Act3 Productions in Sandy Springs celebrated the beginning of the 2017-2018 season with the rowdy musical “The Robber Bridegroom.” This delightful show, part hoedown, part folk tale, is based on a Eudora Welty novella by the same title and set on the Natchez Trace in Mississippi in a time when life was more relaxed and less corrupt…well, maybe not.
With book and lyrics by Alfred Uhry and a fun-loving bluegrass score by Robert Waldman, the story centers around Jamie Lockhart, a bandit who lives in the woods and preys upon people’s trust, and Clemment Musgrove, the wealthiest planter in the region. Jamie saves Clemment from being murdered by the thug, Little Harp, only because he is planning his own swindle of the gullible Clemment.
Director Chris Davis has cast a wonderful group of talented thespians and singers for this production and led them to provide the audience with strong performances all around. Jeremy Cooper was terrific in the role of Jamie, the Bandit of the Woods, and Joel Rose was delightful as the lovable, unsuspecting Clemment. Lindsey Koch was perfect as Clemment’s beautiful daughter, Rosamund. And Jillian Melko superbly handled the humor in the role of Salome, Clemment’s second wife (think evil step-mother here).
Stephen DeVillers and PJ Mitchell were hilarious as the thugs, Little Harp and Big Harp, respectively. Andrew Berardi played the dim-witted Goat, moving about the stage as if he were made of rubber bands. Annie Cook portrayed Goat’s slightly more-intelligent Mother, while Brynn McGlamery tackled two roles, Goat’s sister and the Raven.
Rounding out the cast were members of the ensemble including Laura Czyzewski, Lisa Nelson, Michelle Oppedisano, Stephen Spainhour-Roth, Alex Tischer, William Warren, and Johnna Barrett Mitchell, who also served as the show’s choreographer.
Production credits include John-Michael d’Haviland (Music Director/Conductor), Rachel Biddle (Stage Manager), Brian Clements (Set Designer), Ben Sterling (Sound Designer), David Reingold (Lighting Designer), Ali Olhausen(Costume Designer), Mary Sorrel (Properties Coordinator), Janie Young (Assistant Choreographer), Meggie Foster McCann (Assistant Director), and Sophie Harmon (Crew). Band members included John-Michael d’Haviland (keyboard, fiddle, guitar), Ryan Gregory (violin and fiddle), Seth Travis Wesley Dent (guitar, banjo and bass), and Caleb Tokarska (guitar and mandolin).
Founded in 2009, Act3 Productions is a semi-professional theater company and arts academy located in the rear parking lot of Sandy Springs Plaza, behind Trader Joe’s and Pier 1 Imports. The intimate space keeps all audience members near the action. Next up at Act3 Productions is the drama, “Clybourne Park” (Sept. 15-30), followed by the musical, “Into the Woods” (Nov. 3-18). The season continues next year with William Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” (Feb. 9-18) and closes with the musical comedy “The Wedding Singer” (Apr. 13-28). For ticket information, contact Act3 Productions at 770-241-1905.
Act3 Productions is located 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs and on the web at act3productions.org.