While public gatherings have been on pause, exciting original artistry has safely taken place in Johnson City. Goodwill Theatre, Inc. collaborated with NYC’s award-winning Prospect Theater Company, whose mission is to create and present original musical theater works by emerging artists. In response to safety concerns, Prospect created their new VISION Series, which features six short original music and theatre films, from a variety of writers, composers, and other artists. Four pieces were filmed on location during a September residency at the historic Goodwill Theatre and Firehouse building in Johnson City. The first short film, The Band at the End of the World, is scheduled for release tomorrow (October 21, 2020).
“We’ve had a long and rewarding relationship with Prospect Theatre Company. When we heard they were thinking of creating a series of videos but needed a space to create in, we were happy to open our doors,” said Naima Kradjian, Goodwill Theatre CEO. “The Goodwill Theatre building, which turns 100 years old this year, was the perfect space to allow for social distancing while creating. We followed all the protocols of SAG-AFTRA, compete with a regular schedule of COVID-19 testing and onsite monitoring.”
Goodwill Theatre, Inc. and Prospect Theater Company have been collaborating since 2007 with a reading of Sacagawea. Collaborative projects have also included the staged readings of The Flood, Marco Polo, Evergreen, and most recently the musical The Hello Girls, which later went on to a successful Off-Broadway run.
During Prospect’s September residency at the Goodwill Theatre, health and safety requirements were generously sponsored by United Health Services, including regular COVID testing under the guidance of Health Safety Supervisor, RN Megan Farmer.
“We were thrilled to welcome professional artists – many of whom are Broadway veterans – into our incredible space,” continued Kradjian. “When someone steps inside the Goodwill Theatre building for the first time, they always have a moment of awe, and these videos help to capture the magic of the building while offering a virtual tour of the space.” Three floors of the historic Firehouse were also used for filming.
Two of the films have strong ties to the Binghamton community. Suffragette Belva Lockwood, the subject of the short film Lady Lawyer Lockwood Rides Her Tricycle, operated a school in Owego, NY, which has since been transformed into the Belva Lockwood Inn. Angel Desai, the star of Lady Apsara, was raised in Binghamton, before becoming a Broadway, TV and film actress, vocalist and musician.
The Fall 2020 projects filmed during the Goodwill Theatre residency were:
- The Band at the End of the World, created by Bandits on the Run (Roy Dodger, Bonanza Jellyfish, and Clarissa) a.k.a. Adrian Blake Enscoe, Sydney Shepherd, and Regina Strayhorn. Directed by SRĐA, with cinematographer and editor Bart Cortright.
Description: In a post-apocalyptic world, three musicians discover an abandoned theater and strive to re-connect with humanity.
Anticipated Release Date: Wednesday, Oct. 21st
- Lady Lawyer Lockwood Rides Her Tricycle, written by Britt Bonney, directed by Cara Reichel. Director of Photography Gabrielle Mariella. Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Tina Stafford, Jacob Keith Watson, and Fiona Santos (who also serves as Music Director).
Description: Groundbreaking 19th-century American lawyer Belva Ann Lockwood, the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court, grapples with her decision to run for President of the US in the 1884 election.
Anticipated Release Date: Wednesday, Oct. 28th
- UNRAVELL’D, a thrilling movement narrative conceived and directed by Kristen Brooks Sandler, scored by Or Matias, with Director of Photography Sean Dolan. Choreography created by Thistle Dance / Kristen Brooks Sandler in collaboration with performers Morgana Mauney and Lucas P. Melfi.
Description: Lost in the labyrinth, with hope suspended by a single thread, Ariadne and Theseus desperately seek to find each other.
Anticipated Special Halloween Release Date: Friday, Oct. 30th
- Lady Apsara, book and lyrics by Naveen Bahar Choudhury, music by Kamala Sankaram. Directed by Zi Alikhan, with Directors of Photography Sean MacLaughlin and Brian Bon. Starring Angel Desai, and featuring Chris Cornwell, Shinya Miyamoto, and Debbie Christine Tjong.
Description: Apsara, a hard-working NYC actress whose identity is both Filipina and Indian, sings her way through a two-audition day… to an extraordinary conclusion.
Anticipated Release Date: Wednesday, Nov. 11th
Two additional commissions will be filmed by Prospect Theater Company in New York City this fall.
The Goodwill Theatre offices will be closed beginning on Monday, March 23, 2020. Staff will work remotely and regularly check emails and phone messages during business hours. Follow this link to reach us:
Stay safe and be well!
Like you, we are doing our best to stay informed of the events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, artists, and audiences remains of utmost importance.
Goodwill Theatre/Firehouse Stage has postponed shows through the end of April. Ticket holders will be contacted directly by our Box Office with further information. As much as possible, we are working with presenters and venues to reschedule performances. We will continue to evaluate any further cancellations or postponements beyond the end of April in the days and weeks ahead.
The decision to cancel a performance, for any reason, is never easy. We know how much our audiences look forward to seeing shows and productions. We know the ripple effect it has with our community partners. We remain committed to our mission and look forward to the moment when we can resume operations and get back to entertaining the Southern Tier.
Our hearts and well wishes go out to everyone who has been effected by this pandemic. Please take care of yourselves and each other.
Goodwill Theatre Staff
The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage has a magical leap day planned as It’s Magic with John Reid returns by popular demand for three separate events: a children’s balloon workshop at 11 a.m., a magic show at 2 p.m. and a balloon workshop for adults at 5 p.m., on Saturday, February 29.
Reid’s magic show is 50 minutes of interactive magic comedy for the entire family with some feel-good messages along the way.
“I talk about sharing, about being respectful and working as team and all that,” he said. “But it’s sort of camouflaged with really bad dad jokes.”
During the show Reid will bring as many as eight children to the stage to assist him, but he says it is the big ending everybody remembers best.
“I levitate one of the kids. I take a digital photo and I print it out because they can’t see themselves floating,” he said. “I mean in today’s day and age everybody’s got an iphone or a video camera, but usually at the point where a kid is floating the parent’s jaw drops and they forget to take the photo. This way the kids can see themselves floating.”
It is also his favorite part if the show.
“As far as they know, nothing is happening. They are just lying there and everybody is using their imaginations. They don’t get it,” he said. “And then all of a sudden, when they see the photo of themselves floating and their eyes fall out of their head; that’s my favorite part.”
Reid started out by dabbling in magic as a child, developing his talents, but keeping them to himself until one day he was outed as a magician in college.
“Next thing you know I was doing kids birthday parties and doing children’s birthday parties put me through school. I finished college and I looked around at my friends and I realized I was making more money than my parents were, I was partying on the weekends and I had zero student debt,” he said. “I thought, maybe I should just go with this instead of some entry-level position at a soul-crushing job that’s going to make me wake up every morning hating my life. Let’s try this for a year or two.”
That was 25 years ago and Reid hasn’t looked back. His expertise with balloons has led him to a world record for the world’s largest balloon sculpture by an individual. Reid’s 55-foot tall sculpture, Poptimus Prime, was crafted from 4,302 balloons, so he can most likely teach anybody how to make a giraffe and much, much more. But perhaps the real magic is what happens to the adults who attend his workshop to make balloon hats, animals, flowers, swords and other flights of inflated fancy.
“It’s cool for kids, but it’s even cooler for adults because now the grandparents become the cool grandparents because they know how to make balloons,” he said. “The adult classes are usually more fun than the kids classes because you watch people in the 40s and 50s become six-year-olds, and they start sword fighting with the balloons and it’s one of my favorite things.”
And while Reid’s show is for kids, it means a lot to him that their grown-ups go, too. “You get a lot of parents who say, well, magic isn’t real, and you know what? It’s not. But you spending time with your kids IS. I want to make sure you guys have a good time together.”
And that’s probably the most magical thing of all.
Tickets for the Magic show are $10 for adults and $8 for children and seniors, tickets to the balloon workshops are $20 and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.
The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City.
The Goodwill Theatre will present “The Bitchy Waiter” at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage on Friday, October 18 at 7PM and Saturday, October 19 at 2pm.
Singer actor Darron Cardosa found a way to make his day job more than his
pay job. Like many in the New York entertainment business, Cardosa was supporting himself by waiting tables; then one day he had an idea.
“I started a blog in December of 2008 and it really just started because I was having a frustrating day at my restaurant job, I came home and literally just Googled ‘blog’ and started a blog post” Cardosa said. “It was just for myself and for my friends who I worked with. It started out as just a way to vent my frustrations, but I just kept doing it and now it has turned into something much bigger than I ever anticipated it being.”
Cardosa has parlayed his discontent into a book deal and appearances on numerous TV shows, including the Today Show, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, all while becoming an advocate (his Web site has links to legal services for food industry employees) and voice for food service workers everywhere. He says what they all are thinking and sometimes he sings it. To show tune melodies with piano accompaniment. And that is The Bitchy Waiter
“The show came around about five years ago,” he said. “I have always been an actor and I singer and I thought it would be fun to take some stories from the blog and do some storytelling and kind of mix them with songs that would further the story. It ended up being super fun and it’s really fulfilling. I am so excited to do these shows.”
Cardosa said he still holds down a waiting job and has been working at the same restaurant now, a small, low-key American bistro in his neighborhood, for eight and a half years, but he is down to one shift a week. He did have a stint in fine dining a while back, but they didn’t appreciate Cardosa emerging career. And scathing humor.
“They fired me. They didn’t like my sense of humor,” he said. “But it makes for a great moment on the show, though.”
Cardosa believes that servers and former servers will recognize his trials and tribulations and that those who have never waited tables will get a glimpse, often very amusing, behind the scenes. Of course, taking aim at the foibles of the restaurant-going public can have its somber moments. Take, for example, an older couple Cardosa has waited on many times over the years.
“They still come into my restaurant. They have no idea that they have become the main characters in my show and in my book,” Cardosa said, adding that over the years they have developed a cordial relationship. “I work in my neighborhood and I see them in the grocery store. I feel kinda bad, but it’s OK. They don’t know.”
Tickets are $35 and $30, and can be purchased online at: goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.
The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, located at 48 Willow Street located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City, accepts cash, checks and all major credit cards. Doors open approximately one hour before show time. General admission seating is based on a first-come; first-served policy.
For more information contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit the Theatre online at goodwilltheatre.net.
On Saturday Oct. 12 at 7 PM, the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage hosts A Tribute to Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like A Wheel. The show features Broadway veteran Rita Harvey.
‘Heart Like A Wheel: A Tribute to the Music of Linda Ronstadt celebrates one of the most beloved and versatile pop singers of the past five decades. Hear the hits that Linda Ronstadt helped make famous (“You’re No Good,” “Blue Bayou,” “When Will I Be Loved,” “It’s So Easy,” “That’ll Be the Day,” “Desperado,” “Heat Wave” and many others) as well as stories behind the songs that highlighted her career.
Rita Harvey has performed the role of Hodel in the Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof,” directed by David Leveaux and starring Alfred Molina, Harvey Fierstein and Rosie O’Donell. She made her Broadway debut performing the role of Christine Daae in “The Phantom of the Opera” after two and a half years in the role with the national touring company. Rita created the role of Lady Edith in the Off-Broadway hit musical “The Prince and The Pauper” at the Lambs Theatre. Also Off-Broadway, Rita has appeared as Ethel Chicester in “Peg O’ My Heart” at the Irish Repertory Theatre, Katrrin Binder in “Flirtation” at the Marvel Rep., and Diva in Terrance McNally’s “Plesir D’more” at 59E59 Theatre. Rita is married to Broadway composer and Binghamton University Grad Neil Berg.
Tickets: $35/ $30
Goodwill Theatre’s 2019
$10,000 – Katherine Holley
$400- John Whalen
$300- Eric Donaldson
$100- Karedes’ Grandchildren
Thank you for your support.
The Fall Ladies of Laughter on Friday, September 27, 2019 is SOLD OUT!
Please consider our other comedy within this season:
We will hold our annual $10,000 Raffle Drawing and Season Opening Reception at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, 48 Willow Street, Johnson City, NY 13790, on Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. If you have purchased a raffle ticket, you are invited to attend. You need not be present to win.
The evening will include the light refreshments, the raffle drawing, entertainment by Franco Feeling and a preview of the upcoming season.
For more information, please call us at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.
Arts organizations worldwide have something to celebrate.
Ludwig van Beethoven has a big birthday coming up next year: 250. And the Goodwill Theatre Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is starting their celebration this September with a piece they commissioned from the world-renowned Binghamton-based dance company Galumpha. “Chez Victiore de Wellington” will have its world premiere at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.
“We were asked to create a piece and we had to somehow use the music of Beethoven in our performance,” said Galumpha President, Director and performer Andy Horowitz. “We could have re-choreographed a piece we already had in rep to the music of Beethoven. But of course we didn’t do that.”
The search began.
“We listened to lots of Beethoven,” Horowitz said. “We wanted to pick something that was not very well known, under the assumption that all the things that are so very well known, like the fifth symphony or the ninth symphony, and all these melodies that everybody knows, would probably come up in other Beethoven-themed programming.”
It was Galumpha performer Gil Young Choi who happened upon the piece the group would chose: Op. 91 “Wellington’s Victory” (a/k/a Battle of Vitoria or The Battle Symphony), a 15 minute piece Beethoven wrote to commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s victory over Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon’s older brother. Wellington went on to defeat Napoleon himself at Waterloo).
“Wellington’s Victory,” it seems had the perfect combination of bombast and the familiar. “It’s got tons and tons and tons of cannon fire done mainly by the kettle drum,” Horowitz said. “and it’s also filled with very familiar themes.”
Much as Tchaikovsky did with French national anthem La Marseilleaise in his 1812 Overture (which despite its title was written in 1880) audiences will hear bits of “God Save the Queen” (“My Country ‘Tis of Thee in the US), “Rule Britannia” and the French tune “Marlbrough s’en va-t-en guerre” which means Marlborough has left for the war a melody better known to anglophones as “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” or “The Bear Went Over the Mountain.” Beethoven fans will even recognize snippets that appear in the composer’s later and better-known work, too.
As for the piece’s over-the-top qualities, audiences at the time loved it and it proved to be a big money-maker for Beethoven. The critics, however, were not as fond of the piece, leading to Beethoven’s legendary response. To those who would criticize “Wellington’s Victory”, Beethoven famously said, “What I crap is better than anything you could ever think up.” Except he didn’t use the word ‘crap.’
So, armed with their excretory Beethoven, Galumpha got to work.
“What emerged was the craziest thing,” Horowitz said. “Gil and Jennie (Codis) and the company are playing a couple that come upon a restaurant and I am the waiter. We are calling the restaurant Chez Victoire Wellington and the dance is all about the meal that ensues. It comes in courses.”
Much as the piece itself does, with distinct breaks between segments. Those courses include plenty of props, too, including a very realistic prop lobster.
“The whole meal breaks into these acrobatic sequences and quirky lumps of choreography as I am serving them and as they are eating their food,” Horowitz said. “It’s really, really fun.”
The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City. For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage