Pottstown’s Tri-County Performing Arts Center Transforms Into Steel River Playhouse

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA  — You might call it their third act.

What began as a small local theater company called Village Productions, and then grew into the Tri-County Performing Arts Center has now matured into the Steel River Playhouse, the name and brand which will adorn the soon-to-be completed facade of Pottstown’s premier arts center.

As anyone who has driven or walked down the 200 block of High Street knows, the front of the former Newberry’s store has been “getting a little work done” for quite some time now.

But now that the appropriate materials have arrived, and a June 15 “grand re-opening” looms, look to see that new marquee finished in a short time, said Marta Kiesling, executive director of the Steel River Playhouse.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120429/ENTERTAINMENT01/120429390/tri-pac-transforms-into-steel-river-playhouse&pager=full_story

TOYS IN THE ATTIC (drama) Now Playing At The Tri-County Performing Arts Center, Pottstown


By Lillian Hellman
Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service
Parental Guidance Suggested*

Meet Carrie and Anna Berniers, two sisters living in genteel poverty who have sacrificed their own ambitions for those of their ne’er-do-well younger brother, Julian, whose grandiose dreams repeatedly lead to financial disasters. When Julian unexpectedly returns home accompanied by his emotionally unstable, childlike bride Lily, her aloof, aristocratic mother Albertine, and an unexplained large sum of money, Carrie and Anna suddenly find the position of power they always have held becomes unbalanced, leaving their lives in chaos. Tension steadily rises with the deception lying beneath the outwardly calm surface of this southern town. Funny and poignant, dangerous and passionate, TOYS IN THE ATTIC is a powerful and revealing drama by one of America’s most accomplished female playwrights.

TOYS IN THE ATTIC (March 8 – 25)

Thursdays Mar 8 (preview)  Mar 15 & 22 7:30 pm

Fridays Mar 9, 16 & 23 8:00 pm

Saturdays Mar 10, 17 & 24 8:00 pm

ADULT: Thurs $18; Fri, Sat & Sun $21
STUDENT/SR (65+): Thurs $16; Fri, Sat & Sun $19
CHILD (12 & under): Thurs $13; Fri, Sat & Sun $15

245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA  19464

(610) 970-1199


Tri-County Performing Arts Center Faculty Recital (Pottstown)

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re a music lover with eclectic tastes, we know where you should be at 7PM on Sunday, March 18!
The Faculty Recital is a high-quality, musical potluck, hosted by the teachers who offer private lessons year-round at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center.  Admission is FREE (but donations welcome).  Opera, Pop, Classical, Jazz, instrumental and song all are on tap.  Laugh, sigh, clap and wonder at the virtuosity.   It’s all in the intimate Newberry Loft setting at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center at 245 E. High Street, Pottstown.  Arrive early.  Limited unreserved seating.

245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA  19464

(610)-970-1199 or http://www.villageproductions.org/index.htm

Pottstown TriPAC’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’” – A Review

I had the pleasure of attending the Sunday matinée performance of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Pottstown’s Tri-County Performing Arts Center yesterday afternoon.  I must say it was one of the best things I have seen thus far at the TriPAC and the afternoon flew by!

This production is being done in the smaller theatre on the third floor.  There are no bad seats!  The performance was sold out!  I believe it was announced all three weekend performances sold out.  My comment to you is, call now and see if any tickets are available for next weekend!

Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a musical.  In fact it is almost entirely sung. Although there is scarcely any dialogue, a story is told nonetheless!  The cast of five actors is phenomenal and the musicians, who are also integral to this performance, are second to none!  Our story takes place in Harlem in the 1930’s.  Appropriately the entire cast is African-American as well as most of the musicians and the director.  I must comment that the level of talent here is amazing!  If you like the music of that era you will be beyond pleased with the high musical standards in this production.

In addition to superb music, I laughed until I cried.  The “looks”, “stage whispers” and innuendo are priceless.  This production is nonstop singing and dancing and the cast barely broke a sweat.  The ease of the performances and the level of confidence displayed by the actors and musicians is professional.  Kudos to Director, Zuhairah McGill for her excellent leadership.  A good Director is worth their weight in gold and Ms. McGill definitely falls into that category!

There were three songs that I especially liked (I loved them all).  Two were funny and one was very moving.  When the Nylons Bloom and The Viper’s Drag were hysterical!  Again, laughed until I cried.  Black and Blue was one of those songs that run the gamut of emotion.  It was a very sad song about the struggles of African-Americans during segregation.  While the cast was singing, there were poignant pictures being displayed on the back wall of a segregated America.  For Caucasians it is embarrassing and painful to watch, nevertheless “keeps it real” and reminds us how far we have come and how far we still have to go as a nation.  I am old enough to remember segregation and remember the great turmoil and pain our nation went through before and after the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964.  Yet I didn’t feel preached at either.  The point was made and we moved on.

I give a huge shout out to all five actors:  Denia Gibson, Mia Mbuy, Alexa Morefield, Marc Sherfield and Isiah Robinson.  Alexa, Marc and Isiah are TriPAC veterans.  Denia and Mia were in their first TriPAC production.  Stellar cast!  Mr. Sherfield got a golden ticket to Hollywood on American Idol this season!  How impressive is that!  I would say that validates my comments on the talent level.  Evidently Randy, Jennifer and Steven would agree, at least on 1/5th of the cast!  You are all stars!

Another huge shout out goes to the orchestra!  Ben Bullock’s piano skills are nothing short of amazing.  Ben is the Minister of Music at Invictus Church and I am sure they are thrilled to have him there!  The amount of playing is almost nonstop.  Other than the intermission the production is two hours of music!  I was very pleased to see Louis Rieger in the orchestra on string bass.  Mr. Rieger owns the High Street Music Company and I applaud his community involvement!  Louis has “mad skills” on the string bass and I thank him for sharing his considerable talent in this production.  Mr. Rieger walks the talk!  We like that here at Roy’s Rants!  Mega kudos to orchestra members: Lewis Ben on drums, Aaron Gould on trombone and Barb Newberry on reeds. Great job all around!

The production staff did an excellent job as well.  Everything went off without a hitch and it was a professional production all the way around.

One more shout out to the Red Hat Society who showed up in a big group.

I give this production two Roy’s Rants thumbs up.  If had more thumbs they would all be up!

There are three more performances left:  Friday, February 17th, Saturday, February 18th and Sunday, February 19th.

ADULT: $17
STUDENT / SENIOR (65+): $15
CHILD (12 & under): $13

Groups of ten or more receive a $2.00 per ticket discount!

The Tri-County Performing Arts Center is located at 245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA. 

Voice: (610) 970-1199

Internet:  http://www.tripac.org


GOLDILOCKS AND THE DOWN-HOME BEARS – A Foot Stompin’ Musical (one-act family musical)

Saturday, Jan 28 & Sunday, Jan 29, 2012

Music and Lyrics by Karen Newman, Book by Neal Newman

Appropriate for All Ages (especially ages 5 – 12)*

PLEASE NOTE: This production is also available for school groups and clubs at the Tri-PAC or off-site from February through May.

Howdy folks! Come down to the holler to meet Goldie (Goldilocks) who is just about to celebrate the birthday that will make her a “teen Ager”. And what does she do? She runs away from her home and her strict parents, only to find the country cottage of the most fun lovin’, partyin’ three bears you ever did see.  A down home musical for the entire family (especially for ages 5 – 12), GOLDILOCKS AND THE DOWNHOME BEARS celebrates family and friendships, and the joys and challenges of growing up for both kids AND parents!


Saturday, January 28th @ 11:00am and 3:00pm

Sunday, January 29th @ 3:00pm

Tickets: Adult: $17, StudentT/SeniorR (65+): $15, Child (12 & under): $13

Buy Tickets: https://tix.cnptix.com/Online/?siteID=2109&cartID=1f363573-f98e-4daf-a158-5888504c00fe


“A Christmas Story” At Tri-County Performing Arts Center, Pottstown

I went to see “A Christmas Story” this evening at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center in downtown Pottstown.  I think I like the stage version better than the movie.

The “black box” theater demands that you focus on the acting rather than elaborate sets, props and special effects.  I would say the actors were superb tonight.

Stand out performances were given by Geoffrey Berwind as Ralph as an adult (who acts as a narrator), Ben Williams as Ralphie Parker, Andrea Frassoni as Mother, Michele Bolay as Miss Shields and Steve Reazor as The Old Man.  I would give the higest accolades to Groffrey Berwind and Steve Reazor.  Michele Bolay was hysterical!

Congratulations to Marta Rubin Kiesling, Deborah Stimson-Snow and Director Bill Kiesling for another fine production!

My friends and I enjoyed a great meal at the Brick House prior to the show.  The place was packed!  Come to Pottstown and “make it a night”!

There are three more shows before “A Christmas Story” closes.  On Saturday, December 17th there are performances at 3:00pm and 8:00pm.  On Sunday, December 18th there is a performance at 3:00pm.

For more information click here: http://www.villageproductions.org/

The Tri-County Performing Arts Center is located at 245 E. High Street in Pottstown!

Tri-County Performing Arts Center Presents “A Christmas Story”, December 1st – 18th

A CHRISTMAS STORY (family comedy)
Dec 1 – 18, 2011

By Jean Shepherd, a comedy based on the Warner Bros. motion picture; adapted by Philip Grecian / Presented through special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing / Directed by Bill Kiesling
Appropriate for All Ages*

Don’t miss this classic holiday tale of the mischievous, be-speckled young boy, Ralphie, who dreams of getting a BB-gun for Christmas. In the weeks before the big holiday, Ralphie and his friends and family get into all kinds of sticky situations – including a bully with yellow eyes, a tongue stuck to a lamp post, a bar of soap in the mouth, a garish major award, and a Chinese Christmas dinner. Based on the humorist Jean Shepherd’s novel “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash”, A CHRISTMAS STORY is the perfect holiday treat for the whole family!

Thursdays, Dec 1 (preview), Dec 8 & 15 @ 7:30 pm
Fridays, Dec 2, 9 & 16 @ 8:00 pm
Saturdays, Dec 3, 10 & 17 @ 8:00 pm AND Dec 17 @ 3:00 pm
Sundays, Dec 4, 11 & 18 @ 3:00 pm

Special Events
– Opening Night Reception: 12/2
– Talkbacks with Director/Cast: Sundays, 12/4 & 12/11

ADULT: Thurs $18; Fri, Sat & Sun $21
STUDENT/SR (65+): Thurs $16; Fri, Sat & Sun $19
CHILD (12 & under): Thurs $13; Fri, Sat & Sun $15
$2 off per ticket for groups of 10 or more!

Log on to www.tripac.org for tickets.

245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464

Gallery On High/Gallery School of Pottstown’s Annual Holiday Party, Friday, December 2nd

The Gallery on High/Gallery School of Pottstown is having their Annual Holiday Party on Friday, December 2nd from 5pm – 8pm.  The event is free, open to the public and features food, beverages and fun.  Everyone is invited to stop by.

The party ends in time for everyone to attend Tri-Pac’s A Christmas Story starting at 8pm.

The Gallery is located at 254 East High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464-5555

Voice: (610) 326-2506

Internet: http://www.galleryonhigh.com/

Job Seekers Forum To Be Held In Pottstown, November 3rd


   Tri-County Community Job Seekers Forum

Thursday, November 3, 6pm-8pm

Tri-County PerformingArtsCenter

245 East High Street,Pottstown

Learn more about job opportunities in the Tri-County area.

Get the inside scoop from employers.

Q & A with HR Representatives.

Refreshments will be served.

To register call 610-705-3301, Ext. 2

Brought to you by the

TCN Exelon Nuclear Workforce Development Program

Pippin Opens At Pottstown’s Tri-County Performing Arts Center

Logo Musical

Image via Wikipedia

PIPPIN (musical)
Oct 13 – 30, 2011

Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz; Book by Roger O. Hirson  
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International
Stage Director, John Moletress; Music Director, Deborah Stimson-Snow

Parental Guidance Suggested*
PLEASE NOTE: there is no performance Saturday, Oct 15. Instead, there is an additional matinée on Saturday, Oct 19.

PIPPIN is the tongue-in-cheek, anachronistic fairy tale that captivated Broadway audiences and continues to appeal to the young at heart everywhere. Pippin is a young prince who longs to discover the secret of true happiness and fulfillment. He seeks it in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh and the intrigues of political power. In the end, he finds it in the simple pleasures of home and family. The energetic pop-influenced score bursts with one show-stopping number after another, from soaring ballads to infectious dance numbers. PIPPIN is by three-time Oscar®-winning composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz, the creator of the Broadway hits WICKED and GODSPELL, and the animated films POCAHONTAS, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, among many other musicals!

An opening weekend review by the Pottstown Mercury – http://www.pottsmerc.com/articles/2011/10/15/entertainment/srv0000014574205.txt?viewmode=default

The Tri-PAC & Village Productions  

PO Box 1325

245 E. High Street

Pottstown, PA 19464

Voice – (610) 970-1199

Internet – http://www.villageproductions.org/index.htm

Tri-County Performing Arts Center Auditions And Classes

Group classes include acting, comedy improv, scene study, audition techniques, music, voice, storybook character play and age-based performance troupes. Private instruction includes acting, voice, piano, guitar, flute, music therapy, and monologue coaching.


Private Lessons Starting now; Group Classes Start Sept 19!

Visit www.tripac.org or contact Steve Reazor, Education Director, at steve@villageproductions.org

October 15th – 22nd Teens and adults – all ages and ethnicities
Nonunion, most roles are unpaid except as noted; travel stipends available for certain roles.

Productions scheduled for Jan – June 2012.

Seeking teens and adults for MAIN STAGE POP/ROCK MUSICAL (TBA Jan 2012), Also casting AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’, TOYS IN THE ATTIC, FARRAGUT NORTH And CHILDREN’S MUSICAL THEATER TOURING PRODUCTION (stipend roles for adult singers/actors).

Contact casting@villageproductions.org for details and to schedule appointment.

30% off regular ticket prices NEW Student Mega-Pass – up to 50% off! PIPPIN, A CHRISTMAS STORY, TOYS IN THE ATTIC, FARRAGUT NORTH, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ AND SO MUCH MORE!

SEASON NEWSLETTER: http://www.villageproductions.org/201112SeasonNewsletter.pdf

SEASON SUBSCRIPTION ORDER FORM: http://www.villageproductions.org/2011-12seasonsubscriptionrderform.pdf


Visit www.tripac.org and click on “TICKETS

PROGRAM ADS!  Our Annual Main Stage Program Ad Campaign – Copy deadline is September 30th.

Please email marketing@villageproductions.org for sizes and pricing

P.O. Box 1325; 245 E. HIGH STREET

Peter Pan At The TriPAC! Don’t Miss It!

I went to see Peter Pan tonight at the TriPAC.  The theater was FULL!  Lots of kids in attendance!

Great rendition of the Peter Pan story.  Tons of special effects, including flying!

Stand outs were Peter Pan, played by P.J. Schweizer, Mr. Darling/Captain Hook, played by Joe Ciresi (Joe is the Spring-Ford School District Board of Education President), Mrs. Darling, played by Rebecca Shoemaker and Wendy played by Maddie Aicher.

Many youth were involved in the production and everyone did a great job!  Deborah Stimson-Snow was the Director and did an a superb job!  The orchestra rocked as usual!

There are a few shows left before this run is over:

PETER PAN (June 2 – 19)
Friday, June 17 @ 8:00 pm
Saturday, June 18 @ 3:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Sunday, June 19 @ 3:00 pm

ADULT: Thurs $19; Fri, Sat & Sun $23
STUDENT/SENIOR(65+): Thurs $17; Fri, Sat, Sun $21
CHILD (12 & under): Thurs $13; Fri, Sat & Sun $15

TICKETS ARE SELLING FAST! Please log on to http://www.facebook.com/l/a4a16Q1PoJ135BDB9j13hW4CmCA/www.tripac.org to purchase your tickets online.

Another outstanding TriPAC production!


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895

Image via Wikipedia

The Music of Rush!

April 1st through 3rd – Three Performances Only

The Melange Dance Company celebrates the music of Rush with “Head Rush” and “What’s Behind the Impression” inspired by the paintings of Degas, Van Gogh, and Toulouse Lautrec. “Russian Tango”; a visual interpretation of the music of the famed Russian musician Vysotsky.

Friday Apr 1st at 8:00 pm
Saturday Apr 2nd at 8:00 pm
Sunday Apr 3rd at 3:00 pm


Internet:  http://www.facebook.com/l/5002evSl-xXwd2saqKVQKppQw6A/www.tripac.org

Voice:  (610) 970-1199

A Review Of Ragtime

Last evening I again had the pleasure of attending another Main Stage Village Production.  My two friends and I met in the lobby, purchased our tickets and eagerly waited for what was to come.  When the doors opened we made our way into the theatre to find seats.  There was a very good crowd for a Thursday night.  The theatre was ¾ full. 

Village Productions uses general seating, which I prefer.  The seats are arranged in a “u” shape for this production.  We decided to try sitting in a section other than the large straight-on view of the stage area.  We sat on the left side in a section that narrowly stretches along the side wall.  This was good because we were closer to the actors.  Actors came and went directly behind us throughout the performance.  I enjoyed this vantage point because of the opportunity to hear each voice (other than soloists) singing. 

Ragtime certainly speaks to today’s audience.  Many of the struggles this musical addresses are still around.  We still have racism, classism, sexism and immigration issues.  While people may not be as overt in this day and age, these problems still plague our society.  I will caution that racial epithets and cursing are part of the script.  There were some gasps by the audience when they were used.  Let me just say it brings home the point! 

What always amazes me is the lack of lavish sets and props.  The acting draws you in and speaks for itself.  There is just enough to get the job done.  Another wonderful thing about Village Productions is the use of live music.  The orchestra is always first-rate!  No canned music here!  The program lists 14 musicians and a conductor.  Impressive!  Hat tip to Music Director Deborah Stimson-Snow for a job well done! 

The audience is warned that there are simulated gun shots and strobe lights used during the production.  It does help knowing this ahead of time so you aren’t startled!

Ragtime takes place 100 years ago.  Our country was going through a period of enormous change.  New inventions, familial changes, civil rights and work-place struggles all propelled society forward and changed life as we knew it.  America was optimistic about its future and anything seemed possible. 

Ragtime is the best show I have seen thus far at the TriPAC.  The level of performance was inspiring.  The singing was phenomenal.  In my opinion, this was the strongest cast vocally of any musical I have attended there.  The story is compelling and the characters are well developed.  The audience becomes emotionally involved.  Ragtime Director, Neal Newman gets a RoysRants gold star for an outstanding job!

Normally I list stand-out performances in my review.  All the actors are deserving of high praise for their performances.  Everyone was playing their “A” game last night.  There are a few people I would like to mention: 

Julie Eurillo delivered a brilliant performance as Mother.  A gorgeous voice with tremendous control!

Bill Kiesling’s portrayal of Father was on the money.  Bill captured the essence of the “privileged white man” of this era and also delivered a strong vocal performance.

Gary Giles, who we came to greatly admire in The Wiz, put every fiber of his being into portraying Coalhouse Walker.  Gary has a soulful voice and is an amazing actor.

Chartel Findlater was riveting as Sarah.  Chartel’s depth of emotion, coupled with her stunning voice, was perfect for this pivotal role. 

Gregory Kasander delivered an emotionally charged performance as Younger Brother.  We knew Gregory could act after seeing him in Noises Off.  In this performance we were equally impressed with his singing ability. 

Carly Crowley was awesome in her role as Evelyn Nesbit.  Evelyn was the Paris Hilton of her day…famous for being famous.  Carly delivered some much-needed comic relief, perfectly captured her character’s eccentricities and gave a strong vocal performance. 

Ben Fried as Tateh was another superb casting decision.  Ben’s performance was believable and we felt his pain.  Ben was also vocally outstanding. 

The funniest thing I have seen in a long time was Act II, Scene 2: The Polo Grounds.  Father takes Little Boy to his first baseball game.  He tells Little Boy what a noble game baseball is.  When they arrive, it is anything but.  I laughed until I cried during What a Game!

I would urge you to take advantage of this opportunity while it is still playing.  Executive Director, Marta Kiesling and her staff are to be commended for providing such high-caliber entertainment to the Greater Pottstown area.  We give this production a RoysRants two thumbs up! 

Ragtime is playing until June 20th at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center, 245 E. High Street in downtown Pottstown.

For dates, times, ticket information and purchases:

Voice: 610-970-1199

Internet: http://www.tripac.org

Senior Follies At The TriPAC

If you are looking for something to do Sunday afternoon, look no further.

The Tri-County Performing Arts Center, in downtown Pottstown, is hosting their second annual Senior Follies tomorrow!

Enjoy the many musical, dramatic, and comedic antics of our performance troupe for older adults!  Recommended for ages 4 through adult.

SENIOR FOLLIES  (May 23, 2010)
Sunday – 3:00 pm
CHILDREN (12 & under): $8
$2 off per ticket for groups of 10 or more!