The Apple Tree: Three Short Musicals by Fiddler on the Roof Creators
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The last date listed for The Apple Tree was Sunday August 9, 2009 / 2:00pm.
Quotes & Highlights
“(a) tasty array of hors d’oeuvres…capably directed… spryly directed… sultry and alluring… fun…solid.” —backstage.com
“solid acting and stellar singing…pure comedy.” —nohoartsdistrict.com
“Three cheers for Crown City Theatre Company’s Apple Tree” —stagehappenings.com
“Crown City brings out the best in The Apple Tree’s three very different mini-musicals. …engaging performances… great chemistry…something to entertain and titillate everyone… its reappearance on the L.A. theater scene is welcome news, especially in a production as charming (and beautifully performed) as this one is.” —stagescenela.com
“a consummate joy, a great success for the entire creative team. Beautifully acted , the entire cast is terrific. This is an enchanting evening of theatre, (and) so exquisitely produced.” —reviewplays.com
Critics Pick “Bravo! 5 out of 5 stars” —grigwaretalkstheatre.com
The Apple Tree is an evening of three funny, poignant and fascinating one-act musicals about men, women and temptation with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick (the team that created Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me and The Rothschilds), and a book by Bock and Harnick with contributions from Jerome Coopersmith. Each act has its own storyline, but all three are tied together by a common theme (the temptation is often greater then the reward). The first act is based on Mark Twain’s The Diary of Adam and Eve; the second act is based on Frank R. Stockton’s The Lady or the Tiger?; the third act is based on Jules Feiffer’s Passionella. Mostly done as a vehicle for 3 stars it opened on October 18, 1966, on Broadway starring Barbara Harris (Tony Award for Best Actress), Alan Alda (nominated Best Actor), and Larry Blyden. Other major Tony nominations included: Bock and Harnick for Best Composer and Lyricist, Mike Nichols for Best Direction of a Musical and the show itself for Best Musical. By using a single actress and actor to play the lead in each one-act, the original production tried to tie the 3 entities together. However, unique to this production is having different actresses and actors in the lead for each one-act as well as a different director. We at Crown City hope that this arrangement makes it more of an ensemble piece that shows off each playlet to its full potential as well as making its universal theme of temptation more accessible to modern audiences.
“The Diary of Adam and Eve” stars Matthew J. Williamson as Adam in his first role back in L.A. after moving with CTG’s “Come Back Little Sheba” to Broadway. Morgan Lynsey (a relative newcomer to L.A. from New York) brings her amazing talents to the role of Eve and veteran Shakespearean actor Jon Mullich lends his charms to the Snake. Gary Lamb directs this piece about the beginning of creation.
“The Lady or the Tiger?” stars Kit Paquin (Circle in the Square Theatre School, lead in “The Workroom,” Off-Broadway in “My Sweetheart’s the Man in The Moon” and on television in “Numb3rs,” “CSI:NY,” “Ugly Betty” and “Entourage.”) in the stong, passionate role of Princess Barbara and Josh Helmuth makes his L.A. debute as Captain Sanjar. William A. Reilly directs this pageant of Mesopotamian jealousy. It is forbidden for a Princess to “mingle” with non-royalty, so Captain Sanjar is put on trial by King Arik (Jon Mullich) and must choose between the two doors that conceal either the Tiger that will tear him to pieces or a woman that he must marry. Princess Barbara finds out which door holds which and also that the woman is none other then her rival for the Captain’s love. The Balladeer (Brian Maples) leads us through this tale of over-the-top passion.
“Passionella” stars veteran musical theater actress Stephanie Fredricks (Broadway’s “Wonderful Town” (Violet) and Off Broadway’s “Occupation” (Rachel) and “A Night Sea Journey” (Lisa)) as the Chimneysweep (Ella) turns Movie Star (Passionella) with Ben Rovner (Chicago Actor, BFA DePaul University’s The Theater School) playing the role of Flip, The Prince, Charming. Matthew J. Williamson directs this Zany show about a woman who wants to be a Movie Star who is granted her wish, but only from primetime television until the networks sign off in early 1960’s style with the National Anthem.
Other Cast Members include: Amy Ball as the Narrator in Passionella and Bradley Michael (The Columbine Project) as Flip, The Prince, Charming’s understudy as well as the Choreographer for “The Lady or the Tiger?” and “Passionella.”
Assistant director, production stage manager: Kimberly Bullock
Set design: Joanne McGee
Costume design: Caitlin Erin O’Hare