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Magnolia

April 6, 2008
By JEREMY BEHNKE — Journal Sports Editor
NEW ULM — When Isla Hoffman was trying to figure out the next production for the C.A.S.T. (Community And Seniors Together) play, she came up with an idea that the actors were sure to love.

The 2008 C.A.S.T spring production will present its Spring Follies on stage at the New Ulm Community Center, located at 600 North German Street. Featuring “Magnolia” by Craig Sodaro and Bill Francoeur, Hoffman, the play’s Director, presents this Civil War play as a musical set at the southern plantation of Charlotte O’Mara and her family.

It is the fourth musical put on by CAST and the 11th production overall.

“When I read the script of Magnolia, I knew that this was the musical to do this spring,” Hoffman said. “Gone With The Wind, my favorite movie of all time, could definitely have been a factor in the choice.”

The cast includes members as young as 11-years old all the way to senior citizens.

“To see the intergenerational cast portray these characters has been a wonderful experience for me as a Director,” she said.

Hoffman said she likes to direct musicals and that is why she pushed the idea.

“When you mention musical, you get all these people, that just want to be in it, because it’s just fun,” Hoffman said.

Fiddledeedee! Charlotte O’Mara (Kelsey Jae Koch) is having a good time at Magnolia Plantation’s barbecue when the Civil War breaks out. All of the eligible young men rush off to fight, except for Magnolia’s faithful servant Bret Butler (Duane Laffrenzen).

Four years later, as the war draws to a close, the O’Maras (Pa: Gene Brand, Ma: Maxine Remme) owe back taxes, and their former overseer, Carlton Creepstone (Rev. Todd Nelson), now a villainous carpetbagger, will take it over. He and the voluptuous Lotta dePassion (Brenda Nielsen) want to turn Magnolis into the Sassafras Saloon.

Musical numbers include “Magnolia,” “Yank them Yankees,” “I Gotta Lotta,” and others are sure to keep the audience entertained and wanting more!

Joining the spring’s cast are newcomers to the CAST stage: Emma Dickinson, Brenda Hermel, Doug Jones, Michael and Matthew Lindberg, Hannah Nelsen, Annette Reker, April Schutz and Mike Travers. Returning to the CAST Follies are veterans Lenny Donahue, Joleen Franta, Doug Howard, Kay Simpson and Anita Thomas.

With musical direction by Donna Donahue, choreography by Kay Simpson, sets by Phil Davis, special effects by Mike Stark, stage manager Evie Domeier and costumes by Toni Laffrenzen, CAST promises another great musical event for the community.

“Everyone in the cast and the production crew have worked long and hard,” she said.

Jeremy Behnke can be reached at jbehnke@nujournal.com

Article Photos

Pictured from left are the gossip ladies Mrs. Pettybone (Anita Thomas), Mrs Chataway (Kay Simpson) and townsfolk: Hannah Nelson, Annette Reker, Brenda Hermel, Mike Travers, Joleen Franta, Lenny Donahue, Doug Jones, Michael and Mathew Lindeberg (front seated).

 
 

 

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