Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

| November 9, 2017



Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Rehearsal photos by Maryann Lopinto

Cabaret Scenes’ contributing writer Rob Lester and his theater company, PLAY NICE, begins its season on Saturday, November 11. With its troupe of actors from age 6 to 83, whose original musicals and concerts raise money for local charities, PLAY NICE presents the comical misadventure Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Aimed at families and kids age 6 and up, performances are Saturday and Sunday, November 11 and 12 at 2 PM, followed by two shows on Saturday, November 18 at 1 PM and 4:30 PM.

Alex Bello and Barbara Malley

This chicken-and-egg tale is a lighthearted musical, and touches gently on serious issues such as the true meaning of “home” and created families. Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? is a high-energy tale that tracks a family on a wild goose chase (literally, with an actual wild goose) and other wild encounters—a thieving senior citizen, a princess who is royally spoiled, and a very nervous chicken named Ethel who will (maybe) cross the road. Peppered with quirky and perky songs about parenthood, perseverance, a pet parrot, poverty, and paranoid poultry, original lyrics are set to familiar folk music and classic kids’ songs—plus a snippet of Beethoven.

(L-R): Pianist Albert Cardone, Claire Melchert, Barbara Malley

November’s nice and nutty Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?—with music direction by Albert Cardone at the keyboard—includes human and feathered characters played by performers Alex Bello, Kea Chan, Victor Griffith, Mary Lynn Israel, Tori Israel, Kate Ruby Klenfner, Sofia Lopez, Barbara Malley, Claire Melchert, Denzel Ostane, Ruby Quarles, Mira Singer, Stefania Verbitsky, and Alexi Zadanosky. A rotating cast of guest actors will play the talking egg, with PLAY NICE alumni Joseph Tolve and Jason Ellis on the November 11/12 opening weekend.  And at certain performances the role of the honking goose will be played by longtime Cabaret Scenes contributing photographer Maryann Lopinto (on November 18, early and late shows) who contributed these photos taken during rehearsal. There are also some very nice puppets.

(L-R): Ruby Quarles, Claire Melchert, Mary Lynn Israel, Alex Bello, Tori Israel, Mira Singer

The PLAY NICE people believe in “putting the spotlight on the nice things in life, reflected in the themes and plots of their nice plays where characters find that being kind is kind of wonderful, when one has an open mind and an open heart.” The company’s mixed-age group, mixing on and offstage, reinforces the rejection of ageism, along with other not-so-nice prejudices. All actors and staff donate their time and talent so that the projects always raise money to benefit local charities (past shows allowed for donations to Juvenile Diabetes, Amas Theatre’s programs for urban youth, and Help Us Adopt).

PLAY NICE is excited to be presenting its musicals about home and kids for the first time at The Actors Theatre Workshop, an award-winning theatre and educational institution that has been helping homeless children and at-risk risk youth to develop a vision for a successful future and the steps to get there for over 20 years. In their Builders of the New World Program, ATW feeds the children hot, nutritious meals, and teaches them original theatre and education techniques that improve their reading, writing and presentation skills. PLAY NICE is honored to be supporting ATW’s life-changing programs in the community.

Future plans for PLAY NICE include variety and cabaret shows, family activities, and shows through next summer and beyond. On tap next (with auditions now through November 21): December’s Alice in ChristmasLand; acting classes for kids and teens, with a major scholarship component; one-day family activities; concerts and cabarets; and musicals in 2018.  Subjects of those musicals include: Snow White’s high school reunion; life in outer space; “fake news” in a school newspaper; learning to “play nice” instead of bullying; and a summer theatre program culminating in a play about a summer theatre program.    

PLAY NICE’s plays are created and coordinated by founder Rob Lester, who is director, writer of scripts, lyrics—and, sometimes, music.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
Saturday and Sunday, November 11 and 12 at 2 PM
Saturday, November 18 at 1 PM and 4:30 PM
The Actors Theatre Workshop
145 West 28 Street in Manhattan (Third Floor)

General admission tickets are available through www.purplepass.com and prices range from $11-$18, with reserved seating for sponsors. Free tickets are provided for children in NYC shelters.  

Cabaret Scenes Readers: Did you see the ad for this show here on our website? It announces a special 2-for-1 ticket offer for the performances on Saturday, November 18.  Regular tickets are $18, $18.99, or $25  on Saturday, but if a CabaretScenes.org reader buys tickets, that single ticket is good for TWO people. Tickets are sold online through PurplePass.  Webpage: https://www.purplepass.com/#mm=allevents/chicken
There is a service charge for each ticket, but this way you only pay it for one ticket.  For your ticket to admit two people, you just need to put in the special coupon code —just one letter: K
 in honor of 2 cabaret special “K” people who were born around this time of the year:
Kay Thompson, born in Missouri in November of 1909 
Kaye Ballard, born in Ohio, who will be 92 on Monday 
and remembering Kaye Starr, the singing star who died last November at age 94

For further information: www.PlayNicePeople.com

General Press Representative: Betsyann Faiella, SavoyPR. bafaiella@savoypr.com

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Category: Cabaret Features, Musical Theatre Features, New York City, New York City Musical Theatre Features, Off-Broadway Features, Regional

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