The Amorous Ambassador Opens May 8th at the Village Playbox!

The cast of The Amorous Ambassador
The cast of The Amorous Ambassador

Well the show I am in at the Village Playbox opens this Friday which means that Tech Week has already started. For those of you who are not involved in theater, Tech Week (also known as Hell Week) is the week before the show opens where all the “technical” stuff happens. This is when we rehearse in costumes, use all the correct props, and all the technical props are in working order–such as phones and door bells ringing, lights turning on and off, and whatever additional behind the scenes technical wizardry is required. Rehearsals are usually much longer and require the working out of all the bugs so that when we open, all the technical stuff goes off without a hitch. Well, at least we hope it will…

I have to say that this is one of the best casts I’ve worked with in a long time and that is no reflection against any previous shows that I’ve worked on because I’ve been in some dynamite casts previously. And I know that everyone thinks that their current show is the best ever show and that the current cast is the best ever cast but these guys really are a talented bunch of actors. So here is my take on what I know about my fellow co-stars.

Marty Palmieri, Steve Allen, & Dina Spadaro

Marty Palmieri, Steve Allen, & Dina Spadaro

Marti Palmieri – Marti has been doing shows at the Village Playbox for quite some time now and I had the pleasure of first working with her in the Playbox’s production of What If… She really enjoys acting and jumps into every role with all her energy, and that makes working with her on stage a lot of fun. (and sorry, Marti, for accidentally deleting your section of this post.)

Steve Allen – What can I say about Steve that hasn’t been already said? (and is safe to print in a PG rated blog) Just kidding. Steve is known throughout our region of local community theaters as both an actor and a director. I’ve never been directed by Steve but I’ve had the pleasure of working with him in Mary, Mary and Arsenic & Old Lace. Steve is the comsumate leading man–an every man’s everyman so to speak. He’s a real talent and it’s always a privilege to work on stage with him.

Dina Spadaro – This is my first show with Dina and I am really happy to have met her. She has a natural talent that carries onto the stage. Even when we were first reading our lines to the show, she had the ability to sound like she was just talking and not reading from a script at all. Now I know you are all thinking that being natural is the whole point behind acting, but that is not something that always comes quickly. While most of us were stumbling through the script and still sounding as if we were reading from the script (because we were), she glided through her lines as if she was making them up as she went along. That’s real talent.

Karen Roorda and Steve Allen (Don't you just love thos socks?)

Karen Roorda and Steve Allen (Don't you just love those socks?)

Karen & Marcus Roorda – Karen and Marcus are a husband and wife acting team. I first met Karen when I was in the Playbox’s production of Mary, Mary. (My first show with Marcus was What If… and Karen was in that show too.) I think Karen was doing theater before Marcus and somehow he got bitten by the acting bug, too. Karen is outgoing and vivacious and Marcus is a little reserved, until you get to know him and then all bets are off. They are extremely talented, very attractive, and just about the nicest couple I know. Doesn’t that make you sick? Isn’t that just adorable?

Dina Spardo and Marcus Roorda (in drag). The actual dress we use in the show is sleeveless and even funnier than this one.

Dina Spadaro and Marcus Roorda (in drag). The actual dress we use in the show is sleeveless and even funnier than this one.

Kevin Dahm – This is my first show with Kevin and I have to say that I could not imagine anyone ever playing the butler as well as this guy does. I think he may be a psychic and he’s actually channelling some dead English butler cause he’s that good. It’s really a lot of fun to be on stage with him because I really feel like I’m talking to an English butler and not an actor portraying an English butler. Now that’s saying something.
Kevn Dahm with his hand superglued to Laura Bongiovanni's butt.

Kevn Dahm with his hand superglued to Laura Bongiovanni's butt.

Laura Bongiovanni – I’ve worked with Laura at the Village Playbox before and have even marched with her, her family, and the Village Playbox group in Haddon Heights’ 4th of July Parade. Laura is especially known for having her lines memorized practically before rehearsals even start. She is absolutely hysterical as the dimwitted secretary and is an absolute delight to watch on stage. In fact, I got yelled at during our last rehearsal because I was smiling in one of my scenes with her when I wasn’t supposed to be smiling. And why was I smiling? Because she’s so funny to watch.
[Sorry, I have no picture of Wendy. 😦 ]
Wendy Kurtz-Finch – Wendy is our director. I first met Wendy when she directed me in Mary, Mary and we became fast friends. Wendy has been acting, singing, dancing, and directing for much longer than she would care to admit. She’s a real sweetheart and what I like to call, an actor’s director. Wendy sets the parameters and then lets you create your character. She allows you to develop into your role without too much of that demandy “you must do it my way or else” kind of directing. She’s also smart enough to have Suzanne Inman (who starred in the last production, On Golden Pond) as her assistant. Suzanne adds the nit-picky, detailed oriented criticsm that not only compliments Wendy’s directing style but is truly needed in order to produce a tightly run, professional show.
Me and Marcus

Me and Marcus

Well there you have it. If you are local, please come see this show. You’re gonna love it. It only runs for six shows, Fridays May 8th & 15th at 8pm and Saturdays, May 9th and 16th at 2pm and 8pm. Visit the Village Website at for more details.

3 thoughts on “The Amorous Ambassador Opens May 8th at the Village Playbox!

  1. Marti says:

    Hey Preston, love yer blog! I think I was in the Painted Cottage when it was another restaurant, run by the wife of one of Frank’s rock-band friends. I gotta go there now, I’m hungry! Hmmmmmmmmmm, you didn’t mention me in your Amorous Ambassador review…should I be concerned? 🙂

    • mrblueskies says:

      OMG, Marti, you were in there. I was having a problem with the picture of you, Steve and Dina and I must have deleted your paragraph by accident. Yikes. Don’t worry though. I put it back!

  2. Laura says:

    Hi Preston!
    Great blog! How sweet of you to say such nice things about our crazy little group! You, yourself, do an awesome job in this show as the “mad marine”! Hysterical! Your “Aunt Jemimah” accent was too funny in the beginning! I was happy to hear to hear that you were going to be in this show because I had so much fun working with you in “The Mousetrap”! (Remember the brussel sprout pie?) (And the dogs: Spot & Plain-woof! woof!) Anyway, we are all pretty awesome, aren’t we? Ha! Ha! Break a leg tomorrow night!

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