  one for the evening performances ofMarch 16, and March 22; a buffet brunch for March 17 and a separate themed menu for the benefit performance on March 23.

The menu for March 16 and 22 features two entrees: a pan-seared chicken breast with spinach, artichoke roasted red pepper cream sauce or a sugar-cured filet of sirloin with wild mushroom demi-glace.

March 17, is a matinee performance beginning at 3 p.m. preceded by a buffet brunch at 12:30 p.m. The brunch features a variety of fruit and pasta salads, a waffle and omelet station, scramble eggs with cheese, bacon, maple sausage and cheesy potatoes or corned beef hash, roasted pork loin with a bourbon maple glaze  and assorted scones, Danish, coffee cake and muffins.

The benefit event entitled, “It Might As Well Be Spring” (based on a song in “A Grand Night for Singing”), is March 23.  McCormack’s spring-themed menu includes two entrees.  A pan-seared chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and pears with a sage brown butter spring pea risotto or a five-spice rubbed pork tenderloin with a pineapple jus.

Dessert for the benefit evening will be supplied through a Confection Countdown in which guests bid by table for their favorite gourmet dessert donated by local businesses. Guests may also participate in an egg hunt giving them a chance to win an “All-Things-Rabbit Run” gift basket.  

Reservations for March 16 and 22 are $48, which includes the dinner at Mooreland and a show ticket. The brunch and show on March 17 is $40.  Reservations for the benefit dinner and show are $50.

Doors as Mooreland Mansion open at 5:30 p.m. for the evening events and at 12:30 p.m. for March 17

Ticket reservations for dinner and the show may be made calling the Rabbit Run Theater box office at 428-7092 Wednesday through Sunday, 3 to 7 p.m.

 Performance only tickets are $17 may also be reserved by calling the box office.

Evening performances begin at 8 p.m.  Show tickets may be picked up at Lakeland Civic Theatre box office the night of the performance beginning at 7 p.m.  The matinee on March 17 begins at 3 p.m. with the box office opening at 2 p.m.