A Taffeta Wedding on Stage in Visalia

Jun 15, 2011 | 2011 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Theatre

by Irene Morse

Special KRL coupon for this show at the end of this article

The Visalia Players proudly present The Taffetas, those singing sisters from Muncie, Indiana in an encore appearance on the Ice House stage. This time they’ve brought their fiancées, those swingin’ singin’ guys from Alpha Mu Phi Pi, The Cardigans. Together, they are planning A Taffeta Wedding.

Back row is Samantha Muse Du Toit & Chris Brantley (on the left), Ashley Boone & Darryl Smithey (on the right); front row is B. J. and Megan Barlow (on the left) & Ed Olivarez & Holly Hoffman (on the right)

The Taffetas and the Cardigans harmonize their way through the sounds of the early ‘60s and anyone over fifty will recognize every tune. You’ll tap your toes and sympathize when “lonely rivers flow to the sea” and sigh with “I’ve hungered for your touch.” More than one couple will find “their song” in the repertoire.

Music Director, Nancy Holley says, “…for the younger set it will be an energetic experience. The songs will be familiar as many have been used behind commercials and in other ways…” They will also get a glimpse of what set the mood for romance in their parents or grandparents’ day.

Director, Leeni Mitchell is thrilled with the cast for this show explaining, we “have some absolutely marvelous voices in this group of actors.”

B.J. and Megan Barlow

Newcomers to the Ice House stage are real-life married couple, Megan and B.J. Barlow who portray Buddy and Donna. Both have fantastic voices and a genuine feel for an era before they were born. B.J. is the Worship Arts Pastor at Visalia United Methodist Church and Megan teaches at St. Paul’s School. Ashley Boone and Darryl Smithey play Frankie with the wandering eye, and Cheryl who knows just how to get her man back. Boone is a veteran at the Ice House and Smithey is being warmly welcomed back after a long absence.
Chuck and Kaye are portrayed by Chris Brantley and Samantha Muse Du Toit. Brantley, an investigator for the District Attorney’s office says, “I had always regretted not doing musicals in high school, so this play is the perfect opportunity to put that to rest. I genuinely hope each person in the audience gets lost in the show and leaves wanting more.”
Du Toit played Cheryl, president of the Mario Lanza fan club, in The Taffetas when it appeared on the Ice House stage in 2007 and says, “I had so much fun I wanted to be in it again. Also, this is my first time back on stage after having my two little girls.” Editor’s note: Du Toit is wearing the same dress she wore four years and two children ago.
Rounding out the romantic couples are Ed Olivarez and Holly Hoffman as Johnny and Peggy. “I love the play,” reports Hoffman, “It’s full of what I like to call ‘innocent cheese’. It’s just a fun, feel-good play with wonderful music.” Hoffman has danced in the spring shows at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and works as a choreographer and dance instructor in the evenings.

The woman in green is Megan Barlow, pink is Holly Hoffman, blue is Ashley Boone, purple is Samantha Muse Du Toit

Jack Patino keeps the show moving as Delwood Kelby, Metropolitan Broadcasting Company’s host of the TV show, Happily Ever After. The ever bubbly Kelby is happy to present “the first quadruple wedding in television history.”
Janice Talbert has provided delightful 60s era choreography. She has kept the movement joyful and lighthearted; audiences are sure to be tapping their toes along with the cast. Live (and lively) music is produced by The Happily Ever After orchestra, Cyndie Maxwell on piano, Gary Benjamin on drums and Churchill Cooke on bass.
Both directors and the choreographer are excited by this production. Music Director Holley says, “…the music is from my era. What’s not to love?”
Mitchell agrees and states, “I love musical theatre and so I’m always looking for fun musicals that don’t require big budget sets…when I heard that this sequel was out, I knew it was something I wanted to do. People will have such a good time. Wait ‘til you hear the guys do Running Bear!”
The show opens on June 17th, runs three weekends and closes on July 3rd. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 and all three Sunday matinees are at 2 PM. Tickets are $12, $6 with a student body card. Reservations are recommended; call 734-3900.
For more information about the Visalia Players, check them out at their website and read KRL’s article. For details about local arts groups in Tulare County, visit the Arts Consortium website.
Watch for another Local Live, here next Wednesday at 7 p.m
Print this page and take to the show to get discount:

Visalia Community Players Two-For-One Coupon
A Taffeta Wedding
By Rick Lewis
Admit 2 Adults for $12.00
Coupon good for any performance of the play.
One Coupon Per Family
Reservations Suggested – 559-734-3900

Irene Morse is a retired CPA currently working as a freelance writer. She has been a member of VCP since 1970 in many capacities; directing, acting, costume design, business manager, board member, in charge of wardrobe – about anything VCP needed doing (including sweat equity in transforming their building from a 1920s ice house into the Ice House Theatre in 1976).


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