The North Fork Theatre Company (NFTC) is ringing in 2019 with a dramatic bang - its 15th Annual Variety Show, which can be seen Friday, January 4 through Sunday, January 6.
"It's a mix of music - musical theater, a little opera and a few original compositions - and comedy," Mark and Lauren Sisson explained.
The Show will showcase a mix of NFCT regulars, as well as some new faces. This year's performers include Tammy Flanell, John Lovett, Susan Hedges, Matt Orr, Peter Peterson
, David Scheer, David Elliston, Charli Simone, Tim Ferris, Colin Palmer, Corinne Araneo, Chelsea Chizever, Justin Harris, Micky Kalich, Mary Motto Kalich, Lauren Sisson, James Hailey, Gage Bennett
, Aria Saltini, Steven Hailey, Donna Hailey, John Bradley, John Yaiullo, Kyle Breitenbach, Kimmie Connolly, Allie Ostie, Haley Unger, Kelli Baumann, Michael Drozd, Stuart Whalen, and Joe Hailey.
As the NFCT is currently in the midst of renovating its home base in Mattituck, the Variety Show will be held at the Jamesport Meeting House. Performances will take place on Friday, January 4 and Saturday, January 5 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, January 6 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15.
The North Fork Theatre Company is hoping that the Variety Show will conclude its off-site season. NFCT purchased the Mattituck theater, which dates back to 1831, in 2012 and gradually started to make improvements.
"We started fixing it up. We did all of the outside stuff over the past couple of years and we've been raising money to do it - it's almost a $1 million renovation - so we've been raising money for the past six years to do that," Mary Motto Kalich, NFCT Board of Directors President, relayed.
The theater's interior is the focus at the moment. (Photo: Courtesy of NFTC)
Currently, the focus is the theater's interior. "We've raised almost all of it. We have about $40,000 left to go and we do have a double matching going on right now," Motto Kalich noted. "We've effectively added an entire basement under the 'new' 1896 part. In that area we'll include an orchestra pit where the orchestra will be, it'll include a full rehearsal room - which is amazing because we have no space - and some more storage. It'll have all new heating and air conditioning and the main goal is theater technology so we can make it sound better and look better. We're expanding the stage - behind the curtain and in front of the curtain. All new lighting infrastructure, all new rigging infrastructure. With more room behind the stage, that will allow us to do shows more easily. For example, you can take on and off a couch, it'll allow you to have different themes."
NFCT believes the improvements will greatly increase the theater experience. "A lot of this is infrastructure work. It's not a make pretty renovation. It's a build the infrastructure so this can be an incredible performance space," Motto Kalich explained. "Our plan is to come back for the spring show. We've basically taken it all apart and now we need to put it back together."
During the renovation, they made an exciting discovery. "While taking it apart, we found a stained glass window. It was on a wall that was at one point exterior, but it had been closed in to make a staircase," Motto Kalich noted. "It has some small breaks in it, and of course that adds to the budget, but we've got some people to help defray the cost of fixing the stained glass window - not all of it yet - but some of it and we're going to fix the stained glass window and put it back in on an exterior wall. We're actually bumping out the building to expand the stage and we're going to put the stained glass window on the exterior wall there."
"We actually have the original receipt for purchasing the stained glass window in 1896," Motto Kalich added. "It was found by a local historian and it's in the Mattituck-Laurel Historical Society."
Jamesport Meeting House is located at 1590 Main Road in Jamesport. For more information, visit www.nfct.com.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com