La Comedia Dinner Theatre
‘Here I Am’ – In the wings with Lauren Morgan
A Conversation with a cast member from La Comedia’s current offering – the hit musical comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
I first met LAUREN MORGAN when I was seeking a choreographer for Encore Theater Company’s summer production of RENT. She came highly recommended and boy – they weren’t kidding! I found her to be among the most professional, respected and thorough dance designers I’d ever worked with.
Currently, you can catch Lauren among the cast of La Comedia’s staging of the David Yazbeck-penned musical comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – based on the Steve Martin film of the same name. A contemporary hilarious musical – itself a love letter to the golden age of American Musical Comedy.
onStageDayton sat down with Lauren recently to talk about the show, her training, and what’s next for this Dayton-bred star.
[LAUREN MORGAN is a recent graduate of Wright State University with a BFA in Dance. She began dancing at age 3 in her hometown of Middletown, Ohio. She has performed throughout the area with many different companies including La Comedia Dinner Theatre, Dayton Ballet, Wright State University, and Middletown Lyric Theatre. Her regional performance credits includeFootloose, Beauty and the Beast, and A Chorus Line. Her university credits include The Pajama Game, Titanic, Aida, Lady Be Good, and many dance concerts. Recently Lauren has taken to choreography having staged her original work for the musicals The Wedding Singer, RENT, and Footloose.]
OSD: Tell us about the training and experience you recieved in the Dayton region. How and when did theatre/dance come into your life?
LM: I began dancing at age 3. In fourth grade I auditioned for The Nutcracker with Dayton Ballet and was cast as a toy soldier. From then on I was hooked. My first musical was The Wizard of Oz at Middletown High School where I was a Munchkin and a monkey. My junior year of high school I auditioned at La Comedia for Footloose and was double cast as a teen ensemble member. That was the first time that I realized that I needed to pursue theatre as a career. Immediately after that I was cast in Beauty and the Beast or another eight week run. I stopped taking dance my senior year of high school with the intention of being a musical theatre major in college. For some reason I ended up at WSU as a dance major and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Wright State’s department of Theatre, Dance, and Motion Picture has given me more opportunities to perform than I could have ever asked for. I was in six mainstage musicals including Titanic as ‘Kate Murphy’. I had many choreographic and performance opportunities with concert dance and even participated with student films and voice overs.
OSD: Many of our readers are probably familiar with the original source film of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, but what can audiences expect from the musical adaptation?
LM: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the musical offers great laughs and singing, as well as a fantastic dancing ensemble that helps tell the story. The cast has a lot of fun performing and audiences always leave with a smile on their face.
OSD: In New York and on the road, it was a large show. How is it translating to the unique La Comedia space?
LM: Even though the La Comedia stage is small, it doesn’t stop the story from being told. The show starts off with a fantastical dance overture and follows all the twists and turns that any audience member who has seen the movie expects. The cast functions as the crew in some scenarios and each setting unfolds in front of the audiences eye.
OSD: What’s next for you?
LM: After the show I tell everyone I need to save money. I’d like to end up out west performing and choreographing. I love mountains and rock climbing so I find I need nature to help me create. Graduate school is in the cards at some point in the near future. I would like to have my master’s in choreography or directing as well as be qualified to teach the Alexander Technique.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (through October 31 – various show times) visit LaComedia.com / (937) 746-4554 for ticket info, menu and show times.
Win Tickets to this show! Keep reading for details!
The Dayton Playhouse is delighted to present the second production of their 2010/2011 Mainstage Season, Die Mommie Die! by Charles Busch – opening Friday, October 8, 2010 and running through October 17. Die Mommie Die! is a delightful send-up of film noir classics such as touch of Evil, Double Indemnity and in particular, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. The production is directed for the Playhouse by Michael Boyd, lights by Anita Bachmann, costumes by Erin Winslow, stage management by Jeremy King and set design by Wade Hamilton.
Die Mommie Die! The Plot:
Set in 1967 Beverly Hills, this off-beat, “comic-thriller-melodrama” features the glamorous Angela Arden, a once grand, now fading diva of the recording industry. She is trapped in a corrosive marriage to a overbearing film producer, Sol. In her attempt to find happiness with her lover Tony, a much younger, out-of-work TV star, Angela murders her husband – in a most unusual manner! Angela’s meddling, daddy’s-girl daughter Edith convinces her emotionally disturbed, secually ambiguous brother Lance to avenge their father’s death and to learn the truth about Angela by putting LSD in her coffee. This triggers a wild acid trip exposing Angela’s dark, secret past! Can anyone predict how the plot will twist?
“This show is a blast. It’s some kind of cross between film noir murder mystery and campy revenge story…” says Director Michael Boyd. ”We have a fantastic cast who understands the spirit of fun and homage.”
Die Mommie Die! The Cast:
The complete cast of Die Mommie Die! includes: Cassandra Engber, Jonathan Berry, Jeremey Gingrich, Megan Grabiel, Richard Young and Cynthia Karns.
The Dayton Playhouse & onStageDayton on DaytonMostMetro.com have teamed up to give you a chance to win tickets to this fun show! We will be giving away up to four pairs of tickets! All you need to do is:
- Share this post on Facebook or Twitter…we’ll give away a set of tickets for every 10 ‘shares’ on FB/Twtr, up to 4 pairs of tickets.
- Leave a comment, answering the following question…WHAT UNUSUAL MANNER DO YOU SUPPOSE ANGELA ARDEN USES TO MURDER SOL?
- The deadline to enter is MIDNIGHT on FRIDAY, October 8th
(You don’t have to have a correct answer to win the tix! We will draw the winners from the entire group of entries.)
Die Mommie Die! (October 8-17) visit DaytonPlayhouse.com or call (937) 424-8477 from 10am – 2pm Monday through Friday for ticket information and show times.
SUBMITTED PRESS RELEASE
Would you like to submit theater news for Dayton Most Metro’s onStageDayton features? Email Shane, Dave & Katherine at onStageDayton@gmail.com
Shane Anderson & David Brush work with locally based Encore Theater Company. Katherine Nelson, a senior theatre major at Cedarville University, serves as the Literary Intern for ETC. The local theater company recently moved into the new arts collective space in the Oregon Arts District, along with Zoot Theatre Co & Rhythm In Shoes. Encore Theater Company has a mission to help develop new works of musical theater, most recently Next Thing You Know and The Proof, two new musicals in development.