|DramaCentre presents The Cocoanuts
RELEASED: April 22, 2004
DANVILLE, KYSide-splitting silliness, slapstick, song and dance are on tap as Centre College drama students offer four performances of George S. Kaufman's Marx Brothers musical, The Cocoanuts.
The play is under the direction of Patrick Kagan-Moore, associate professor of dramatic arts at Centre. It features music by Irving Berlin and runs on April 28, 29, 30, and May 1 at 8 p.m. in Weisiger Theatre of Centre's Norton Center for the Arts.
The 29-member cast includes Centre students Morgan Cobb, Josh Davis, Chad Dike, David W. Flora (Groucho), Ian Frank (Chico), Strother Gaines (Zeppo), Jessica Graff, Colin McCann (Harpo), Joe Mitchell and Katie Stubblefield.
Set in Florida during the 1920s, Groucho plays Schlemmer, the owner of Cocoanut Manor. When Chico and Harpo show up as a couple of con men on the run, the comedy explodes. The hapless Mrs. Potter and the other hotel guests are swept into the Marx Brothers' whirlwind.
Director Kagan-Moore brings his interest in clownery to the table when working with the DramaCentre players on the challenges and mechanics of physical comedy.
Kagan-Moore says "In a sense, playing Harpo is as intimidating as playing Hamlet for a young actor."
Since Harpo doesn't speak, all of the comedic aspects of the character come from his body movements and timing. "The actor playing Harpo is a young man who is playing a famous older man who acts like a toddler!" Kagan-Moore says.
Music and dance feature prominently in the madcap musical.
Sarah Stoycos, assistant professor of music at Centre, is the play's musical director.
"Irving Berlin's music for The Cocoanuts is extremely varied," she says. "The cast sings and dances their way through a Charleston, a tango, a splashy tap dance number and a silly operatic spoof. There are a few extremely zany songs that are sure to have the audience laughing."
A teacher and producing theater artist for more than 30 years, Kagan-Moore has directed more than 75 productions in professional, academic and community settings. He joined Centre's faculty in 1991.
Tickets may be purchased at the box office at Centre College's Norton Center for the Arts or by calling (859) 236-4692 or (877) HIT-SHOW (448-7469).
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