Hope College Theatre will feature more than 40 performers in the musical "Steel Pier," which opens on Friday, Nov. 10, for a six-performance run in the DeWitt Center main theatre.
The opening performance on Friday, Nov. 10, will
be at 9 p.m. in order to accommodate other activity
scheduled in conjunction with the college's Parents'
Weekend. All other performances, which include Saturday,
Nov. 11, and Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 15-18, will be at 8
Set in the honky tonk world of marathon dancing
during the Great Depression in the 1930s, "Steel Pier"
brings together an assortment of people eager to dance their
way into fame and prizes. They gather on the famous Steel
Pier in Atlantic City, where the stage throbs with the
dancing rhythms of the era as the night wears away.
Disillusionment, even life and death, hanging in the
When the play opened on Broadway, the "New York
Post" called it "Spectacular." The "New York Daily News"
declared the play has "beautiful songs... skillfully
interwoven with the plot." And, according to the "New York
Times," the play is "steeped in wistfulness."
Music and lyrics for "Steel Pier" were created by
John Kander and Fred Ebb, well known for their other
successful musicals like "Chicago" and "Cabaret." Daina
Robins, chair of the college's department of theatre, is
directing the production. Linda Strouf of the college's
department of music is serving as musical director, while
John Dayger, instructor in dance and assistant costume
manager, is making his debut as a choreographer with Hope
College Theatre. Other theatre faculty involved as
designers include Richard Smith for scenery and properties,
Michelle Bombe for costumes and makeup, and Perry Landes for
lighting and sound.
The production involves a cast of 32 actors and
nine musicians, one of the largest ensembles to appear on
the Hope stage in several years.
The cast includes: sophomore Peter J. Beck of
Manila, the Philippines; junior Hanah Bira of Flushing;
sophomore Matthew T. Bondy of Petoskey; sophomore Brenna
Bosma of Orland Park, Ill.; sophomore Joshua Brandenburg of
Mt. Vernon, Ohio; sophomore Katie Carlston of Des Moines,
Iowa; sophomore Rachel Carrozziere of Rochester, N.Y.;
junior Joshua M. Carstens of Double Oak, Texas; junior Diana
Castanon of Holland; junior Blaine M. Cook of Niles;
sophomore Noelle Davids of Big Rapids; junior Zachary Deater
of Shelby; freshman Dan Ebeling of Ann Arbor; freshman
Matthew Farmer of Bangor; freshman Timothy C. Heck of
Libertyville, Ill.; and senior Jennifer J. Kaufmann of
Also: sophomore Patrick Kearney of Clinton
Township; freshman Daniel Kwiatkowski of Cheboygan; junior
Jeremy M. Lydic of Eldridge, Iowa; freshman Micah Maatman of
Kalamazoo; freshman Melanie Marod of Fruitport; junior
Quincy T. Marr of Gridley, Ill.; senior Sarah Clare Meyer of
Ypsilanti; freshman Rebekah L. Oegema of Lawton; sophomore
David Ovies of Royal Oak; freshman Carmen M. Rabbitt of
Muskegon; senior David Armando Romero of Comstock Park;
senior Michelle Rynbrandt of Clio; senior Danny Taylor of
Story City, Iowa; sophomore Lauren Toner of Libertyville,
Ill.; freshman Jill M. Van De Water of Ramsey, N.J.; and
sophomore Melissa Wilde of Pendleton, Ore.
The on-stage orchestra, dubbed "The Sea Notes" in
the production, include: Linda Strouf, piano/conductor;
junior Matt Cook of Delmar, N.Y., trumpet; sophomore Jeremy
Davis of Egan, Ill., clarinet and saxophone; sophomore Ben
Fedak of Albany, N.Y., drums; 1998 graduate Ryan Janus of
Mt. Prospect, Ill., and junior Sabrina Johnson of Three
Rivers, flute, clarinet and saxophone; senior Doug Mulder of
Holland, trombone; sophomore Noel Snyder of Flushing,
keyboard; and freshman Jeff Wheeler of Traverse City, string
Tickets are $7 for regular adult admission and $4
for senior citizens and students, and are available in the
theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center. The
ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., and until curtain
time on all performance nights. Reservations may be made by
calling the office at (616) 395-7890.
The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at