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Tag Archive | "Riggle"

Old folks at home

(L to R):  Judy Schultz, Liz Clifford, Chris Bigney, and Russ Cole in a scene from Old Folks at Home.

(L to R):  Judy Schultz, Liz Clifford, Chris Bigney, and Russ Cole in a scene from Old Folks at Home.

Reviewed by Tom Noreen

Ever wondered what life in a retirement home might be like, but were afraid to ask? Scott and Jill Phillip’s new musical Old Folks at Home will give you a glimpse into life at the Aged Oaks retirement home. If you want to see this wonderful spoof, tickets are available at the Cedar Springs Library or Alpha and Omega Coffee and games for the 7:30 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday, May 24-25.
The show opened to a packed theatre last Friday. The audience laughed all the way through as Scott poked fun at the infirmities that come with age and mileage. Melvin (Russ Cole) still thinks he is God’s gift to women as he chases the ladies around in his walker while in Betty’s (Megan Maddox) royal allusions she portrays herself as Queen for a day taking on personages from Victoria to, well you will have to go to find out! Then there is poor Maude (Liz Clifford), stricken by a stroke she milks more laughs out of 52 words and a palette of facial expressions than Bob Hope could in a Christmas special. Glenda (Chris Bigney) tries to keep the peace as squabbles breakout. Bertie (Judy Schultz) thinks she’s a flapper as she makes eyes at staffer Corey (Sean Murphy).

On the darker side, Wendell (Jon Gamm) feels he as been dumped to die by his son, Adam (Dan Kavanaugh). Anna Ambrose as Rachel attempts to bring reconciliation to Wendell and Adam as little Johnny (Hayden Golczynski) brings joy and purpose into Wendell’s shattered life. All the time, Kathryn-with a capital K (Terri Riggle), tries to keep the home running on an even keel.

Jill’s songs range from the hilarious to the poignant. The Lutheran Children’s Choir’s makes fun of the residents in the title work, Old Folks at Home. The house roared at Stalker with Walker. On the other hand, you could hear a pin drop when Anna sang Forgive. The show closed as the Aged Oak residents got back at the Lutheran kids with their rap song, Old Folks Finale.

The show is as good as it gets, a great story line and super music. Make the time this weekend to enjoy this fantastic production. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance. Students under 18 are $6. Call Scott at 696-3746 or email phillipsba@yahoo.com to reserve your ticket or get one at the library or Alpha and Omega.

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Craig S. Riggle, 58 of Cedar Springs, was ushered into the presence of his Heavenly Father on Sunday, November 18, 2012. Craig was a 1973 graduate of Cedar Springs High School. His love of anything automotive led him to seek employment at Hough’s Gulf Station, Rowland Bros Automotive, Verwys Auto Parts, Ed’s Auto Body and eventually to Auto Die in Grand Rapids where he became a die barber. His last employment was at Saturn Tire in Cedar Springs. In 2003 after suffering a heart attack and subsequent seizure disorder, he was forced to resign from the everyday work force. Craig was preceded in death by his father, Howard “Slim” Riggle in 1981; brother-in-law, Robert F. Eary in 1999; and a niece, Piper Gates in 2012. He is survived by his mother, Janet L. Riggle of Cedar Springs; twin brother, H. David (Cyndi) Riggle of Cedar Springs; three sisters, LeeAnn Eary of Boyne City, Debbi (Lohryn) Gates of Howard City, Terri L. Riggle of Cedar Springs; uncle, Charles (Mary) Crosby of Marshall; many nieces and nephews. Craig’s family wishes to express their sincere thanks to the folks at Sue’s Kountry Kitchen and Kelly’s Restaurant for the years of help and care that they provided him as he continued to suffer under the burden of his seizure disorder. The family will greet friends Friday, Nov. 30 from 1:00 pm until time of service at 3:00 pm at the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastor Chad Wight and Pastor Tony Karns officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Mel Trotter Ministries. Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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A Christmas Carol

Laura Johnson and Chris Bigney from A Christmas Carol.

Reviewed by Liz Clifford

In what is becoming a Cedar Springs holiday tradition, Terri Riggle has put on another fine rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Riggle is a longtime local thespian and for the last few years has delighted audiences by mounting very different versions of Dickens’ classic holiday story. This year’s Scrooge story featured what seemed to be a cast of thousands in a “black box” set. The black box technique uses minimal sets and props and, in fact, the action took place in front of a black wall with a very nice snowflake motif as its sole decoration. The actors’ dialogue, narration, sound effects, and the imaginations of the audience fill in the details. A Christmas Carol is a particularly good production for black box staging because it is so familiar to the audience and we all bring memories from past versions we have seen.
What we didn’t have to imagine were the costumes—they were excellent. The dresses, coats, hats, and gloves of the actors made me feel the chill of an Edwardian England winter and the ghosts were appropriately spartan and resplendent in turn thanks to wardrobe coordinator Merri Moore. And once she had the cast nicely costumed, Riggle and music director Carolee Cole made excellent use of them. Most of the actors appeared multiple times in speaking roles, as party guests, and as carolers. The roving group of carolers appeared several times in the play, but their presence was expanded to include songs before the show and during the intermission to great effect.
A Christmas Carol is essentially a series of vignettes—short stories told from multiple points of view—about Scrooge’s life and the way his choices have influenced the people around him. Everyone in the large cast had at least one moment to shine as they guided the audience through the happy, sad, and ominous events. The main characters were Virgil Hubbard as Scrooge, Bruce Bennett as his nephew Fred, Russ Cole as Bob Cratchit, Leah Woltanski as The Ghost of Christmas Past, Laura Johnson as The Ghost of Christmas Present, Jon Price as the silent and spooky Ghost of Christmas Future, and Scott Phillips as Jacob Marley.
The audience particularly enjoyed the humorous scene featuring Judy Schultz, Eva Walter, Tom Noreen, and Cody Eldred, in which Scrooge’s laundress, housekeeper, and undertaker are selling the items they stole from his house and corpse. Everyone laughed at Hubbard’s jubilant Scrooge when he awoke to find that he hadn’t missed Christmas and had a chance at redemption after all.
The large cast included Cedar Springs stage veterans and newcomers we hope will appear again: Mary Unger, Kathy McFarlane, Tom Johnson, Elizabeth White, Caleb Rhoads, Jordan Price, Tammy Price, Danielle VanDyke, Bri Fredrickson, Mystic Walter, Katie Zank, Grace Price, Andrew Woltanski, Jade Wight, Kathleen Hubbard, Tammy Reagan, BreAnna Schultz, Michael Nind, Char Hagenow, Carolee Cole, Chris Bigney, and narration by Megan Maddocks. Backstage support was also provided by Jennifer Nind, Jeanette Kibble, and Kellie Hoerner.
All in all, it was a delightful production, and I am already looking forward to A Christmas Carol 2012.

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