Gerbasi, Catherine

Holy Trinity High School Brings Down the House with 9 to 5

Holy Trinity High School, located in Hicksville, New York, is well known for it’s theater program being one of the best high school theater programs on the island. This past weekend, Trinity’s most recent production of 9 to 5 had more success than the cast could ever have imagined. The show ran Thursday though Saturday at 8 pm, and packed the house every night.

51U0VaNr02L9 to 5, a musical based off the 980 movie by the same name, has music and lyrics written by Dolly Parton and tells the story of three female coworkers who set out to get revenge against their sexist, egotistical boss. The women kidnap their boss and hold him hostage in his own home, while they give their office a much needed makeover. The show is all about female empowerment and removing toxic influences from your life.

Tara Burns, a recent graduate of Holy Trinity High School, was blown away by the production.  “This is such a powerful show and they did such an incredible job with it.  I walked out of that theater a strong, confident, independent woman because of how inspiring that performance was!” says Tara.


For more information about Holy Trinity’s theater program or to get tickets for next weekends performances of 9 to 5, please visit

“As I Am” Cabaret hosted at Noel S. Ruiz Theater

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 12.28.47 PMThe Noel S. Ruiz Theater, located in Oakdale, New York, recently put up a cabaret hosted by a local performer.  The theater recently had it’s name changed from “CM Performing Arts Center” to it’s current name as a tribute to it’s founder, Noel S. Ruiz, who passed away in January of 2015.

Kyle Petty, a returning performer at the theater, had grown very close to Noel and wanted to do a cabaret in his honor.  Kyle organized his cabaret, called “As I Am” in which he performs songs and monologues about overcoming hardships in life and fighting through obstacles that life throws at you.  The cabaret premiered Sunday, April 24th and after selling out the entire 150 seat venue, added another performance for Sunday, May 1st. “I couldn’t believe the amount of people who showed up” said Petty.  “It’s such an incredible feeling knowing I have such supportive people in my life.  Performing is one of my favorite things and I am so honored that others love it as much as I do”

To purchase tickets to “As I Am, An Evening with Kyle Petty” or more information about the Noel S. Ruiz Theater, please visit

Cultural Arts Playhouse Announces Summer Season

The Cultural Arts Playhouse, located in Syosset, New York, is well known for it’s main-stage summer performances. With past shows like Rent, Grease, All Shook Up, Ragtime, and American Idiot, CAP has quite the resume.

This past Thursday, CAP announced that it’s 2016 summer season would consist of three shows – 42nd Street, In The Heights, and Tommy. Each show will rehearse for three weeks and run for three weeks. These three shows were chosen specifically for their differences in order to make the season more exciting. 42nd street features a chorus girl who has to fill in for the starring role at the last minute, stealing the show. In The Heights tells the story of Nina Rosario, a young girl from Washington Heights who returns home after being away from school to tell her parents she has failed out.  The story follows her family and friends over the course of three days as they help Nina plan her future.  Tommy, which has music based on The Who’s album “Tommy”, tells the exhilarating story of hope, healing, and spirit of a young disabled boy who triumphs over his hardships.

Bruce Grossman, owner and director at the Cultural Arts Playhouse, said that these shows were chosen for a very specific reason.  “They all tell stories about people who overcome hardships and make their dreams a reality.” Grossman said.

For more information about auditions and performances, visit

Cultural Arts Playhouse to Perform Peter Pan Jr.

The Cultural Arts Playhouse will be performing Peter Pan Jr. as a part of it’s Young People’s Theater (YPT) program.

The Peter Pan musical is an adaptation of the original 1904 play that debuted in London, which was later adapted into a movie in 1953. Peter Pan Jr.  will be one of the first YPT productions performed in CAP’s new location in Syosset.

Adriana Scheer, Choreogropher

Adriana Scheer, a Cultural Arts Playhouse alumni, will be choreographing Peter Pan Jr. at the playhouse, making it her first production as head choreographer.  “It’s nerve-wracking but it’s also exciting.  I love dancing so much and I can’t wait to work with children who share that same passion.  It’s such an awesome feeling knowing that something I created will be showcased for everyone to see.” says Scheer.

Auditions for Peter Pan Jr. were held on the first and second week of April and is now in rehearsals.  The show opens May 28th and runs until June 5th.  For more information on auditions, productions, and the Cultural Arts Playhouse staff, please visit

To The Stage Holds Auditions for HAIR

To The Stage, located in Oceanside, New York, is holding auditions for the musical HAIR.

To The Stage, which primarily preforms shows for with children, for children, is making a change of pace.  HAIR, a rock musical based in the 1960’s, tells the story of the sexual revolution and anti-Vietnam War peace movement.  The show follows a tribe, living in New York City fighting their way through the war, sexual revolution, and conservative society.

Courtney Koehle, director and founder of To The Stage, is ecstatic about the change of pace that the theater is taking.  “I love working with kids.  They’re all so passionate and when they really get into a role there’s no stopping them.” Koehle said.  She continued with “HAIR is such an amazing, eye opening show and I know we have the older talent to put on a show that big and do an excellent job.  I can’t wait to get started.”

Auditions for HAIR will be held on Wednesday, April 13th with callbacks to follow on Sunday, April 17th.  The show will run from the end of July through the beginning of August.  For more information about To The Stage, HAIR auditions, or to sign up for an audition slot please visit

Molloy College Performing Arts Club Presents Catch Me if You Can

5918261_orig-2The Molloy College Performing Arts Club (MPAC) will be presenting the musical Catch Me if You Can next weekend, from Thursday, April 14 through Sunday, April 17 in the Hays Theater.

Based on the hit 2002 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, Catch Me if You Can tells the story of Frank Abagnale Jr., a young con artist who travels the country conning millions of dollars worth of checks disguised as a doctor, a pilot, and a legal prosecutor.  The show follows a game of cat and mouse between Abagnale and an FBI agent, Carl Hanratty, who has been on his trail since day one.  Jason Kloos, who plays Frank Abagnale Jr. in MPAC’s production is a senior Music Therapy Major at Molloy, making this his last performance of his college career.  “It’s bittersweet” Kloos stated.  “I can’t wait for everyone to see the show but at the same time I don’t want it to end.  Over the last four ears these people have become my family and I can’t imaging what it’s going to be like not seeing them every day.”

The show will run from April 14th through 17th, at 8 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. and 3 pm on Sunday.  For more information about the performing arts club or to buy tickets, visit


Local Theater Hosts Celebrity Acting Workshop

Cultural Arts Playhouse(CAP) in Syosset will be having a musical theater workshop hosted by broadway star Adam Pascal on April 4th from 7 to 9 pm.

Adam Pascal

CAP has hosted several workshops in the past at its old locations, the first featuring a CAP alumni student, Daniel Quadrino, who made his broadway debut in Wicked in 2003 and continued to take the stage in Bye Bye Birdie in 2009, and Newsies in 2012.  This next workshop will feature Adam Pascal, who played Roger in the original broadway cast of RENT in 1996 and again in the film version of the musical in 2009.  Eliana K. Lichtman, resident choreographer at the Cultural Arts Playhouse could not be more excited for the workshop.  “I can’t express how excited I am that my students will be able to get an opportunity like this.  He (Pascal) was born and raised on Long Island, so I think that makes it even more exciting for them.  Like he used to be just like them.”

Prior to the workshop, students must audition for a chance to work with Adam.  Ten students will be chosen to sing for Adam and will be given advice and critiques from him throughout the workshop.  Auditions will be held on March 19th at noon, for students ages 6 to 25.  Tickets to attend the workshop are $50 and can be purchased on the CAP website or at the door for $60. For more information about the Cultural Arts Playhouse or the Adam Pascal Workshop please visit

Suffolk Theater Holds Auditions for Spring Awakening

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 1.12.43 AMExcelsior Theater, formally known as Suffolk Theater Arts & Recreation, will be putting on a production of Spring Awakening this June.  The theater, run by cousins Michael Creta and Brian Viccaro, was founded in August of 2012.  Brian and Michael, together with the help of their friends and family built the company from scratch, and put up several successful productions, from a broadway revenue entitled “A Night With The STAR’s”, a stage adaptation of hit movies like The Breakfast Club and Last Five Years, and a straight play entitled Dog Sees God, a dark adaptation of Charlie Brown.  In 2015, Suffolk Theater Arts & Recreation changed their name to Excelsior Theater, with reverence to the New York State motto meaning “ever-upward”

Nik Sorocenski, secretary of Excelsior Theater

Spring Awakening, a dark, rock musical written by Duncan Sheik tells the story of teens in 19th century Germany who are discovering themselves and the struggles of teenage sexuality.  “I think it’s the perfect show to do in a small, blackbox theater like this.”, said Nik Sorocenski, secretary of Excelsior theater.  “This is my first time directing and I’m so excited that my first time is on such an incredible show like this.”

Auditions for Spring Awakening will be held on Tuesday, March 15th at Revelations Dance Center in Nesconset.  For more information on auditions, shows, or to purchase tickets visit


Cultural Arts Playhouse Closes First Production At New Venue

12650877_10153388975183652_8738413073592242620_nThis past weekend, the Cultural Arts Playhouse (CAP) closed it’s first main-stage production, “Hairspray”, at it’s new Syosset location. The company made it’s move in December, from a small 80-seat store front in Plainview to a brand new, 180 stadium style seat venue in Syosset. Hairspray, a 1960’s style dance show based in Baltimore, Maryland made for the perfect first show at the new space. The show’s main character is a teenage girl named Tracey Turnblad who’s dream is to be a dancer on a local TV show called The Corny Collins Show.  Tracey auditions for the show and when she is cast, she uses her new celebrity status to help integrate the show.  12647230_10205896129065960_5081785103671589125_n (1)

Kaylyn Lewis, who made her debut as Tracey in the Cultural Arts Playhouse’s production of Hairspray, teared up after Saturday night’s final performance.  “Coming into a new theater is never easy, but these guys made it so it was.”, said Kaylyn.  “Being able to work on a show that I have wanted to work to for quite some time was a dream come true, and working on it with some of the most talented performers I have ever met made it all the more special.”

“Closing a show is always bittersweet.  The bonds formed, the jokes made, the songs sung…all before you even hit the stage!  Everyone has such great energy and it’s such a blast to be able to put up such an incredible production with my best friends.” said Jared Grossman, the son of CAP founder Bruce Grossman.  Jared plays TV host Corny Collins in the show.

Next on the agenda for the Cultural Arts Playhouse is Guys & Dolls, which opens later this month.