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Morgan’s Journey comes to Johnson City!

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Robert Morgan’s children’s show is called Morgan’s Journey and the name has never been more fitting. As the longest-running touring play in Canadian history, it is a journey that has taken Morgan around the world for almost 40 years and will bring him to the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage for two performances, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., on February 16.

Atypical as it may seem, Morgan’s Journey, about his travels with a sock puppet, has spent most of its time in Morgan’s mind.   “A script has not existed until a few years ago when I decided to write something down,” he said. “There’s a very clear story; the narrative hasn’t really changed in 40 years, but how I get their changes because it’s so interactive. The audience are participants.

In fact, one of the few changes Morgan has made was brought about by audience participation.  Morgan used to start his show from inside a colorful sack on stage, emblazoned with a sign that read, “ Inside this bag is a clown who has been waiting a long time to be born” (don’t worry coulrophobes – clowns and all references to them have since been removed).

About ten or 15 years ago the first thing I heard when I came out of the bag was, ‘Oh! He’s OLD!’” Morgan said with a laugh, adding that he went completely gray when his daughters were teenagers. “So now it reads ‘an old man”.

Aside from those changes, the show remains beloved by generations (Morgan remembers fondly when after a show in Hong Kong a woman approached him in tears, saying she has seen his show in Toronto when SHE was a girl and had brought her own daughter) and also remains refreshingly free of flash.

When I started this show, I used to unicycle and juggle under this mistaken notion that you really have to wow with pizzazz and jazz. But over the years it has become simple and simpler and simpler. The less I do, the better the play is, the better the story is. There is a very clear narrative,” Morgan said.

I haven’t had to change the basic elements of the play that are based on a child’s extraordinary ability to focus and be engaged. I am opposite the kind of wow, jazz flash gotta keep moving [show].

Morgan also takes his audience interaction seriously. There’s no fourth wall convention in his shows.  “[Children] don’t know that wall, they don’t care about it anyway and I don’t like it,” he said. And though Morgan’s Journey is great fun, it has a very important mission.

The power of the imagination is often what’s overlooked in the education system and it’s what’s going to save the planet, ultimately,” Morgan said. “It’s that engaged imagination that’s our future. Humanity’s future.

Tickets for Morgan’s Journey are $10 for adults and $8 for kids/students/seniors, 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. For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit: goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage

http://www.morgansjourney.com/

 

February 16 at 11 AM

 

 

 

February 16 at 2 PM

Italian Bred – Not Just for Italians

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To hear her tell it, actor and comedian Candice Guardino had a wonderful if eccentric childhood growing up in Staten Island.  “I had a very wonderful community, a heartfelt experience growing up there,” she said.  “It’s just that everybody was in your business.”

Well, now Guardino is REALLY making sure everybody knows her family’s business through her one-woman show, Candice Guardino’s Italian Bred, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., February 9 the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City.  Inspired by the works of John Leguizamo and Lily Tomlin, Guardino created Italian Bred, in which she takes the audience on a tour of her life, up until around college age playing the parts of her various family members.

And when it comes to broadcasting her family’s business? Well, her family couldn’t be more delighted.

“I think some people think when you’re going to impersonate your family, your family members will get insulted.  I have the complete opposite,” she said. “They literally come to the shows, they watch it and give me notes.  They want to know why they’re not in more scenes! I have THAT family. My Dad will be like, ‘You’re not saying it right. THIS is how I say it.’  I always say it makes for an exhausting ride home for me because if they come to see a show I’m like, “Guys, no more notes. I get it. I’ll change it.”

Italian Bred is not a stand-up comedy act, either. It may have started that way, but Guardino’s theater training and talents have turned it into a full, scripted production.

“It started out as a set of 20-minute comedy sketches and then I started to bring my theater background into it. I am a singer, too and I thought I would add a musical element into it, also,” she said. “It is a comedy but it is not a traditional stand-up act. I don’t sit there with a stool and a mic and tell you stories. I have a face mic on because I am jumping all over the stage and singing. It’s a theatrical comedy, but it is more of a show.”

Guardino may be alone on stage, but she has some familiar faces as pre-recorded cameo appearances in her show, and she has worked out the dialog to be timed perfectly.  Among the actors lending their virtual presence to Italian Bred are Vincent Pastore (Salvatore ‘Pussy’ Bonpensiero on The Sopranos) Steve Schirripa (Bobby ‘Bacala’ Baccalieri on The Sopranos, Anthony Abetemarco on Blue Bloods).

Among the vignettes from Guardino’s life are scenes like her first driving lessons with her Dad.

With her whole family in the car.

“All the stories I tell in the show are true stories that actually happened to me,” she said.   “It’s really about family and everyone in the end just relates to it, whether you are Italian or not.”

“It’s something that for me, being a writer and a storyteller, I am so excited to share the experiences and stories I have to tell because so many people come up to me after the show and say, That happened to me, or my family is just like yours or your mom is just like a mom I once knew,” she said. “That human connection with the audience is so fun.”

Tickets are $35/30, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301. The show’s content may not be appropriate for anyone under 18. Parental discretion is advised.

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

 

 

 

 

February 9 at 2 PM

 

 

 

 

February 9 at 8 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magic Show Times Moved!

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Due to the impending snow storm, we have decided to move the times for the January 19, 2019 BAM It’s Magic performances only.

The 2:00 p.m. performance (Magic for Kids) has been moved to 10:00 a.m. The doors will open at 9:00 a.m.

The 7:00 p.m. performance (BAM It’s Magic) has been moved to 1:00 p.m. The doors will open at noon.

If you are unable to attend the new show time, please contact the box office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

The Friday, January 18, 2019 performance will take place as planned at 7:00 p.m. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Please drive safely!

The Sister is Back with Sister’s Christmas Catechism

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After enormous success with “Late Nite Catechism”, Goodwill Theatre will offer a Christmas-themed sequel to the interactive one-woman comedy at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City, December 7 & 8 at 7pm, and December 9 at 2pm.

Sister’s Christmas Catechism, The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold” is a holiday mystery extravaganza from the author of “Late Nite Catechism”. It’s “CSI: Bethlehem” as Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages – whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? (“We know that Mary used the frankincense and myrrh as a sort of potpourri – they were in a barn after all.”) Retelling the story of the nativity as only Sister can, this hilarious holiday production employs Sister’s own scientific methods, assisted by a local choir as well as a gaggle of audience members. Sister creates a living nativity unlike any you’ve ever seen.

After last year’s success we are excited to once again offer Sister and her bundles of laughs to our audience,” said Naima Kradjian, Goodwill Theatre CEO.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for senior citizens and students, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301. The performance is underwritten by the Schorr Family, and may not be appropriate for young children.

Colleen Moore has enjoyed playing the role of Sister in national tours and off-Broadway for several years. Moore was taught by Sisters of the Holy Cross at Blessed Sacrament School and at St. Mary’s High School in Alexandria, Virginia. She currently lives in New York City.

Other upcoming comedy events include “Bam! It’s Magic!” on January 18 and 19; and “Italian Bred” on February 9.

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

Goodwill Theatre makes your office holiday party a snap

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Goodwill Theatre is celebrating small businesses in the Southern Tier by offering them a priceless opportunity: the opportunity to send their employees to a fun and fancy big holiday party, without having to plan one.

The Big Holiday Party for Small Businesses sponsored by Lesko Financial Services will be held Wednesday, December 12 from 5:30-8:30 at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, 48 Willow Street in Johnson City, and will feature catering by the Colonial, music by DJ Frankie of Powerhouse Entertainment, door prizes, and surprises.

“This is a brand-new event that we’re trying out for the first time,” said Ashley Depew, Goodwill Theatre Marketing Manager. “Planning a holiday party is usually too much hassle for a small office, but small business employees deserve the chance to celebrate and feel appreciated, just as much as large corporations. Maybe even more so.”

The event will also offer area small businesses a chance to network with each other, while raising funds for Goodwill Theatre’s year-round educational programming, and community outreach events. Tickets are $50 per person, and include food and beverages and entertainment.

“Personally, I’ve worked for lots of small businesses and not-for-profits,” Depew continued, “and it’s hard to really feel the holiday spirit when your office party is just five or six people doing a Secret Santa and eating sugar cookies under a sad little string or two of tinsel in the break room. We want to give people a chance to really celebrate all that their small business accomplished this year.”

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

Mason Warrington Orchestra celebrates Veterans Day

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Mason Warrington Orchestra

On Sunday, November 11 at 2PM The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is planning a tribute to World War II with the Mason Warrington Orchestra returning once again to play the hits of that bygone era. But sometimes you have to be high tech to harken back to the past. That’s what Mason Warrington Musical Director and saxophonist Hank Slechta discovered while coming up with a show that would equal or surpass last year’s success.

Last year it was a packed house and it was the best show we’ve ever done there. It was very well received,” Slechta said. “Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I came up with enough material [for this year’s show] without repeating anything from last year for another tribute to WWII.

The 15-piece orchestra with two vocalists, whose members range in age from 28 to 80, will transport audiences back to a turning point in the history of the world, this nation and popular music.

[World War II] was the Big Band era, sort of toward the end of it. At that point there were 600 bands traveling the country all in cars or on buses,” Slechta said. “Musicians getting drafted and traveling being made difficult because of rationing … WWII just kind of put an end to that and the singers then took over. The singers became the big thing and the band was just there to back them up.

Slechta said the audience can look forward to such hits as The Andrews Sisters’ Rum & Coca-Cola and Glenn Miller’s Jeep Jockey Jump as well as GI Jive and Bell Bottom Trousers and many more.

And while Slechta was just a small boy when the big band era was wrapping up, it’s music has stayed with him.

I’ve been director [of the Mason Warrington Orchestra big band] for 25 years,” he said. “Hard to believe, but time flies when you’re having fun.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, 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. For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit: goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage

November 11 at 2 PM

Comedian Andy Pitz Visits Firehouse Stage

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Comedian Andy Pitz

Goodwill Theatre will offer an acclaimed one-man comedy show at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City on Friday, November 9 at 7pm.

When comedian Andy Pitz appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, he thought he had finally ‘arrived.’ Pitz, a Buffalo native who now lives outside of New York City with his wife and six-year-old daughter, had been performing standup comedy for 12 years and had put a Letterman appearance square in his sights.

It used to be that if a comic was on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, that was it. That was the Golden Ticket. Because at that time there were three TV stations and one Johnny Carson,” he said. “I wanted to be on Conan or Letterman and that was the goal I gave myself and it took about a year and a half to accomplish that, after being in comedy for 12 years.

Pitz was in for a big surprise. There was no Golden Ticket. “I was so excited and I thought it was a career maker and I started shopping myself around agencies in New York, aiming for the bigger ones,” Pitz said, adding that he got many congratulations but nobody who signed him on. “It takes a lot more than that to get recognition now.

However, a late night TV appearance is still far from a time waster. “It is a shorthand way of people putting you in a different category of comedian,” Pitz said. “It’s almost the first thing people want to know, have you ever been on television.

And while Pitz may not be a household name, he enjoys a very busy and thriving career as a full time comedian and will appear, with his opening act, comedian Kendra Cunningham, at 7 p.m., Friday, November 9 at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City.

One of the challenges for any comedian is coming up with a comedy routine that is not, in fact, routine.

Getting married and especially having a child is just this whole treasure trove. I don’t really sit down and write anymore. Things my wife says and things my daughter says, they come out almost 80 percent done,” he said. “I could easily do 45 minutes of nothing but marriage jokes. But I don’t want to bore myself or the audience. I try not to do too much of one topic,” he said.

Pitz also doesn’t subscribe to the idea that comedians need to be political.

If you don’t talk about politics, it’s almost as if, as a comedian, you are disappointing a certain segment of the comedy world,” he said.  “Anything political, anything even remotely divisive, just doesn’t go with the rest of what I am doing.

Tickets are $15, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301. The show’s content may not be appropriate for anyone under 18. Parental discretion is advised.

 

November 9 at 7 PM

Tapestry:Tribute to Carole King

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For pianist Jeannie Austin, a tribute show to the music and life of legendary singer songwriter Carole King was an idea whose time had come.

It started off as a duo of myself and Ori (Huberman) as a simple little duo, hey, do you wanna learn some Carole King songs and be the opening act for a show?” Austin said. “We did that and it went over so well. And then the agents found us in NY and it evolved from a guitar and a piano – very acoustic and unplugged – to now having six members and full on production with a script, monologues, graphics and visuals, dancing. It’s not just a band, it’s a production.

Austin, Huberman and the rest of that production will be appearing in Johnson City as Tapestry: Tribute to Carole King takes the stage at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4  at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage.

We are all musicians and we all play in different bands and we’ve all played in the tribute scene, but this situation was different because nobody else was doing it, thank goodness, and agents found us at a time that was perfect,” Austin said.  “[The multiple Tony Award-winning musical]Beautiful had just come out and Carole King had just gotten  honors (including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Gershwin Prize and Kennedy Center Honors in 2015) and was experiencing a huge resurgence. The timing was right and every show was sold out.

The list of hit songs King either wrote or co-wrote is extensive and many were huge hits for other artists, too, including (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural WomanYou’ve Got a FriendUp on the RoofTake Good Care of My BabySome Kind of Wonderful, So Far Away and Pleasant Valley Sunday.

I say at the beginning that I bet everybody knows every song that we play tonight” Austin said. “And they do!

What’s more Austin said these songs, together with the monologues and storytelling and visuals strike more than musical chords; they strike emotional chords.

It makes it more intimate because we have pictures of her from throughout her career, and her private life and her musical life that really have an impact on the songs we are playing, images that are specific to that song, so it really has an emotional impact,” Austin said. “People really appreciate it. After every show we do a meet and greet and people are really appreciative.

Austin says she feels lucky to be doing what she is doing.

We are very happy to be playing those songs because it makes us happy and it makes a lot of people happy,” she said. “These songs are huge in people’s lives. It’s pretty great.

Tickets to Tapestry: Tribute  to Carole King are $35 for adults and $30 for seniors and students, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

Interactive Fairy Tales come to Firehouse

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Crossover fairy tales are nothing new. From “Into the Woods” to “Shrek” there’s something about seeing the familiar characters we grew up with interacting with each other. But Page Turner Adventures fresh twist on a classic idea includes the most important character of all: the audience. You can be part of Page Turner Adventures’ Mixed Up Fairy Tale at 11AM and 2PM on Saturday, November 3  at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City.

It is an original fractured fairy tale that we wrote. We do supersized stories so we’re not doing a play,” said Riley Roam, who plays Page Turner, narrator storyologist at large.  “What we’re doing is an interactive story where the entire audience becomes the main character in the story, so they are standing up, sitting down, running in place, interacting directly with the characters helping us solve the problems and figure out what to do. They’re not sitting. We never have an issue with that. We never have cranky kids that want to go, because they are involved the entire time. They’re not just sitting quietly. It’s a ton of fun.

Together with her husband, Kenny Mikey, Roam has created a tale in which the sleeping spell on Sleeping Beauty (played by Mikey) can be broken only by finding a few things around Storyville, like, oh, say a red cape with a hood and some wolf fur (now, wherever could one find such things).

Roam is an Emmy Award winning writer, producer, and host for FOX Kids for six years. She’s also written, produced, and hosted segments for the Travel Channel, Scholastic, The International Reading Association, The Collaborative Summer Reading Program, and PBS. Kenny is an award-winning video producer, director, and editor, and he has one other special credential: he graduated from Clown College. No, really. He did. And he joined the Ringling Brothers Circus as a clown.

It’s circus and storytelling combined,” Roam said.  “There is a ton of humor. That’s something that people tell us all the time.” Something Roam does not subscribe to, however, is the idea that humor has to be off-color or risqué to appeal to adults. She said she feels kids ‘get’ a lot more than we may think they do.

The adults always say, ‘I laughed so hard, I was not expecting to have so much fun,’” she said. “So the kids are getting it on one level and the adults are enjoying it, too.

Roam said doing these shows absolutely never gets old. Not even close.

I love when the kids are absolutely with me. I can see it in their faces when they are imagining a beanstalk and they’re climbing the beanstalk and they’re in the clouds,” she said.  “It thrills me and I have been doing this for years and we have done this show a thousand times and every time I still get chills when they are totally with me and their imaginations are turned on.

As for the kids’ favorite part?

The giant,” Roam says with a laugh, describing the ten-foot tall cowboy giant with huge hands, played by her husband. “That’s our signature character that we are known for.

Roam is happy to share the limelight. The Giant steals the show faster than you can say ‘beanstalk.’

 “I am out there the whole time doing all of this stuff,” she said with a chuckle. “And then all they remember is the giant when he comes out.

Tickets for “Mixed Up Fairy Tales are $10 for adults and $8 for kids, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

 

November 3 at 11 AM

 

 

 

 

 

November 3 at 2 PM

Teacher turned comedian in hilarious show

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Lucas Bohn

Goodwill Theatre will offer an acclaimed one-man comedy show at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City on Friday, October 26 at 7pm.

Lesson Plans to Late Night” is a one-man comedy show about Lucas Bohn’s transition from elementary school teacher to national touring comedian. The show combines traditional live standup comedy with visual images. The show was called “a comedic multimedia masterpiece” and “hysterical” by Parade Magazine.

Lesson Plans to Late Night” is focused on the hilarious things children say and do, and includes stories of real-life experiences with Bohn’s own family – he and his wife, who is also a teacher, have a daughter, Ella. Features include kids’ hilarious answers from homework and tests, and a story about flawlessly impersonating a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll.

“If you’ve ever worked with children or have kids or grandkids, this is the perfect show for you,” said Naima Kradjian, Goodwill Theatre CEO. “Teachers will definitely not want to miss this hilarious and relatable performance.”

Tickets are $15, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

Lucas Bohn tours over 45 weeks a year and headlines shows at colleges, theaters and on cruise ships all over the globe. He has shared the stage with Dave Chappelle, Jimmy Fallon, and Kevin Hart. In 2013 Lucas was nominated for “Comedian of the Year” by Campus Activities Magazine. Lucas placed runner-up in the Magners Comedy Festival and was awarded “Best of the Fest” at the Detroit Comedy Festival.

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

October 26 at 7 PM

 

 

 

 

lucasbohn.com

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