Theatre Season Concludes With Musical ‘Seesaw’

May 10 2017
Category: The Arts

Gibson Theatre exterior

The Elmira College Theatre Department concludes its 2016-2017 season with the Cy Coleman musical, “Seesaw,” on May 25 through May 28 in Gibson Theatre.  

The musical, with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and a book by Michael Bennett, is based upon the play Two For The Seesaw by William Gibson, which first debuted on Broadway in 1958. 

Jerry Ryan, a handsome lawyer from Omaha who has fled his impending divorce to come to New York, meets Gittel Mosca, a “loveable lunatic” from the Bronx who's studying to be a dancer. This mismatched pair “meet, fall in love, and part in a bittersweet tale that is full of fun, music and laughter through tears.” Sparkling production numbers capture the excitement of New York City and the up and down "seesaw" of Gittel and Jerry's lives.

“Seesaw is a show that, in many ways, should never have been,” said John Kelly, theatre director at Elmira College. During its tryout in Detroit, before coming to New York, the production was in severe trouble. Its producers fired its director and choreographer, and accepted the withdrawal of its book writer. Choreographer Michael Bennett, who until that time had no major directorial credits, was brought in to serve as director/choreographer. The leading lady was fired, as was the young comic relief dancer. Much of the score was jettisoned, and new songs were inserted. Bennett rewrote most of the book, with help from many authors (including Neil Simon) and his cast. 

“But somehow, what resulted was a charming show that ran for the better part of a year before going on tour,” said Kelly. “It is that charming show, within all the glitz and glamour of a Broadway musical, that we will be bringing to audiences this weekend.”

The Elmira College cast includes Kallah Turner as Gittel, Trevor Stone as Jerry, Nathan Edwards as David, Owen Richter as Julio, Sarah Kaschalk as Sophie and Charlea Smith as Sparkle. Members of the ensemble include Hannah Gaston, Maggie Groce, Victoria Juliano, El Hoodak,

Heather Arena, Kiersta Pino, Kelsey Sherlock, Mhairi Holmes, Rachael Patten, Annabeth McGovern, Leah Cunningham, and Trey Rider. The production was designed by George de Falussy, with technical direction by Scott McGuire. Monica Matt serves as choreographer.

Performances are scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 25, 26, and 27 at 8:00 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday, May 28 at 2:00 p.m. All seats are free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For information, contact the Elmira College Theatre Department at 607-735-1981.