Liberty Town’s ‘Our Song’ suits our times
BY DONALD LIEBENSON Contributor November 29, 2012 6:48PM
Penny Roman and Patrick Farbo rehearse for Liberty Town Productions’ new show, “They’re Playing Our Song.”
Libertyville High School (north entrance), 708 W. Park Avenue, Libertyville.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 3 p.m. Dec. 2.
$20 for adults and $10 for students with i.d. for Friday and Saturday shows.
Tickets at www.libertytownproductions.com or at the door.
Sunday show is a joint fund-raiser with the Center for Companies That Care, (http://www.companies-that-care.org/) to support that organization’s “Invisible Differences” program. Sunday’s tickets are complimentary, but a donation to benefit both not-for-profit organizations is requested. Available tickets will also be sold at the door.
Carley Wilson Alcorn got her wish.
During her time with Liberty Town Productions, Alcorn has starred in two plays: last spring’s “The Last Five Years,” and “Nunsense,” in which she was roller-skating nun Sister Mary Leo. Turns out what she really wanted to do was direct, preferably a musical comedy. And now they’re playing her song.
Now, Alcorn makes her directorial debut with “They’re Playing Our Song,” running Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and 2 at the Libertyville High School Studio Theatre.
The Liberty Town production stars local stage veterans Patrick Farbo as Vernon and Penny Roman as Sonia. The ensemble also includes Irene Ducharme, Susie Aiello Kiefer, Daniel Mendoza, Javier Soler, Patrick Scheibler and Jodi Thors, who function as a a kind of Greek chorus commenting on the action.
Alcorn, 29, graduated from Illinois Weslyan. She majored in vocal performance and minored in theater. Last summer, she and her husband moved to Chicago from Florida. A friend and former classmate who grew up in Libertyville told her about the not-for-profit organization. “It was like a homecoming,” Alcorn said. “I love what they’re about. It’s all about community, having fun and doing what you love. If you’re in the community and you love to sing, dance and act, they want you.”
There are fewer sure comic bets than Neil Simon, but Alcorn has found directing her first show to be an exhilarating challenge. Timing, she said, is everything, “especially with Neil Simon. The dialogue has to be crisp. It’s a very fast-paced environment.”
Farbo and Roman, she said, have great chemistry together, which is essential for the play. “For the first several weeks of rehearsal, it was just me and the two of them running lines and getting to know each other,” she said. “I encouraged them to do what feels natural and comfortable, to experiment.”
The company chose “They’re Playing Our Song” in part as a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away last summer at the age of 68. Hamlisch was that show business rarity: an EGOT, meaning he had won an Emmy Award, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.
And speakling of timing, Liberty Town Productions’ presentation of “They’re Playing Our Song” could not come at a better time. Between the hard-fought presidential election and escalating tensions in the Middle East, audiences, Alcorn said, could use an escape. “We just want them to come out and have fun. This is a great vehicle for that.”