The Little Prince will make BIG footPRINTS at the BRT
by Cate Murway

"On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

“The Little Prince” by stage manager/performer John Scoullar and Off-Broadway composer/author Rick Cummins, is directed and conceived by Scott Hitz with enhancements by the Monkey Boys Production.
“But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart..."

It is a simple, warm, wondrous theatrical work for the entire family that is effortlessly profound and best viewed with your heart.

The Little Prince  [original title Le Petit Prince] has been translated into more than 190 languages and more than 80 million copies have been sold. It was written in Asharoken, Long Island, NY by French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, dubbed "le Roi-Soleil" ["Sun King"], due to his golden curly hair. The book has been adapted to various media over the decades, including stage, screen and operatic works.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission.

In the story, the Little Prince and the Aviator come to understand what is really important in life -- love. Innocence carries the wisdom that what matters is caring about someone or something, living up to the trust invested in you, and sustaining that relationship.

“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."

There is always more to life than what is visible, that which is right in front of you. 
One should never give up on reaching for the stars.

Be prepared to absorb several profound and idealistic observations; the play delivers its message, its simple but deep wisdom, unobtrusively, often casually, about life and human nature. Your imagination will be stretched in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions. Sometimes adults forget that love and friendship matter the most and they permit themselves to be consumed with things that are inconsequential.

“Only children know what they are looking for.”

Two historic Bristol on the Delaware businesses are combining their extensive joint abilities to present this, beyond excellent, beyond the scope of human actors, entertaining art form product, “The Little Prince”.  The BRT, in association with Emmy award-winning puppet builders, Monkey Boys, [Avenue Q and Little Shop of Horrors], uses life-sized puppets along with actors and magnificent sets to bring the story to life.

Director Scott Hitz commented, “The story is filled with so much wonderful imagery and touching metaphor for our lives in general, it lends itself to puppets, highly visual forms of entertainment.”

Scott was introduced to the BRT Managing Director, Amy Kaissar through Fred Baumgarten, President of the iconic Grundy Commons industrial/commercial complex where his Monkey Boys Production is located in Studio 3. 
These nationally acknowledged masters define the term "craft"!
Monkey Boys Productions, per Fred, comprised of the “very warm and effervescent” partners, Scott Richard Hitz, Hershey H.S ‘87/U of the Arts ‘91[BFA Acting & directing], Michael Robert Latini, Archbishop Wood ’97 / Tyler School of Art, Temple University ’01[BFA metals, jewelry CAD-CAM], and Marc Anthony Petrosino, Auburn H.S. ‘93/Ithaca ’98 [BA puppetry] prove “Grundy’s Got Game” on a daily basis.

Marc plays all the men in the planets. He has appeared on TV in Sesame Street [PBS]; Blue’s Room [Nick Jr.]; Crank Yankers [Comedy Central]; and Elmo’s Christmas Countdown [ABC]. For several years, Marc was Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors.
Michael built many of the puppets and he supports extensively behind the scenes but he is not actually in the production.
Bill Parker is the administrative facet of Monkey Boys Productions.

Lenny Haas plays the world-weary and disenchanted Aviator whose sputtering plane strands him in the Sahara Desert. He has previously acted in numerous Philadelphia theatres including BRT, The Arden, Wilma, Walnut Street Theatre, Brat Productions, 1812 Productions, and the People’s Light & Theatre Co.

“The Little Prince”, a mysterious, regal, openhearted "little man" from the asteroid B-612, who appears and asks the Aviator to "Please, sir, draw me a sheep" is a Bunraku [pronounced bun-'rä-kü] puppet, manipulated mainly by Leila Ghaznavi, a Los Angeles based actor, puppeteer and playwright. Leila is pleased to be making her first appearance at BRT.

Freelance puppet builder and character designer Michael Schupbach plays the fox and he designed all the puppets. He drew his version of the “Little Prince” at an initial meeting and he gifted Scott with the original sketch.

This tale is ultimately a tender one, a heartfelt exposition of sadness and solitude.
“While the parable of a pure of hearted child whose devotion to his Rose inspires a kind of salvation in the world weary Aviator of the story, there is still, in the end, an innate sadness in the uncertainty of the human condition”, shared John Scoullar.

Both the little man and the Aviator must go home and both hold a new understanding of how to laugh, cry and love again.
One can learn the wisest things in life in this most beautiful parable.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

Each planet visited may be a thinly disguised political lesson, but who cares, the story is so compelling and honest.

All grown-ups were once children, although few of them remember it.
“A lot of times we confuse things as adults,” shared Scott.
“The Little Prince” can hold the attention of both children and serious adult theatre patrons and it awakens the child tucked inside each of us.
“This has been on my plate for about 7 years now.”

Recently Scott was named Artist in Residence for the Eugene O’Neil Theater Center summer puppetry program, where he began work on “The Little Prince”. 
“I absolutely love the BRT. The staff are incredible people. The theatre is built very well.”

There are video elements along with shadow puppets and hand puppets that represent a businessman, a geographer, and a lamplighter, all of whom signify some futile aspect of adult existence. 

“My kids have been an inspiration. They take a lot of attention but they also gave me focus.” Scott’s “very precocious” 5-year-old daughter, Adeline “Addie” will come to see the show. 6-month-old Orson is just learning to sit.
Scott commented, “I’d like everyone to come see this wonderful, fantastic fantasy show.”
“The Little Prince” is recommended for ages 7 and up, minimum age 5, with a running time of 90 minutes, including the15 minute intermission.

"In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey."

“The Little Prince” will be showing January 25th through February 13th.
This is your opportunity to see it first, before it moves on to other theatres.

With proof of residency, historic Bristol on the Delaware Borough residents can purchase tickets for only $5.00 for the 7:30 PM performances on Tuesday, January 25th and Wednesday, January 26th.

“I work too. I take care of my Rose, feed my Sheep, and pull out the baobabs on my planet. But I still play with my friends every time I can.”

The BRT is straight ahead of you, nobody has to go very far . . .
Bristol Riverside Theatre 
120 Radcliffe Street 
Bristol, PA 19007 
Administrative Office: 215.785.6664 
Box Office: 215.785.0100

“The Little Prince” excerpts are italicized.

Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail


It is a very sad day at Bristol Riverside Theatre. Last night we lost Phyllis Slattery. Phyllis was a larger than life personality at BRT. She was the visionary behind ArtRageous, literally changing the lives of hundreds of students. This office, this theatre, this community, will not be the same without her.
The BRT family is shocked and saddened by the passing of our friend and collegue Phyllis Slattery. Phyllis has been a member of the BRT family since 2005. Through BRT's Artrageous program Phyllis has introduced theatre to hundreds of local children. Like so many of you, we will miss her laughter and spirit.  Amy Kaissar

Phyllis A. Porreca Slattery 
Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 4:00 am 

Phyllis A. Porreca Slattery of Fairless Hills, 
formerly of Austin, Texas, died suddenly on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 
at Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol after a brief illness. She was 54.

Born in Trenton, N.J., Phyllis was raised in Fairless Hills. 
She was a 1976 graduate of Bishop Conwell High School 
and was a 1984 graduate of NYU with a major in theater.

Her life was the theater. Phyllis was in the business for 30 years and was well known in her industry. She had the opportunity to meet many talented actors and actresses over that period.
She was currently the Director of Marketing for the Bristol Riverside Theater in Bristol and was the founder and executive director of the Dance Umbrella Theater Group for the past 25 years in Austin.

Phyllis was the loving mother of the late John M. 'Jack' Slattery and daughter of the late John A. Porreca.
She was the devoted daughter of Joan B. (Winters) Porreca and sister of Michael J. Porreca Sr. of Fairless Hills and Joseph W. Porreca Sr. and his wife, Kathy, of Levittown. She will also be sadly missed by her nephews and niece, Joseph W. Jr., Matthew, Michael J. Jr. and Stephanie Porreca, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Family and friends are invited to call from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday at the James J. Dougherty Funeral Home, Inc., 2200 Trenton Rd., Levittown.
Condolences to the family may be posted at the funeral home's web site below. James J. Dougherty Funeral Home,

AI Project earned an A+ at Grundy
by Cate Murway

Can robots ever feel pain? Can they ever love or experience sadness? Or can one only succeed in simulating the behavior of hurt but not the feeling? These things are not possible today but may they be possible in the future…?

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”  Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

Three-time Barrymore Award winner Karen Getz's AI [Artificial Intelligence] Project play production moved “off campus” to secure the most realistic warehouse setting ever. Owner Fred Baumgarten benevolently donated the usage of his spacious Grundy Commons Industrial Complex for their weeks of practice and the final productions of Karen’s comic-actors ballet about the developing world of humanoid robots presented from June 28th through June 30th. 
Bristol Riverside Theatre Managing Director Amy Kaissar said, “Thank you to Fred for making this piece possible!”
The ambiance was perfect “because the folks at Grundy Commons are incredibly generous and kind and wonderful. And the space is amazing!!” per Karen Getz, the genius behind the conception, choreography and direction.

The project was funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Theater Initiative and an Interdisciplinary Professional Development Grant.
Performers were James Sugg, Dito Van Reigersberg, Heather Murphy, Makoto Hirano and Dave Jadico who also designed the puppets. The Original Music and Sound Design was provided by theatre artist/guitarist Christopher Colucci.

The developing world of rejected humanoid robots and cast-off robot parts was viewed by the rapt audience as they followed the story of one human and his four seemingly emotionally intelligent machines. Through such provocative realism developed by fusing accomplished artistic perspective and human scientific mechanics, one truly gets the sense that the clever imitation robots have awakened and are looking to befriend you!

What exactly is a comic-actors ballet, you may ask. According to the book of Karen, whose first comic-actors ballet was “Suburban Love Songs”, it's a ballet where the ballet dancers are replaced by really funny actors. She was correct! The story was funny but with no words, replaced in entirety by physical language. The robots’ movements were truly very different. She apparently specializes in creating dances for non-dancers as her inspired robots mirrored the behavior of people. She is well known in the improv community [acting, singing, talking and reacting; of making and creating, in the moment - amazing amount of creativity] as both a producer and performer. This is a method that allows for creativity beyond the normal, allowing for confidence and real emotion to become unblocked. 
Karen was a featured dancer in the 1987 box office hit “Dirty Dancing”, starring the late Patrick Swayze.

Karen always does her homework and earns her incredible grade while stimulating a vibrant cultural community. 
Her AI Project earned an A+ at Grundy!
According to the press releases, she invested her time at Hanson Robotics in Dallas observing AI robots under construction, at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute exploring the history of the field and recent advances, and at the MIT Museum working with their collection.

How was all this Artificial Intelligence received?

Bernice Edele, a BRT volunteer gushed, “I thought it was wonderful. Very interesting and different and I’m happy that I saw it. It was good. I really, really enjoyed it!”

Energetic Charlotte Swift Landreth-Melville had just returned from one of her many trips, this time to Tbilisi, Georgia.
“The performers were really good, especially the girl when she was starting up to be a robot doing all those manuevers and the guy in the desk with all the pipes and all. It was a little rustic ambiance, but was good for this!”

South Philadelphia resident, Sarah Chandler is a production and stage manager and she came to see her friend, [the scientist] Makoto Hirano perform.
“I love the clock tower and we were very excited to come into this space for this particular piece and it so fits this feeling of industrial workshop.”

Artistic Director Dave Jadico is a full time actor/musician who works with an improv company called “ComedySportz Philadelphia” and a theatre company called “1812 Productions”. He was the movement artist and performed as a “flying puppet”. He won a Barrymore Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical in “The Fantasticks”. 
Dave shared, “Karen was inspired by Humanistics Robotics.” 
Co-founders of Humanistic Robotics Inc., Samuel Jesse Reeves and Joshua Koch Koplin, have based their company's research and development activities in 5,300 square feet of space in the Grundy Commons.

Six foot two Dito Van Reigersberg is the founder of  Pig Iron Theatre Company [they’re interested in body and space and how the body in space makes different meanings]. He “played a torso, a robot inside a table”. He loves acting, singing and dancing. With the song in his heart and a tap in his fingers, he showed that he really knew how to move with the music!

Professional dancer Heather Murphy, Max and Isadora’s mom, comes from Philadelphia and has been performing creative dances in Philly since 1996.  She created “Baby Loves Disco”, an alternative to the pre-packaged world of entertainment for young kids.
How did she get involved in AI?
“Karen Getz is very well known for her dance and choreography and has made such successful pieces and I have admired her work. James [Sugg] was on the cover of American Theatre magazine and when I got the invitation to do this role, it was a no-brainer.”
It looked like it took a lot of time to get every movement so well synchronized. 
“It’s easy to do a lot, it’s hard to do a little. What intriques me most, is understanding the fundamental difference between humans and robots.”

Performer/choreographer Chelsea M. Gregory, an Atlanta-born, Brooklyn-based artist and educator who works through the media of theater, spoken word poetry and dance is on a residency with the Bristol Riverside Theatre.
Her writing is published in anthologies including "We Got Issues- A Young Woman's Guide to a Bold, Courageous and Empowered Life”.  
“I thought it was fabulous, incredibly imaginative, well choreographed, well directed and well performed. Beautiful inspiration of the idea of robots; beyond just the idea of it, the actual characters and relationships between robots and humans.”  

Gifted actor/teacher and Artistic Director Jennifer Childs founded the improv comedy “1812 Productions” in collaboration with Peter Pryor and she is a friend of Karen Getz.
In 1999, “1812” started its Education Outreach program at South Philadelphia High School and at the Widener School for Children with disabilities.
“I think there’s a show in there. I was so fascinated. I could have watched just the individual movements of each of the robots. I feel like it’s a beginning of a really great idea.”

The choreography of Karen Getz and her talented company unquestionably succeeded in taking hold of and touching the audience, creating a special kind of silence and focus in the normally bustling Grundy Commons Industrial Complex. 

Karen declared, “I love this place. It’s perfect. Fred has been amazingly generous.”

The BRT Youth Summer Camp ArtRageous 2010 is now in session.
Next on the BRT Main Stage is “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, September 28 thru October 17, 2010. 

Bristol Riverside Theatre 
120 Radcliffe Street 
Bristol, PA 19007 
Box Office: 215.785.0100

Recommend a “Spotlight”: e-mail


Come on out and “PLAY”
by Cate Murway

Critics and audiences consistently praise the Bristol Riverside Theatre for its superior caliber of production, its connection to the communities it serves and its welcoming, comfortable atmosphere. Theatre is more personal, and because of that, people become more invested emotionally, touched by the magnificent performances.
Laughs flow freely, tears are occasionally shed, and a good time is always a done deal as the BRT stimulates and encourages further interest in the arts. 
Excellence is the standard here, professional theatre at its best!

The culturally rich community of historic Bristol on the Delaware offers a one-of-a-kind venue combining professional state-of-the-art theatre, the intimacy of just 300 nice big comfy theatre seats surrounded by outstanding lighting and sound technology and chic neighboring waterfront dining.
The theatre also serves as a cultural nucleus for the community, with a wide range of innovative programs that entertain, enrich and educate.  Among them, children's theatre, promoting literacy, stimulating interest in diverse topics, introducing unfamiliar cultures and characters, and encouraging compassion and tolerance; quality community concerts showcasing local performers, and exhibitions of local visual arts, increasing community appreciation. 
The BRT has recently opened the 20th anniversary revival of the composing team, musician David Shire and lyricist Richard Maltby Jr.’s “Closer Than Ever”.  When it played at Queens Theatre in the Park in New York, one critic hailed it as “literate, touching and tuneful”. See it through May 23rd.

The popularity of the theatre, there’s a resurgence of theatre attendance, reaches people from all walks of life.
While movies will never go away, the intimacy of a theatre and the interaction of an audience have a unique appeal.
BRT is the recipient of over 50 nominations for The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theater, given annually by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

"Why do people attend theatre and what are their favorites?" Without probing the complexity that such a question raises, let’s just ask………..

Levittown residents and BRT members, Fran Giaccio, stunning in her powder blue outfit, gushed “Forever Plaid, oh I loved that!” and Barbara Hallowell insisted “Choir Boys”! 

Social studies teacher Pam and her husband Ray Bowman, a retired car salesman, reside in Edgewater Park, NJ. Their first BRT experience was the Christmas Musical and they’re back!

Chef /manager Dottie, who also teaches the “art and soul of cooking” at Sur La Table in Marlton, NJ and her husband, Caleb Deitch, bartender/self proclaimed “stand up philosopher” live in “South Philly”. They won the BRT theatre tickets at an ALS Foundation auction and here they were, “Closer than Ever”, celebrating Caleb’s birthday. 
John, a columnist for “Entertainment Tonight” of the Juniata News in Philadelphia, and Edna Blaker are newlyweds.  “I am retired and I keep John happy.” Attending plays is a “new gig” for Edna but they are always together now. “Wherever he is, you see me.”

Former Pilot editor and theater and classical music critic for The Times of Trenton, Anita Donovan has seen the play before. “It’s quite charming.” 
P.S. She named her pet cats Shire and Maltby.
Anita hosts “Bucks County Entertainment” Friday mornings from 10:10- 11:00AM on WBCB. She is “delighted to have such a great professional theatre, a ‘small Broadway theatre’ in my backyard. It’s wise to take advantage of it.”

There is still time for you to enjoy the current production but the end is “Closer Than Ever”. Maltby and Shire’s lyrics and the music come to an end on May 23, 2010.

With its intense programme of high-quality arts and cultural events, historic Bristol on the Delaware is rapidly becoming a flourishing social area destination.
You’re in for a treat. From concept to design to construction to execution, there are fascinating characters, powerful plots and dazzling sets.
You are warmly invited to investigate the unsurpassed magic of live theatre! 

Caution: Dates on the calendar are closer than they appear.

An exceptionally special musical event, a staged reading, a new revised version of the Off-Broadway hit, Crossing Brooklyn is scheduled for Monday May 17, 2010 on the BRT Mainstage. Enjoy a modern love story set in post-9/11 New York City. Join America Rising with a thought-provoking look at new and contemporary work of the best female playwrights, music by Jenny Giering, book and lyrics by Laura Harrington.
Food is served at 5PM, reading begins at 6PM with panel discussion immediately afterward.   

The seriously entertaining theatre’s Summer Musicales concert series starts very soon.
The hip, witty, sophisticated and timeless “Too Darn Hot”, an evening of the enduring songs of Cole Porter and the inspired arrangements of Keith Baker begin Thursday, June 17th at 8:00 PM.

Starting July 3rd, the Theatre Arts Center returns with more productions for kids, by kids. 
Performances include- “Flat Stanley” [careful what you wish for!], “Dora the Explorer” [you need to go here!], “Rumpelstiltskin” [a not so Grimm tale], “Big Bad Musical” [a fairy-tale trial], “Damn Yankees” [you’re IN!], and “101 Dalmations” [reserve your SPOT!]. All shows: Fridays 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM, Saturdays 11:00 AM.
Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more. 
The contact was the late Phyllis Slattery at 215.785.6664 x105 or

You’re in for a shock with the new version of Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of lust, love and horror, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”.  Let your dark [and your good side] run wild starting September 26, 2010.

Nominated for the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in drama, “Old Wicked Songs” tells the story of a prodigious young pianist, Stephen Hoffman who suffered an artistic block and the aging musician who helps re-ignite his inspiration. Sad lyrics are best buried; leaving the audience with a layered but essentially optimistic answer. Prepare for an emotional journey through joy and sadness, anger and redemption, out of which emerges healing, inspiration and music starting November 16, 2010.

Start the New Year with an astonishing and beautiful multi-layered visual feast take on the classic story, “The Little Prince”. The puppet creators are your neighbors, the Monkey Boys Productions in Studio 1203 located in the impressive [Bronze Patrons] Grundy Commons on Canal Street. Yup, Grundy’s Got Game! These nationally acknowledged masters define the term "craft"! Their extensive joint ability as puppeteers manipulate theatre beyond the scope of human actors. Awaken the child tucked away inside you.
The BRT will grab, intrigue and fascinate the audience with “The Little Prince” starting January 25, 2011.

See the same show again FREE. Love the show? 
Mainstage subscribers can see it again FREE.

Exclusive Subscriber Benefits that suit every budget and taste include Special Series and Flexible Options- up to 52% over single ticket prices. 
Subscribe now and forget about the headaches associated with long lines and having to save your seats.
Save when you bring friends. $7 discount off any additional single tickets when you bring friends to the theatre. 
Student tickets, Senior tickets, PAY WHAT YOU CAN!
Subscribers are also entitled to discounts at several neighborhood restaurants.
Call 215.785.0100

Bristol Riverside Theatre 
120 Radcliffe Street 
Bristol, PA 19007 
Administrative Office: 215.785.6664 
Box Office: 215.785.0100

Bristol Riverside Theatre is “above them all”
by Cate Murway 

Starting this November 3rd, 
the award winning professional BRT’s “Love Story” begins in the balcony!  
This season with the introduction of the “Balcony Club”, 
the BRT, with its enthusiastically innovative dedicated 
community outreach efforts, is targeting the younger audiences. 
This pilot version of the program makes every ticket ONLY $10.00 
available to patrons under the age of 40 
for the musical, 
“I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change” (November 3 - 22), directed by Susan D. Atkinson.
“Fantastically fun, hilarious; just great fun!” per BRT Managing Director, Amy Kaissar.

Theatre-going can truly be a natural choice for an evening's entertainment.

Modeled loosely on similar programs initiated and pioneered with great success by the National Theater in London and Signature Theatre in NYC, the Balcony Club program is designed to create cultural opportunities for new and younger audiences and “once-in-a-while” audiences to encourage and promote theatre-going as a habit, not a luxury.
"By reducing ticket prices to $10, in a moment of economic hardship, we are offering wider access to cultural events for all those in Bucks County and beyond," says Amy Kaissar.
The Balcony Club is breaking down barriers and proving that going to the theatre is not primarily an elitist activity or a rare treat.
Balcony Club patrons will not only be able to buy $10 tickets, but can also take advantage of special offerings like Singles Night, drink specials at the King George II Inn following the show, and can even propose and get married at the BRT during the run of the show.
The BRT, recognized for its quality and top production values, is a great destination to connect with other young professionals and to get together with friends. The Theatre’s dynamic executive team wishes to spread the enjoyment to all theatre fans, diversifying the audiences. 

Welcome to an innovative and engaging live theatrical performance. 
The Star Ledger described “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” as "A great date show”. “A perfect mating dance. It's Seinfeld set to music."
The audience will fill the theatre with hearty laughter as the cast cleverly explores the trials and tribulations and joys of dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives, and in-laws. 
“A battle of the heterosexuals” New York Times

This phenomenal, hilarious longest running refreshingly honesty Off-Broadway musical comedy by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts celebrates the modern-day suburban mating game. The talented bright, lively, skilled 4 actors play a wide variety of characters in male/female relationships. 
After watching this outstanding performance you will walk out feeling that nobody is perfect…and that is ok. You will probably leave the show thinking…were they talking about me? 
The uproarious “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” has played more than 4,500 performances, surpassing the Broadway runs of such musicals as “My Fair Lady,” “Annie,” “Oklahoma!” “Grease,” “Man of La Mancha,” “42nd Street,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Producers,” and “Hello, Dolly!”

The Balcony Club program is underwritten by The William Penn Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that foster rich cultural expression. It works to advance a vital, just, and caring community. 

Ticket prices are not prohibitive. The BRT cannot sell yesterday’s empty seats tomorrow so call the Bristol Riverside Theatre at 215.785.0100 or log onto to reserve your $10.00 ticket.  There are only 86 seats in the balcony.
You can live anywhere in the country and participate in this affordable performance program. Just show your ID [ages 18 through 40] and enjoy the performance of the musical “I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change” any night November 3 – 22. 

With proof of residency, historic Bristol on the Delaware borough residents can “Pay What You Will” for the first 2 performances for any production. This offer applies to “I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change” on Tuesday 11.3.09 or Wednesday 11.4.09.
You get the best available seats the night of the performance.
All PWYW tickets must be purchased at the Box Office, in person. Tickets go on sale 20 minutes prior to curtain. Preview performances begin at 8:00 PM.

The goal is to make theatregoing, and cultural participation generally, a deeply ingrained custom for everyone, as front-of-mind as, say, going out to eat.
No strings attached- this is a great opportunity. For just a roll of quarters, just $10.00, you can purcahse a ticket, for the “Balcony Club” for any performance of  “I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change”. 

The acoustically pleasing BRT offers more excitement per chair than any space in town. Additional fun opportunities include:
11.13.09 - Friday FestivalBefore the show, listen to an artist share about the experience and inspiration of performing in the play. 
11.18.09 - Wine Down Wednesday-  delicious Barefoot Wine and refreshments for an hour before the show. Be sure to make your “footprint”.
11.20.09 - Singles Night. Refreshments and time to mingle!

Pay only $10.00 and meet others who also enjoy the theatre.
A couple pays only $20.00 for tickets, including hearty refreshments and wintetasting.

And wait until you meet the Broadway veterans cast………….
Kevin Duda [Man #1] has been featured on Broadway and feels honored to have worked at the Walnut Street Theatre, The Olney Theatre and Seaside Music Theatre to name a few. He also appeared in the Broadway National Tour of Little Women: The Musical, starring Maureen McGovern, and toured Germany, Switzerland and Austria with The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber; and Guys & Dolls in Macau, China. 
Kevin will choreograph the new PBS kids show premiering this Fall: The Kid Concoctions that teaches children basic life skills, promotes family interaction, provokes thought, stimulates creativity, and builds self-esteem.

Christine Toy Johnson [Woman #2] is enthusiastically proving again the reason for her staying power in a career that is as full as it is varied. She is “happy to be here”! She has appeared in a Trevor Nunn directed performance of ‘Cats’ as well as starred with America Ferrera in the hit sitcom “Ugly Betty”. A singer, actor, film- producer, screenwriter, playwright and dancer, she is a true “renaissance” performer. You’ll be happy that she is here, too!

Greg Mills [Man #2] is thrilled to be a part of this great BRT production. He has been performing professionally for more than 12 years and has done over 50 musicals and plays as well as concerts. His national tours include The Music Box Company’s The Phantom of the Opera as Raoul and he played Jesus  in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Seaside Music Theater.   

Renee Rakelle [Woman #1] is a NYC actress, singer and model. She performed in the 2007 NYC Fringe festival and this past year toured Eastern Europe in The Phantom of the Opera.   She made her Off-Broadway debut in the play, The Affair In 22B. Renee is a recent graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Musical Theatre after
her rigorous conservatory training in theatre and film.

Join us for a dramatically successful evening.
C’mon, “I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change”!

Bristol Riverside Theatre
Seriously Entertaining Theatre 
120 Radcliffe Street  
Bristol, PA 19007


All That Jazz at the BRT
by Cate Murway

Are you going to the Bristol Riverside Theatre this month? Wait, don’t respond “Not sure!” Do you love jazz? Join us! There is something incredibly special going on and you have the opportunity to only pay 
Provide ID that you are a Bristol Borough resident and purchase your tickets at the Box Office 20 minutes prior to the performance.  
[This offer is not applicable to previously purchased tickets, and cannot be combined with any other offer.]

Since 1986, BRT has consistently brought acclaimed professional theatre and musical productions to Bucks County. Once again, The Bristol Riverside Theatre warmly invites you to its traditional Summer Jazz series, enticing the crowds with more than just great gigs. It will be a unique special gathering of first class artists, tight ensembles who excel in composition, harmony and musical improvisation. No pedestrian beats here! The musicianship, emotion, and professionalism displayed at the 4th Annual Jazz Weekend of July 31st, August 1st and August 2nd will be of a higher caliber than you have ever experienced! 
The BRT’s Summer Series’ flawless performances transform historic Bristol on the Delaware into an intimate setting for Jazz and features Warren Oree & The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble, the Eric Mintel Quartet, and guitarists Jack Wilkins and Howard Alden. A confluence of three great performances, a kind of perfect jazz storm!
This is the ideal venue for such a prestigious upmarket jazz festival/concert that will rival the best in content and presentation anywhere.

"As long as the music attracts dedicated young musicians like Eric Mintel,
jazz will continue to thrive and progress as a voice of freedom.  The world needs their voices." - Dave Brubeck – 
“Give Eric my best.”  -Frank Modica, Dave Brubeck’s agent for 39 years.

On Saturday, August 1 at 8:00 p.m., the excellent mix of top level musicians, Eric Mintel Quartet returns to BRT with pianist Eric Mintel, Nelson Hill on sax and flute, bassist Dave Antonow, and Dave Mohn on drums, blazing the trail. This professional touring jazz unit brings the audience into each performance and they are always exactly amazing! They explore moods and colors that are perhaps inaccessible and far different from a conventional rock concert.

The versatile, ever-swinging Feasterville resident, Eric James Mintel, 
Pennridge H.S. ’85 was an only child, a self taught pianist on his family’s 
baby grand, raised in Upper Black Eddy. His parents listened to classical 
music and as a 14 year old, he located a treasure, a 45-rpm vinyl LP record 
of David Brubeck. Success started “In [his] Own Sweet Way”!  
He and his wife, Darby, Neshaminy H.S. ’84, a choreographer and dance teacher for 27 years at the Dance and Performing Arts in Newtown have a daughter, Tess Mariah.
A side “note” - besides music, they go outside, bike ride and take in nature! 

As of October 22, 2007 Eric has achieved status as a “Yamaha Artist" endorsing Yamaha acoustic pianos and Yamaha 88 key keyboards, a prestigious honor given to very few artists. 
His fingers accomplish everything from flourishes to amazing feats where his hands and fingers are literally a blur, yet so truly accurate on the keyboard.
His onstage talent exudes expressiveness and his portable digital piano resounds with authentic sound imploding finally with sincere energy from the crowd.
The public has hailed Eric's passionate piano style, his attention to melody, his catchy original compositions and his use of classical elements within a performance. 

PR man Eric does it all from composing music, booking engagements to coordinating the tours. He started the group in 1993 and they garnered significant reviews from their first gig at the Delaware Valley College. Jazz is a positive change, bringing high-class style to a new generation!
Eric composed a letter and mailed it to the White House inquiring about performing either for the troops or for the homeless. Danielle Westfall, the social secretary, responded with an invitation for EMQ to perform at the White House Christmas function on December 22, 1993. The foursome met with President Clinton in the beautiful, oval-shaped Diplomatic Reception Room. 

p.s. Former President Clinton has donated the saxophone he played at his inauguration to the American Jazz Museum.
Future tours are planned in New England, NC, CA and TN for next year.
Eric on piano and Dave Antonow on guitar perform the Great American songbook songs by Cole Porter, Gershwin, Brubeck and beyond at the historic Stockton Inn in the Garden Bar, NJ on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
They also serve their sound at the Sunday brunches at the Logan Inn in New Hope from 11:00 a.m. to 3 pm.

These EMQ musicians have been together for 6 years.

Mount Bethel, PA resident Nelson Hill, Eastman School of Music ‘81 is a saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist and husband to Mary and father to their 4 daughters Jessica, Danielle, Talia and Kendall. He played lead alto in the exciting, dynamic Maynard Ferguson band and went on the road with Maynard upon graduating from Eastman School of Music.  Nelson also played in the explosive 15-piece Buddy Rich Big Band. One can hear his sensational sax on All My Children and on the original track of Arthur’s Theme. Now he shares the “best that [he] can do” with EMQ! He has also taught saxophone and jazz improvisation at Lafayette College, Blair Academy, and privately. Nelson is known to venture into deep water with his solos!

Dave Antonow, in the group since ’00, is superb on guitar, upright and electric bass. He studied jazz under Thad Jones at William Paterson University in New Jersey and also studied privately in NYC with renowned bassist Michael Moore and with renowned guitarist Jack Wilkins who will be performing on Saturday. He and his stringed instruments reside in East Stroudsburg, PA with his wife Donna and their two Yorkies Maxwell and Dexter.

Washington Crossing resident, the technically accurate [John] David Mohn comes with 30+ years experience from a family of drummers.  His father, uncle and grandfather were all drummers. He teaches privately, presenting a rudimental approach to the instrument, in Central Jersey and the Bucks/Mont areas of PA. Along with writing and teaching for the Drum Corps and for high school drum lines, Dave has taught for the Community Conservatory of Music, Doylestown School of Music and BCCC. He and his artist painter wife, Patricia met when they sang with the Washington Crossing United Methodist worship team. Their daughters are VA resident, Wendy, a physical therapist and Gretchen who resides in Bensalem.
“The atmosphere of the theatre is great. The mix is clear and the band can communicate with each other. The EMQ is a great bunch of guys personally and musically.”
Dave Mohn entices exceptional punchy percussion sounds from his drums. 
The “Johnny’s Dance Band” line-up at the time of its 1st album included Dave on drums. He was part of one of the finest rock 'n' roll outfits ever to emerge from the city when fun was the message musically. 

EMQ plays with an almost tangible energy. The music can be full of space and contemplative, or dense and agitated. Their versatility will be on display in each tune.
They know each other, they are the tightest, most "in the moment" band who can show up and groove at the drop of a hat! They will win your hearts and your loyalties!

The Eric Mintel Quartet was the feature story in the June 2009 issue of DownBeat Magazine.  Dave Brubeck first appeared in DownBeat in 1947.
EMQ will be featured in the July-August “Bucks Life · Art + Culture+ Lifestyle” magazine.
They are excited about their newest album and the response they are getting everywhere they go. 
Two of their fans, Stephen and Debbie Agentis, huge arts supporters in the Lehigh Valley area, fronted the money for the CD.
“50 Years After...A Tribute to Dave Brubeck” will be available at the BRT for $20.00.
It was recorded March 16, 2009 at the state-of-the-art Bennett Studios, in Englewood, NJ.
One night only!
Saturday, August 1 8pm
“Our music is very lyrical, very melodic, something you can understand. We add some humor to the show and bring the audience into what we are doing!”
Bookings for the Eric Mintel Quartet, call: 215.354.0557

Saturday August 1st  Following Jazz Concert at BRT Theatre 
The Kelch House will host a CD signing for"The Eric Mintel Quartet"

The Kelch House presents Eric Mintel Jazz Duo
Eric Mintel is First THURSDAY of the month for Jazz Duo and 2nd and 4th Sunday on Piano. 

"His music is beautiful and I'd like to have him every day of the week."  Dawn Kelch

They all love Bristol! “Acoustics of the BRT are probably the best around. We appreciate the intimate atmosphere”
The BRT is where you get to see all the amazing jazz players up close and personal.

“The drumbeat is the Heartbeat” - the Arpeggio spirit- the heart is life…just like music!
Temple University Public Radio calls Warren Oree & The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble one of the most innovative, vibrant jazz bands in the Philadelphia area. 
Warren Leslie Oree, John Bartram H.S./ Octavius V. Catto Community School and his wife, Deborah have 2 sons, Michael and Warren Leslie II and 5 grandsons. His life took many hard turns and he is very emphatic about “ my music is inclusive and recognizes God in my life. There is a higher force in my life.” 
He began playing the acoustic upright bass in 1973 at age 25 when he was challenged to learn to play “real bass” by the late James Mitchell who “without a doubt, changed my whole life”.  Warren stated, “I play good honest music. I play it all!”
He’s happy to return to Bristol. “The town is beautiful. It gives a nice warm feeling.” The BRT is phenomenal. “The tech people are right on time and the sound person knows the stage plot.”  With everything right on time, Warren and his Arpeggio Jazz ensemble had the opportunity to “chill out” at Cannoli coffee bar & gelateria café.
They have performed throughout the world in Bahia, Brazil; St. Maarten’s Jazz festival,
Hamilton, Bermuda; Europe; and the Dominican Republic. It’s not unusual for some of the audience to break out and dance in response to the irresistible blend and pulsating beats. No exaggerating about the "irresistible" part. 
Just try not dancing!
One night only!
Friday, July 31 8pm

Jack Wilkins and Howard Alden share the stage on Sunday, August 2 at 3:00 p.m. They are two of the finest jazz guitarists in the world today, performing as a duo. They tease the audience with quick changes in tempo and rhythm and the interplay between them is always breathtaking! Their concert will feature the "Great American Songbook," with songs by Berlin, Arlen, Gershwin, Porter and others. Wilkins has been a part of the international jazz scene for more than four decades. Their flawless technique and imaginative chordal approach have inspired collaborations with Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, Bob Brookmeyer, Buddy Rich and many others.
One performance only!
Sunday, August 2 3pm

This lineup will revolutionize the jazz world with rare fusions of eccentric rhythms and their individual magical qualities! The energetic, lyrical, swinging and always entertaining music beyond the traditional forms and standard techniques touch the soul.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for BRT Members, and $10 for students and are available by calling the BRT Box Office at 215.785.0100 or online at
This is a “sound” investment! It's seriously seductive jazz!

Bristol Riverside Theatre 
P. O. Box 1250
120 Radcliffe Street 
Bristol, PA 19007

Bristol’s “Altar Boyz” honored by Barrymore Awards
Posted By Andy Vineberg, reality Editor On August 4, 2009 @ 2:30 pm In Arts and Entertainment

The Bristol Riverside Theatre’s production of the crowd-pleasing musical “Altar Boyz” received plenty of love from the Philadelphia theater community this week.

“Altar Boyz,” a spoof about a Christian boy band, picked up
six nominations for this year’s [1] Barrymore Awards 
for Excellence in Theatre, including outstanding 
overall production of a musical and a pair of nods 
for Bristol High School graduate Christopher Gattelli.
The winners will be announced Oct. 5 
at the Walnut Street Theatre.

Gattelli, who received a 2008 Tony Award nomination 
for best choreography for “South Pacific,” 
was nominated for outstanding direction and outstanding choreography/movement for “Altar Boyz.”

“To come home and have the show do as well as it did, I can’t tell you how much this means,” Gattelli said. “It almost means more than the Tony. It’s my hometown, and to be recognized, especially for both direction and choreography … it meant so much to see my name up there.”

The cast of “Altar Boyz” was nominated for outstanding ensemble in a musical. Gary Adler was nominated for outstanding musical direction, and John Pinto Jr., who played Mark, The Sensitive One, was nominated for outstanding leading actor in a musical.

Gattelli and Adler helped first bring “Alter Boyz” to the stage five years ago. Adler co-wrote the music and lyrics and Gattelli handled the original choreography for the show, which debuted off-Broadway in September 2004.

The BRT’s production was a late addition to the 2008-09 season, opening in May as a replacement for a previously scheduled show.

“We had two weeks to put it all together,” Gattelli said. “That specific show takes a lot of work, with  the four-part harmonies and all the physical work - it’s a lot to accomplish in that short amount of time. The cast worked so hard, and for them to be recognized as an ensemble is incredible.”

The competition for “Altar Boyz” in the outstanding musical category includes “Cinderella” (People’s Light & Theatre Company), which received a co-leading 13 nominations; “Avenue X” (11th Hour Theatre Company); “Candide” (Arden Theatre Compnay); and “The Producers” (Walnut Street Theatre).

The Arden’s production of “Something Intangible,” which matched “Cinderella” with 13 nominations, leads the nominees for outstanding play. Other contenders are “No Child …” (Delaware Theatre Company); “The Hothouse” (Lantern Theater Company); “Rock ‘n’ Roll” (the Wilma Theater) and “Scorched” (the Wilma Theater).


Acting “UP!” in historic Bristol on the Delaware
by Cate Murway

The acclaimed professional theatre company
of the Bristol Riverside Theatre located in the small attractive town
of historic Bristol on the Delaware has BIG plans. 
Amy Kaissar, in the newly created position of Managing Director, 
is a seasoned leader and a creative thinker; 
just the right person to make those plans work. 

The acoustically pleasing BRT offers more excitement per chair than any space in town, where everyone receives priority seating. You are cordially invited to explore the incomparable magic of live theatre! 

There are a myriad of major social, health, economic and 
environmental benefits in developing opportunities for and 
participation in arts and cultural activities. 
Amy [Singer] Kaissar, Horace Greeley High School '95/
Carnegie Mellon '99/ Columbia '05, working in partnership 
with Founding Director Susan Davis Atkinson and 
Artistic Director Keith Baker, 
as the Theatre’s dynamic executive team, 
are taking the BRT in fresh new directions. 

By any measure, The Bristol Riverside Theatre is a success, pursuing its indivisible goals of excellence for more than 20 years. Amy unreservedly shared, “What already exists here is totally amazing!” Help continue to build on that success by making 2009-2010 a banner year, brighter than ever. The theatre frequently serves as a cultural hub for the community, showing exhibitions of local visual arts, as well as local performing artists, injecting a vibrant and exciting life into the area, rivaling larger cities when it comes to good food, culture, and quality of fun. Historic Bristol on the Delaware, with its intense programme of high-quality arts and cultural events is rapidly becoming a thriving social area destination.

Welcome to Amy! Exuding confidence, energy, ambition and a strong leadership acumen, Amy exhibits effective organizational and solid interpersonal skills. With her infinite capacity to inspire, she is more than ready to expand public awareness and a deeper understanding of the essential contribution that the arts make to society. She is innovative, proactive, and an effective communicator who fervently believes in the power of theater to change people's lives.

Amy grew up in northern West Chester County, NY. Today, the schools in her hometown of Chappaqua are reputed to be among the best in the country! Her H.S. boasted a robust theatre program [singer/songwriter Dorothy Snowden “Dar” Williams grew up in Chappaqua and graduated from Greeley High School] and she fondly remembers the Speech/Drama teacher, David Coons.
Her sincere feelings are that “theatre saved my education and turned me into who I am” as she always excelled in the “thinking classes that needed opinions.” 
Her mother, Harriet [Gaines] Singer started taking her to the theatre, Broadway and Off- Broadway shows, museums and ballet when she was only 2 years old. According to her parents, her first experiences were either “Barnum”, that combined elements of traditional musical theater with the spectacle of the circus, or the Academy Award-winning “Oklahoma”. These were “the right place to begin because there was so much going on!”
 Her first true recollections are of the comic opera “Pirates of Penzance” and the Tony Award-winning  “Camelot”. She was riveted by the performances, the combination of the story telling and the visuals!
Her mother would engage her mind early on, asking specific questions “like what I thought about the sets or what I thought would happen next. Questions that required me to think, take in information and analyze; look for details in things and connect the threads.” On the drive home, they discussed everything from the story, to the characters, to the set designs.

All children love pretend play, so attending the theatre is simply a natural step to encourage an active use of their imaginations, something that transports kids to another time and place and takes them into another world. So after all, finding the perfect production can be child's play! Theatre is the faultless family entertainment.

Her “mom was the culture side and dad, Andrew James Singer, the sports side”. Her older brother, Scott Singer, played soccer. Amy played volleyball, softball, tennis, rode horses, hikes and kayaks and at one time, was a backpacking guide. Her entire family is involved in commercial real estate but it was her dad who enticed her into camping.
Her husband freelance playwright/director Ken Kaissar, whom she met in college is a “good sport, not an avid fan!”

Amy’s great uncle, the late TV writer, Ray Eleazer Singer [1916-1992], wrote for Fred Allen, Milton Berle, Lucille Ball and other radio and television stars. He wrote for "My Three Sons," "The Danny Thomas Show", "I Love Lucy" and "The Lucy Show," and wrote and produced "The Donna Reed Show" in 1965 and 1966.

Amy and her husband, Ken have happily relocated from NY to their home inYardley, “It’s nice to have a yard and grass and rabbits”. She was instantly enamored with the welcoming and enticing town of Bristol, “taken with the architecture, the river, the neighborrhood, the restaurants, and gelato [Cannoli coffee bar & gelateria café] right across the street”. The BRT staff of really committed individuals who care passionately both about the organization and what it means to Bristol, and the arts education and what it means to the students, really impacted her. She was impressed with the audience who have been touched by the magnificent performances, many who have been subscribers for the entire 23 year history.
The first show she attended was John Patrick Shanley's “Defiance” that explored ethics of power in the military. “Fantastic, the level of acting was on par with anything I’ve seen anywhere!”

The BRT produces some jaw-dropping and amazingly good theatre that rivals anything!
The Bristol Riverside repertory theatre company has established a venerable theatrical tradition, consistently taking the script from a two-dimensional play to a vibrant, powerful production. The realism of the sets is amazing! There are consistently high standards of quality in every facet of their operations. The BRT is a cutting-edge professional theatre producing plays by the finest classical and contemporary playwrights that engage and inspire audiences with originally designed costumes that bring each creation to life. There is immediacy and excitement in attending live theatre.

Amy is intensely involved with the business side of making theatre while Keith and Susan zealously pursue artistic projects that go to the core of their mission and search for the best artists to grace the stage.

New projects are in the making!
The play “UP!” will run from March 16, 2010 –April 4, 2010. This is the first BRT mainstage production to emerge from the America Rising series. It’s very timely, as it will follow dreams and passion in the face of economic realities.
The story involves the character, Philip Petit, the French high wire artist who achieved the tightrope walk between the Twin Towers on August 7, 1974, exactly 35 years ago. [He referred to this as "le coup"]. P.S. The BRT will have an actual tightrope walker!

Join us for the Jewish theatre festival in April, for plays and readings, exhibitions and lectures by Jewish playwrights with Israeli set design.

Starting in September, all “Subscribers” are invited to attend a lecture an hour before the show, “about everything you could possibly want to know about the show” to heighten the experience. Topics will cover social history surrounding the era, background on the playwright, the language the playwright uses [if linguistically specific] and information about the design and directing. There will also be a Q&A session.

The newest pilot program, the “Balcony Club” will commence the 2nd show of the season, from November 3-22, 2009 for “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”. Through a grant from the William Penn foundation, anyone from the ages of 18-40 can purchase a ticket for only $10.00. It’s an unbeatable price and a great way to meet people!
During the regular season, “PAY WHAT YOU WILL” continues. Come to the first Tuesday and the first Wednesday nights, the first previews of each performance, and “PAY WHAT YOU WILL”. After the show, join in the chat with the actors and directors, hearing what the artists have to say about their work in intimate gatherings.
This grant has been funded by Bristol Borough to ensure that the Borough residents have the opportunity to see the programs.

Any night at the BRT is a fun night out that will leave you thinking well after leaving the theatre - which, in any time where we are bogged down with serious drama, on stage and off, is a good thing. Arts, the ultimate rejuvenator, fill a special niche, enriching the community!
Supporting your vibrant local theatre scene doesn't require a lot of time, energy or infusions of cash. All you have to do is buy a ticket, and become the audience.
You CAN get there from here! What a wonderful town! What a great theatre!

So what are you waiting for? Feel the pulse of the theatre.
There’s no more exhilarating time than those magical moments sitting together as strangers, families and friends are united in the anticipation of the story to come.
Laughter, the delicious shiver of fear, or the thrill of the first hint of romance might reach out across the stage at any moment to captivate us, enthralling us with the immediacy only live theater can create. 
The possibilities are limitless as our hearts and minds begin their journey.
Don’t miss any of the shows everyone will be buzzing about!

Exclusive Subscriber Benefits include Special Series and Flexible Options- up to 52% over single ticket prices. 
Student tickets, Senior tickets, PAY WHAT YOU CAN!
Call 215.785.0100

Bristol Riverside Theatre 
120 Radcliffe Street 
Bristol, PA 19007 
Administrative Office: 215.785.6664 
Box Office: 215.785.0100
“ALTAR” Your Mind at the BRT
by Cate Murway

ALTAR BOYZ, the longest running, critically acclaimed off Broadway musical full of sharp parody, angelic voices, sinfully spectacular dancing, and irreverent humor is welcomed to historic Bristol on the Delaware. They’re coming to our town! 
Join us at the BRT for high-octane entertainment and non-stop laughter. 
“Well if your eyes ain't shut, seein' is believing!” You’ll be saying, “Holy Hit!”
The audience becomes theirs, as the unstoppable, unconventional, straightforward and enthusiastic talent transcends the moment and cleverly guides you someplace else within the playwright's imagination and to the world the professional Equity Bristol Riverside Theatre has so artfully created. 
You don’t have to “go to the ends of the world, world, world”. We’re “calling” you, come get “the rhythm” in you at the BRT! Join the “Altar-holics”!

ALTAR BOYZ is a pitch-perfect unpretentious spoof of an ultra-talented energetic Christian boy band in the final performance of its "Raise the Praise" tour, hell-bent on getting the world in synch with G.O.D. “Think you’ll find” it’s incredibly well written and it’s “making some noise”……… 90 minutes of pure unmitigated fun really is the whole point.  The funky fresh music with a good-news message is revitalizing and the synchronized dancing is exuberant [the boys can move!]. They leap and slide with super-rehearsed precision, beaming at the audience with a wholesome energy that could challenge even the most ardent Mouseketeer.
A rule of comedy is that you can get away with a lot of things if you play it straight! 
“Alter”nothing…….you will sing hallelujah for this bull's-eye mark of a production.
It is heaven-sent silliness, an interdenominational affair, blessed with so much polished and potent talent that it’s a sin! 

The BRT is pleased to close its 2008-2009 season with an original production of ALTAR BOYZ.  This brings to Bristol two of the play’s creators – Music Director Gary Adler, who co-wrote the music and lyrics, and Director and Tony-nominated Choreographer, Bristol native, Christopher Gattelli, who handled the original Off-Broadway choreography. 

Welcome home to Christopher Michael Gattelli, BHS ’91 who grew up on Point Street!
He started dancing at the age of 11 and that year was cast in the national tour of Evita.
Chris landed his first professional job in NYC in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular during his senior year of high school. 
“He made the Rockettes look good,” chimed in Music Director Gary Adler.

“A huge pride to the town to have Chris, the new hot choreographer on Broadway, back in Bristol. A matter of pride to me and everyone in the town! The play is terrific!” 
Susan D. Atkinson, BRT Founding Producing Director

Christopher’s jazz dancing earned him “Star Search” Grand Champion in 1989. He has been fine-tuning his craft for the last 15 years, amassing a most impressive array of acting, dancing and choreography credits to his name.
Some of his accomplishments from Bristol to Broadway -
He won the Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Choreographer in the Off-Broadway production of ALTAR BOYZ and Bat Boy: The Musical; and a Tony and Outer Critics Circle nomination for “South Pacific”. Television projects included being resident choreographer on “The Rosie O’ Donnell Show,” The 2000 Tony Awards® show, “David Letterman” and The Disney Channel’s “Out of the Box.” Chris is a long-time fan of Disney and he served as the assistant choreographer for Disney’s 101 Dalmatians float in the 1998 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Other opportunities to view his phenomenal work: Silence! The Musical, Chess concert with Josh Groban, Hair concert with Jennifer Hudson.

He modestly gives credit to Carol Willson, saying she was a big proponent of his going out to do what he wanted to do. She has set the standard, continuously aspiring to train young people with a gift and desire to dance, nurturing and refining them into talented and inspirational performers.

“Christopher was a student of the modern style of dance; it opened him up and gave him an avenue of clarity. It opened his soul and he blossomed in this form of expression.”
His sister, Kristen, BHS ‘89 was a founding member of Carol’s “Avallon Dance Company”, open by audition only, to students 13 and older who are serious about their art. “He makes me so proud; he took flight and never looked back!” Carol Aurelia [Wilcox] Willson Wagner, owner of Carol Willson’s Studio One located in the Grundy Commons Industrial Complex. 

The ALTAR BOYZ magnetic concert presentation is executed through the wonderfully adept peppy choreography under Christopher’s direction. He expertly makes use of every aspect of infectious energy, athletic ability, and dance technique to demonstrate high “holy” spirited, lightning-speed footwork.   

There have been touring productions of ALTAR BOYZ all over the USA and both national and international resident productions in Chicago, Korea, Hungary, Finland, Australia, Montreal, and the Philippines.

There's a reason that ALTAR BOYZ, is "the hottest ticket in town", actually, there are many reasons. Armed with angelic voices and divine dance moves, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham display a sense of innocence and naivety in their youthful and refreshing message with their infectiously catchy choreographed signature hits performed with a combination of outrageous dialogue and concert-style rock. The charming cast works terrifically as an ensemble and each has a chance to shine: 
 “Matthew [Matt deAngelis](the leader of the pack with the heart of a saint), Mark [John Pinto, Jr.] (a sensitive young man with deep faith in Cher), Luke [Travis Morin] (the wild one with a strong “interest” in communion wine), Juan [Xavier Cano](an orphan, searching for his parents, who also has an eye for all the girls in the audience) and Abraham [Jonathan Fadoul] (a nice Jewish boy from the Temple down the street, who’s not quite sure how he ended up in the band anyway).” ALTAR BOYZ is five times blessed as the stamina-stoked cast impeccably executes the nearly non-stop dances.  
It’s “psalm” enchanted evening, directed and choreographed by Chris Gattelli.

Taken from the page, the book by Kevin Del Aguila, to the stage, simple fun is poked at the idiosyncrasies of religion with a divine score of music and lyrics by Gary Adler & Michael Patrick Walker.  This winning, cheerful show is a true testament to Chris and Gary’s pattern of excellence and seamlessly converged talents!

Gary Frederick Adler is a composer and musical director based in New York. He has earned two 2005 Drama Desk nominations (along with Walker) for his music and lyrics for the off-Broadway show ALTAR BOYZ, which had its premiere in the New York Musical Theatre Festival. As a composer, Gary has written songs for Disney Channel's Johnny and the Sprites, and Dance Dance Revolution, inspired by the popular video game with the same title and will be “a futuristic dance spectacular, fusing unmerciful Japanese rave music with deeply regrettable sophomoric comedy”. 
He has served as the musical director for numerous shows, most notably Avenue Q. His other NYC conducting credits include Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, Urinetown, The Fantasticks and Nunsense.
His mom was a Bill Ost big band singer and his dad a trombonist when they met. Gary developed a passion for music at age three, when he discovered that he could play "Lean On Me" by utilizing the top four white keys of the piano.
He grew up in a suburb outside of Detroit, MI, learning to play both the piano and the viola. His intensive curriculum at the U. of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, one of the finest performing arts schools in the USA, was geared to a double composition /piano performance degree designed for students preparing for specific professional purposes. This exceptionally talented artiste moved to Newtown after college and began his musical directing career with  “A Day in Hollywood/ A Night in the Ukraine” at the BRT almost two decades ago, returning to do “Chicago” in 1995 before relocating to NYC. “Actually, I’m surprised at how much Bristol hasn’t changed!”

Gary will be playing keyboard onstage for the BRT performance of the ALTAR BOYZ.
His favorite instrument is his Mason & Hamlin piano, The Model A, widely considered to be the world's best grand piano under 6 feet. 

He was “the lone arranger” for the original music and came to the conclusion that “Catholic hymns are just not very funny!” He wrote 6 of the songs [every single one is melodic and funny] including “We are the Altar Boyz” and “Something About You”. 

He thanks his niece, Abbey Buckley who sent him a mixed tape of Christian pop songs long ago. “Without her, this show would not have been written.”

“My gift is my song………and this one’s for you.”  [“Your Song” by Elton John]

Gary especially likes Elton John’s more obscure songs from his “Tumbleweed Connection” album that he feels contains some of his most expressive works as an artist, where his voice and inflection made every song seem deeply personal.

He expressed that each group of actors brings something slightly different to the show.
He started working on it in 2001 and ALTAR BOYZ opened Off Broadway at New World Stages in 2005.
He and Chris performed together in the show in Korea with a translator and Gary asked Christopher to come back to his hometown Bristol to choreograph and direct the show at the BRT.

Gary Adler’s music and lyrics and Christopher Gatelli’s choreography and directing combine to create an evening that is superbly high-energy and unapologetically light and amusing. You may not come out of the theatre converted, but there is a good chance you’ll leave smiling! Open thy heart and let "ALTAR BOYZ" in, for lo, this incredible show at the Bristol Riverside Theatre will make thee smile. 

ALTAR BOYZ previews on May 12th, opens May 14th and closes May 31, 2009.
Tickets are $34.00-$42.00 with $15.00 student tickets. 
There is FREE parking, great restaurants within walking distance and seating in which “tall men can stretch their legs”. There’s even a great place right across the street, the Cannoli coffee bar & gelateria café, with outstanding Italian gelato for after the show!

Bristol Riverside Theatre
120 Radcliffe Street
Bristol, PA
show schedules and ticket information:

Recommend a Spotlight: e-mail
Composer / Musical Director
Gary Frederick Adler 
by Cate Murway

Come; choose the best seat in the house [they’re all perfect, only 30 feet from the stage!] in the inviting 300-seat theater equipped with extraordinary lighting and sound technology. The audience becomes theirs, as the professional actors transcend the moment and cleverly guide you someplace else within the playwright's imagination and to the world the Bristol Riverside Theatre has so artfully created.
In 1984, while English writer Eric Blair, under the pen-name of George Orwell, concentrated on “Big Brother is Watching”, The Grundy Foundation commenced a long-range strategic planning process with the purchase of an adult movie house, previously a neighborhood family theatre, The Bristol Theatre, on the Delaware River. Len Snyder was the Executive Director at that time and they offered the newly acquired property to the Repertory Theatre of Bucks County (REPCO), a company dedicated to developing new plays and playwrights. Bucks County's first Equity Regional Theatre was born as the Bristol Riverside Theatre on 120 Radcliffe Street in 1987.

Susan Davis Atkinson, who is sparklingly unique and fun, was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Upper Bucks outside Doylestown, a daughter of an insurance agent father and an elementary school teacher/ painter mom, along with her younger sister, Mary, who was a Math and Science teacher, currently a potter.   Susan recalls her first play “The Mad Woman of Chaillot” in which she performed with renowned actresses Laura Esterman and Blythe Danner, her classmates at The George School in Newtown.  She realized then that she was a “terrible actress” and that they “were wonderful” and she unfalteringly decided at age 13 to become a director! Susan continued her undergraduate studies, majoring in English and French at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA, which is included in the prestigious list of the top 100 Liberal Arts colleges throughout the nation. The University had secured a huge grant for the Arts, so Susan had the privilege of studying under the major poets and playwrights of this country. Respected playwright, poet, novelist and essayist [Everett] LeRoi Jones also known as Imanu Amiri Baraka, a Newark, NJ native and Harvard graduate, and Denise Levertov, one of the twentieth-century’s foremost American poets, born in Ilford, Essex, England impacted Susan phenomenally.  She feels her greatest challenge was the first show she directed at the newly opened theatre, “The Good Earth”, which was Bucks County based by Pearl Buck.  A narrator was required to cut down the length of the 4½ hour- long piece and 6 tons of dirt was needed for the stage. Her set designer was one of German playwright Bertolt Brecht’s original designers. Brecht led the Berliner Ensemble and “was a seminal thinker of the theatre in the 20th century”.
Susan hired [Edward] Keith Baker as an actor when he auditioned for a part in the NY play “ Murrow”, at that time a new play about Edward R. Murrow, the most renowned figure, "patron saint of American broadcasting" in the history of American broadcast journalism. Keith appeared as Frank Stanton, the distinguished broadcast executive known for the leadership he brought to CBS, Inc. during his 25- year presidency (1946--71). The author actually altered the part because Keith was so good! Keith was born in Macon, GA and raised by his opera singer mom who used the stage name of Leigh Harlowe in the NY City and Philadelphia Opera Companies.  From the age of 11, he and his sister, Shirley grew up in the upper West side of Manhattan, NY. Not an intimation of a New York or a Southern accent, he always wanted to be a Shakespearean actor.  His brother, Sean is a NY Real Estate broker, and his brother Mark runs Mitsubishi Printing Presses in Chicago, IL. The Ford Motor Company in Beirut, in the Middle East, employed Keith’s late father. As a Southern boy, with then a thick Southern accent, he experienced an expensive all male prep school education, with Henry Winkler as a classmate, at McBurney School in New York City. Ted Koppel and JD Salinger also attended and graduated from McBurney.  Keith, 17 at the time, chose to continue his education at the Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theater on E 54th St in Manhattan to study under Sanford Meisner, a leading acting teacher who trained some of the most famous performers of the stage and screen.
"Take it from a director: if you get an actor that Sandy Meisner has trained, you've been blessed." - Elia Kazan [one of America's great directors, recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award]. 

Keith is an alumnus of The Juilliard School, which is recognized as one of the best performing arts conservatories in the world. He sang high tenor opera, with a repertoire of high c’s and d’s, low end of g’s & f’s. He starred in the original road company of “Fiddler on the Roof” as “Now I Have Everything”, Perchick, full of fire and brimstone. His favorite performances were Don Quixote in “ Man of La Mancha”, who sets out to fight injustice in the name of his beloved maiden Dulcinea del Toboso; and what he feels is his greatest lead dramatic performance as Sir Thomas Moore in the “Man for All Seasons”.  Per Susan, he was incredible as the inept and paranoid Captain Queeg in “The Caine Mutiny” based on the 1951 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Herman Wouk. 
During the 1980’s he owned the Florida Repertory Theatre in the Palm Beach area. [Repertory is a Standard English term in the theatre meaning a company that performs a series of plays one after the other, often using the same actors.]  When he returned to NY [he loves NY!] in 1991 to continue his career, he auditioned for a play at a theatre in which he had never heard; the 3- year old Bristol Riverside Theatre, and he met Susan. 
Bristol Borough residents, Susan D. Atkinson, Founding Producing Director and Keith Baker, Artistic Director, married to Joan [an actress, stage name of Jo Twiss, whom he met at the BRT] are filled with a celebratory attitude as the Bristol Riverside Theatre enters its twentieth season. There are few things that touch a person more intensely than an extraordinary work of art or an excellent dramatic or musical performance.  Bristol Borough has always been an exquisite place in which to live, per Real Estate listings “an enviable and desirable theatre district” and a truly fun place to visit.  Pictures throughout the town, depicting old scenes of the only significant town between the Delaware River and Doylestown, show the original Grand Theater on Mill Street, owned by the famous producer, John Kenley, with limousines parked in front. Theatergoers are dressed in their finest furs walking on Radcliffe Street, similar to a 5th Avenue in NYC scene.  “The theatre has always been an economic engine in the town.”
Brad Little, who stars in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera [the youngest Phantom ever], performed in “Baby” at BRT for 2 months. He and his actress wife also met in the BRT and purchased a house here in town. Dyslexia propelled Little towards music. He was never able to read music proficiently, but he flourished as a singer because of his ear, voice and memory. 
“If it has keys, I will play it for you,” Keith shares.  After having been the Musical Director, he assumed the role of Artistic Director in 1997.  His first musical play at BRT was “Two By Two” by Richard Rodgers.  “Danny Kaye starred in it on Broadway. It didn’t work for Danny Kaye, either!” 

Keith stresses the important distinction that “BRT is a Professional Theatre that uses only professional actors who belong to Actors Equity Association and professional directors. Acting is their career, not their avocation or a hobby.
We have all spent countless years perfecting our art. The difference between amateur and professional is their commitment to craft. This is not a local community theatre.  This is a “Non-for-Profit Regional Theatre with a mission to provide the highest quality professional theatre with prices that are accessible to everyone.  We try to supplant short falls in earned income with fundraising, foundation, corporate and private support.”
What a source of pride for Bristol Borough! Tickets for this high quality professional theatre are only $35.00! There is FREE parking, great restaurants within walking distance and seating in which “tall men can stretch their legs”. 
“What is offered here is something that is secure, that is beautiful. When you come to the Bristol Riverside you come for the evening for a magnificent event.”
All shows are family friendly, chosen to embrace the largest audience of people.
The passion of the performers is potent in every presentation!
Call 215-785-0100, or check the website:


The Bristol Riverside Theatre “As You Like It”
by Cate Murway

“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;”
William Shakespeare - (from As You Like It)

The Bristol Riverside Theatre made an audacious entrance when The Bristol Arts Theatre, a humiliation to the Bristol Borough community, made its exit! Generally, the theatre movement took off at the turn of the last century when films made their debut. Many small-town professional playhouses either closed due to the competition from the new art form or were converted to movie-houses. Theatre-lovers still want the real thing -- a live theatre.  The original Riverside Theatre was vaudeville and a silent movie theatre.

The development of vaudeville, referring specifically to American variety entertainment, marked the inauguration of this well-liked diversion as big business, dependent on increased leisure time, spending power, and changing tastes of an urban middle class audience. Unfortunately, the building was destroyed by a blaze in August of 1937, even though the “Bristol Consolidated Fire Department” attempted valiantly to quench the tongues of flame. A. and L. Sablosky announced that they were to purchase the property formerly owned by Lewis J. Bevan . The plan was to open an up-to-date “fireproof” theatre and open the playhouse with “the very latest in the way of equipment” before Christmas.
It reopened in 1938 and was hailed as Bucks County’s finest! It remained opened until the mid 1960’s or early 1970’s. It was sold and then reopened as the adult movie house.

Thanks to the Grundy Foundation and an investment of over one million dollars to transform the dilapidated building into a state-of-the-art theater, The Bristol Riverside Theatre opened its doors in September 1987.
As attested on its web page, BRT has brought celebrated theater artists to the region in a number of capacities, including Katherine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Micki Grant [multi-talented actress/singer/author/composer], Adrian Pasdar [“Chipper” in Top Gun], Kim Hunter, John Henry Redwood [appeared in Guys and Dolls and The Piano Lesson on Broadway], Stephen Schnetzer [voice-overs for commercials, most recently for Roc facial products], Keir Dullea [1984's 2010: The Year We Make Contact], Hugh O'Gorman [US Attorney Chuck Rodman on LAW & ORDER], Ron Link [actor/director], Susan Powell, Bethe B. Austin, Aileen Quinn, Rita Taggart, and Richard White [Beauty and the Beast (1991) (voice) .... Gaston]. Additionally, the theatre serves as a cultural nucleus for the community, with innovative programs for children's theatre, community concerts and exhibitions of local visual arts. An average community theatre doesn't aspire to professional status (although most aspire to professional standards). BRT is a professional theatre with professional actors and professional directors.


You’ll find “Absurd Person Singular” Spectacular!
by Cate Murway

“We live in what is, but we find a thousand ways not to face it. Great theater strengthens our faculty to face it.”  
Thornton Niven Wilder [1897 –1975) American playwright 

Nothing can beat the theatre for entertainment. Technology and special effects are all well and good on the cinema screen, but the human touch of actors performing live in front of you, the passion of all those involved with the performance, and the grandeur of the stage and the theatre itself make a visit to the theatre something we should do more often. There are few things that touch a person more intensely than an extraordinary work of art or an excellent dramatic or musical performance.

Theater is one of the oldest forms of performing art. From the stone ages, men and women have been telling stories by enacting them when even no language existed.
In a world with an ever-increasing number of diversions, the theatre is live, generating communion and catharsis in a real, physical space! The alchemy of live performance in a living space is a little sweet escapism that sounds pretty appealing. Theater has its own charm. There is something magical, an electrifying experience, in watching an ensemble of actors performing on the stage in front of you, telling you a story that you share with a room full of people. It is like a mirror where we can see ourselves!

Bristol Riverside Theatre continues its 2008-2009 season with Absurd Person Singular by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn, one of the most inexhaustible and widely performed of English language playwrights. Juilliard School director and actor and playwright as well, Gus Kaikkonen directs this charming, contemporary romantic comedy divided into three acts that document the fortunes of three married couples. This commentary on the division of social classes and how quickly one can rise and fall, looks at the game of love through the kitchens of the married couples at Christmas. 
They find in each other something inescapably captivating, and in this story full of warmth, wit and unending humor, you will be treated to an evening of hilarious romance.

Come; choose the best seat in the house [they’re all perfect, only 30 feet from the stage!] in the inviting 300-seat theater equipped with extraordinary lighting and sound technology. The audience becomes theirs, as the professional actors transcend the moment and cleverly guide you someplace else within the playwright's imagination and to the world the Bristol Riverside Theatre has so artfully created.
The BRT is the recipient of over 50 Barrymore Award nominations for Excellence in Theatre, given annually by the Theatre Alliance of greater Philadelphia.
There is FREE parking, great restaurants within walking distance and seating in which “tall men can stretch their legs”. 

Come to see the self-confident, energetic and determined, blonde haired and blue-eyed Lisa M. Bostnar, one of today’s theatre’s finest actresses. This first rate cast treasure, a true “ray of sunshine”, who is sparklingly unique and fun, originally heralds from Cleveland, Ohio but not from a theatrical family. Her mom, Emily is “the best mother in the world” and her dad, attorney Louis Bostnar, played the banjo and the piano. Her older sister Deborah who did some local theatre, currently manages an apartment building complex and her older brother, Mark, a great talented artist, lives in the Keys and works in construction. 

Lisa shares her birthday with Vikki Carr, one of the best-loved and most accomplished entertainers in the U.S. 
She debated starting her career between LA and NY. She has resided in Manhattan since 1986. She and NY have a “healthy respect for each other” but she’ll never call it Home [with a capital H]. Actually, Lisa finds Bristol on the Delaware River “lovely”!

Ms. Bostnar’s first exposure to live theater was in the nurturing environment and cooperative learning experience of the Heights Youth Theatre program in University Heights. The Heights Youth Theatre, known for its youth productions and theater classes, is one of the oldest children's theaters in the country. It was founded in 1945 and in 1952 Jerry Leonard became the group's first director and its guiding force, shaping the organization into a full-fledged professional children's theater company. Lisa “learned a strong respect and discipline for the craft”.
Their Mission Statement says it best--the purpose of Heights Youth Theatre is "to entertain, educate, and inspire!"
Inspire they did! Lisa loved every minute she was involved in the youth theatre and she
shared that she “loved being on stage”.
Her mentors, [she sure knew how to choose the right ones!] were Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis and Katharine Houghton Hepburn. In 1999, Davis was placed second, behind Katharine Hepburn, on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest female stars of all time.
As a college student, Lisa studied under the brilliant actor, director and teacher Kenneth A. Albers, the former head of the Theater Department of Case Western Reserve University. A Russian major, Chinese minor, she always loved languages. She studied 4 years of Russian and even spent a semester in Russia. She realized that there are no coincidences, just “happy accidents” when she found that a Russian accent was required when she was faxed “sides”, script pages that contain the scenes to be shot. 
She has used her language proficiency in several acting parts. Lisa guest starred as Yolanda Parkova on Law & Order on NBC, the longest running crime series and the second longest-running drama series in the history of American broadcast television. 
She has portrayed Detective Lane in “All My Children” and Nurse Joan in “Another World” on ABC. Lisa was Nicki Eyes’ Girl in GoodFellas, directed by Martin Scorsese that was nominated for six Academy Awards, and Kate in “Taming of the Shrew” in the Riverside Shakespeare Theatre. Her reviews are outstanding!
Commended in the NY Times “The Arts” for her role in “The Lonely Way” at the Mint Theatre, her accolades included the “most heart wrenching of all is actress Irene Herms played by Lisa. She gives a remarkable performance, combining the weightlessness of a lifelong coquette with a heroine’s gravity and ferocity.”
Lisa has also performed in the Great Neck Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland and as 
Constanza in the powerful “Amadeus” in Albuquerque NM.

The “Absurd Person Singular” cast is a mix of local actors and NY-based actors who have previously worked with director Gus Kaikkonen.
Alumnus of The Juilliard School, BRT Artistic Director Keith Baker portrays slightly over-the-hill banker Ronald, and the clearly talented, new to the BRT actress, Lisa Bostnar portrays his wife, Marion who has crawled inside a liquor bottle and has yet to escape. While she can be a perfectly fine hostess, as soon as drinks are poured, she's a goner!
The passion of the performers, including Dan Hodge [Sidney], Kate Hampton [Jane], Jack Koenig [Geoffrey] and Susan Riley Stevens [Eva] is potent in every presentation!

The show previews on Tuesday, November 11th and November 12th, opens on Thursday, November 13th and closes on Sunday, November 30th.
Tickets are $29.00 -$37.00.
Students $15.00
Call the Box Office 215.785.0100
or visit the Bristol Riverside Theatre
Seriously Entertaining Theatre 
120 Radcliffe Street  Bristol, PA 19007

Due to the Borough Council’s generosity and support for the theatre, the BRT is even more affordable for you and your family.
Attend any Tuesday or Wednesday preview performance and PAY WHAT YOU WISH!
This offer is subject to availibility of seats and proof of residence- a valid driver’s license, phone bill or other form of identification.
All PAY WHAT YOU WISH tickets must be purchased at the Box Office, in person. Tickets go on sale 20 minutes prior to curtain. Preview performances begin at 8:00 PM.
Bristol Riverside Theate is deeply grateful to the Borough for making this opportunity available to all.

Take care of your holiday shopping now by purchasing Bristol Riverside Theatre tickets for your friends, family and colleagues. Beat the December rush and lock in the best seats available today. While you're at it, pick up a couple for yourself to one of their many fabulous Holiday shows. Holiday gift cards are available, too!
Subscriptions range from $99.00-$125.00 for adults and $50.00 for students. 

To recommend a Bristol Spotlight: e-mail


Forever Plaid..really is Forever!
by Cate Murway

Forever Plaid, the musical comedy by Stuart Ross, choreographed by Gregory Daniels, is the first repeat production in the BRT’s history, directed by Edward Keith Baker, who also directed it for Bristol in 2001 and called it a “sure-fire success”. Enter [again!] through May 13th, tenor Christopher Zelno, an original cast member, as the befuddled, nose bleeding, shy Jinx, a member of the quartet of clean-cut high school chums, the Plaids, who sings in an impressively wide range, backed by only two instrumentalists - pianist Benjamin VanDiepen, making his BRT debut and bassist Bob Gargiullo. The affectionate revue of the close-harmony "guy groups" welcomes you back with a delightfully goofy reincarnation “with the glorious music and the blend of voices to a time of innocence”, revived, miraculously, for a plaid-fabulous time! A simple setting with four microphones making “the biggest comeback since Lazurus”! An intense 22 songs in 90 minutes, plus dancing! Chris’ big “Jinx” solo is "Cry" by Johnnie Ray [John Alvin Ray was one of the most popular American singers of his day, and is considered by many people to be the forerunner of what would become rock 'n' roll.]

 “Well now, remember sunshine can be found
Behind a cloudy sky
So let your hair down and go right on and cry”

Chris was born in Scranton and moved with his family to the city in Philadelphia and then grew up in Narberth, Montgomery County, known as the Heart of the Main Line until the age of 18. He attended St. Margaret Roman Catholic School [he was an altar boy] and graduated from Lower Merion High School ‘85, in Ardmore, which is renowned for its high quality, with very high standards, music department. Chris performed in the LM Players, a unique completely student-run H.S. theater organization that has brought exciting productions to the Main Line for over thirty years, and the Narberth Community Theatre, a not-for-profit theater company in the lower level of the United Methodist Church of Narberth.  He was also cast in numerous productions in the Riverfront Dinner Theatre and the City Line Theatre. His first show was the stage production of “Oliver”, based upon Dickens' “Oliver Twist”, as a half-starved orphaned workhouse boy and he experienced “an immediate sense of it being very right; it was just right for me to be there, doing that”. A passion was exactly what he found on that stage!

Chris attended the private college, The Boston Conservatory of Music, for one year, because he liked their “musical theatre program”, a uniquely intensive and supportive class setting that trains exceptional young performing artists for careers that enrich and transform the human experience. He transferred to The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, an accredited institution of the National Association of Schools of Theatre located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, earning a certificate in Musical Theatre. 

His parents, formerly a Jefferson University Hospital clinical psychologist and currently a Morgan Stanley V.P., Edmund J., once a keyboard player in his own band in the 60’s, Emanon (No Name backwards) & former English teacher [Mary] Ann Zelno confirmed that Chris has been interested in music since he was three. They are “VERY proud of him and his accomplishments and always wish him continued success”.  His interest was supported by his influential late grandparent figures, Tommy and Betty Feaster who originally introduced him to the “Wizard of OZ” and encouraged and nurtured him with many exposures to The Forrest, one of Philadelphia's premier venues for live theatre. Per his dad, Chris’ great-great grandfather, a Professor of Music in Warsaw, Poland was the Director of Music in the Notre Dame de Paris Théâtre.  His mom’s sister, his Aunt Jean, also an English teacher “took him to his first Broadway shows [in the unusual design schemed Broadway Shubert Theatre] in NYC and got him familiar with the city.” He credits her with creating and fostering an environment conducive to his dream.  They stayed in fancy hotels [the Essex House, the 40-story, Art Deco tower, one of the most distinguished buildings along Central Park South] for weekends and he “must give credit to her for exposing him to New York”.  “Revival of West Side Story”, the first N.Y. show he saw in 1980, impacted him and he was “fascinated with the energy and the cluster of theatres in such a concentrated place, it was so exciting!” He stayed back to secure autographs, “No fear.. just excitement!”

Chris, nicknamed “Scoop” by a friend of his for his “crazy memory and great curiosity” will be celebrating his birthday, the “big one” at the beautiful King George II Inn. [He likes everything, just no vegetables]. He shares his birthday with the Italian actor, Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Piero Filiberto Guglielmi [Rudolph Valentino], Academy Award-winning American screenwriter, film and theatre director, producer and actor Orson Welles and the two-time Golden Globe winning American actor, director, producer and screenwriter George Timothy Clooney.

An actor he feels that he “ was completely enamored with was John Wesley Shipp and liked that he did theatre and television.” He got an idealized version of an actor’s life with a diversified career through him; “he got to be in “Guiding Light” [role as Kelly Nelson] in the day and on Broadway at night!” 

Chris’ impressive bio includes his Broadway debut creating the role of the wisecracking Dazzle Razzledorf in the Tony-nominated “Starmites”, a lighthearted coming of age story, and also starred as an Apostle in the 20th anniversary tour of "Jesus Christ Superstar". Recent NY credits include the Broadway concerts of Hair and Chess (with Josh Groban), Vanessa Williams: Silver & Gold (Palace Theatre) and Sinatra: His Voice, His World, His Way (Radio City Music Hall), and the Rosie O’Donnell R Family Vacations Cruise.  Chris is most proud of being an 11-year member of the Grammy nominated, highly acclaimed Broadway Inspirational Voices, a stirring modern, urban gospel choir ensemble of New York singer/actors; a multicultural group of energetic performers taking gospel music to a new and higher level, founded and directed by Michael McElroy.  The choir, “singing just for the joy of it”, performs for charities and is largely unpaid, recently released its first full-length sweeping vocals and wide sound CD, "Grace", sung by 43 singers from more than a dozen Broadway shows. “They use their talents working in the theater but BIV gives each the opportunity to use their gifts to strengthen their souls”. They have performed at the Tony Awards ceremony in 2000, the special July 4th presentation for President Clinton at OpSail 2000, the lighting of the Olympic torch in 2001 and recorded a CD with Bob Dylan titled "In the Garden." He feels honored to perform with Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams, Elton John, Liza Minnelli, Deborah Cox, and Raúl Esparza.

Their next concert is scheduled for September 2007 in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., a major contributor to New York City’s cultural and intellectual life, with an internationally recognized dedication to artistic excellence.   
Chris lives in Hell's Kitchen, Midtown, NYC, since1986, and has sought out the best available training with the renowned brilliant acting coach of 28 years, Allen Savage, Emerson College & Boston University. Allen works on the particular project with an actor; a pre-rehearsal for clarity and comprehension. “Chris is always well prepared, very intelligent and a very decent guy. This comes through on his stage performance.”
Chris is dependable, steadfast, and determined, creative, intellectual, and universal, always willing to work those long, hard hours to see a project through to completion.
What makes him happy is “doing good work with good people”.
Extremely accomplished but with a modest demeanor, “A Plaid remains humble.”

"Cry" lyrics by Johnnie Ray

Bristol Riverside Theatre
120 Radcliffe Street
P.O. Box 1250
215.785.6664 [administration office]
215.785.0100 [box office]

To recommend a Bristol Borough Character to be spotlighted:
email :

American Heritage Dictionary
char·ac·ter     n.  
1.Moral or ethical strength. 
2.A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.


Without a Trace
by Cate Murway

Hurry! Before they disappear again…you are invited to see Magician Richard [Dick] Gustafson, the Past National President [PNP] of the Society of American Magicians, the oldest and most prestigious magical society in the world, with his wife Joanne, in Magic Around the World from July 18-22 at Bristol Riverside Theatre. Their unique skillful style, always diverse enough to keep things moving, is a delight to watch! You get the best seat in the house [they’re all perfect, only 30 feet from the stage!], an intimate setting where everyone can feel that they are part of the show.

“I'll tell you about the magic, 
and it'll free your soul
But it's like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll”

Magic is a living art of performing illusions that baffle and amaze to entertain an audience by presenting an effect so clever and skillful that the viewers suspend their disbelief and cannot conjure up the explanation for tricks that are in apparent violation of natural law.
The ancient Egyptian magician Dedi [2700BC] decapitated two birds and an ox and then restored their heads in the reputed first known royal command performance.
Now in 2007, Richard Lyman Gustafson, Ph.D., Classical High School ’48/Clark University’52, who has been inducted into the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame, and his wife and partner, Joanne, (Joan) [Briggs], Classical High School ’48/ Wochester School of Business Science ’52, professional magicians since 1971 are performing right here in the Borough. Along with their singer/actress/model assistant, Pennsauken, N.J. resident Jeannie [Genie] Boyle, co-owner of Journey Productions,  “who does the work of 4 girls”, they provide an amazing set up and a perfectly executed spin to some of the kind of tricks seen a bazillion times. It is energetic top-notch well-presented excellent illusions that will dazzle audiences with a giant show featuring over 45 acts and mysteries in his workshop tricks, augmented with stirring music and beautiful costumes and scenery.

Dick and Joanne gave an afternoon preview of just how much fun they are having when they performed at The Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library last week and their persona, in turn, rubbed off on the audience of all ages. The very young were kept mesmerized, glued to their seats on the carpeted floor, awestruck at the same time. The adult viewers and the parents clamored for “ringside” seats. One of the spectators, Sue Sutton who accompanied her children, Jackson [7] and Grace [6], and niece, Hailey [5], went home donning a dapper green and black “chapeau” that matched her tank top, created from previously shredded pieces of paper smashed together and then restored as a hat! Dick is truly one of the brilliant minds behind original illusions in magic today.

Joanne’s mom was Dick’s Sunday school teacher but he and Joanne had never met.  Dick invited Joanne’s brother, retired surgeon, Dr. Harry C. Briggs to join Chi-Alpha, [a Christian campus ministry with the purpose to form a Spirit-empowered community] but fortunately Harry sent Joanne to represent him and the “magic” began! They will be married 54 years this September and have 3 sons, Willow Grove resident, Richard L., Jr., Horsham resident, Wayne N. [son Eric is a guitarist] and Maple Glen resident, David C. Wayne and David are full time band leaders, singers and keyboardists who write/arrange music, often times for their parents when they use live orchestra music in their acts.
Dick began his career at Rohm & Haas in 1961 in the Bridesburg, PA location, transferred to Bristol, and then relocated to the World Headquarters on 6th & Market Street. He worked in the Foreign Operations [now called International Division] Marketing Division, Ion Exchange [resins most commonly used in water softeners to exchange calcium in hard water for sodium]. He has authored and published more than 30 technical papers in leading scientific publications, such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and was also granted patents during his 12-year career. Prior to Rohm & Haas, his research was dedicated to the study of the rate of decomposition of Sarin, an extremely toxic highly volatile liquid substance whose sole application is as a nerve agent. 

At Rohm and Haas, his imagination meant exploring the frontiers of technology--pushing beyond conventional boundaries to create products once thought impossible. Now his success and popularity is his clever, analytical entertainment, charming the audience into forgetting about figuring out the tricks, still pushing beyond conventional boundaries.
An A. C. [Alfred Carlton] Gilbert [a Yale graduate] Company “Mysto Magic Set” with an illustrated book of instructions crystallized a goal for the 9-year-old Richard.
He earned $5.00 for his debut show in a Church basement 5 years later and admits, “they were robbed!” He was wearing a bowtie, shaking like a leaf, scared to death. He never performed again until he was in college. Various incidents solidified this career. They moved to Philadelphia in 1961 and he joined the Philadelphia Magic Club, and after serving as secretary and doing a phenomenal job with membership, he was asked to be editor of MUM magazine [Magic Unity Might] and rapidly developed his professional act. Mark Leddy, one of NY’s premier theatrical agents and the head talent scout for Ed Sullivan, was impressed by their Barbizon Plaza Hotel  [currently “ Trump Parc”] Theatre event of candles and silk scarves, “You’ve got the Sullivan Show!”

He and his wife, Joanne have performed at trade shows and nightclubs, on cruises, and appeared in 1967, accompanied by the Ray Bloch orchestra, in their newly developed “Magic by Candlelight” routine with their assistant “Genie” on The Ed Sullivan Show, the definitive and longest running variety series in television history (1948-71), [formerly "The Toast Of The Town"]. Their professional dance card began to fill with offers for prime engagements in Lido, Paris, television in Dusseldorf, Germany and also the London Palladium, based on that show. He “couldn’t take any of that, he was a chemist, was married, had 2 kids and one on the way”.  The next May, they performed an opening act for the late John Gary in The Palmer House Hilton Hotel Empire Room in Chicago, the hot spot in the Midwest.  He was in demand as an entertainer, “big time show business with the fruit and flowers in their rooms”, as well as a scientist.  Merriel Abbott, a talent buyer who produced shows in the nation's foremost hotels, tried to dissuade this “talented, educated man from becoming an entertaining gypsy.” For four years he attempted to juggle the two careers. He became a full-time Magician in October 1971, becoming self-proclaimed “self-unemployed and giving up 4 weeks of vacation!”
Dick was Co-owner, “Tom, Dick & Harry” [1988-99] and the 1st President of the Keswick Theatre of Performing Arts, in Glenside.  The Gustafsons also have a company that specializes in stage effects and magic show type presentations for business sales meetings, entertainment events and conventions for nearly 100 major corporations. Their truly apparent core value resume of Integrity, Leadership, Excellence, Community, Diversity, and Creativity shine through in all their ventures.

His charismatic stage presence and compelling self-assurance is communicated to the audience for an unsurpassed solid entertainment bargain.
A dazzling display of wizardry!
Aspiring magicians take note: John M. Bodner, magician and proprietor of Mill Street’s “Magic Sojourn LLC”, will be demonstrating and selling “Magic of D’Lite”, before and after the show, and at intermission.

“If you believe in magic, come along with me
Believe in the magic that can set you free”

[“Do You Believe in Magic” Lyrics by The Lovin' Spoonful]

“Magic Around the World”
Fun for the whole family in a 2-hour show
Bristol Riverside Theatre
120 Radcliffe Street
Bristol Borough, PA  19007
Box Office: 215.785.0100

 To recommend a Bristol Borough Character to be spotlighted:

American Heritage Dictionary
char·ac·ter     n.  
1.Moral or ethical strength. 
2.A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities. 



    Keith Baker and Susan Davis Atkinson
  Lisa M. Bostnar
  Kate Hampton, Keith Baker, Lisa Bostnar
  Christopher Zelno
Magician Richard Gustafson
Joanne and Dick Gustafson
preview at the Grundy Memorial Library 
 Karen Getz 
featured dancer in "Dirty Dancing"
Leila Ghaznavi & Lenny Haas Photo by: Aleksey Photography
Lenny Haas & Leila Ghaznavi Photo by: Aleksey Photography
Michael Schupbach & Leila Ghaznavi Photo by: Aleksey Photography
Monkey Boys
Michael, Scott, Marc