Everyone’s invited to join the fun for the 2006 Rend Lake College Theatre Children’s Musical, “When in Rome,” a new comedic musical set in ancient Rome.
“When in Rome” pokes fun at Roman politics, class distinctions and the gladiator games and is sure to be a treat for the whole family. The play runs Thursday, May 18, through Sunday, May 21, at the RLC Theatre in Ina. The Thursday through Saturday performances will be at 7 p.m. and the Sunday show will be a 2 p.m. matinee.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do: slip on a toga and charge like a lion into this dazzling musical, rife with tongue-in-cheek humor and side-splitting comedy. Peasant thieves Gladius (one could say he’s a dorkus supremus), Minimus (his friends call him Mini) and Julia sneak into the royal palace disguised as handmaidens. Gladius is smitten with the beautiful princess and simply must catch another glimpse of her. They are promptly caught in a hilarious scene, almost becoming lion food until the princess gets an idea.
The princess must marry soon, but almost all the senators and other men of the city, except the repulsive Senator Altilis, are away at war. If she can’t find a suitable match, her father has decreed she must marry the last gladiator standing in the upcoming games – the last thing this intelligent, headstrong feminist leader wants. And Senator Altilis is deviously plotting to get her out of the empire’s affairs by moving the date of the gladiator games up, thus burdening the princess with having to plan her dreaded wedding. The princess schemes to train Gladius to compete in the games so she can avoid marrying Brudis, the brainless brute favored to win, but that’s easier said than done.
“One thing about this show is that it’s really got great music. The music varies widely from country rock to a lively Salsa dance. There’s a Frank Sinatra-sounding tune and an absolutely haunting love ballad as well,” said Theatre Director Tracey Webb.
“The kids in the show are simply amazing. There’s no way this many kids should all be this talented. I have a feeling some of these young performers will be famous one day. It almost seems inevitable,” she added.
Webb said newcomer Sara Alstat, RLC Music Instructor, is fabulous as the Music Director. “She’s got the kids singing very difficult harmony. The songs are not easy. I love working with her and absorbing all her positive energy. She’s really an inspiration,” said Webb.
Webb has received plenty of help from college students acting as Production Assistants – Matt Marshall (Benton), Kyle Brooks (Herrin) and Mark McCall (Benton). “I’ve also received help from really dedicated parents of the performers with the construction of the ‘Roman Colosseum.’” The show features a huge set, complete with Roman columns (which Webb drove to Ohio to retrieve after winning them in an auction on Ebay).
“It’s a great show. I hope a lot of people come to see it,” Webb said.
This masterful musical will knock your togas off with songs like the peasants’ comical “I Could Be Royalty,” the Broadway-style “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day,” the muses’ rousing “Last Gladiator Standing” and Gladius’ hysterical “I’m Gonna Die.”
WHEN IN ROME
LADY--Ashley Meritt--Mt. Vernon
VERBALINA--Jordan Ray--Johnston City
SASILLA--Chrystal Paige Brown--Ashley
DEEJAY / ROMAN SOLDIER--Steven Crawford--Benton
MAID--Brooke Moore--Mt. Vernon
ATTENDANT--Lacey Jo DePasquale--Ewing
MUSE 1--Morgan Corn--Benton
MUSE 2--Haley Simpson--Pinckneyville
MUSE 3--Jamie Sullivan--Johnston City
MUSE 4--Mollee Sager--Mt. Vernon
MUSE 5--Shannon Nehrkorn--Tamaroa
MUSE 6--Linnea Cheek--DuQuoin
MUSE 7--Brianna Meritt--Mt. Vernon
MUSE 8--Allie Reece--Mt. Vernon
MUSE 9--Emily Schmidt--Pinckneyville
CITIZEN 1 / SPECTATOR--Brittany Britton--Benton
CITIZEN 2 / SPECTATOR 1--Grace Gomes--DuQuoin
CITIZEN 3 / ROMAN SOLDIER--Caleb Gomes--DuQuoin
CITIZEN 4 / ROYAL ATTENDANT--Brooke Erwin--Akin
CITIZEN 5 / ROYAL ATTENDANT--Megan Strickland--Mt. Vernon
CITIZEN 6 / ROYAL ATTENDANT--Rachel Rheinecker--Tamaroa
CITIZEN 7 / ROMAN SOLDIER--Jake Schmidt--Pinckneyville
CITIZEN 8 / SPECTATOR 2--Hunter Dawn Frick--West Frankfort
CITIZEN 9 / MOB MEMBER 1--Emma Meritt--Mt. Vernon
CITIZEN 10 / MOB MEMBER 2--Markie Johnson--Ina
CITIZEN 11 / ROYAL ATTENDANT--Devon Aydt--McLeansboro
CITIZEN 12 / ROMAN SOLDIER--Sam Simpson--Pinckneyville
ROMAN SOLDIER / SPECTATOR--Timothy Meier--DuQuoin
ROMAN SOLDIER / SPECTATOR--Trenton Sheraden--Mt. Vernon
PALACE FAN GIRL--Maryna Strickland--Mt. Vernon
PALACE GRAPE GIRL--Sophie Aydt--McLeansboro
PALACE HAIRSTYLIST--Meghan Jodino--Christopher
PALACE BEVERAGE GIRL--Ashtyn Cornett--Mt. Vernon