Two Gentlemen of Verona Live In Studio

veronaMembers from the cast of Emerson’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona swung by the WERS studios to perform a few songs for Standing Room Only. Anna Harissis, Lanea Ritrovato, and Jake Novak will star in the musical next weekend, among an enormous cast, with performances on April 18th, 19th, and 20th.

The musical, originally a Shakespearean comedy, was adapted by John Guare and Mel Shapiro in 1971. It follows the story of two lifelong friends, Proteus and Valentine, who set off to explore the city of Milan each pursuing love and fortune. The quickly paced show features over 30 songs and dance numbers.

Led by Emerson Stage’s General Manager David Colfer, Musical Director Jonathan Goldberg, and Assistant to the Director Faith Howes, the trio each performed solo pieces from the musical.

Lanea Ritrovato, who will be playing the role of Julia, began the session with “What a Nice Idea”. This fun, tango-styled song was a great chance to experience how breathtakingly talented these young stars are.

Followed by Lanea was fellow senior Anna Harissis, who will be playing the role of Lucetta. She sang “Land of Betrayal”, a slower paced song that was nevertheless impressive.

Sophomore Jake Novak, who will be playing the role of Proteus, performed “Calla Lily Lady”. Throughout his song, as well as during the warm-up, the chemistry between cast members was extremely apparent. The overall fun and lightheartedness during the session was a good indication of the actors’ stage presence.

Upon graduation, each of these seniors has big plans. Faith will be working for Missoula Children’s Theater over the summer, followed by teaching drama to students in India. Anna will be relocating to New York City where she will work with the nonprofit organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Lanea plans on moving to Orlando to pursue acting on the Disney cruise circuit. And Jake, although a few years early, plans on eventually moving to New York City.

27 musical theater students will be featured in four performances of Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Cutler Majestic Theatre from April 18-20. Tickets are available through aestages.org or by calling (617)824-8000.

By Danny Taverner
Photo by Madelyn Reese

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