Memorial Fund Presents 8th Annual Benefit, "Sordid Lives,"
at MCCC's Kelsey Theatre June 25-27
Windsor, N.J. - The James Tolin Memorial Fund (JTMF) is up
to its shenanigans again, as it gears up for its eighth annual
theater benefit weekend. This year's raucous southern-themed
comedy is the award-winning "Sordid Lives,"
by playwright Del Shores. The show comes to MCCC's Kelsey
Theatre Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26 at 8 p.m., and
Sunday, June 27 at 2 p.m. A YouTube video by the production
team is available for viewing here.
Friday and Saturday shows feature a silent auction starting
at 7 p.m. and a catered reception served throughout the evening.
In keeping with the show's Texas backdrop, refreshments will
include pulled pork and barbecued chicken sandwiches, along
with desserts and other treats. Kelsey Theatre is located
on Mercer's West
Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. Proceeds benefit
the Open Arms Foundation and the James Tolin Memorial Scholarship
Fund at MCCC.
the departed, from left to right, Kathy Garofano (leaning on
casket), Alice Weber, Damian Gaeta, Glenn Calhoun and Nicole
boisterous evening is in store on the Kelsey Theatre stage as three
generations of colorful Texans gather for the funeral of the family
matriarch, Peggy, who is killed after tripping over her lover's
wooden legs and hitting her head on the sink in a seedy motel room.
At the story's heart is a journey of characters learning to be themselves
and making peace with the family they have instead of the one they
might want. The award-winning play, whose 2000 film version became
a cult classic, also ran as a series on the cable network, Logo,
director Brian Bara, the movie "Death at a Funeral" is
like the white bread version of "Sordid Lives." He predicts
an amazingly good time for all. "It's said that 90 percent
of directing is casting and I have to take a certain pride in the
casting of this - and just about every JTMF show. Working with actors
as talented, funny and easy-going as these folks makes my job so
much easier and delightful."
Producer Tracy Antozzeski, JTMF's co-founder and president, notes
that it's a great cause that keeps actors and production staff coming
back year after year. "We're like a growing family," she
says. The event is held in memory of James Tolin, an MCCC Theatre
alumnus, who died in 2002. "We held the first theatre benefit
in his memory the very next June. It's our way of honoring the memory
of our friend," Antozzeski said.
Now returning for her third JTMF production, Nicole Patrick, who
plays Bitsy Mae Harling, says that rehearsals have been a blast.
"What a ridiculously hilarious show this is going to be. We
were all in side-splitting laughter at times. I couldn't help but
think how very special this organization is. They raise awareness,
raise funds and lift spirits - all in the name of a loved one who
was taken all too soon. And although I never had the pleasure or
privilege of knowing James, I am so honored to be a part of this
for a third time and to remember James in one of the best ways possible:
Adds Tracy Hawkins, who plays Noletta Nethercott, "The only
thing that will surpass the fun we're going to have doing this show
will be the audience's enjoyment of the finished product!"
Also featured in "Sordid Lives" are Damian Gaeta as Ty
Williamson, Kathy Garofano as Sissy Hickey, Heather MacHenry as
Latrelle Williamson, Alice Weber as La Vonda Dupree, Matt Donahue
as G.W. Nethercott, Rob Sampson as Wardell "Bubba" Owens,
Glenn Calhoun as Odell Owens/Rev. Barnes, Jennifer Barron DeVenio
as Dr. Eve Bolinger, and Doug Edelson as Earl "Brother Boy"
the past seven years, the JTMF has raised approximately $60,000.
Past productions have included Paul Rudnick's "The Most Fabulous
Story Ever Told" and "Jeffrey"; Harvey Fierstein's
"Torch Song Trilogy;" Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple;"
Rudnick's "Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach;" Nicky
Silver's "The Altruists;" Charles Busch's "Psycho
Beach Party;" and Joe Orton's "What the Butler Saw."
for the June 25 and 26 benefit shows are $25. Tickets for the June
27 show are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and $12 for students.
(The show contains adult themes and language and is not recommended
for children.) Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets
may be purchased online
or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre
is wheelchair accessible. For a complete listing of adult and children's
events, visit the Kelsey website.
For more information about the James Tolin Memorial Fund, visit
more on events at Kelsey Theatre visit:
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