Entertainment, Local News

Spotlight brings epitaphs and fairy tales to life at two performances

From left: Nicollette Trobaugh, Jessica Matushek, Liz Hitchcock, Rachael Shores, Beth Egge, Patti DeBoer, Nicole Kalvig,
Meghann Salus, Becca Fassbender, Matthew Bailey, Gina Bonanotte, Jenny Krystosek, Carrie Bonanotte, Paul Eisenberg and
Arial Jordan. Front: Director, Rich Piniewski (Provided photo)

The Spotlight Performance Academy plans to enchant audiences with two captivating productions in late January: “Spoon River Anthology — A Folk Musical” and “The Big Bad Musical.”

First on the calendar is “Spoon River Anthology — A Folk Musical,” directed by retired Simeon High School drama teacher, Richard Piniewski. This unique musical performs poignant stories from the famous anthology of free verse poems by Edgar Lee Masters.

Through a blend of spirited epitaphs and dynamic music, a cast of talented teens and adults will transport audiences to the heart of Spoon River’s tales. Performances are scheduled for Jan. 27 and 28 at 5 p.m. at Thornton Distilling Co., located at 400 E. Margaret St. in Thornton.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children under 12 and seniors. Spotlight suggests purchasing tickets online in advance. Due to limited seating, tickets might not be available at the door.

On the last day of the month, Spotlight Academy will present “The Big Bad Musical: A Howling Courtroom Comedy,” directed by Carrie Bonanotte.

This lighthearted and entertaining show puts the notorious Big Bad Wolf on trial, with many beloved storybook characters ready to testify against him. Suitable for children and adults alike, this hour-long comedy promises laughter and fun for the whole family.

With a cast consisting of students ages 8 to13, the show is set for Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the Homewood Auditorium, 2010 Chestnut Road. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12 and seniors and can be purchased at the door.

Bonanotte, the executive director of Spotlight Performance Academy, said that these performances are a lot of fun and “are very different” from the past shows.

Spoon River will feature adults from around the community.

“Some are playing musical instruments,” Bonanotte said. “Some are new to performing, and others have experience or are parents who are returning now that they have the time to do theater again.”

Spotlight Performance Academy‘s mission is to “empower our community to shine,” and it is a group for performers of all ages. The academy offers a range of group and individual education along with performance opportunities. More information about classes, workshops and upcoming shows can be found on the Spotlight website.

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