Over the Tavern opens at UW-Sheboygan April 22
Show focuses on family life in the 1950s
Flashback to the 1950s -- the days of poodle skirts and bobbie socks. The days when the evening meal was enjoyed around the family dinner table every night. TV was an amazing source of entertainment, if only on a small screen and in black and white.
These were the days when life was simpler. Slower. More innocent.
These are the days of Over the Tavern, UW-Sheboygan’s spring 2011 theater production.
Over the Tavern, by Tom Dudzick, opens Friday, April 22 in the UW-Sheboygan Fine Arts Theater. This University Theatre production is a comedy that recalls an earlier era; the story takes place in Buffalo, New York in 1959 in the home of Chet and Ellen Pazinski who live above the bar that they run. The family has many of the usual sibling rivalries, but is most discombobulated by the youngest child, Rudy, who is unable to accept the teachings of the Catholic Church without question.
“The questioning spirit of a 12-year-old boy brings a fresh perspective to our understanding of faith and ritual,” said Bruce Browne, University Theatre director. “While those with a Catholic upbringing will enjoy some things others might miss, all audience members will enjoy the struggles of this family to make sense of their life together.”
Over the Tavern is the first of a trilogy of plays about the Pazinski family. Following the success of Over the Tavern, playwright Dudzick created two more scripts in later time periods to continue the saga of the family. First produced in Buffalo, this play has seen wide production in regional theatres around the United States.
Over the Tavern features a small cast, including, “Georgie,” played by Keane Schmidt of Plymouth. Keane appeared last summer in Mill Street Live at the Plymouth Arts Center. A UW-Sheboygan student, Keane made his acting debut in the role of Link in “Hairspray.” Keane hopes to transfer to UW-Madison to study medicine.
The character of “Eddie” is played by Christopher Wilson, a UW-Sheboygan sophomore last seen on this stage as Corny in “Hairspray.” Christopher has been acting since age seven; his first production was with Youth Theatre Company directed by Patty Talen.
Lindsey Pozenel will delight audiences as “Annie.” Majoring in hospitality management, Pozenel is in her third semester at UW-Sheboygan and is making her theatrical debut with this production. A graduate of Sheboygan South High School, Pozenel played clarinet for eight years; on the court she plays singles in tennis.
Debra Kosup usually works behind the scenes these days, and has designed the costumes for many a Theatre for Young Audiences show, including “ Hairspray.” Kosup, who will play “Ellen Pazinski,” the long-suffering mother, is enjoying performing again—something she used to do as a tightrope walker with the Big Apple Circus. Kosup also trained in Poland with the theatrical visionary Jerzy Growtowski. Her earlier work has been seen locally in TYA and JMKAC productions. Kosup presently works as a landscape designer at Restoration Gardens in Kohler.
Nanette Bulebosh will play “Sister Clarissa.” She last performed with University Theatre in “More Fun than Bowling.” She has also acted with the Sheboygan Theatre Company, Theater for Young Audiences, and Bailiwick Players in Plymouth. A graduate of Lakeland College, Bulebosh has a degree in theatre. She also says she spent two years attending and two years teaching in a Catholic School, and still keeps in touch with several of the nuns from her school days, which allowed her to connect with her character easily.
Jeremy Jochmann, who plays “Rudy,” was born and raised in Sheboygan. Jochmann appeared in eight shows at Sheboygan North High School, including “Sweeney Todd” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Jochmann graduated in 2007 and is currently studying communication at UW-Sheboygan and works as a theatre technician. He last served as the light board operator for University Theatre’s production of “Almost Maine.”
Eric Rindfleisch is returning to University Theatre after a decade away to play “Chet Pazinski,” the father and owner of the bar. On this stage, he appeared in “The Real Thing,“and “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” Rindfleisch is presently a City of Sheboygan alderman, and has a Master’s of Public and Nonprofit Administration. He lives with his wife and two children in Sheboygan.
Pat Cadman of Plymouth is serving as the set construction shop foreman. Cadman also constructed the set for “Almost, Maine” in fall 2010. He and Ric Puls built the extended set for “Hairspray” and are responsible for the rather complete interior set of Over the Tavern.
Martha Oppeneer is the show’s costume designer. Oppeneer has a degree in fashion design and presently works in the hospitality industry in Sheboygan. Lights and sound will be handled by Brown and Jochmann.
The play will be best enjoyed by those over the age of 12. Show times for Over the Tavern will include April 22, April 23, April 29 and April 30 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m. in the UW-Sheboygan Fine Arts Theatre, located inside the Fine Arts Building on the campus.
Tickets for the show are $10 for the general public (general seating) and $5 for UW-Sheboygan students. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the UW-Sheboygan Business Service Office Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., or call the Box Office at (920) 459-6652. Tickets also will be available one hour before each show in the Fine Arts Building lobby.
The UW-Sheboygan campus is located at One University Drive, just off Taylor Drive (between Indiana and Union avenues). The Fine Arts Theater is located adjacent to the East Parking Lot.