River Falls Community Theatre presents ‘Blithe Spirit’ live radio play

RIVER FALLS -- In a twist to a classic, River Falls Community Theatre will be presenting Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit" as a live radio play. This adaptation by Bert Coules comes just in time to welcome all of the other ghosts of the season.

British novelist Charles Condomine (Rick Burgsteiner) hosts a dinner party and seance with wife Ruth (Emily Lyon-Hansen) to gather details for the plot of his next book. His eccentric medium, Madame Arcati (Eileen Korenic) inadvertently releases the spirit of Charles' first wife, Elvira (Heidi Hansen.) The ensuing farce reveals that perhaps the spirit of the long dead Elvira is not all that blithe. Hannah Friedman, Jon Aton, Gyneth Slygh, and Dale Bohnert as guests and staff at the haunted home round out the cast.

Just as in the pre-television days of radio plays, this theater production, directed by UWRF emeritus Dean and Professor Gorden Hedahl, shows how captivating storytelling can be with its primary focus on the actors' voices. Unlike radio, however, the theater audience will be witness to their mannerisms and the foley table for sound effects added in!

"Blithe Spirit" will be performed at 7 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26 at the River Falls Public Library. There will be one matinee at 2 p.m. Oct. 26. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Further information and updates can be found at www.rfcommunitytheatre.org

Director comments on ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

HUDSON -- “Singin’ in the Rain,” with the screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, songs by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc., will be performed Oct. 25 through No. 17 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sunday at 2 p.m.

Rebecca Rizzio returns for her third directing assignment at The Phipps, having previously directed “The Miracle Worker” and “The Producers.” Rizzio is the producer of the local, original musical “Philly” and a co-producer of “Chasing Rainbows,” currently playing at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.

She and her team are not intimidated by the success of the 1952 movie version of “Singin’ in the Rain,” often called the greatest movie musical of all time. She explains, “This show speaks for itself. We can pay tribute to the iconic moments from the movie, but thanks to the talent of these actors and this production team, we can add our own creative spin.

“Choreographer Dorian Brooke provides all the exciting moments from the movie that the audience expects — the classic tap routine performed in the rain, the iconic ‘Good Morning’ dance executed vibrantly and with a flip of the sofa, and the hilarious athleticism of ‘Make ‘em Laugh.’ But Dorian adds her own unique style to the many dance numbers and music director Natalia Peterson helps the talented cast make the most of each musical moment."

Rizzio adds that she is amazed by the caliber of talent displayed by the entire cast of 16 actors. Many members of the ensemble excel at playing multiple roles.

Rizzio also appreciates the creative film work provided by C.B. Jacobson of Buddy Puddle Productions LLC. “The audience will be transported back to a 1920s movie theater. The videography perfectly captures the silent film era and adds another fun dimension to the play.”

Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for students of any age. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409 or online at ThePhipps.org.

Country artist Mo Pitney at The Phipps

HUDSON -- Country artist Mo Pitney will perform Sunday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

With a standing ovation at the Grand Ole Opry, Pitney has been proclaimed the country artist to watch by Rolling Stone Country, The Huffington Post, and Billboard magazine.

Tickets are $29 for adults and $22 for students of any age. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409 or online at ThePhipps.org.

St. Croix Valley Lifelong Singers to honor veterans

NEW RICHMOND -- The Dementia Friendly Communities Coalition is sponsoring a special Veterans Day concert featuring the St. Croix Valley Lifelong Singers at 3 p.m. Nov. 10 at the American Legion at 1260 Wall St.

The Lifelong Singers is a community choir of singers, with or without dementia, who join together to enjoy the musical experience and support each other. Under the direction of music educators Bobbi Pominville, conductor, and Carol Dahle, accompanist, this program will feature patriotic songs, old standards, folk tunes, and popular melodies.

The choir performs annually at Music by Heart in Lakefront Park in Hudson as part of Dementia Friendly Sunday each June. Members of the coalition received such positive feedback from this year’s concert that they decided to present a Veterans Day performance.

“We found that the choir really resonated with community members, and we wanted to build on that momentum with this concert,” said Angie Pilgrim of the St. Croix Valley Foundation which supports the DFCC.

Rehearsals are 6-7 p.m. Oct. 24 and Nov 7 at United Methodist in New Richmond..

The concert is free. All rehearsals are open to people of all ages and abilities. Attendance at them is not required to be part of the choir the day of the event.

For more information about the Lifelong Singers or the Dementia Friendly Coalition, contact Pilgrim at 715-386-9490 or email her at pilgrim@scvfoundation.org.