Well-known songs from the Great White Way will be featured in an upcoming production by Batavia Players.
Matt Mayne, director of "On Broadway... Third Time's the Charm," said the production will include performances of selected songs from Broadway hit shows "Shrek," "Mary Poppins," "Little Mermaid" and "Tarzan." The free recital is a child-friendly mix of fairy tales and classic stories.
"It appeals to lots of different folks," Mayne said.
Performers will not tell the entire story of each musical, "but kind of give a glimpse of the show," said Mayne, who also plays Tarzan in the musical of the same name.
Nor will the shows recreate the music and dance of the originals. "It's our own take on the songs," Mayne said.
Scott Laird of Stafford, in his second year with Batavia Players, said he likes the recital format because it "exposes the public to a variety of shows, different genres of music."
There's a classic British musical, Phil Collins pop songs in "Tarzan" and a whimsical Disney fairy tale, said Laird, who landed the role of Sebastian the Crab in "Little Mermaid."
Laird said his job on stage is to advise the king and look after the lead character, the mermaid Ariel, played by Amanda Walters of East Rochester.
Walters, an actor in real life, is also a vocalist and make-up artist. The East Rochester resident said she likes the layout of Harvester 56 Theater, with seating on three sides of the stage. "It's really intimate. The audience gets to see the expression on your face," she said.
Batavia High School senior Sarah DiBacco, 18, plays a teenage Fiona in "Shrek" and Aquata, sister of Ariel, in "Little Mermaid." She she likes the fact the cast includes veteran performers and youngsters in elementary school.
"It brings everyone up to the same level. It's a good show," DiBacco said.
DiBacco and Christina Mortellaro, 19, of Batavia, a student at Geneseo State College, said children will love the show.
"You get to hear parts of the musicals instead of the movie. Plus it's really colorful," said Mortellaro, who performs as one of the Three Blind Mice and one of the Three Little Pigs in "Shrek."
The two actors said their favorite part is performing to the music from "Shrek" because of its pop-culture references and how the words and dialogue can be interpreted at both adult and children levels.
"They stayed true to the spirit of 'Shrek'," DiBacco said.
Joe Kusmierczak of East Chili plays Prince Eric in "Little Mermaid." He said performing parts of four separate shows is a different challenge than working on one.
"The real focus is on music," he said.
This is Players' third annual "On Broadway." The show will last about two hours.
A Quick Look
WHAT: "On Broadway... Third Times the Charm," a recital by Batavia Players.
WHERE: Harvester 56 Theater, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. June 21 to 23, and 2 p.m. June 23.
TICKETS: Free. Available at the door. The show is a fundraiser for Batavia Players; donations will be accepted.