Performances: Feb. 11, 12 and 13
6 p.m. VIP Reception
7 p.m. Performance
St. Leo The Great Catholic Church Parish Center
28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs, FL 34134
$30 General Admission
$60 VIP – Reception and reserved seat
Tickets available from a member of The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs or you may purchase tickets now online here: BUY TICKETS NOW!
Freddie Filmore: George M. Cohan III
Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood: Wayne Hempstead
Our producer is Dan Lombardo, brother of Rotarian Bob Lombardo.
Dan Lombardo, dramaturg since 2005 at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater and leader of its three-year-old WHAT Lab for developing new plays, has been named the company’s new artistic director. Lombardo will “select and oversee” the summer season of plays on the Julie Harris Stage on Route 6 and at other smaller venues the company may use.
Lombardo’s appointment to lead the state-of-the-art theater WHAT opened in 2007 was announced in a press release this morning after agreement by the board of directors. “Dan not only has marvelous artistic talents, but is simply a great person,” Bruce Bierhans, board co-chair and WHAT’s president and CEO, said in the release. “I have known Dan for years and am thrilled that he agreed to take this position. I’m looking forward to working with him, as we put together what will be a spectacular season.”
Mark Hough, WHAT executive director, said he is looking forward to Lombardo both continuing the tradition of WHAT, which has been known for its cutting-edge plays, and “expanding our creative horizons.”
Last fall, Lombardo was named artistic director for the Harbor Stage at WHAT’s original location on Kendrick Avenue. But WHAT lost that second space when it learned last month that its annual lease for that building would not be renewed. (In fact, a new troupe of frequent WHAT actors and directors, the fledgling Harbor Stage Company, has announced plans to produce shows in that space.)
Lombardo replaces Jeff Zinn, who left WHAT last fall after more than two decades as artistic director and overseeing dozens of productions. After Zinn’s departure, WHAT officials moved to turn the Julie Harris Stage into more of a year-round performing arts center — adding more music, film and collaborations with other arts organizations — while retaining the summer theater season that Lombardo will now oversee.
While no plays have yet been announced for WHAT’s season, Lombardo’s taste and preference seem to lean toward the non-traditional fare that made the company’s national reputation.
“WHAT became known for adventurous theater, right out of the box, so to speak. Every play was an adventure, an exploration into the unknown,” the release quoted him as saying. “For me it’s the only way to do theater, and it’s a privilege to be part of it.”
Lombardo said he has especially enjoyed his work with WHAT Lab, a short-term residency program, developing new plays. “There is hardly anything more important and rewarding than discovering new talent for the theater, whether emerging playwrights, actors, or composers,” he said. “And it helps keep the creative theatrical juices flowing in Wellfleet, even in the middle of winter.”
Lombardo nurtured WHAT Lab by volunteering much of his time, contributing his own money and connecting with artistic directors from around the country. A play developed through WHAT Lab, Brenda Withers’ “The Ding Dongs, or What is the Penalty in Portugal,” closed out WHAT’s 2011 season at The Julie. (Withers is now among the six theater artists striking out with the new Harbor Stage Company.)
Lombardo had said last fall that he hoped to stage another WHAT Lab play, “The Consequences” – described as a ‘rock and roll ‘Fantasticks’ – this season, but that had been destined for the smaller theater at the harbor.
Lombardo’s directing credits include “Boeing Boeing” last summer at WHAT and “Born Yesterday” in the previous season. He has also directed plays at American Stage Theater in Florida and for Boston Theater Marathon. Beyond WHAT, his work as a dramaturg and research consultant in TV and film has included “The Irish” and “Voices and Visions” for PBS, “The Belle of Amherst” (with Claire Bloom in England), “Malice,” “The Afterglow” and several Florentine Films documentaries. Lombardo has appeared in PBS and BBC films and has authored 10 books, including “Wellfleet: A Cape Cod Village” and “Cape Cod National Seashore: The First 50 Years.”