Scapino, by director Frank Dunlop and actor Jim Dale, is an outrageous comedy adapted "a long way off from Moliere" but exhibiting the classic elements of the French master and the Italian "commedia d'ell arte." Scapino is the wily servant who twists the rules to trick his master's father into allowing him to marry the girl of his dreams while the waiters, waitresses and customers of a seaside restaurant sing parodies of "O Solo Mio" and the names of menu items like "veal scallopine."
The cast of "Scapino" combines student actors with professional Equity actors - the largest number of students in the cast in the theater's history. Professional actors include Richard Rella, Jr. as Scapino. Rella has worked with "Tony and Tina's Wedding" and has a recurring role on "30 Rock." Bradley Mott, as Geronte, returning for a second season with Shadow Lawn Stage after performing in "Sunshine Boys" last year. Buddy Haardt, as Ottavio, also returning to Shadow Lawn Stage after performing the "Complete Works of Shakespeare" in 2009. Janine Molinari, as Zerbinetta the gypsy, also a member of "Tony and Tina."
New to Shadow Lawn Stage this season includes Paula Jon DeRose as the lovely Giacinta; Gregory Ryan as the miserly Argante; Billy Edwards as lovestruck Leandro; and Gina Scherzo as Zerbinetta's "nurse."
Student actors include Alex Appolonia, Michael Rosas, Michele Cox, and Taylor Bogan as waiters in the restaurant; Paul Castro as Sylvestro; Henry O. Siebecker as Carlo and Allison Miller as Carla. The stage manager, Ernie Fimbres, is also assisted by a student assistant stage manager who, with this production, qualified to join Equity, the professional actor's union.
Preview: June 23 at 8 pm
Opening Night: June 24 at 8 pm
Performances: June 25, 29 and 30, July 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m.; June 26, July 3 and 10 at 7 p.m.
Cost: Preview night - Adult/Senior $20; Student $10; June 24 through July 10 - Adult $35; Senior $30; Student $15
Molly Sweeney is by the prize-winning Irish playwright, Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa, Translations). It is the story of Molly Sweeney, a woman who has been blind since childhood, who undergoes an operation to restore her vision. Based loosely on an essay by Oliver Saks (Awakenings), the tale is told by Molly, her husband, and the doctor.
Molly Sweeney recently finished a run in April at the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York City. It features three professional actors: Katrina Ferguson, returning to Shadow Lawn Stage after playing a nurse in "Sunshine Boys" and "The Au Pair Man"; Patrick Toon, another person returning to Shadow Lawn Stage, after five years; and Bradley Mott, who will go directly from "Scapino" into rehearsals for "Molly Sweeney."
Preview: July 14 at 8 pm
Opening Night: July 15 at 8 pm
Performances: July 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30 at 8 p.m.; July 17, 24 and 31 at 7 p.m.
Cost: Preview night - Adult/Senior $15; Student $10; July 15 through July 31 - Adult $30; Senior $22; Student $15
For additional information, please visit www.monmouth.edu/shadowlawnstage. Tickets can be purchased online at www.monmouth.edu/shadowlawnstage or by contacting the central box office at 732-263-6889. Group Rates are available. Shadow Lawn Stage is a member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and an Actors’ Equity Stage.
Photo: (l to r) Richard Rella as Scapino, Gregory Ryan as Argante, Allison Miller as Carla, and (in background) Paul Castro as Sylvestro.