Broadway professional Noah J. Ricketts leads a group of Salem participants in rehearsal on Thursday, July 8, 2021 (Courtesy/Enlightened Theatrics)
Covid swept Ryann Redmond off the Broadway stage in March 2020 when the entire theater district closed down to stem the spread of the virus.
She left her role as the first female Olaf in the Broadway production of “Frozen” behind and went home to Atlanta, Georgia.
It’s where she first found Broadway Dreams, an international organization that brings Broadway professionals to cities around the world to work with theater hopefuls, back when she was in high school.
“That was my first Broadway performance,” she said after rehearsals on Thursday. “It was a Broadway Dreams showcase in New York when I was in school.”
Now, Redmond is supporting the dreams of about 30 musical theater fans in Salem after taking time to regroup in Georgia and filming an upcoming television show and movie.
Broadway Dreams is teaming up with local group Enlightened Theatrics to put on a show Saturday, July 10 with students ranging in age from seven to 62.
“It’s like a camp, they pay a fee,” said Enlightened Theatrics Executive Director Vincenzo Meduri. “Part of our mission is to ensure that at least 25% of our programming goes to scholarships as well so we have scholarship students in the program as well.”
The program began on July 8 and rehearsals will run until July 11 when students and Broadway professionals will put on a joint show that will feature songs from several Broadway shows.
Broadway talent joining Redmond includes Noah J. Ricketts, Spencer Liff, Jenny Lynn Spencer and J. Robert Spencer who was nominated for a Tony Award for his work in “Next to Normal.”
Liff, a director and choreographer based in New York and Los Angeles, has had his work showcased on “So you Think you Can Dance” and Broadway’s “Head Over Heels.”
Jenny Lynn Spencer has appeared in “The Producers,” “Fosse,” and “All Shook Up.”
The performers usually take their talents on the road each summer hitting about eight cities. Due to Covid, that number has been scaled back to just six and most are online.
“We are the only in-person performance on the west coast this year, which is really exciting,” Meduri said.
The show will feature several Broadway hits and even some rock and roll favorites.
“All the students seem really passionate about musical theater and we’re just excited to bring this to this coast which we don’t get to do often,” said Redmond. “I think it’s going to be a really great show.”
The curtain goes up on Saturday at the Historic Grand Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids. To purchase tickets, visit enlightenedtheatrics.org/broadwaydreams/tickets or call the box office at 503-585-3427.
Contact reporter Caitlyn May at [email protected].
JUST THE FACTS, FOR SALEM - We report on your community with care and depth, fairness and accuracy. Get local news that matters to you. Subscribe to Salem Reporter starting at $5 a month. Click I want to subscribe!