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Batavia Players

May 10, 2019 - 10:57am
Video Sponsor

Carol Burnett's Hollywood Arms opens at 7:30 p.m. at the Harvest 56 Theater.

Additional performances are at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $13 or $11 for students and seniors.

UPDATE: While deleted some unpublished videos from our YouTube account yesterday I must have accidentally deleted the original upload of this video.  Here it is again.

April 5, 2019 - 11:54am

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Batavia Players premier their production of Shakespeare's "King Lear" at 7:30 p.m. at the Harvester 56 Theater.

There are also performances at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Next weekend, there will be two performances, Friday and Saturday, at the Wyoming Village Hall.

Tickets are available at the box office prior to each performance.

Cast:

  • King Lear, Norm Argulski
  • Gonoril, Wendy Williams 
  • Duke of Albany, Sean Williams
  • Regan, Kathy Johns
  • Duke of Cornwall, Xander Farley
  • Cordelia, Malloryann Flanagan
  • Duke of Burgundy, Russell Lang
  • King of France, Paul Meloon
  • Fool, Cynthia Nelson
  • Earl of Gloucester, Kevin Partridge
  • Edgar, James Barcomb
  • Edmund, Anthony Baldwin-Giambrone
  • Earl of Kent, Steve Coburn
  • Oswald, Erin Stamp
  • Lewis, Jim Lewis
  • Doctor Gerhart, Dorothy Gerhart
  • Curan, Patrick D. Burk
  • Captain, Michele Stamp
  • Messenger/Herald, Jocelyn Coburn
  • Jailor, Russell Lang

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January 9, 2019 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Players, news, Blood Drive.

The Batavia Players will hold their first blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, in the reception area of Harvester 56 Theatre, located at 56 Harvester Ave. in Batavia,

To schedule an appointment go online here and enter sponsor code 000489; or call Unyts at (716) 512-7940.

A photo ID is required to donate blood.

December 3, 2018 - 2:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Players, news, Annie.

Press release:

The Batavia Players/Harvester 56 Theater are pleased to announce that due to high ticket sales for our originally schedule production of "Annie," we have added another production on Thursday, Dec. 20th.

This very special offering of "Annie" will also be a fundraising event for Broadway Cares --internationally known for its commitment to AIDS research, patient care and health-related issues. It is also in the forefront of breast cancer research and recently assisted and aided with the California fire relief.

For every ticket sold, the Batavia Players will be donating $3 to Broadway Cares.

We also will have special auction prizes and a 50/50 Raffle during the evening. The evening will be all “tied up in a holiday bow” with special refreshments and meeting the cast. Please join us for this wonderful evening of heater, music and holiday spirit.

Get your tickets online today!

Adults $15 / Students and Seniors $12

www.bataviaplayers.org

November 9, 2018 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Players, fundraiser, theater, batavia, news.
Press release:
 
Tomorrow, Nov. 10, from 3-6 p.m., the Batavia Players are hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at St. James Episcopal Church (405 E. Main St., Batavia).
 
Dinner is open to the public and includes pasta with homemade sauce, salad and bread for $10. Take out is available. At 4:30 p.m., the “orphans” from the upcoming musical "Annie" will be performing excerpts from the show.
 
"Annie" will be on stage at the Harvester 56 Theater Dec. 14,15,16 and 21, 22, 23.
 
With a cast of 40 actors, "Annie" is one of the largest productions the Batavia Players have performed at the Harvester 56 Theater. Actors come from seven counties in Western New York to participate in this show.
 
The Batavia Players also expect "Annie" to be the most popular show of the season. Tickets for the show are on sale now; one-third of all available tickets were sold in the first 24 hours.
October 20, 2018 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, news, arts, entertainment, batavia, Harvester 56 Theater.

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Batavia Players hosts its annual fundraising concert at 7:30 tonight at Harvester 56 Theater.

The cast perfoms a variety of show tunes in their production of "Stories, Songs & Just a Touch of Sin."

Tickets are $20 at the door.

Photos submitted by Pat Burk.

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Kaylee Dehlinger (Center) with Jocelyn Coburn and Kathryn Fitzpatrick singing "It Won't Be Long" from "Across The Universe."

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Jacqueline Morrison, Tiffany Keicher, Kristin Gelia, and Alix Young singing "I'm A Woman" from "Smokey Joe's Cafe."

March 29, 2018 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Batavia Players, news, macbeth, GO ART!, Film, Tavern 2.o.1.

Batavia Players and GO ART! present the film screening of "Macbeth" on Saturday, April 7, at GO ART! , 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

Join them for the screening of this locally produced, full-length feature film of "Macbeth" directed by Adam Dixson and Mallory Ann Flanagan. It was shot entirely in the City of Batavia.

And, celebrate the Grand Opening Weekend of GO ART!’s Tavern 2.o.1 -- a beer and wine bar.

Only 40 tickets available for "MacBeth," $20 per ticket.

Bar opens at 4 p.m.; hor d’oeuvres served at 7 p.m.

"Macbeth" begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets available at  www.Bataviaplayers.org

February 12, 2018 - 11:35pm

To lease or not to lease … that is the question.

Batavia City Council members answered that line with a resounding yes tonight, approving by a 7-1 margin a resolution to enter into a lease agreement with Batavia Players that opens the door for the theatrical troupe to make a new home at the downtown City Centre.

“I cannot wait until they come into the mall,” said Council member Patti Pacino. “It’s just a wonderful way to bring people downtown where they will get into the habit before we open Eli Fish, before we fill the Carr’s department store (so) we’ve already got people down there. It’s just a delightful idea.”

Pacino joined Adam Tabelski, Kathleen Briggs, Al McGinnis, Paul Viele, John Canale and Council President Eugene Jankowski in voting in favor of the agreement to allow Batavia Players to lease space at parcels 2, 35 and 39 Batavia City Centre (sharing space in one of the parcels with Dent Neurologic Institute). Rose Mary Christian was at an out-of-town conference.

Robert Bialkowski cast the “no” vote, contending that the lease contains inaccuracies and loopholes, and that it keeps the City in an unenviable position as a landlord.

“My position is you draw a lease and you draw it properly – you don’t have all these errors in it, and I’ve never heard of a lease saying, ‘We don’t include utilities, you go work it out with the other guy who is paying for it,’” he said. “This is how you end up in court with lawsuits.”

Bialkowski disputed the monthly rent figure in the lease for months seven through 12, stating that it should be $2,243.76 instead of the $1,223.86, based on $3 per square foot for the 8,975 square feet to be rented by Batavia Players.

Interim City Manager Matt Worth acknowledged that the original draft had the wrong amount, but said that it had been corrected.

Bialkowski also questioned whether the City would be responsible for repairs and utilities, and pushed for his colleagues to put the space up for sale.

“I don’t believe in the City sitting on property and being the landlord. It’s not the job of government to be a landlord,” he said afterwards. “It’s the job of government to take repossessed property from taxes or whatever, put them on the auction block and sell them.”

He also said the low rent per square footage ($1 per square foot for the first six months, $3 per square foot in months seven through 12, and $4 per square foot in months 13 through 60) created “an unfair competition” situation.

“There are plenty of places to rent downtown; they cannot rent for $2 a square foot – it’s impossible. So for the City to be renting below cost is ridiculous, and it’s unfair competition, I would say.”

Worth noted that the mall operation user fee charged to tenants is $2 per square foot, so – including property rented by Dent, “the total (rent collected) exceeds that amount (user fees).”

The lease calls for Batavia Players to be responsible for everything except structural repairs. As far as utilities are concerned, Dent is currently footing the bill.

In the end, Council took the view that the Batavia Players organization is a community asset and would be in a stronger position to recieve some of the $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative money by being able to stake its claim downtown.

Pacino said Batavia Players has a solid track record and is a popular family entertainment option – just what is needed downtown.

“Batavia Players has everybody acting from 5 years old to 100 years old,” she said. “Every one of those has a family that comes to see every one of their plays. Every time they come to a rehearsal, every time they have a play, they’re downtown where we’re trying to get people.

“Then they’re going to a place to get something to eat. On their way there, they’re putting gas in their car. They’re (Batavia Players) doing everything positive …They’ve already proven themselves where they are. They’re dependable, and they take responsibility.”

In other action, Council:

-- Voted unanimously to take $17,400 out of the former Vibrant Batavia funds to pay for the engineering and architectural costs to design a flood-compliant home for Genesee County Habitat for Humanity at 116 Swan St., but only after amending the resolution to make sure the City has full use of those plans for future home building in a flood zone.

Bialkowski wondered aloud if the City would take ownership of the documents, or if they would belong to Habitat for Humanity.

“I think that since the City is paying for the engineering, we should own the design. Then it would be public domain,” he said.

After a brief discussion, Council agreed, voting 8-0 on an amendment making the resolution contingent upon Habitat for Humanity sharing the plans (and making copies available to the City) for the public domain. Then the board voted 8-0 in favor of the resolution.

-- Scheduled public hearings for Feb. 26 on the 2018-19 budget, water rates, meter fees, capital improvement fees, and City Centre concourse user fees and to amend the Business Improvement District plan.

The $24.3 million budget comes with a tax rate of $8.99 per thousand of assessed valuation, down from $9.27 a year ago.

Water rates are set to go up by 3.5 percent -- Bialkowski cast the lone “no” vote on water rate increases, citing high poverty rates in the City -- and the capital improvement fee is set to go up by about 5 percent.

The City Centre Concourse user fee is in play due to the recent settlement between the City and the Mall Merchants. The fee is $2 per square foot, effective April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2012, and goes up to $2.04 in 2021-22 and $2.06 in 2022-23.

-- Voted to accept a low bid of $721,566 from Roman Construction Development Corp. of North Tonawanda to complete construction of 12,300 linear feet of sidewalk as part of the Healthy Schools Corridor Project.

-- Heard from Jankowski that the city manager search committee will be meeting Wednesday afternoon to look at proposals from seven search firms and is prepared to share its recommendation at the next Council meeting (Feb. 26).

January 22, 2018 - 11:48pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city council, Batavia Muckdogs, dwyer stadium, Batavia Players.

The prospect of keeping professional baseball at Dwyer Stadium is looking brighter after the Batavia City Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the assignment of the Dwyer Stadium lease to the New York-Penn League and its wholly owned subsidiary, Batavia Muckdogs Inc.

The NY-P has decided to step in and run the Short Season Class A team, which had been operated by the Rochester Red Wings for the past decade. The league ended the agreement between Rochester and the Genesee County Baseball Club Inc., in November.

“We had several conversations (with NY-P officials) in late fall, and they expressed a desire to stay in Batavia for 2018,” City Attorney George Van Nest said at tonight’s meeting at City Centre Council Chambers.

Van Nest said the issue of extending the lease and sublease is time sensitive since the NY-P hopes to begin assessing Dwyer Stadium later this month. He said the all terms of the current lease will remain the same – removing the GCBC from the lease -- and the extension will be in force through April 2019.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian noted that the Red Wings “removed their equipment,” inferring there could be additional City expense above and beyond the $25,000 it contributes to the stadium on an annual basis.

Van Nest said NY-P officials talked about improvements to the facility.

It also is believed that pre-existing agreements for local high schools to use Dwyer Stadium will continue. It is unclear if the NY-P will supply its own staff or use local employees, including longtime groundskeeper Don Rock, who attended tonight’s meeting.

In other action, Council:

-- Agreed to consider leasing three City-owned City Centre Mall parcels (known as the Dent property) to the Batavia Players theater troupe, but expressed concerns about the rent schedule, square footage and the ability to sell the parcels if desired.

Christian questioned Patrick Burk, Batavia Players president, about the number of employees, wages, volunteers and hours invested into their productions. Burk said there are 15 to 20 part-time employees throughout the year at their current location of 56 Harvester Ave., some who receive stipends that pay them “more than minimum wage in some cases.”

But Christian said she had a “problem with leasing any parts of the mall.”

“I want to totally get out of the mall,” she said. “I have a problem with nonprofits not paying property taxes.”

The lease agreement calls for monthly rent charges of $747.92 for months one through six ($1 per square foot), $1,223.86 for months seven through 12 ($3 per square foot), and $2,991.66 for months 13 through 60 ($4 per square foot). It also allows the City to sell the property, with 180 days’ notice. By multiplying the initial rent times 12, that comes to 8,975 square feet that the City would be leasing to the Batavia Players.

Councilman Robert Bialkowski said he found a discrepancy in the square footage, and asked if the City would end up subsidizing part of the maintenance fees.

Van Nest said he and Interim City Manager Matt Worth would look into the fees and square footage and provide that information to Council prior to the Feb. 12 Business meeting.

Council members John Canale and Patti Pacino spoke on behalf of Batavia Players, with Canale calling the organization “a pillar of the community” that would draw much activity to downtown.

“Plus, with the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative award that the City received), part of it is to get the arts to the downtown area,” he said.

Burk said the Batavia Players are seeking more than $500,000 from the City's $10 million DRI award to fund most of the organization's relocation project.

Pacino urged her colleagues to “please put feet on the street downtown” by leasing space to Batavia Players.

In the end, Council voted to move the proposal to the Feb. 12 meeting contingent upon an accurate count of the square footage to be leased.

-- Moved resolutions concerning the 2018-19 budget, water rate changes, Business Improvement District plan and City Centre concourse user fee local law amendments (see preview story below) to the Feb. 12 Business meeting.

-- Agreed to consider a contract with In Site: Architecture LLP, of Perry, to assess the deteriorating condition of the pillars at the north entrance of Redfield Parkway, and conduct design work as required related to lighting, preparation of bid documents, construction specifications, bidding coordination and construction administration at a cost of $4,860.

Worth said In Site: Architecture has an outstanding track record of historic work, and called its bid a “soup to nuts proposal.”

Earlier, Council heard from city resident John Roach, who asked that if it was possible to create a special use taxing district – likely consisting of residents on or near Redfield Parkway -- to pay for the repairs.

“The study will cost $4,800 and it may take $17,000 to fix them (the pillars),” he said. (A special taxing district) would raise money to pay for the pillars without irritating the rest of us.”

Worth and Van Nest said they will look into that.

January 12, 2018 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, 56 Harvester, arts, entertainment.

Tomorrow the Batavia Players will screen a premier showing of "Macbeth," filmed and produced in Batavia, at the Harvester 56 Theater.

"Though the language is true to the original Shakespeare, the period is modern with a 'West Side Story' flare," said Emily Crawford, publicist for Harvester 56.

"The roles of nobility and the murderous rivalry between them has been adapted to a gang environment. This is the first time many of our actors are appearing on screen, though we do have a few veterans in the mix."

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a reception. The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 at the door.

November 16, 2017 - 4:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Batavia Players.

Press release:

Batavia Players Inc. is holding its second annual Craft and Vendor Fair and Open House from 1 to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, at Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. Also on Sunday, auditions will be beld for "On Broadway 9" -- a show choir style review.

There will be 17 specialized crafters and vendors at the fair, and FREE kids activities throughout the afternoon (participating kids will be leaving with two crafts that they can gift for the holidays). Plus, there will be music, refreshments, raffles, silent auction and more. There will be fresh baked goods for sale just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The fair is a great event to get ready for the holidays and support the arts. Proceeds support local business and the arts.

The Sunday audition will take place at the theater from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. All ages are welcome to audition.

More information is available at www.BataviaPlayers.org.

For questions or more information, call Amanda Melissa Taylor at 716-622-2747.

October 31, 2017 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56, theater, arts, news.

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Batavia Players presents "Frankenstein: A New Musical" this weekend and next weekend at the Harverster 56 Theater in Batavia.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and Nov. 10 and Nov. 11, and at 2 p.m. this Sunday only. Tickets are $15 per adult or $12 for students and seniors. 

The cast is Pat Burk, Richard Ferris, Cale Dehlinger, Erin Stamp, Liam Crawford, James Barcomb, Heather Ferris, Petyon Woeller, Derrick Crawford, Emily Crawford, Jocelyn Coburn, Norah Crawford, Steve Coburn, Kathryn Fitzpatrick, Kaylee Dehlinger, Jessie Pierce, Lucine Kauffman, Rose Bower, Isaiah Merrill, Samantha Rychlicki, A.T., and Gabriel Flanagan.

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October 20, 2017 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56 Theater, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., the Batavia Players will present "Broads, Boys & Broadway Backwards" at the Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue, Batavia. 

Tickets are $15 and include a champagne reception after the show.

The players will perform songs from Broadway musicals, but with gender roles reversed. The men will sing the women's parts and the women will sing the men's parts.

Performers are Pat Burk, Amanda Taylor, Anthony Baldwin-Giambrone, Cameron Bontrager, Colin Fleming-Stumpf, Jerrod Baldwin-Giambrone, Joe Kusmierczak, Erin Stamp, Kathryn Fitzpatrick and Wendy Williams.

The show is directed by Pat Burk. Musical direction and accompaniment, Kathy White.

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September 13, 2017 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56 Theater, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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This weekend the Batavia Players present at Harvester 56 a three-act play, "The Laramie Project," which is based on the murder of Matthew Shepard.

Shepard was a 22-year-old student at the University of Wyoming when he was beaten and robbed and left tied to a fence post in the fall of 1998. Two friends of Shepard's soon after claimed he was killed because he was gay and Shepard's death gained national attention and led to the creation of hate crime laws in most states. Whether Shepard was killed because he was gay has been called into question during the intervening years.

The play is written by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project in New York City.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and students.

The show contains content that may not be suitable for young children.

The cast: Dorothy Gerhart, Michele Stamp, Joe Kasmierczak, Anthony Giambrone, Micheal Flanagan, Wendy Williams, Kathy Johns, Lucine Kauffman, Peggy Marone, and Norm Argulsky. All cast members play multiple roles.

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August 22, 2017 - 9:43am
posted by Becky LeFevre in Batavia Players, theater, dance, arts, news.

The Harvester 56 Theater, home of the Batavia Players, is opening a new dance school this fall. Classes will be held at the Robert Morris School in Batavia. 

The Theater has sponsored summer dance camps in the past, but the new academy will offer semesters of professional dance instruction to students of all ages. Patrick Burk, president of the Board of Directors of the Batavia Players, is enthusiastic about this new venture.

He said, “A dance academy seemed like the next step. Many of our productions need dancers of all ages and yet, there was no performance-based dance company in the area -- all dance studios were designed to provide a recital piece or pieces for their students at the end of the year. We want our dance students to obtain dance skills so they can learn a dance and perform it at any time. It allows us to be skills based and not recital based.”

Classes are not just for current theater participants, but are open all members of the community. Weekly lessons will be offered in Ballet, Tap, Jazz/Contemporary, and Theater Dance, as well as the opportunity for private lessons and one-time master classes on specific dance styles or techniques.  

The Harvester 56 Theater Dance Academy is directed by Rochester native Brianna Blair Kelly. Kelly began her training in Irish Dance and attended the School of the Arts in Rochester. Kelly holds a BFA in Musical Theater from SUNY Fredonia and an MFA in Choreography and Performance from The College at Brockport. Kelly’s connections at the School of the Arts and the College at Brockport have helped her to recruit an array of diverse teachers for the 2017-2018 season.

Instructor Alyssa Bourgeois was born and raised in Houston and will be getting her master’s in Choreography and Performance from the College at Brockport in the Fall of 2017. Instructor Kaitlyn Owens is also a Rochester School of the Arts graduate and is currently a sophomore BFA dance major at SUNY Brockport. Instructor Tatiana Amaye-Obu hails from Brooklyn and brings with her extensive training in Classical Ballet but is also well versed in Hip-Hop and African Dance. 

Kelly said, “I’m very excited and proud to be starting the Harvester 56 Dance Academy. It’s thrilling to know that we are establishing a creative environment that offers a new kind of dance education -- hopefully it will become the go-to place for comprehensive, supportive and affordable dance education for Batavia and the surrounding areas.”

More information about the academy can be found online at bataviaplayers.org.

June 8, 2017 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, harvest 56 theater, theater, arts, entertaiment, news.

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Edith Bouvier Beale once famously said, "It could have been me instead of Jackie Kennedy in the White House."

It's not that Beale was ever courted by Jack Kennedy, but she was engaged to Joe Kennedy Jr., the young man his father groomed to eventually become president before he was killed in World War II.

We meet a young and potentially betrothed Joe  Jr. in G'rey Gardens, The Musical," being staged this weekend and next by Batavia Players at the Harvest 56 Theater.

Society and history might have forgotten the Beales except that two, young, aspiring documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles happened across Edith Bouvier Beale, known as "Little Edie," and her mother, "Big Edie," living alone, mostly confined to a single room, of their once-majestic East Hampton mansion in 1975. 

The Maysles brothers secured permission to show up at the mansion, known as Grey Gardens, and film whatever they saw. In an age before reality TV, the Beale women were unselfconscious and uninhibited in letting their lives be documented, with all of their odd, besotted and eccentric peculiarities. 

The documentary was critically acclaimed in 1976 but faded into near oblivion, except as a cult favorite, until resurrected in the age of Netflix and 500-channel cable boxes. That led to a feature film, starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore, and finally a hit Broadway musical.

The Batavia Players are presenting one of the first off-Broadway performances.

"Grey Gardens has been a unique kind of cult following, you know -- Americana story, for quite a few years," said Pat Burk, who is producing and directing the show. "I know that that's a lot of adjectives to describe it, but I don't know how else to describe it.

"The reason why Batavian Players wanted to do it was because we have always looked for sort of new and original things that can be done in the community that normally would not be done by another theater company," Burk added. "It just seemed like the right fit and I knew I had the perfect cast and I was kind of like stalking them for a little while to make sure that I had the right cast for the show."

We spoke with Burk during a taping of the WBTA radio show "Genesee Life," which is normally hosted by Lucine Kauffman. Kauffman is an avid fan of Grey Gardens, and really, a kind of subject-area expert on the documentary. Since she couldn't interview herself, The Batavian stepped as guest host (you can hear the full broadcast on WBTA's website).

"It was really just by accident (that I found the documentary)," Kauffman said. "I was browsing through Netflix -- this had to have been at least five years ago -- and I love documentaries, so I was looking to the documentary section and came across 'Grey Gardens.' I thought 'oh this sounds interesting' and watched it and just fell in love with the movie and the characters."

Like many Grey Gardens fans, Kauffman has delved deeper into the background and history of the Bouviers and the Beales and the lives of Edith and Edie, so when she heard Batavia Players was going to stage the musical, she certainly wanted to audition for the part, and in fact Burk already had her in mind to play Edith in the second act.

"She was a Bohemian and she was an artist -- she wanted to sing," Kauffman said. "She did sing in at parties. She did give some concerts, smaller concerts.

"We take for granted," Kauffman added, "that the Kennedys were a very prominent Catholic family and that it was the WASPS, the white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, were the ones who were dominating the social scene. And Phalen (Beale, husband of Edith and an uncle to Jackie), and I think Major Bouvier, to an extent, wanted to fit in with that WASP culture, and so Phalen was very conservative socially. He did not want his wife out singing in public and giving concerts. He thought she should act like a reserved society matron. She fought against that.

"When they bought Grey Gardens -- when they first married they lived in Manhattan -- when they bought Grey Gardens out on Long Island he basically just let her give recitals in the home for some of her friends. I think it broke her heart because I think she really thought she could have been a star."

The star of the documentary is, perhaps, Little Edie, the once-gorgeous, former '40s-era debutante who may have been engaged to Joe Kennedy Jr., who turned down a proposal from J. Paul Getty, and probably dated Howard Hughes. By the 1970s, in a dilapidated mansion, she seems a little touched.

"She went out with the creme de la creme of the most eligible bachelors," Kauffman said. "She was a debutante. She was absolutely gorgeous. She did some modeling."

The musical's two acts are set in better times and decaying times, first when the Beales still had some money, were still young and living the life of high society, and then in the second act Edith and Edie are living with a motley bunch of cats and scavaging raccoons. The first act is largely fictional, providing a backdrop to how the family was torn apart, and the second act cuts closer to the Beales' life as revealed by Maysles brothers.

One of the fascinating turns of the documentary is the creative ways Edie wears clothes, turning mundane garments into fashion statements, always wearing a turban or head scarf of some sort, adorned with a favorite brooch.

That came about, it seems, Kauffman said, because the Beales had no money left, or not much of it. Major Bouvier had cut his daughter Edith from the will, and once Edith and Phalen divorced, Phalen didn't pay alimony, he just left her the mansion and a small stipend. 

"So imagine you have this house, this big mansion, and you have no money for upkeep or maintenance. You don't have money to go out and buy new clothing or new furniture," Kauffman said. "You see the decay. Everything is pretty much exactly the way it was but decayed, and as far as the clothing choices, I think she (Little Edie) just made do with what she had. You know she might have had this old brown skirt from the '40s and she just turned it upside down and pinned a brooch to it. She wanted to create a new fashion out of what she had."

The first performance is Friday at 7:30 p.m. There are also shows Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., then again the following weekend with shows on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students.

The cast is: 

  • Edith Bouvier Beale (Act 1 Prologue/Act 2) -- Lucine Kauffman
  • Edith Bouvier Beale (Act 1) /Edie Beale (Act 2) -- Jennifer Neroni-Trupo
  • “Young” Edie Beale (Act1) -- Kristin Gelia
  • George Gould Strong-- Dylan Tomas Kastel
  • Jackie Bouvier -- Kathryn Fitzpatrick
  • Lee Bouvier -- Leigh Le Fevre
  • Brooks Jr/Sr. -- Gregory Munroe
  • Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. -- Colin Fleming
  • Major Bouvier -- James Barcomb
  • Jerry -- Jonah Bower
  • Norman Vincent Peale -- Jim Bauer

Musicians: Cindy Baldwin, Bob Chaplin, Tristan Korzelius, Pamela Wentworth, Kathy White, Melzie Case.

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May 11, 2017 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56 Theater, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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Amy Martin and Joe Kusmierczak star in the Batavia Player's production of "The Last Five Years," a musical written and composed by Jason Robert Brown and produced and directed by Kathy White, with performances this weekend at the Harvester 56 Theater.

Show times are 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m., Sunday.

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April 21, 2017 - 1:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester Center, 56 Harvester, theater, arts, news.

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Hamlet may be undecided about his fate, but the Shakespeare tragedy will "be" despite heavy flooding overnight at the Harvester Center that came close to jeopardizing the stage and the costume and prop room of Batavia Players at 56 Harvester.

Batavia Players President Pat Burk said Batavia City firefighters had a lot to do with keeping the heaviest flood waters out of the most critical areas of the theater.

Most of the flooding, caused by last night's heavy rain, was confined to the common areas just outside of the theater, but some water did get into the theater and members of the troupe are being asked to come in tomorrow at 3 p.m. to clean up inside the theater.

The Players are scheduled to open Shakespeare's "Hamlet" at 7 p.m. There will definitely be a performance, Burk said.

The flood could have been a disaster except that Hunter Doran and other members of the theater group were on hand getting costumes ready for the show's opening.

There was leaking as early as 3 p.m., Doran said, but water started to flood in at 8:30 p.m. That's when he called for help.

City fire responded with shop vacs and squeegees to help stem the tide and most of the water was dumped down drains by the time firefighters had to leave for another call.

"Hamlet" is part of Batavia Player's annual Shakespeare in the Springtime production. Besides the show tomorrow, there is one at 7 p.m. Saturday, at 2 p.m., Sunday and again at 7 p.m. on April 28 and 29. Tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

Photo: Ed Canty finishes water cleanup in a hallway outside the theater.

February 11, 2017 - 9:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56, theater, arts, news, batavia.

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This weekend and next, Batavia Players, now in its 85th season, is presenting "The Magic Kingdom On Broadway VIII." The musical review features performances from a variety of Disney productions, including "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," "A Spoonful of Sugar," "A Whole New World," "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," songs from "Frozen," and songs from "High School Musical," plus several other numbers. 

The cast includes 37 local dancers and singers from age 8 to 40. The show consists of five segments with a 15-minute intermission and a total run time of an hour and 45 minutes. The show is appropriate for theatergoers of all ages.

There is a performance at 56 Harvester today at 7:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. Next weekend there are performances on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors. 

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