The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society is thrilled to be bringing the Kaufman and Connelly comedy classic, Merton of the Movies to the Greenspon Auditorium from February 12th to 16th, 2020.
Now that the roaring 20s are upon us, the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society is celebrating with this comedy classic from 1922! Kaufman and Connelly’s Merton of the Movies is a side-splitting two act play that will have audiences rolling in the aisles.
Merton of the Movies follows orphan, Merton Gill of Sawbury, Illinois as he shucks off his dusty small town, full of small people for the bright lights and beckoning promises of Hollywood. Merton heads off to pursue his dreams of becoming a serious dramatic film actor (and of working with America’s sweetheart, Beulah Baxter). Along his journey, Merton meets a variety of wild characters, each making their way in the golden era of silent film, and none more irksome or interesting as Flips Montague, a stunt woman with a heart of gold and a soft spot for Merton. Kaufman and Connelly’s comedic take on pursuing your dreams and facing reality is as lively and as true today as it was almost 100 years ago.
“Merton of the Movies shows us that you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes, you get what you need! And that’s at least 50 years before the Rolling Stones made the notion immortal,” says Anisa Cameron, Artistic Director of the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society. “Merton is a naive and loveable dreamer who’s going to be a delight to watch navigate through silent era divas, directors and drama kings. I am so excited to be working on this play with our incredible cast. This Kaufman and Connelly play will be a perfect escape from the doldrums of the dead of winter.”
The stellar cast of 20 is made up of CSLDS veterans and first timers alike. Adam Koren (Hairspray) plays the titular Merton Gill. First timer, Riley Wilson will delight as the smart and savvy Flips Montague. Herbert Brownstein (Office Hours, Bedtime Stories, Our Town to name a few) returns to the CSLDS stage as Flip’s father, Montague, a struggling character actor. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein (recently seen as Potiphar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) plays the part of Jeff Baird, a director of slapstick comedy. First timer, Justin Calla plays Harold Parmalee, the epitome of the silent era leading man.
Christine Dandurand (Gramma Mia) gets gossipy as Louella Parsnips. Janet Garmaise (The Producers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) will be playing both smalltown Eulalie and master violinist who can keep her mouth shut, Maxine. Miranda Hannon (Almost, Maine) returns this year as Tessa Kearns, Merton’s closest confident and fellow dreamer. Judy Kenigsberg (Bedtime Stories, Fiddler, The Producers, Grannie, Florida, Gramma Mia) portrays Mrs. Patterson, a boarding house busy body. Steve Korolnek (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) returns as Mr. Gashwiler, a no nonsense shopkeeper. John Kovac (Cabaret) joins us for his second production as Rosenblatt, a salacious director of dramatic cinema. Shaun Nishmas (Recent credits include Max in Cabaret and Steve in Almost, Maine) will be playing ne’er-do-well Elmer as well as cameraman, Ralph. Karen Pellat Caron (Joseph, Our Town, Producers, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease) returns to portray Murial Mercer, a superstar of the silver screen. Ellen Rabin (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Wizard of Oy, Office Hours) will be getting the scoop as Hedda Popper. First timer, Jill Reynolds will hold sway over Merton’s heart as America’s Sweetheart, Beulah Baxter. Eli Rubineau (Joseph) will be playing the ever resourceful Weller. Hannah Schefren (Joseph, Gramma Mia, Wizard of Oy, Grannie, Fiddler) graces us as Mrs. Gashwiler. Beverly Silverman (Joseph, Gramma Mia, Wizard of Oy, Grannie, Fiddler) plays Doreen. Nadine Steiner (Almost, Maine, Gramma Mia, Little Shop of Horrors) returns as the casting agent with cast iron rules. Finally, Beryl Wajsman (Almost, Maine) returns as scheming talent scout, Walberg.
The production team, headed by Producers Mitchell Brownstein and Mitch Kujavsky and Director Anisa Cameron would not be complete without Technical Director, Scott Drysdale who has worked with the CSLDS on every production since 2011. Wan-Li Gibson (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Little Shop of Horrors) serves as Stage Manager alongside Jordana Dobski (Joseph, Almost, Maine, Our Town and many more) as Production Manager. Lighting design will be brought to life by Linda Babins (Little Shop of Horrors, Our Town, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cabaret).
Costume design is by Elyse Malo, who has worked with the Dramatic Society on every show since 2014. Finally, Set and Props designer Rachel-Anne Germinario (Almost, Maine, Joseph) and sales and outreach coordinator Caryl Gold will help bring the show to life.
“Artistic Director Anisa Cameron has done it again using her incredible casting skills and this amazing script,” says Mayor Mitchell Brownstein. “Merton of the Movies is sure to delight and furthers our mission of creating the highest calibre of community theatre while bringing joy to everyone including our actors, production team and our audiences.”
“I’m extremely proud to continue the CSLDS tradition of providing opportunities for all ages to share their talents with our local community,” stated Mitchell Kujavsky, Côte Saint-Luc City Councillor who oversees the Dramatic Society as part of his mandate.
Merton of the Movies will run for 7 performances between February 12 and 16, 2020. Tickets are $28 General Admission and $25 for students and seniors. They are available at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library, The ACC, and online at CSLDramaticSociety.com, and can also be purchased at the door one hour before show time.
About The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society
Since 2011, the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society seeks to bring together actors, writers, musicians and other artistically minded community members to produce theatrical works in an inclusive, collaborative environment where artistic excellence is nurtured and encouraged.