Long Island Press Review: Mamma Mia! Hit Musical Debuts at Northport’s Engeman Theater

Long Island Press

August 2, 2016

Elise Pearlman

Mamma Mia!, the Broadway smash hit musical showcasing the high-energy songs of pop superstars ABBA, recently began its East Coast regional debut at The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport.

It is said that the musical, which has played to international audiences and had a record 14-year run on Broadway, often inspired dancing in the aisles. Well, the Engeman production was so sensational that if the historic theater had wider aisles, dancing would have prevailed. Following a thunderous standing ovation, the cast treated the audience to a finale reprising the show’s hottest numbers. As theatergoers clapped, sang along and danced in place, the actors broke the fourth wall and streamed off the stage, performing throughout the theater and heightening the excitement.

If you can only see one show this summer, it must be Mamma Mia!

The story unfolds in a taverna perched high on a sun-kissed Greek island adrift in the Aegean Sea. The owner of this little piece of paradise is single mom Donna Sheridan, who’s finishing up last-minute details in preparation for the wedding of her 20-year-old daughter, Sophie. There’s quite the emotional conundrum casting a shadow on the festivities.

Donna was never sure who Sophie’s father was because she sowed some wild oats with three guys around the time that Sophie was conceived. Sophie unearths her mother’s diary, which contains intimate details about the possible identity of her father. It’s her dream to have him walk her down the aisle, so unbeknownst to her mother, Sophie has invited her three could-be fathers to the wedding. The past will collide with the present in the funniest way possible when this trio of unexpected guestswhom Donna has not seen in 21 yearsarrives.

How did the songs of the wildly popular Swedish pop music group that reigned for 10 years between the early 1970s and ’80s come to be the basis for a global smash hit?

In the early ’80s, award-winning British theatrical producer Judy Craymer serendipitously met ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson when they were working with Tim Rice on the musical, Chess. After hearing “The Winner Takes It All,” Craymar conceived of ABBA’s songs as a framework for a theatrical production. The songwriters themselves were not totally convinced of the viability of such a project.

It was a long time in the making, but in ’97, Catherine Johnson was commissioned to pen the book. The show opened in ’99 in London. It has been reported that Craymar reaped more than $100 million from her stroke of genius, and Mamma Mia! mania continues to this day. Now it’s reached Northport.

Mamma Mia! is one of the most captivating and exhilarating productions to ever grace the Engeman stage. The cast, the direction, choreography, the set and the music are simply superlative.

The performance of Michelle Dawson (Donna) is informed by a complete understanding of each of the adult female characters. She has played all of them between the Broadway National Tour and as an understudy on Broadway. Dawson shines as the strong woman who pulled herself up by her bootstraps while nursing a bruised heart. She bares her soul in the gut-wrenching song, “The Winner Takes It All,” and renders it beautifully.

Hannah Slabaugh, who boasts a plethora of national and regional tour credits, embodies the youthful exuberance that defines Sophie Sheridan. She has incredible stage presence and the mellifluous voice of an angel. From her first song, “I Have A Dream,” you’ll be smitten.  Jacob Dickey, plays Sky, her fiancé, and you’ll feel their chemistry in their duet, “Lay All Your Love on Me.”

As the story goes, Donna was once part of an all-girl band, “Donna and the Dynamos.” Donna’s singing sidekicks, Rosie and Tanya, are played to perfection by Robin Lounsbury and Heather Patterson King, respectively. Ms. King, who has played the character in Mamma Mia International RCI is hilarious as the thrice-married femme fatale who has some very humorous, off-color moments in “Does Your Mother Know?” with a flirtatious younger man, Pepper (Christopher Hlinka). Ms. Lounsbury similarly tickles the audience’s funny bone to the max in her duet with Bill (Jeff Williams).

All of Donna’s former lovers have pursued different paths in life, and a large portion of the plot has the audience guessing about Sophie’s paternity. Sam (Sean Hayden, who played the character in the Broadway National Tour), who jotted the design of the taverna on a napkin during his time with Donna, became an architect. His tender, caring side comes to the fore in the bittersweet solo, “Knowing Me, Knowing You.”

Similarly, Harry (Frank Vlastnik), now a banker, shines in the reminiscent duet, “Our Last Summer.” In contrast, Bill (Jeff Williams), an Australian journalist, shows off his comedic chops when Rosie puts some aggressive moves on him in “Take A Chance On Me.”

Scenic designer DT Willis’ visually appealing set resonates with the blues and turquoises of the Aegean Sea. An oversized circular portal provides an enchanting view of the waters below the hilltop taverna. The circular theme and the Mediterranean colors are echoed in the floor design.

Further visual unification is supplied by the charming blue distressed interior doors. Adam Honoré’s glorious lighting further enhances the beauty of the set. The silhouetting of characters against the circular portal is an outstanding touch.

I first met Antoinette DiPietropolo when she directed and choreographed another one of my favorite shows at the Engeman, Nunsense. Her direction and choreography is flawless, and she brings the same sense of fun that she brought to Nunsense toMamma Mia! I particularly enjoyed the choreography and wild abandon of the seductive “Voulez-Vous,” as well as “Does Your Mother Know?”

The hits keep coming, so I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite song, but, of course, the title song, “Mamma Mia,” when a conflicted Donna experiences an emotional thunderbolt as she sees her lost love again, is a standout.

Music is what has made Mamma Mia! a sensation. The extraordinarily talented James Olmstead, who has been at the helm for Engeman’s best-loved musicals, is once again the musical director. Known for his expertise in maximizing the sound of the pit band, and his skillful re-orchestration, he is at the top of his game, and it shows, big time.

Expect to be wowed by the colorful costumes designed by Tristan Raines. I absolutely loved the form-fitting silver ensembles worn by Donna and her gal pals in “Super Trouper.” The fringed vest and granny glasses seen in “The Dancing Queen” will trigger a wave of nostalgia.

Mamma Mia! runs through Sept. 11. Theatergoers are urged to purchase tickets early as high demand has already prompted the addition of extra performances, and this show might very well sell out. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, by calling 631-261-2900 or visiting www.engemantheater.com The John W. Engeman Theater is located at 250 Main St., Northport.

Read online: www.longislandpress.com/mamma-mia-hit-musical-debuts-at-northports-engeman-theater

The Observer: A night at the Engeman/Mamma Mia! in review

The Observer

July 28, 2016

David Ambro

 

Now that Mamma Mia! has ended its Broadway run and the script is available for regional theater the test will be the music. Get the music right and you have a good Mamma Mia!

In its production of Mamma Mia! that opened at the John W. Engeman Theater at Northport, they got the music right.

This is one of those must sees, an Engeman best.

They bound through the plot with great ease, and it’s a good one. A single mother, Donna Sheridan played by Michelle Dawson, runs a hotel on a tiny Greek island. Her 21-year-old daughter, Sophie played by Hannah Slabaugh, is getting married the next day.

Sophie doesn’t know who her father is, but she longs to know. She finds her mother’s diary, reads about relationships she had 21 years ago with three different men, Sam Carmichael played by Sean Hayden, Bill Austin played by Jeff Williams and Harry Bright played by Frank Vlastnik. In her mother’s name, she invites all three to her wedding in hopes of figuring out which one is her father.

By the wedding day, the three men agree to share a third each of fatherhood; Sophie and her fiancé Sky, played by Jacob Dickey, decide not to marry; and, not to waste a good wedding Donna and Sam marry and everyone lives happily ever after.

It’s everything romantic comedy is meant to be, but Mamma Mia! didn’t spend 14 years on a Broadway stage for its quirky plot  penned by Catherine Johnson. It’s the music by Benny Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson, and made famous by the swedish rock band ABBA, that made Mamma Mia! a Broadway sensation.

And in the groundbreaking Northport production, the Mamma Mia! debut on a [East Coast] regional stage, the orchestra and cast deliver an uplifting performance that lives up to the Engeman motto. “Where Broadway meets Main Street.” 

Ms. Slabaugh’s Sophie is solid, starting off softly with her “I Have a Dream” solo pining to learn the identity of her dad, then she picks up the tempo with “Honey, Honey,” accompanied by Jennifer Seifter as Ali and Lydia Dawson as Lisa, an Act I highlight. Slabaugh is captivating with her version of “Thank You For the Music,” performed with the three dads.

While Slabaugh emerges as a lovable Sophie, like any great musical this score lends itself to the star, and that’s where Michelle Dawson’s Donna takes over. With a powerful supporting cast of voices at her side, Ms. Dawson’s delivery of the Mamma Mia! classics wows the audience.

The show’s namesake song, “Mamma Mia!,” performed with her three husbands and the ensemble, is wonderfully entertaining, and the other Act I classic, “Dancing Queen,” with Donna and her two friends, Tanya, played by Heather Patterson King, and Rosie, played by Robin Lounsbury, drew rousing opening-night applause. These are two songs that leave you singing them long after the show is over, if you can sing, or humming them if you can’t.

In Act II it just keeps getting better, song after song that you have heard over and over – a lot of Dawson, some Slabaugh alternating in, and a chorus of wonderful supporting voices. “S.O.S.,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “The Winner Takes it All,” “Take a Chance on Me” … Theatergoer or not, these are songs that will be familiar to Engeman audiences and they are a ton of fun to listen to.

The end of Act II also offers a special treat that is worth waiting for, “Our Last Summer,” featuring Mr. Vlastnik’s Harry with Donna. Mr. Vlastnik is a professional with Broadway credits on his resume and when he starts into “Our Last Summer,” his star shines. He has an enchanting voice that alone is worth the price of admission.

By the time this musical medley is over, this night at the Engeman is like a stroll down Memory Lane, romantic comedy sharing the spotlight with musical theater to provide a great night out. Again, whether you’ve seen it on Broadway or not, this is one of those not-to-be-missed runs at the Engeman.

Mamma Mia! runs now through September 11. Tickets are $76 for Saturday evenings and $71 for all other performances and can be purchased at engemantheater.com, by calling 631-261-2900 or by visiting the theater box office at 250 Main Street in Northport Village. There are performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with additional shows on Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

 

The Observer: Hometown Pepper adds spice at N’port theater of his youth

The Observer

July 28, 2016

David Ambro

 

While it has become a playhouse of the stars – “Where Broadway Meets Main Street” its mantra – the John W. Engeman Theater at Northport has deeper history for Christopher Hlinka.

In Mamma Mia!, which opened at the Engeman last week, Mr. Hlinka plays Pepper, a flirtatious young Greek isle hotel worker who brings acrobatic elements to the part. While his castmates coo at the charm and intimacy of the Engeman and the quaint Northport Village where it is located, Mr. Hlinka recalls the days when it was a second-run 99-cent movie theater where your feet stuck to the floor and the price of admission included a bag of popcorn. He calls Northport home.

Mr. Hlinka, 25, a 2009 graduate of Northport High School, recalls the days a decade ago before 250 Main Street was overhauled into the Engeman Theater. During his tenure at Northport High School, Mr. Hlinka was a member of the Powdered Wigs theatrical troupe – he played Cliff Bradshaw in Cabaret – and he sang with the storied Northport Tour Choir. He also attended the elite Long Island High School for the Arts in Syosset. He credits his high school experience with launching him into a career in theater.

After high school, Mr. Hlinka attended Marymount College in Manhattan, graduating in 2013 with a bachelor of arts degree in theater. The summer after he graduated he was selected as one of the rising young stars to perform at City Center on Broadway. The year after graduation, in 2014, he joined the cast of the Broadway  National Tour of Mamma Mia!, performing as Pepper and as the understudy for Eddy, another of the young flirts at the island hotel where the love story unfolds. He spent three months in the role in San Francisco, toured the country, and then traveled with the show to a landmark performance in Bogota, Colombia.

Last July he ended his run with Mamma Mia!. Mr. Hlinka said since that time he has been performing in concerts, taking dance classes and voice lessons to improve as an actor. Then, when he heard that Mamma Mia! was going to be performed at the professional theater in his hometown he wanted to audition and he landed his old role as Pepper.

“It’s been full circle for sure,” he said during an interview in the Engeman lobby Saturday, July 23.

Mr. Hlinka said his parents, Cathy and Jan Hlinka, who still reside in Northport, are regulars at the Engeman but that he has only been there once before, to see West Side Story. “I remember when it was a movie theater,” he said. “What they have done with it is beautiful. I have seen a lot of regional theater around the country and this is a wonderful theater.”

As for Mamma Mia! at the Engeman, Mr. Hlinka said working with director/choreographer Antoinette DiPietropolo has brought a new vision to his role as Pepper. “Working with Antoinette has been a dream,” he said. “She has allowed everyone to have a little bit of their own spin on their roles.”

“She has done a really great job of re-imagining the show,” Mr. Hlinka said. “Mamma Mia! played on Broadway for 14 years and when you get a role it is like being plugged into a machine and you have to play it just the way they want you to, which is wonderful and fun, but here with Antoinette we can take more liberties with our character choices.”

Mr. Hlinka said he has tried to bring a more “badass” version of Pepper to the Engeman show, with tattoos and an attitude. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

When he was performing in the national tour, Mr. Hlinka said his parents traveled to Chicago to see him on stage. He admitted to being a little more nervous when they are in the house and disclosed that they were at the show on opening night last week, although having performed the part hundreds of times now the nerves are far less.

Mr. Hlinka is excited to perform in front of a hometown audience at the Engeman. “Every night there are people here I know, and I look forward to seeing them after the show,” he said.

His older [brother] Jonathan, a member of the United States Coast Guard stationed in Baltimore, was in town last weekend for a bachelorette party and he got a chance to go see the show before he had to go home.

As a member of the Powdered Wigs, Mr. Hlinka said he performed in a show his freshman year with actress Ashley Flanagan, another Northport High School graduate who has starred on the Engeman stage. “I looked up to her a lot. Then I saw her here in West Side Story, which was inspirational,” he said.

Mr. Hlinka said Northport High School and the Long Island High School for the Arts provided him with the foundation to become a professional actor. “Without the stepping stones that Northport High School provided, I definitely would not be where I am today,” he said. “It does take a lot of luck and good fortune and you have to be in the right place at the right time, and each stepping stone is about who you know to make it big, but I’m working on it.”

During an interview this week, Ms. Hlinka, a teaching assistant in the Northport-East Northport School District, said she grew up in Manhattan and has always loved the theater, so she has been taking her two sons to shows since they were young children. She said that Christopher has been on stage since he was six years old, but she is still “very nervous” while she watches him perform.

“I’m nervous and I always shed a tear, more than one usually,” Ms. Hlinka said about watching her son perform. “I don’t have the kind of stamina that he does. It is very emotional to watch and the energy that he puts into every performance is amazing.”

She said the schedule at the Engeman is especially grueling, with shows on back-to-back days and two a day sometimes. “He works very hard. He has to stay in great shape.”

When she saw her son perform as Pepper in the Broadway tour version in Chicago, Ms. Hlinka said the theater and the stage were much larger, the musical numbers were grander, the budget much greater, so the costumes and sets were more extravagant. But, she said, overall the show at the Engeman is just the same.

“You always know that when you go to the Engeman Theater you are going to have an excellent show,” Ms. Hlinka said. “The show quality overall, I think is awesome.”

“Christopher is living his dream,” Ms. Hlinka concluded. “He is living his dream every day and not many people get to do that. That is one of the things we say together all the time he and I – he is living his dream.”

 

Long Islander Review: ‘Mamma Mia!’ Lights Up The Stage With Summertime Excitement

The Long Islander

July 28, 2016

Janee Law

 

The stage at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport illuminated summertime on a Greek island on Saturday, as it was dressed in accents of blue, white stonewalls, budding flowers and a wooden dock. Audience members took in the beautiful setting as they proceeded to their seats to witness Tony Award-nominated musical “Mamma Mia!”

The story of summer fun unfolds when Sophie Sheridan, portrayed by Hannah Slabaugh, sets out on a quest to discover the identity of her father and invites three men from her mother’s past back to the island the day before her wedding.

The show, directed and choreographed by Antoinette DiPietropolo, is filled with fun and a provocative energy. The ensemble brings humor, heartache and heartwarming performances.

Donna Sheridan, played by Michelle Dawson, embodies a strong and independent mother who unravels in the “Mamma Mia!” number when she comes face-to-face with all three men from her past.

Dawson, who played the character five years ago on Broadway and the Broadway tour, said working with a different director has been amazing.

“It’s still the same story, the same music, but it’s a new vision,” Dawson said after the show. “Getting to experiment with the scenes in a different perspective from the director is really awesome.”

Based on the music of Swedish pop group ABBA, the show includes classic hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and “The Winner Takes It All.”

Dawson’s vocal performance is riveting. Starting out low with “Money, Money, Money,” she gradually hits higher notes with each passing song, particularly in “The Winner Takes It All.”

Slabaugh, who portrays the cute and courageous Sophie, said being part of this production and playing her character has been amazing.

“I see so much of myself in her, which is always a good thing. but then there were also places to explore and learn. It’s been a great time,” she said.

Other memorable performances include “Dancing Queen,” during which Donna and her friends Rosie and Tanya, played by Robin Lounsbury and Heather Patterson King respectively, embody girl time by playing dress up and using a shoe, a flashlight and a hairbrush as their microphones.

“I love ‘Slipping Through My Fingers.’ It touches my heart,” Dawson said. “You can feel the audience relating to the characters. There’s a little bit of us in all of those roles.”

The ensemble received a standing ovation at the end of the performance as they engaged with the audience by going into the crowd while singing “Mamma Mia!” and “Dancing Queen” for a second time, and “Waterloo.”

Tia Hamlin, of Huntington, who was in the crowd, called the singing “fantastic.”

“We saw ‘Mamma Mia!’ probably 14 years ago in New York, and the quality here was just fabulous. I think the closing was the best, when everybody is up on their feet and dancing. It was so fun. They never let us down when we come here.”

Performances run through Sept. 11. Show times vary from week to week, but this week performances are slated for 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday; and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

For more show times and to purchase tickets, which range $71-$76, visit the box office at 250 Main St. in Northport Village, call 631-261-2900, or log on to ­Engemantheater.com.

Read online: www.longislandernews.com/life-and-style/mamma-mia-lights-up-the-stage-with-summertime-excitement

Newsday review: ABBA has them dancing up a storm at Engeman

Newsday

July 26, 2016

Steve Parks

 

Agendas are being pushed in our faces — the Republican convention last week; the Democrats winding up Thursday. But here’s a musical with absolutely no agenda, other than to take your mind off whatever may be going on outside the Engeman Theater at Northport.

Long Island’s only year-round Equity company launched its 10th season with the East Coast regional premiere — that means not counting its 14 years on Broadway — of the jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!,” based on the disco-era hits of the Swedish band ABBA, which, but for this show, might be forgotten. The musical that had people dancing in the aisles, if not right up to its 2015 close, had folks dancing like last call was hours away at opening night of this infectious Engeman production directed and gleefully choreographed by Antoinette DiPietropolo.
Scripted by Catherine Johnson (music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus), “Mamma Mia!” gets right to the point as fatherless bride-to-be Sophie discovers her mother’s diary describing intimate dates with three men when she was 17. (We’re already anticipating “Dancing Queen,” which doesn’t disappoint.) Sophie, confident that she’ll discern which of the three is Dad, invites each to her wedding.

Hannah Slabaugh as Sophie projects a gullible innocence that tricks her into believing she can manage this without complications. Michelle Dawson as her mom, Donna, reprises a role she understudied on Broadway and played on national tour. Her expertise comes through in convincing us of her bewilderment that these men from her past have shown up for Sophie’s wedding. And she delivers with gusto the climactic “Winner Takes It All.”

The daddy candidates are stereotypical. But get over it. As some songwriter of note once asked, “What’s wrong with silly love songs?” Without overdoing it, Frank Vlastnik plays Harry as Not Donna’s Type. Or rather, she’s not his. Jeff Williams as Bill evokes a grandfatherly tone while Sean Hayden as Sam occupies the just-right category of odds-on favorite. After the title song with Donna, all are keen on the honor of giving Sophie away, while Jacob Dickey as the groom wonders why Sophie’s fuss isn’t over him.

DT Willis’ taverna set glows with a Mediterranean vibe (lighting by Adam Honoré), while James Olmstead’s band keeps the disco beat throbbing to the pulse of urgent young love, past and present. If you don’t still get it, well, never mind.

 

Read online: www.newsday.com/entertainment/theater/mama-mia-review-abba-has-them-dancing-up-a-storm-at-engeman

Times of Huntington-Northport Review: Engeman presents a ‘Mamma Mia!’ fit for a ‘Dancing Queen’

Times Beacon Record

July 26, 2016

Rita J. Egan

 

The Long Island premiere of “Mamma Mia!,” the jukebox musical that features an assortment of iconic songs from the Swedish pop group ABBA, opened at the John W. Engeman Theater last week. And, it appears the name of the game for the Northport venue is success as it has produced another Broadway-quality show right here on the North Shore.

Director Antoinette DiPietropolo skillfully directs a multitalented cast of 20 who recreate the warmth, charm and energy that audiences loved when the production ran on Broadway for 14 years.

Written by Catherine Johnson, with music and lyrics by former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, as well as some songs with Stig Anderson, “Mamma Mia!” tells the touching story of 20-year-old Sophie Sheridan who lives in a taverna on a small Greek island with her mother Donna. After reading her mother’s old diary, Sophie, who is about to marry her fiancé Sky, decides to invite three men from the single Donna’s past, one that may be the young woman’s father. While the threesome’s visit may or may not bring the answer Sophie is looking for, it does take Donna on a wonderful musical trip down memory lane.

Portraying Sophie’s mother, Donna Sheridan, is Michelle Dawson, who played the character in the Broadway National tour. The actress perfectly embodies the quirky, free-spirited, earthy nature of Donna, and she has great stage presence, too. With her animated facial expressions and dynamite smile, it’s easy for the audience to decipher whether Donna is in agony over past mistakes or enjoying beautiful memories. Her vocals are strong on every number, and when it comes to “The Winner Takes It All,” in the beginning of the song she uses her singing talents to deliver the lyrics as if they were a monologue, and then she powerfully builds the song up to its heartbreaking ending.

Dawson also shows off her comedic abilities with Heather Patterson King and Robin Lounsbury, who play her visiting friends Tanya and Rosie, respectively. The three are funny during the song “Chiquitita” where Tanya and Rosie try to cheer their friend up, and then deliver a well-executed “Dancing Queen” as they remember their days as Donna and the Dynamos. A couple of scenes later, they treat the audience to their fantastic vocal talents once more with “Super Trouper.”

King is perfect as the sophisticated yet fun-loving Tanya, and during Act II, she sings “Does Your Mother Know” like a rock goddess. Lounsbury as Rosie is funny and delightfully carefree, especially during the number “Take a Chance on Me” where she playfully lets one of Donna’s former lovers, Bill, know exactly how she feels.

Hannah Slabaugh as Sophie Sheridan is everything you expect the young woman to be — sweet, loving, curious and determined. She captures Sophie’s spirit perfectly, and her vocals are lovely on every song she sings.

Sean Hayden is charming and sweet as Sam Carmichael, one of Sophie’s potential fathers. On opening day, when Sam sang “Knowing Me, Knowing You” to the young woman, it seemed as if both Carmichael and Slabaugh were misty-eyed.

Frank Vlastnik is well-cast as the buttoned-up yet kind Harry, and during Act II, Vlastnik and Dawson treat the audience to a tender version of “Our Last Summer.” Jeff Williams captures the sexy, adventurous nature of Bill Austin and at the same time easily shows the character’s softer side. He demonstrates good vocals on the numbers he takes part in, too. Jacob Dickey is adorable and endearing as Sky, Sophie’s fiancé. Dickey possesses the handsome good looks of boy band member, but when he sings, he performs his parts like a successful solo artist. Jennifer Seifter (Ali), Lydia Ruth Dawson (Lisa), Darius Jordan Lee (Eddie) and Christopher Hlinka (Pepper) as Sophie’s and Sky’s best friends enhance the upbeat feel of the musical, and Hlinka shows a good amount of comedic ability when Pepper attempts to seduce Tanya.

Director DiPietropolo also choreographed the Northport production, and her choreography is at its finest at the end of Act I when the whole cast as well as ensemble delivers a fun, energetic “Voulez-Vous.” As far as the striking set in shades of blue and sand with floral accents, it’s worthy of a stage on the Great White Way.

Designed by DT Willis, the set includes doors that allow the actors to move effortlessly on and off stage as well as a section that easily switches from a front door to a bedroom. Not to be forgotten is the band featuring Alexander Rovang (conductor/keyboard), Anthony Brindisi (keyboard 2), Douglas Baldwin (guitars), Russ Brown (bass) and Josh Endlich (drums). The musicians do an excellent job recreating the instrumentals of the cherished ABBA tunes.

After the bows on opening night, in true “Mamma Mia!” musical form, the cast had no trouble getting the audience to get up and dance with them to favorite ABBA hits. The pop group once sang “the winner takes it all,” and in the case of the Northport production, the cast, crew and audience all walk away winners.

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main Street, Northport, will present “Mamma Mia!” through Sept. 11. Tickets are $76 for Saturday evening performances and $71 for all other performances. For more information, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

 

Read online: www.tbrnewsmedia.com/engeman-presents-a-mamma-mia-fit-for-a-dancing-queen

NY Theatre Guide Review: ‘Mamma Mia!’ at John W. Engeman Theater

NY Theatre Guide

July 26, 2016

Kristen Weyer

 

The John W. Engeman Theater opens its 10th season with Mamma Mia!  This feel-good musical, with a book by Catherine Johnson, is written around the music of Swedish singing group ABBA.  With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, and occasionally Stig Anderson, this show features such classic hits as “Dancing Queen,” “Money, Money, Money,” and naturally “Mamma Mia,” to name only a few.  Directed and choreographed by Antoinette DiPietropolo, Mamma Mia!  is a fun and energetic good time

Taking place on an idyllic Greek island, this romantic comedy has a slightly twisted, yet very humorous plotline.  Sophie (Hannah Slabaugh) is getting married, and she wants her father to walk her down the aisle.  The problem is, she has no idea who he is.  Her mother, Donna (Michelle Dawson), has raised her as a single mom her entire life. Not letting this deter her, Sophie secretly reads her mom’s old diary and discovers that she has three potential fathers!  So unbeknownst to Donna, Sophie invites all three men to her wedding, hoping to discover which one of them is her father.  Could it be handsome architect Sam Carmichael (Sean Hayden)?  The intrepid adventurer Bill Austin (Jeff Williams)?  Or perhaps the straight-laced London banker Harry Bright (Frank Vlastnik)?  When all three accept the invites, returning to the island, and woman, they haven’t seen in twenty years…well what could possibly go wrong?  As confusion and comedy reign supreme, audiences of varying ages will enjoy the amusing antics and marvelous music of this terrific show.

The Engeman’s production of Mamma Mia! is very well done.  A beautiful set by DT Willis, with just the right touch of blue, creates the perfect backdrop for this Greek comedy.  While DiPietropolo shows great talent in both direction and choreography throughout the production, it is quite noticeable during “Money, Money, Money,” and “Lay All Your Love On Me,” which are particularly good.  The dance numbers are pure fun, and the fabulous costuming by Tristan Raines ranges from classic beachy, to outrageously enjoyable throwbacks to the ‘70s. Music Director James Olmstead and the entire band, do a superb job with this fast-paced score.

The ensemble is full of talented dancers and singers.  Hannah Slabaugh and Jacob Dickey make a cute couple, with good chemistry as Sophie and Sky.  Michelle Dawson gives a convincing portrayal of the beleaguered Donna, while also boasting some impressive vocals.  Heather Patterson King and Robin Lounsbury are very funny as Donna’s best friends Tanya and Rosie.  Sean Hayden does a wonderful job portraying Sam’s trepidation of once again seeing Donna.  Jeff Williams’ laid back performance of Bill is perfect for his character, and his believable Australian accent adds that extra touch.  In contrast is Frank Vlastnik as the proper Harry, whose desire to loosen up and be spontaneous is endearing.

With lots of laughs, and fantastic fun, Mamma Mia! is an entertaining escape for the whole family.

Running Time: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes with one 15 minute intermission.

Advisory: Sexual references and innuendo.

Mamma Mia! runs until September 11, 2016 and is presented at the John W. Engeman Theatre in Northport. For more information, click here.

 

Read online: www.nytheatreguide.com/2016/07/theatre-review-mamma-mia-at-john-w-engeman-theater

Meet Mamma Mia! Star Michelle Dawson

Now playing is the musical sensation MAMMA MIA! based on the music of Swedish pop band ABBA. This production is the East Coast Regional premiere of the hit musical, which closed on Broadway in September 2015 after a 14-year run.

We sat down with lead actress Michelle Dawson, who plays Donna Sheridan in the upcoming production.

Born and raised in Vermont, Michelle dreamed of being an actress from a young age. “I got bit by the bug early on and didn’t look back!” At the age of 18, she was crowned Miss Vermont in the Miss America pageant and won a most-talented award. Since then, she has appeared in professional productions all over the country as well as on Broadway, where she was in the original casts of Cyrano – The Musical and Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, and the Broadway revival of Showboat.

Michelle is no stranger to MAMMA MIA! having performed in both the Broadway and National Touring productions. On Broadway, she understudied for Donna and Rosie before going on to play first Tanya and later Donna in the National Touring production.

“I toured for over 2.5. years with Mamma Mia! It was an absolute highlight in my career! I had the fortune to play Tanya for a year and Donna for over a year and a half,” said Dawson.  “One of my biggest highlights on tour was the 2009 Tony Awards! They did a segment on national touring companies, and I performed ‘Dancing Queen’ as Donna along with the two other Dynamos.” On tour, she was often joined by her 11-year-old son and her husband, Chris Cardona, a professional violinist who has performed in Broadway shows and recorded with a number of well-known artists.

Despite her familiarity with the show and her role as Donna, performing with a new cast and creative team has brought with it a new perspective and unique experience for Michelle. “I came in knowing all the music and the script, and it’s the same type of role, but it’s a director’s whole new vision,” she said. “With a different director comes new insight, things I hadn’t thought about before.”

Director and Choreographer Antoinette DiPietropolo’s vision of Mamma Mia! has Michelle and her fellow cast members delving deeper into the characters’ relationships and feelings within the show. This has given Michelle an even stronger connection with her character, which she thinks will resonate with audiences.

“One of the reasons audiences love it so much is because we are real people. Donna’s a mother – she’s a single mother – and she has a lost love, and I think a lot of [people] can relate to that,” she added describing her character. “She’s earthy and she works hard, you know, running the joint and doing it all on her own and not really taking a moment to think about herself and what she wants.”

Enhancing the characters and story of Mamma Mia! is, of course, the iconic music of ABBA. The musical features 22 of ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper,” “Take a Chance on Me” and many more. With lovable characters, a relatable story and sensational music, Michelle is sure that Mamma Mia! will be enjoyable for all: “It’s such a fun ride! You’ll laugh, cry, and laugh again!”

MAMMA MIA! will play the following performance schedule: Thursdays at 8:00pm, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 3:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00.  Some Wednesday and Sunday evenings are available. Tickets are $76 on Saturday evenings, $71 all other performances and may be purchased by calling (631) 261-2900, going online at www.EngemanTheater.com, or by visiting the Engeman Theater Box Office at 250 Main Street, Northport.  Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted.

The Reviews Are Out! West Side Story is a HIT!

What an honor to be part of this extraordinary show! West Side Story opened last week and all of the reviews have been phenomenal. Check out the wonderful news and let us know what you think! Leave your comments below.

NYtheaterguidetop5-Final-9-7-2013

“…{They} found the balance between a realistic portrayal of violence and an artful depiction of it.”
"..superbly sung and choreographed show.."
“..superbly sung and choreographed show..”
“The Engeman’s “West Side Story” is a rare, not-to-be-missed opportunity to truly appreciate an American theatrical treasure.”
“The entire cast of this performance is fabulous.”
“To put it plainly, West Side Story is indeed another “must see” for the Engeman Theater.”
"..wows audiences with a top-notch cast who bring this tearful, tragic story to life.."
“..wows audiences with a top-notch cast who bring this tearful, tragic story to life..”

Special Event Voucher Update!

Your Season Ticket Package Just Got Better!

We are constantly striving to make your membership at the John W. Engeman Theater better and better.

With this in mind, we are extending your 2015-2016 Special Event Vouchers until the end of the Season! This means your 2015-2016 Vouchers will be valid until the end of Thoroughly Modern Millie (July 10, 2016.)

Any remaining 2014 – 2015 Vouchers will expire on December 31, 2015.

Click HERE to see a list of our 2015-2016 Special Events. We’ve even added a few new Events! More will be announced as the Season continues.

Below are some of the upcoming events that you won’t want to miss!


Daisy Joplingmega

Daisy Jopling Band
August 2, 2015

Daisy is an internationally acclaimed violinist. She will join us with a full band for an EXCITING night of rock arrangements of great classical pieces, gypsy music, Irish Folk music, & tango.

mary thumb

Big Dummy
August 19, 2015

Mary Dimino is back! In April she sold out our theater with her hit “Scared Skinny.” Join this knee-slapping, one-woman comedian for a night to remember.

Joseph Joubert HR Head Shot

Fascinating Gershwin with Joseph Joubert
August 30, 2015

Mr. Joubert served as the conductor of Motown The Musical on Broadway and assistant conductor for Billy Elliot. His accomplishments are wide ranging and his talent has taken him not only across the continent, but also throughout the world. You will be reminiscing as you hear the gorgeous Gershwin melodies. Fascinating Rhythm, The Man I Love, I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’, I Got Rhythm, Swanee and more.


Have Questions? Contact Me!

Jackie Polden Season Ticket Manager

 

Jackie Polden
Season Ticket Manager
Email: JPolden@EngemanTheater.com
Phone:631-261-9700 ext 29

April Events Bring May Gents

In April, we welcomed 4 unique and excellent Special Events. It was such a blessing to watch and meet these extraordinary entertainers.

Earlier in the month we introduced Mary Domino to the stage with her one woman act ; Scared Skinny. Mary, winner of the 2010 MAC Award for Outstanding Female Comedian, entertained our Season Ticket Holder family with quirky and hilarious personal stories about growing up Italian and fat in Queens. This sold out show had audience members cracking up and begging for more! Luckily we were able to get her back onto our stage. Mary will be preforming her new act Big Dummy on August 19th, 2015 at 7pm! I was lucky enough to meet her after the show and I even got a t-shirt!

jpandmary

Next up we had juggler and comedian Mark Neizer! He was seriously CRAZY. He might be the first person to ever be on a unicycle on the Engeman Theater Stage! I was so worried he was going to fall! Here is a photo of him on a unicycle juggling …KNIVES!

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His use of lighting effects, 3D glasses, and random items like ping pong balls, bricks, lasers, swords and even something he created called the “New Dimension Beam” were fantastic. The “New Dimension Beam” is a juggling stick that allows him to play music, cues lighting effects and juggle all at the same time. It was very cool! His final act left our theater a mess with toilet paper but we still love him.

markpaper

We also welcomed Will and Anthony Nunziata. The twin brothers, born in Brooklyn and raised in Pelham Bay. They certainly wowed our sold out Special Event Series Night attendees. The Nunziatas have recently been on Good Morning America, The Rachel Ray Show and NPR Music Radio.

The Nunziatas are full of energy, jokes and both have absolutely wonderful voices. After the show they autographed photos and their debut album “Make Someone Happy.” The album is an intimate collection and eclectic mix of songs from the Great American Songbook, show-tunes, and contemporary music.

Here is a photo I snagged with Season Ticket Holder Anna C. What a lucky woman!

Anna and the Nunziatas

Our last Special Event for April was debuting group Shades of Buble. The three man trio sang their hearts out for our packed house. This was a very special evening not only for us but for them. It was their premier as a group for their act.

Producers;  Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano (who you might recognize from Two on Tap) pulled together these three wonderful men and a full band to sing  incredible songs like “Come Fly With Me, “Moondance,” “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” and many more.

The boys brought the swinging standards and pop hits of this modern-day Sinatra to our stage and the audience absolutely loved them. Here is a quick video of the boys singing one of my favorites, “Moondance:”

Hopping into May we were lucky to have the Gents from Apollo Link join us. This is our only Special Event in May but it was great! This very unique male vocal group met on the Broadway set of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark!

Primarily an A Capella group, they mixed it up with a two hour pop concert for our crowd, accompanied with guitar player Sergio Ortega. The boys, Brandon Rubendall, Adam Roberts, & Jake Odmark sang songs from Etta James, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Nick Jonas and even threw in some of their favorite Broadway songs! Their harmonies gave us all goosebumps. After the show they did a meet and greet where patrons were able to take photos, get autographs and buy one of their really awesome shirts! Here are the Bensons posing with the “Spidey Boys!”

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Hope everyone enjoyed the Special Events as much as I did! I am looking forward to all the other amazing Special Events coming up.

Have suggestions? Questions? Concerns? Please feel free to reach out to me.

 

 

 

Jackie Polden

Jpolden@Engemantheater.com

(631)261-9700 ext 29

Season Ticket Manager

NEW SPECIAL EVENTS!

SpecialEvents

Your Season Ticket membership just got even better! We just added 14 new Special Events!

Don’t miss out! If you have not yet renewed for the 2015/16 Season, call us today!

Special Events are on a first come first serve basis and can be reserved beginning at 10 am April 14th. Tickets will go on sale to the General Public April 20th.

Call the Box Office or sign into your account online to book your seats.

Don’t forget all vouchers expire December 31st, 2015!

Not a Season Ticket Holder? Call to find out how you can see these shows for free! 631-261-2900


Friend
You’ve Got A Friend: The Music of the Brill Building
Monday, June 15th at 7pm.

2nd SHOW ADDED! Due to popular demand we have added an additional performance of You’ve Got A Friend: The Music of the Brill Building!


BrodwayConcert mega menuBroadway Concert Series
Monday, June 22nd 2015 7pm

We are pleased to welcome back our acclaimed Broadway Concert Series. Join us for an amazing evening of entertainment from four incredibly talented Broadway performers. The artists will be announced at a later date.


shotgun megaShotgun Wedding
Sunday, June 28th 2015 7pm

Shotgun Wedding is a Brooklyn-based band blazing their own trail with a new music genre, “City-Country”. Their songs reflect life in NYC – steeped in Bakersfield country, rock-n-roll, with a dash of swing.


rnh1Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration!
Wednesday, July 29th 2015 at 7pm

Starring Oscar ‘Andy’ Hammerstein III, grandson of the beloved librettist and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, and author of “The Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family”. Thrill to the brilliant music of this legendary team with songs from their celebrated collaborations. A favorite for audiences of all ages!


daisy 2Daisy Jopling Band
Sunday, August 2nd 2015 7pm

The Daisy Jopling band play rock arrangements of great classical pieces, spiced up with some gypsy music, Irish folk music, tango and original compositions.


Piano IllustrationNeil Berg’s Pianomen – An Intimate Tribute to Billy Joel & Elton John
Sunday, August 16th 2015 7pm

Neil Berg’s Pianomen pays an intimate tribute to the compositions and songwriting of two of the most iconic composers of the 20th Century, Billy Joel and Elton John. Hear the crowd pleasing popular hits and forgotten songs of the last four decades.


mary thumbBig Dummy
Wednesday, August 19th 2015 7pm

Mary Dimino is back! Mary is the creator of the critically acclaimed hit Scared Skinny, which sold out on our stage earlier this month! Now see her in “Big Dummy” A one woman show about growing up smarter than your father in Queens!


frank thumb100 Years of Sinatra
Sunday, August 23rd 2015 7pm

Frank Sinatra is the most beloved and admired singer of our lifetime. He sold 150 million records and won 11 Grammy Awards, but that hardly begins to tell his story. We will honor Francis Albert Sinatra with an extraordinary evening of his most famous hits from throughout his career, starring Sal Viviano.


gershwin 2Fascinating Gershwin with Joseph Joubert
Sunday, August 30th 2015 7pm

Fascinating Gershwin™ Marvel at the extraordinary showmanship of pianist Joseph Joubert! You will be reminiscing as you hear the gorgeous Gershwin melodies. Fascinating Rhythm, The Man I Love, I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’, I Got Rhythm, Swanee and more.


LaurenFox thumb The Songs of Joni Mitchell & Leonard Cohen Starring Lauren Fox
Sunday, September 27th 2015 at 7pm

Through stories and song, Lauren Fox examines the creative genius–and conflicted desires–of two of folk music’s most enduring artists. Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen are widely known to be two of the best and most prolific songwriters of their generation. Less known about the fellow Canadian artists is that they had a relationship early in their careers that lasted only a few months, but had a lasting effect on their work.


guyGuy Bavli – “Master of the Mind”
Sunday and Monday, October 4th and 5th 2015 at 7pm

Come join the award winning mentalist Guy Bavli on his journey into the mysteries of the human mind. You will enjoy an evening of telekinesis, humor, ESP, and interactive audience participation that’ll have you buzzing long after the final curtain call.


RONFLTFINALSSRRFLTC

Scotch, Soul & Rock ‘n Roll
Wednesday, October 7th at 7pm

Let charismatic singer Ron Gartner bring you the music you grew up with, danced to and romanced to. This is the show for music fans who love Frank, Sammy, Dean, Bobby Darin, Temptations, Four Tops, Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka, Doo-Wop & more!


billboard thunbOh What a Night! Billboard Hits of the 1960’s
Wednesday, October 14th at 7pm

This show features Billboard hits from 1957-1969 that will have people dancing in their seats! Starring two of Broadway’s hottest leading singers and featuring music by: The Four Seasons, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Bobbie Darrin, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder and even the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin!


John PizziJohn Pizzi
Sunday, October 18th at 7pm

Back by popular demand! One of the hottest rising comics in the entertainment industry, has brought his unique brand of comedy to audiences around the country! Opening acts for entertainers like Jerry Vale, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, Joy Behar, Weird Al Yankovic, The Trammps, The Regents, Al Martino, Clint Holmes and many more!


 

Tickets can be reserved beginning Tuesday April 14th at 10 AM!

631-261-2900

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call!

Have a wonderful day,
Jackie Polden
Season Ticket Manager
The John W. Engeman Theater

Special Event Overview

Kiss Today Goodbye : A Chorus Line

Inspired. That’s exactly how I felt after watching the fantastic and mesmerizing cast of A Chorus Line.

Cast Photo
(Drew Humphrey, Dena DiGiacinto and The Cast of A Chorus Line-Patrick Ball, Rachel Marie Bell, Sissy Bell, Nic Casaula, Abby Church, Hayden Clifton, Matthew Couvillon, Courtney Fekete, Omar Garibay, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Francesca Granell, Eric Greengold, Stephanie Israelson, James Ludwig, Andrew Metzgar, Courtney Moran, PJ Palmer, DJ Petrosino, Alexzandra Sarmiento, Kelly Sheehan, Maria Cristina Slye, Michael Warrell, Sari Weinerman and Danny Wilfred)*

I have seen the show and the movie a handful of times, and for years sang the songs in Chamber Choir at Carmel High School (shout out to Mr. Smith,) but this was different.

It gave me goosebumps, it made me cry and laugh. I left the theater dancing and looking forward to sitting in the back of the theater watching it again and again (one of the many perks of my job!)

#5678
If you don’t know the story it is pretty simple : A director, played by the handsome James Ludwig, is casting for a new Broadway musical. His auditions are grueling and everyone must be perfect or they will get cut.

For 17 dancers, this audition is the chance of a lifetime. It’s the opportunity to dance on a world famous Broadway stage. Each of the 17 dancers have their own individual story and reason why they became dancers. Boys who dreamed of dancing because they watched their sisters do it and girls who found a home at the ballet to escape their family. Some stories more relate-able than other but none the less all great stories! The character development for each actor is perfect. My two favorite characters are “Kristine” played by Rachel Marie Bell and “Richie” played by Danny Wilfred. They are both phenomenally quirky and charismatic!
One of the 17 dancers isn’t like the others though…Her name is Cassie. Cassie is played by Jessica Lee Goldyn, who is by far one of the best dancers I have ever seen. She also performed the revival of A Chorus Line on Broadway as Val along side Mario Lopez! Jessica’s performance of “The Music and the Mirror” is gripping and leaves the entire audience spellbound. Here is a sneak peek of her dance:

I won’t give any spoilers but the acting, dancing, singing and the lighting for this show is out of this world. Director Drew Humphrey and choreographer Dena DiGiacinto have really out done themselves! The show is open from now until May 10th. If you don’t have tickets you might want to jump on it quick as we are already selling out!

http://engemantheater.com/event/a-chorus-line/

*Video by Michael DeCristofaro from the John W. Engeman Theater. Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy

March Newsletter : Goodbye Winter!

We are incredibly happy that you joined us for the 2014 – 2015 Season. With only 2 more shows left in our 8th season, we would like to send you a friendly reminder that Renewals are now due. If you have already renewed THANK YOU!

Our 2015 – 2016 Season is filled with amazing Main Stage performances and plenty of Special Events, we don’t want you to miss out!

Recapping the month of March, we wrapped up Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and were able to bring you two great Special Events. Next we will be opening and celebrating the 40th Anniversary of A Chorus Line.

On Saturday March 14th, we sold out both our matinee and evening performance of The Prodigals presenting Claddagh. They were absolutely wonderful on our Main Stage and we hope to have them back next Saint Patrick’s Day.

engeman and the prodigals
We also welcomed Greg Kennedy: Innovative Juggler to our stage! His combination of traditional and inventive juggling had all family members on the edge of their seats. His post show Q&A really opened our eyes to the science that goes behind Greg’s creative juggling skills. Check out this behind the curtain video of him whimsically juggling 4 hats!

To see my reviews, more photos and videos be sure to check out my blogs on our website under Jackie’s Corner!

In April we will be announcing MORE Special Events for 2015, as well as presenting, SOLD OUT Scared Skinny, Will & Anthony Nunziata, 4D Comedians and Juggler Mark Nizer, and SOLD OUT show of Shades of Buble on our stage.

Please be aware that vouchers should be treated like tickets. If you are unable to attend a show, it is important to let us know as soon as possible. This will give other on our waiting list ample opportunity to see our sold out Special Events! If you would like to discuss this please email me.

Hope everyone is getting ready for Spring and I look forward to seeing you for A Chorus Line!
Have a Great Day,
Jackie Polden

Greg Kennedy, Innovative Juggler, Amazes All

Another successful Special Event for the books at The John W. Engeman Theater. Over the weekend adults and children were in awe of International gold medalist juggler, Greg Kennedy.

Greg combines traditional juggling with his own wacky and hypnotizing tools. His props included bean bags, hats, swords, devil sticks, pendulums, stacking boxes and a whole slew of Greg’s personally engineered devices.

Check out this awesome video taken from the audience of Greg juggling and bouncing 4 balls off of a wooden platform! His hands are moving so quickly! Can you keep up?

After the show Greg had a Q&A session to talk about his achievements and studies. His background with physics and engineering helped him create his inspiring and captivating tricks!

Our next Special Event for 2015 is Mary Dimino in her one woman stand-up comedy of Scared Skinny! Scared Skinny was the winner in the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival and Mary won 2010’s MAC Award  for Outstanding Female.

Another Awesome Special Event : The Prodigals presents Claddagh

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Everyone!

The weather might have been rainy, but we had such a wonderful night with The Prodigals!  The band was absolutely invigorating and pumped the audience up with their beautiful voices and various instrumental skills. Let’s not forget to mention the extraordinary dancers! Their legs were moving so fast and effortlessly, it looked as if they were floating!

It is safe to say the combination of dancing and Celtic music was beyond moving. My favorite song in the first half of the show was “Rattlin’ Bog.” After every verse the song got faster and faster. The dancers danced faster and faster! I could barely keep up. In the second half they preformed “Danny Boy.” You could hear a pin drop in the theater. It was magnificent.

Engeman and The Prodigals
Owner, Kevin J. ONeill and Director of Operations, Michael DeCristofaro, take the opportunity to take a photo with The Prodigals.

After the show I was lucky enough to meet all of the band members and the dancers. They each had such wonderful stories about their journey and were so please to preform on the Engeman Theater Stage. It was such an honor to have them and we hope everyone enjoyed them as much as I did.

Jackie Polden and The Prodigals
Me with Gregory Grene, Dave Fahy, and Brendan Smith!

 

Fingers crossed they will join us again for next Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend!

February Newsletter : Account Access Help Guide

Voucher Information:

  • All new vouchers will expire July 10th, 2016 (End of the Season)
  • Additional tickets may be purchase for the discounted price of $25 per ticket
  • Seats are available for Season Ticket Holders on a first come first serve basis

Accessing your Season Ticket Account:
We have added and expanded features on our website for you to manage various parts of your account! You can now view your profile and complimentary vouchers, as well as, book your own seats for our Special Event Series! Please follow this quick and easy guidelines!

To access your log in page click here. 

 You must use your email address associated with your Season Ticket Holder Package. This will most likely be the email address that you receive updates from the Theater about! If you are unsure please call us to confirm (631) 261-2900.


 

Accessing your account:

Here is a sneak peek of what the log in page looks like:

First Time Logging In: You will need to create a password. Do this by entering your email address and selecting “I am a new customer” and selecting “Continue.” Follow the additional directions provided to set up your account details.

If it is not your first time accessing the site and you don’t remember your password select the link “I don’t know my password” and additional instructions on resetting your password will be sent to you.

Otherwise enter your email address select “I am a returning customer…” and enter your password.

Once you have successfully logged in you will be taken to the home page called “My Account”

From the My Account screen you can:
• View and Edit your Profile
• View and Purchase Gift Cards
• View your Order History
• View and Schedule the use of your Special Event Vouchers

Viewing and Booking your Special Event Vouchers:
To view or book your Complimentary Vouchers for the Special Event Series select the tab called “Ticket Packages.

From this tab you can see vouchers/tickets remaining in your account.

Using the drop down at the bottom of the Ticket Packages Screen you can select the Special Event you are interested in seeing and book your own seats!

To buy additional seats at the Season Ticket Holder discounted price please call the Box Office at (631) 261-2900.

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please feel free to give me or the Box Office a call! I will gladly help!

Best,

Jackie

(631) 261-9700 ext.29

January Newsletter : Happy New Year

Happy New Year! 2014 was a successful and joyful year at The John W. Engeman Theater. Thank you once again for your support and we hope you have enjoyed your experiences here.

In 2014, each of our productions were wonderful, from the gripping family drama of “Other Desert Cities,” to the suspense and plot twists of “Deathtrap,” and the passionate and unforgettable true story of “Evita!” Let’s not forget our most recent production, “A Christmas Story,” which was tremendously well received and garnered wonderful reviews.

This year, we were also able to bring 35 performances of 10 different shows for our Special Events Series. I am still laughing from Shut Up, Sit Down and Eat! We will be expanding our offerings with our Special Events Series in 2015. We will kick off the Series in February with performances of the American Jazz Songbook by a world class jazz trio. We will follow that up later in the month with one of the hottest rising comic ventriloquists in the entertainment industry – John Pizzi.

I am so happy to start 2015 with a bang! “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” was the Tony Award Winner for Best Play in 2013. This hysterical comedy is a mixture of sibling rivalry, regret, lust and love. The New York Times has called this play “Deliriously Funny!” We are excited to welcome famed actress Sean Young (“Blade Runner,” “No Way Out,” “Stripes”) in the role of Masha. I personally cannot wait for this show to start!

Last but not least, keep your eyes open for your Renewal Package later this month. With your Renewal you will receive 4 complimentary Virtual Vouchers for our 2015 Special Events Series. As you know, during this process you will be able to request seat changes. These seat changes are on a first come first serve basis and are not guaranteed, but we will try our hardest to accommodate your needs. Additional instructions can be found on your Renewal Card.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I wish you a wonderful new year filled with abundance, joy, and lots of cherished moments. May 2015 be your best year yet! Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Best,
Jackie

Exclusive Event for our Season Ticket Holders

Thanks to the strong relationship between the John W. Engeman Theater and The Paramount we are able to offer a complimentary gift to our Season Ticket Holder Family.

This Friday, the 19th of December,2014 we have secured tickets for The Paramount’s Comedy Series: “Laugh Your Snowballs Off.” The show begins at 8:00 pm and the doors open at 7:00 pm.
If you would like to attend please RSVP by noon on Friday via email, with your name and the number of people in your party.

Happy Holidays!

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December Newsletter : My First Newsletter!

Thank you for the extraordinarily warm welcome you have offered me as I start my journey with the John W. Engeman Theater.

I will be the best point of contact for you on our Special Event Series, Open Houses, Member Exclusive Discounts and so much more. Keep your eyes opened every month for a special Newsletter, just for our Season Ticket Holder Family, from me. If you would like to add additional email accounts to the list, please send me a message with the specific email address at: Jpolden@engemantheater.com.

This month we hit the ground running with our holiday musical of A Christmas Story. We received amazing reviews from the New York Times, Broadway World, The Northport Daily News, The Village Tattler, The Long Islander and Newsday. If you haven’t seen it yet you are in for a wonderful and magical experience that will remind you of the importance of family and not “shooting your eye out!” To see more updates and photos take a look at our Facebook Page.

We are also showing the Children’s Theater production of Frosty. Since you are a Season Ticket Holder you will receive a 20% discount on your purchased tickets. This show is great for ages 3 to 10 years old. This would be a lovely treat for your children or grandchildren.

Wishing Everyone a Safe and Beautiful Holiday Season!

Welcome Jackie to The John W. Engeman Theater!

At the John W. Engeman Theater we put our Season Ticket Holders first. We are truly thankful for your patronage and support.

In 2014 we launched an effort to drive more value to our Season Ticket Holders. We introduced complimentary vouchers to our Special Event Series as a way of showing appreciation to those who support us most. In 2015 we will continue with this endeavor and have an even greater selection of events.

In addition to this, we would like to introduce Ms. Jacqueline Polden as the newest member of the Engeman Theater Family. Jackie will be our Season Ticket Manager. Her primary focus will be to ensure that you continue to have the highest quality experience we can offer, as well as, assist you with any inquiries regarding your Season Tickets Package.

Jackie is originally from Carmel, New York, but has been living on Long Island since 2004. Now a Huntington resident, she can officially say she is a Long Islander. She is an alumni of Stony Brook University and LIU Southampton. In her spare time, Jackie loves going to the beach and playing competitive volleyball. One of her favorite places on Long Island is the end of the dock at the Northport Harbor at sunset. Jackie genuinely loves helping others and is here for you if you have any questions or concerns.

Please feel free to introduce yourself during your next visit to the theater. You can reach her by email at Jpolden@engemantheater.com or by calling at 631-261-9700 ext 29.

Sincerely,
Kevin J. O’Neill and Richard T. Dolce

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