Lake Plains Players help fill arts void with living room concerts

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 June 2020 at 8:17 pm

Regan Todd, right, and her mother Trisha Stacey of Medina sing “What is this Feeling?” from Wicked as part of the Living Room Concert series by the Lake Plains Players. Their video was posted on May 18 and has more than 1,500 views.

Jen Neroni-Trupo sings “To Build a Home” from The Bridges of Madison County.

Lake Plains Players, a local community theater group that has performing musicals and shows for about 40 years, hasn’t let the Covid-19 pandemic sideline its performers.

The group has turned to posting videos during the week in a series called, “Living Room Concerts.” Each of the videos tend to get more than 1,000 views. (Click here for the LPP Facebook page to see the videos.)

“It just helps people and brightens their day,” said Lance Anderson, the LPP president and an Albion native.

Anderson is one of the performers, singing “Sweet Zoo” by Jeffrey D. Harris from Barbra Streisand’s “My Name is Barbra” album. His video was posted on April 17.

The videos are posted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They feature many of the LPP stars, from children to people who have been on stage for decades.

Anderson is amazed by the views for the videos and the many positives comments.

“We’re getting a bigger following,” he said. “We’re reaching more people.”

Anderson said recent videos have included instrumentalists. LPP may add snippets from past musicals as well. There many been monologues and readings. And there could be a second round for the performers already featured.

Lance Anderson, an Albion native and the LPP president, performs “Sweet Zoo” by Jeffrey D. Harris from Barbra Streisand’s “My Name is Barbra” album. His video was posted on April 17.

“We thought it might give people something to look forward to and give some of our members a chance to perform even though they are recording their songs from home,” Anderson said. “We have adults who have played leads in our shows and high schoolers who have played leads in the summer kids productions. We have performers from Rochester to Buffalo and all the places in between, including Orleans County. We just wanted to give back in some small way to the communities we hold so dear.”

Annabella Salisbury, a high school junior at Albion, sings “Waiting for Life” from Once on This Island.

Jennifer Neroni Trupo, Lyndonville’s K-12 vocal teacher, kicked off the Living Room Concerts on March 26, singing “To Build a Home” from The Bridges of Madison County by Jason Robert Brown.

She said the Covid-19 pandemic has been hard on musicians, with musicals and concerts all cancelled for the foreseeable future.

She welcomed the chance to be part of the Living Room Concert series.

“During this time of people being stuck at home the arts are a soothing thing,” Trupo said. “This is a great outlet for performers to share with other people.”

She said many of her students are disappointed the school musical was cancelled, especially after many weeks of rehearsing.

“A lot of the students are struggling because they have lost their shows and their concerts,” she said.

She has enjoyed the variety in the Living Room Concerts, and the varied backgrounds. Some people, like her, have performed while their pets watched.

“We have people of all ages and the song selections are so uplifting,” she said.

Leah Kania, a sophomore at Albion, sings “Mr. Snow” from Carousel in a video posted on April 24.

Some of the performers so far have included Tamara Huzair, Angela Dray & Jeanette Sheliga, Lizzie Hopkins, Regan Todd (Stacy) and Trisha Stacy, Matt Mayne, Gary Simboli, Jackie Bleich, Beck Witty, Annabella Salisbury, Theresa Jones, Danielle and Eric Glynn, Leah Kania, Matt Barry, Carissa Clarcq, Joe Kusmierczak, Jennifer Neroni-Trupo, Gabriele Montgomery, Brian Wilson, Debbie Tompkins, Marissa Parker, Anthony Chavers, Tyler Weymouth, Johna Weigand, Hilda Myer-Post, Scott Weber, Lance Anderson and Sara Hill.

One of the performers, Anthony Chavers of Newfane, sings “Pulled” from The Addams Family by Andrew Lippa. Chavers is the recipient of the annual $250 scholarship given by the LPP to a graduating senior who has excelled in the arts.

The Lake Plains Players were planning to do a summer children’s theater camp, capped by a performance of Frozen Jr. That has been pushed to 2021.

Instead, Trupo and Anderson will do a “cabaret kids” program, providing singing lessons for some children who will perform in a virtual cabaret each week in July. Click here for more information.

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