Junior Summerstock to Present ‘Bugsy Malone, Jr.’ the Musical on Thursday, August 8

The cast of Bugsy Malone, Jr., the Bedford Recreation Department’s 2019 Summerstock production, in rehearsal for their two performances on Thursday, August 8 – Courtesy image (c) 2019 all rights reserved – Click to view full size

By Amy Budka

Dandy Dan’s posse – Courtesy image (c) 2019 all rights reserved – Click to see full size

Bedford Recreation’s Junior Summerstock program is proud to present this year’s musical: Bugsy Malone, Jr. This hilarious spoof of 30’s era mobster shenanigans is based on the 1976 movie starring Jodie Foster and Scott Baio. Audiences of all ages will enjoy this funny and refreshing musical play, where pies in the face and silly string are the only real weapons, and no one ever gets hurt.

There will be two performances on Thursday, August 8, at 1 pm and 7 pm, in the air-conditioned John Glenn Middle School auditorium. Admission is FREE, and donations will benefit the Bedford Summer Adventures Neighbors Helping Neighbors Campership Fund. Bugsy Malone, Jr. is produced by special arrangement with Music Theatre International of New York, New York.

Courtesy images in the gallery are all (c) 2019 – click to see full size

Our storyteller is Bugsy Malone (Ethan Washington), who welcomes us into the world of Fat Sam (Hayden McAllister) and his gang (Emmet Corey, Ethan Corey, Paul Stewart,  and Julio Cornejo). Sam and his club manager Fizzy (Peter Simonini) control the neighborhood from the local speakeasy, accompanied by his manager Fizzy (peter Simonini), who would rather be headlining as a dancer instead of sweeping up every night. But that job is currently occupied by Sam’s girlfriend Tallulah (Ava Derderian) and her dancing girls (Reena Bao, Dhara Kaushik, Felicia Pellegrina, Hannah Wang and Claire Wirth). They entertain the patrons nightly, led by dance captain Sophia Panagiotou, who is also the assistant choreographer for the show. But Sam has a big problem: his territory is being invaded by rival mobster Dandy Dan (John Mitchell), and his group of hoodlums (Liliana Carman, Evelyn Chiu, Kate Collins, and Lucy Keefe). The two gangs are constantly “splurging” each other, but Fat Sam’s gang is getting the worst of it.

Stepping off the bus and into this mess comes Blousey Brown (Maddy Mola), a singer hoping to make it in the big city. Told by Fat Sam to “come back tomorrow,” she lands an audition at the Bijoux Theater, along with an opera singer (Samantha Nappi), Marbini the Magician (Samantha Kinch),  and a ventriloquist (Gavin Derderian). They are all disappointed when the Bijoux’s regular headliner Lena Marelli (Dhara Kaushik) returns yet again after one of her frequent disappearances, and producer Oscar De Velt (Francesca Pellegrino) is forced to welcome her and her dancing bodyguards back, leaving Blousey out in the cold.

Want to know what happens next? Come on down to JGMS on August 8 and find out!

About Junior Summerstock

Junior Summerstock cast members have double and sometimes triple roles in the fast-paced song and dance numbers, and they’ll have your toes tapping along with the jazzy score.

Director Amy Budka with coaches TJ Zovko, Jessica Martin, and Kate Winkler – Courtesy image (c) 2019 all rights reserved – Click to see full size

Twenty Five campers act, sing, and dance in this production guided by John Glenn Middle School music teacher Amy Budka (director) and Jessica Martin (choreographer). Kate Winkler, TJ Zovko, Ben Woodward and Marlee Cassel are the vocal and acting coaches.

Music Director Marko Deperalto leads the pit with Mike Budka on Bass guitar and Amy Budka on drums. Parker Anderson-LaPorte, Peter Benson and Andrew Lum manage lights and sound in the technical department. Theater Interns Mary Couvee, Kiera Doyle, Insun Hong, Maddy McAllister, Adriana Panagiotou and Mary Stewart create and organize the costumes, props and scenery, and work the backstage crew.

Junior Summerstock is a four-week theater experience for students in grades 4 through 9, sponsored by the Bedford Recreation Department. Each child plays a major role in creating the final product–the performance– which family, friends and the general public are welcome to attend. The actors’ hard work over the course of the four weeks is reflected in each step they take, each line they say, and each note they sing.

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