Theater

By Julianne Mosher

The colorful pages of Dr. Seuss’ stories come to life on the John W. Engeman’s stage for their latest children’s theater production, and their rendition of Seussical the Musical is one for the books. 

Directed by Danny Meglio, the story follows the plot of “Horton Hears a Who,” with Horton (Patrick McCowen), the elephant, speaking to Jojo (Sophie Achee and Finn Brown) — the smallest Who in Whoville. Jojo and his community live on a speck of dust on a clover that Horton lovingly carries throughout the show.

The elephant’s big ears allow him to hear the chitter chatter of the people on the clover, while the rest of the jungle thinks poor Horton is crazy, constantly ridiculing him. On top of that, Horton gets tricked into egg-sitting for the sassy, popular Mayzie (Jillian Sharpe), who abandons her egg to go party in Florida. But luckily, he has the support of his friend Gertrude (Natalie Sues), especially when he gets bullied by the Wickersham Brothers (Daniel Bishop, Terrence Sheldon and Will Logan) and Sour Kangaroo (Christina Cotignola). The Bird Girls (Michelle Shapiro, Nicki Winzelberg and Ally Clancy) are a three-piece ensemble who help tell the story through song and great harmonies throughout each number.

Written by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the show is narrated by the Cat in the Hat (the incredibly talented Jae Hughes) whose mischievous ways will make the entire audience laugh. 

Acting as Jojo’s guide, the Cat helps the young dreamer maneuver through all the different scenes he imagines with special mention to the big dance number, “It’s Possible (McElligot’s Pool).” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of a synopsis — you’ll have to see the rest for yourself.

Meant to appeal to young children, with many families in attendance, this musical is really made for all. Grandparents, parents and babysitters alike smiled along as each scene presented a new musical score sung by this professional cast. They effortlessly danced along with choreography by Jillian Sharpe in the most colorful costumes and wigs led by Laura McGauley. 

Anyone who has read Dr. Seuss’ other childhood tales (like “Green Eggs and Ham,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or “There’s a Wocket in My Pocket”) knows that the famous author’s art is truly out of this world and the team at the Engeman Theater and scenic designer Orion Forte did a great job portraying that with funky Seuss-like trees in the jungle of Nool. 

Seussical the Musical is a fun play that explores themes of identity, individuality, creativity, loyalty and community. Kids will leave the energetic production knowing the importance of being unique, standing up for one’s beliefs and that “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” 

So, get your tickets now, fill up on some green eggs and ham and head over to the Engeman Theater for a fun trip into the creative mind of Dr. Seuss. Meet the cast after the show for photos and autographs.

The John W, Engeman Theater, 250 Main St. Northport presents Seussical the Musical on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. through June 30. All seats are $20. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

By Julianne Mosher

What if Snow White, Cinderella and Briar Rose didn’t get their happy endings? Snow White would have been poisoned by the apple, Cinderella forever a maid and Briar Rose would sleep until eternity. These fairy tales have had dozens of interpretations each throughout the years, but one thing is common — there is always a happily ever after. 

But Theatre Three is taking it a step further and switching it up. Making its world premiere, The Mystery of the Missing Ever After, written by Jeffrey Hoffman, Douglas J. Quattrock and Jeffrey Sanzel, brings in a bit of mystery with a lot of original music. 

Directed by Sanzel, the show starts off with what the three princess’ lives looked like after the final chapter closed. Cinderella (Veronica Fox) runs a show emporium, Snow White (Julia Albino) has opened a laundry service with the dwarves and Briar Rose (aka the Sleeping Beauty and played by Cassidy Rose O’Brien) has a successful meditation business, helping other fairytale and folklore creatures calm down. 

They live with their princes, Adrian, Basil and Constantine (all performed by Sean Amato) who each have their own quirky personalities but support their wives. 

In town, we’re introduced to other members of the community including the formerly evil Rumpelstiltskin (Steven Uihlein) who says he changed his ways and now helps children by buying them food and toys. Alice — formerly of Wonderland and played by Louisa Bikowski — now runs a retrieval agency, Alice’s Wonderland Wonders, and her colleague, the White Rabbit (Jason Furnari) struggles with severe anxiety and seeks out help from Briar Rose. 

As the play goes on, the princesses’ start to realize odd things happening — apples appearing out of nowhere, Briar falling asleep at any given moment and Cinderella loses her beautiful blue gown (one of many stunning costumes courtesy of Jason Allyn), transforming into her former self wearing an apron covered in ash. Soon after, their princes begin to forget who they are. That being the final straw, the three then decide that they need to figure out what is going on and why.

Along the way, they meet other favorite characters from different children’s books including Peter Pan (Liam Marsigliano), Little Red Riding Hood (Gina Lardi) and Puss in Boots (Kaitlyn Jehle), just to name a few. 

With the help of families in the audience, the mystery of the stolen happily ever after is solved — and it’s quite the surprise of who’s behind it. 

With a solid score of 12 original songs, written by Hoffman and Quattrock, and performed by this stellar cast, there is something for everyone here. Although it’s caters to young children, parents and older siblings will not be disappointed, either. 

So, get your glass slippers on and head down to Theatre Three in Port Jefferson to see this unique, fun, entertaining and awesome play. Stop by the lobby on your way out for a group photo with the cast.

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents The Mystery of the Missing Ever After through June 15. Costumes are encouraged. All seats are $12. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

By Julianne Mosher

Nobody does camp better than Theatre Three. This time with their latest production of Mel Brooks’ The Producers, the Port Jefferson-based venue succeeds, yet again, with a phenomenal production of the hysterical musical that is bound to offend everyone and anyone in the best way possible.

Adapted from Mel Brooks’ 1967 film of the same name, the story follows two producers who scheme to get rich fast by fraudulently overselling interests in a Broadway musical they’re seeking to fail. Plot twist … it’s a smash hit, much to their dismay.

Theatre Three’s production is just as good as the latest Broadway revival (latest being 2001) which starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. The cast and crew outdid themselves with every detail — from the constant costume and wig changes courtesy of Ronald Green III (and there are quite a few) to Randall Parson’s scenic sets that switch between the office of Max Bialystock (Scott Hofer) and Leo Bloom (Tony Butera) to the rooftop of Nazi-turned playwright Franz Leibkind (Evan Teich). 

Yes, a Nazi. Like I said, this play is going to offend. 

Hofer and Butera in the lead roles of the producers shine on stage, again, on the same level that the show’s former Broadway legends bore in the past.

With several dozen different roles — it’s a Mel Brooks show, so of course it’s going to be chaotic — every person who enters stage right and left are fantastic with an ensemble cast that literally does it all. The singing is master level, the choreography is impressive and you’ll be laughing as soon as the curtain opens during the first number, “It’s Opening Night.”

After Bialystock and Bloom find the most offensive musical out there, Springtime for Hitler, they need to find financial backers. Bialystock, a Casanova to the wealthy elderly, uses his charm on widowers while Bloom meets the beautiful and talented Ulla (Brittany Lacey) who becomes the main female lead in the play they’re hoping fails … as well as Bloom’s love interest. 

The next stop is to get the worst director out there — Roger De Bris (Ryan Nolin), a flamboyant failing director with his long-term, life “roommate,” Carmen Ghia (Jim Sluder). While Nolin and Sluder play near-deadbeats in the theater industry, both have remarkable talent in real life.

Directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, the three-hour-long show is so good you want to sit through it again and again. You’ll be bound to find something new at every showing.

So, like I mentioned earlier, Theatre Three does campy musicals extremely well. “When You Got It, Flaunt It,” right? And the only advice I have moving forward is to continue and “Keep It Gay” with all that talent on stage.

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Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents The Producers through June 22. Tickets are $40 adults, $32 seniors and students, $25 children (ages 5 to 12) and Wednesday matinees. Please Note: Contains adult humor and situations. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

See preview here.

Simple Gifts Productions, a professional performing arts company for kids and teens, will present “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 at First United Methodist Church of Port Jefferson, 603 Main Street, Port Jefferson. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m.

This “revised” version is a fresh approach to the all-time 1967 classic, based on the beloved comic strip by Charles Schulz. Featuring all your favorite Peanuts characters, this charming revue of vignettes and songs is fun for the whole family (ages 4 and older). Running time is 1 hour.

Tickets are $15. For Reserved Seating, tickets can be purchased online. Visit www.simplegiftsproductions.com for more information. Tickets for General Seating will also be sold at the door before each performance.

Looking for something to do with the kids for Spring Break? The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown will present Disney’s Finding Nemo daily from April 21 to 28.

Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his kid Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured and taken to Sydney, Marlin faces his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the supportive Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves.

Featuring memorable songs such as “Just Keep Swimming,” “Fish Are Friends Not Food,” and “Go With the Flow,” Finding Nemo Jr. brings a vibrant underwater world to life on stage in a story full of family, friendship, and adventure. Tickets are $25 per person.

To purchase tickets, click on a performance date below:

Sunday April 21 at 11 AM

Sunday April 21 at 2 PM

Monday April 22 at 1 PM

Tuesday April 23 at 1 PM

Wednesday April 24 at 1 PM

Thursday April 25 at 1 PM

Friday April 26 at 1 PM

Saturday April 27 at 11 AM

Saturday April 27 at 2 PM

Sunday April 28 at 2 PM

For more information, email [email protected] or visit www.smithtownpac.org.

By Julianne Mosher

Yes, heaven is definitely a place on earth, and it’s right here at Suffolk County Community College’s Ammerman Campus in Selden.

Directed by Marie Danvers, Head Over Heels debuted on Broadway in 2018 and is adapted from Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia written in the 16th century. While still performed in its Shakespearian-era dialect, what’s most fun is the incorporation of music of The Go-Go’s.

The story takes place in the kingdom of Arcadia. King Basilius (Aiden Gomez) and his wife Queen Gynecia (Londyn Williams) have two daughters — Phioclea (Sophia Del Carmen) and Pamela (Kayla Pisano) — and we learn that Phioclea is in love with her childhood friend Musidorus (Jaiden Molina), while Pamela, the prettiest in the land, has dozens of suitors but is secretly in love with her servant, Mopsa (Izzy Mangiaracina), the daughter of Dametas (Gabriel Patrascu).

Soon after Pamela dismisses yet another potential husband, the kingdom’s new oracle, Pythio (Jayden Brown), sends a message that Arcadia might be in trouble and gives them four prophecies, saying that Arcadia needs to change.

Pythio, who is nonbinary, explains that when each of the prophecies are fulfilled, four flags will fall. If all four happen (which it does) then Arcadia will fall. 

It sounds like a lot — and it is. Each character has its own individual story within the major plotline. But the students at SCCC make it easy to understand — even if it’s spoken in old English — and we have to appreciate the musical aspect of it all… especially since the music is from the late 1980s. 

With favorites from the Go-Go’s like “We Got the Beat,” “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” “Mad About You,” and “Our Lips are Sealed,” you’ll be singing and dancing along as each song is seamlessly incorporated into the play. 

That being said, the band is live and so is the singing of the students. Brown’s Pythio, while not in every scene, shines every time they are on stage, while Phioclea’s Del Carmen has a voice made for Broadway. These two students have bright futures ahead when it comes to musical theater. 

Molina’s Musidorus is great — especially since he’s able to gender bend throughout the show (yes, he pretends to be a woman to meet with Phioclea who he’s in love with). Williams, Pisano, Patrascu, Mangiaracina and Gomez perform their roles with such ease, as does the ensemble including Angie Barrientos, Alani Etheridge, Andy Laloudakis, Talia Mazza, Joseph Salerno and Amelia Wells. Quite frankly, you’ll be surprised you’re watching community college students perform these numbers.

The set and costume design also add an extra highlight to the show. The set, while minimal, features two large guitars crossed at the neck with a crown shining above. The stage floor is a rotating record that helps during the chase scenes. The costumes are colorful and a mix of punk, pretty, Elizabethan and 1980s party all in one. 

So, do you have the beat? If you don’t, head to Suffolk’s Shea Theatre and you’ll be sure to say “I’m mad about you” to the cast and crew of Head Over Heels.

The Theatres at Suffolk County Community College present Head Over Heels in the Shea Theater, Islip Arts Building SCCC Ammerman campus, 533 College Road, Selden on April 18, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and April 21 at 2 p.m. General admission is $15, veterans and students 16 years of age or younger $10. SCCC students with current ID are offered one free ticket. To order, call the box office at 631-451-4163.

See a sneak preview of the show here.

 

By Heidi Sutton

Spring has sprung in Port Jefferson and that means the return of one of Theatre Three’s most popular children shows, The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. Written by Jeffrey Sanzel and Brent Erlanson with music by Kevin F. Story, the original musical is based on the characters and stories created by Beatrix Potter and is too cute for words.

When the lights dimmed at last Saturday’s show, all the children in the audience shouted “It’s starting!” and settled in to watch eight uber talented actors — Sean Amato (Peter Rabbit), Kyle Breitenbach (Benjamin Bunny), Elizabeth Ladd (Mrs. Rabbit), Cassidy Rose O’Brien (Flopsy), Julia Albino (Mopsy), Courtney Gilmore (Cotton-Tail), Gina Lardi (Mrs. McGregor) and Liam Marsigliano (Mr. McGregor) — bring the mischievous adventures of Peter Rabbit and his cousin Benjamin Bunny to life just in time for Spring Break.

The audience is whisked away to the countryside home of Mrs. Rabbit and her four bunnies who live next to Mr. and Mrs. McGregor who spend the day tending to their pride and joy — their garden. 

While Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail listen to their mother by staying inside and doing their chores, Peter Rabbit and his cousin Benjamin Bunny sneak out to steal from their neighbor’s garden again and again to satisfy their insatiable appetite for carrots, lettuce, peas, parsley and string beans.

When his patience grows thin, the farmer, who’s “a meanie with a temper like a bear,” makes it his mission to stop these bunnies once and for all. At first, Peter is caught but manages to wiggle out his socks and shoes and jacket and hat to escape. The second time Peter is not so lucky. Will he become rabbit stew or will his family come to the rescue?

Directed by Steven Uihlein, the show has so many wonderful moments. When Peter sneaks off to the garden, his sisters go searching for him and ask the audience members if they’ve seen him. (“He’s right behind you!”) When Peter returns home after losing his clothes, he recounts the story and the entire scene is retold in slow motion as Mrs. Rabbit, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail watch from the sidelines.

The wonderful song and dance numbers, choreographed by Sari Feldman and accompanied on piano by Douglas Quattrock, are terrific with special mention to “One More Time Around,” “Run, Peter, Run” and the fun hip-hop number, “Peter’s Socks.” The final number incorporates all of the songs in a super mega-mix extravaganza. Costumes by Jason Allyn, from the bunnies’ spring dresses in pink, purple, green and red to their white bunny tails, pull it all together perfectly.

Don’t miss this show — you and your kids are guaranteed to love it. Meet the entire cast in the lobby after the show for photos.

Sponsored by Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents The Adventures of Peter Rabbit through April 27.

Saturday Apr. 20 & 27 @ 11:00 am
Wednesday Apr. 24 @ 11:00am
Thursday Apr. 25 @ 11:00am
Friday Apr. 26 @ 11:00am

Duration: One Hour

Children’s theater continues with a brand new production, The Mystery of the Missing Ever After, from May 25 to June 15 followed by Raggedy Ann & Andy from July 5 to 27 and Pinocchio from Aug. 2 to 10. All seats are $12. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com. 

By Julianne Mosher

This is the train to… a murder? Full of twists and turns, this is one ride you won’t forget.

Theatre Three’s latest production of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express turns the Port Jefferson-based Mainstage into a beautiful, expensive train suitable for travels of only the best of the best. Here, the audience meets eight different passengers who all have a secret with one common denominator. 

When Samuel Ratchett (Angelo DiBiase), a crooked conman, is found dead in his cabin, everyone on the train asks, “Who did it?” That’s when Hercule Poirot (Jeffrey Sanzel), a well-known detective (who can crack any case) steps in — even though this was supposed to be his vacation.

The show, directed by Christine Boehm and adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig, starts off in a hotel in Istanbul where Poirot is reunited with an old friend, Monsieur Bouc (Michael Limone), owner of the lavish train. Bouc offers Poirot a ride to get back home — even though it’s mysteriously fully booked for the off-season. While on the platform, we meet the rest of the cast: Colonel Arbuthnot (David DiMarzo), Mary Debenham (Cassidy Rose O’Brien), Hector McQueen (Steven Uihlein), Princess Dragomiroff (Sheila Sheffield), Helen Hubbard (Linda May), Countess Andrenyi (Michelle LaBozzetta), Michel the Conductor (Zach Johnson), Greta Ohlsson (Samantha Fierro), and the Head Waiter (Richard O’Sullivan). 

With costume and wig design by Ronald Green III, set design by Randall Parsons and projection design from Brian Staton, it’s impressive how the stage turns into several different settings during pre-World War II Europe — a lavish hotel restaurant, three train sleeping cabins in a row, the train bar. With ease, the sets change between scenes, giving the story a movie-like appeal that is on a higher level than Broadway.

And while the sets turn the stage into 1934, a fun effect that adds even more to the stage is a projector screen above the stage that helps tell the story through video and images. We’re introduced early on to Daisy Armstrong (who was loosely based on the Lindbergh baby) — a little girl who’s playing in the yard with her nanny and who is suddenly kidnapped — which, at first, is confusing. Why do we need to know who she is? She’s essential to the story and is that common denominator mentioned before. 

We can’t give too much away, because going in not knowing the plot twists will only make the experience better. Through the two acts, we learn the supposed backstories of all eight passengers on board — and eventually their truths of where each of them was the night Ratchett was brutally murdered. 

But the investigation couldn’t have been complete without Detective Poirot. Sanzel’s interpretation of the famous crime stopper is jaw-dropping and will leave you wanting more stories with him solving another mystery. Along with Sanzel, the entire cast deserves a standing ovation. The accumulated talent of everyone on stage truly tells an intriguing story, but each bringing their own flair and personality as their character. 

Since the show is based in Europe, many accents are heard on stage. It’s impressive that Limone’s Monsieur Bouc and Johnson’s Michel can speak with ease in a thick French accent for the hour-and-a-half-long show. May’s hilarious Helen Hubbard is the comic relief throughout most of the show with her silly persona and thick Minnesotan accent, while Sheffield’s Dragomiroff, LaBozzetta’s Andrenyi, and DiMarzo’s Arbuthnot’s various monologues continues to show the time and effort each actor rehearsed to make this play as realistic as possible.

And while their stories, backgrounds and nationalities are all different, the entire cast as a whole constantly get reactions out of the audience at every turn. Throughout the show, you’ll hear gasps, laughter and even an “I can’t believe it!” when the murderer is finally caught. 

If you want to find out who killed the horrible, nefarious Samuel Ratchett — and learn more about the stories surrounding this vicious crime — you’ll have to head to Theatre Three yourself. You won’t want to miss this so climb aboard and get your ticket to Murder on the Orient Express.

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Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents Murder on the Orient Express through May 4. Tickets are $40 adults, $32 seniors and students, $25 children (ages 5 to 12) and Wednesday matinees. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

By Julianne Mosher

The Engeman Theater’s latest production of Jersey Boys will have you singing, dancing and laughing all night long. Based on the life and music of The Four Seasons and Frankie Valli, the show is set in 1960s New Jersey as we follow the four Italian boys through the successes and struggles of reaching, and fulfilling, fame. 

Written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the show is presented almost like a documentary (as it’s based on a true story) with each member giving their perspectives of the band’s history. We start off with Tommy DeVito (Nick Bernardi) and his original group, The Variety Trio, which included his brother, Nick DeVito (Justin Wolfe Smith) and his close friend, Nick Massi (Stephen Cerf). The three perform in clubs, while also participating in some questionable and illegal activity. 

There, they meet a young kind who sits in the shadows of the club and sings along. Frankie Valli (Joey Lavarco) and Tommy brings him up on stage. With his high soprano voice and large range, Lavarco can easily be mistaken for the original Frankie Valli — an impressive talent that not everyone on that stage could do. 

While Frankie starts to enjoy singing with the trio, the trio each get thrown in the slammer until Tommy is eventually freed where he joins with Frankie again to continue working on music and finding their identity as a new group (Tommy’s brother quits).

While this is all happening, we see the love story between Frankie and his girlfriend-then-wife Francine (Katelyn Harold) and the relationship that Tommy has with a mobster friend, Gyp DeCarlo (Mike Keller). While in supporting roles (the two play other parts sporadically throughout the show) the fluidity of their change in character is astonishing. To go from a mobster, to an accountant, to a music industry executive in one act is a grand feat. 

Eventually, a young Joe Pesci — yes, the actor — played by Loren Stone, introduces Frankie, Tommy and Nick Massi to a young songwriter who was known for his hit single, “Short Shorts,” named Bob Gaudino (Sean McGee). The trio found their missing piece, and although they couldn’t figure out a name, they were great at writing songs together. 

But they visit every record company in the city and finally land a deal with the flamboyantly hysterical Bob Crewe (Jonathan Cobrda) who signs them as background singers for other artists. Eventually, they get a sign from above (literally, a sign), that determines their new, and last, name. The Four Seasons and they pitch new music to Crewe who hears hits which then get the four Jersey Boys on the map.

With favorites like, “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Walk Like a Man,” if someone in the audience closed their eyes, they’d truly think they’re listening to the actual Four Seasons on the radio. Bernardi, Cerf, Lavarco and McGee’s harmonies synch together well and they look the part with beautifully, and historically accurate, curated costumes by Dustin Cross. 

From then on, the second act shows more of the struggles the four experiences as their fame and fortune get bigger. Through a lot of comedy, and some somber moments, the show will definitely keep you on your toes and singing the whole drive home. 

Directed by Paul Stancato, the set was minimal, but the perfect setting for so many different locations. A simple backdrop of warehouse doors and two spiral staircases, the ensemble perfects going from Jersey, to Manhattan, to on the road, to an apartment, to a club all with ease. 

So, what are you waiting for? The Engeman’s production is a slice of Broadway placed in Northport and it’ll have you thinking, “Oh, What a Night.”

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport presents Jersey Boys through May 26. For tickets or more information, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

By Julianne Mosher

How can a modern-day Thanksgiving play not ruffle any feathers, especially in a politically correct society?

Suffolk County Community College’s latest production of The Thanksgiving Play is not what one might expect. In fact, it is pure chaos, but hysterical chaos at its best. 

Directed by Steven Lantz-Gefroh and written by Larissa FastHorse, the show consists of just four actors — Scott Dowd (Jaxton), Jerry Ewald (Caden), Michaela Fitzsimmons (Alicia or A-lee-see-ya), and Taylor D’Agostino (Logan). Set in an adorably relatable elementary school classroom, the four come in to start working on a culturally appropriate and politically correct play about the first Thanksgiving meal for kids. 

One slight problem — all the actors are white, and very woke, and they feel that they cannot ethically perform a historically correct production as they grew up with white privilege. They hire a “real” actress from L.A., Alicia, who they believe is Native American… only to find out in show business looks can be deceiving. 

FastHorse, who is the first female Native American playwright to have a show produced on Broadway, writes this clever satirical comedy with poise by serving up the hypocrisies of woke America, especially with topics like Thanksgiving, Native Americans and, dare I say his name? Christopher Columbus. 

Originally making its Broadway debut in 2023, it comes to the smaller stage at SCCC’s Ammerman Campus in Selden and showcases the raw, amazing talent of these four theater students. Each one has a very bright future set up for them. 

Dowd plays Jaxton, the yogi/part-time actor, who tries to always right his wrongs of being a straight, white male brings humor to the uncomfortable topic of race, especially when he’s tasked to be a part of something that needs to appeal to all people and cultures. Dowd plays the typical hippie who jumps on the bandwagon of whatever trend is going on, and he does it convincingly well.

Ewald plays Caden, a history teacher who has very serious feelings about Christopher Columbus, but also wants his side play writing performed by real humans. As in other SCCC performances, he makes the audience laugh with his slapstick shenanigans. That being said, we should highlight the choreographers for their realistic fight scene that will have you wince, but not look away.

D’Agostino plays Logan, the glue of the story, and the main protagonist who has to navigate these other personalities while trying to keep her job as a teacher in a new school district. But she’s also incredibly woke, and restricted by her overthinking and over producing. D’Agostino’s performance shines, definitely showing the leader that she is on and off the stage. 

And we can’t forget Fitzsimmons, who plays Alicia, the L.A. actress brought in by Logan as the team’s cultural compass navigating Native American culture (Logan saw headshots of her on her website wearing braids and turquois). Your standard L.A. actress, she plays the snotty, and kind of stupid, actress who relies mostly on sex appeal for parts amazingly well. Her facial expressions even when she’s in the background tell a story in itself.

Through satire and humor, this one-act show addresses the misrepresentation of Native Americans, the lack of indigenous casting and the challenges of accurately representing indigenous people in American society — all of which FastHorse experienced herself as a Native American playwright.

And you’re honestly just going to laugh from the moment the four performers step on stage. Throughout the show, we bounce back and forth between the scene in the classroom to small musical numbers relating to Thanksgiving. 

You’ll laugh at the humor, but also with how uncomfortable these conversations can be. So, even though it’s not Thanksgiving time at all, get in the spirit of cultural appropriation and white storytelling, and head over to SCCC to see this unique, hysterical and impressive show. You’re going to gobble it up.

The Theatres at Suffolk County Community College present The Thanksgiving Play in Theatre 119, Islip Arts Building Suffolk County Community College, 533 College Road, Selden on March 15, and 16 at 7:30 p.m., and March 17 at 2 p.m. General admission is $15, veterans and students 16 years of age or younger $10. SCCC students with current ID are offered one free ticket. To order, please call the box office at 631-451-4163.