Presby Players pay tribute to Kander and Ebb in first performance back on stage

| 08 Oct 2021 | 07:55

Port Jervis. For the first time in nearly two years, the Presby Players will be live on stage at Don Marsh Hall, 60 Sussex St., with a new production titled “Sing Happy!” showcasing the music of composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb. Kander and Ebb created some of the most iconic shows on Broadway, including Cabaret, Chicago, Zorba, and Kiss of the Spider Woman — and composed the title track for Martin Scorcese’s film, New York, New York.

“Sing Happy!” (from the musical Flora the Red Menace) is actually one of the Kander & Ebb tunes that will be performed on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8 and 9, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 10, at 3 p.m.

Musical director Sandy Stalter says songs will range “from comedy and serious to up-tempo.” Choreographer Melissa Thomas was brought in, Stalter added, “because Kander and Ebb were affiliated with Bob Fosse and some of the songs really demand movement.”

Presby Players Director Jeffrey Stocker added, “We also wanted to give the actors a chance to move more instead of just standing in front of a mike and singing. I think the most important thing we want to stress about this is that it’s our first live production in almost two years. We’re excited to have the opportunity to perform live and indoors.”

Donations are respectfully requested. The audience will be required to wear masks, and social distancing will be observed. The price for admission is a donation (“anything you can afford and more if possible”), Stalter said with a wink and a smile.