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Show 1

click for larger view
                    poster adapted by: slemenille

The classical comedy
by George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart

Directed by Linda Viel
Produced by Jean Lioy
Stage Managed by Stephen Mennella

The Man Who Came to Dinner

While on a speaking tour in Ohio, opinionated and arrogant radio personality Sheridan Whiteside injures himself slipping on ice and becomes an unexpected houseguest for a prominent area family, the Stanleys. Whiteside proceeds to make brash proclamations and offer his unsolicited advice to the family members. Confined to the house for a month, Whiteside drives his hosts mad by viciously insulting them, monopolizing their house and staff, running up large phone bills, and receiving many bizarre guests, including paroled convicts. However, Whiteside manages to befriend the Stanleys' children, June and Richard, as well as Mr. Stanley's eccentric older sister Harriet. When a romance begins between Whiteside's assistant, Maggie Cutler, and a local reporter, Bert Jefferson, he interferes with that as well.

Oct. 14, 21, 27, 28, 2017 @ 8PM
Oct. 22, 2017 @ 2PM - Matinee
Tickets: $22.00; Active Military Personnel & Students: $10.00


Cast and Production Members

The Cast The Production/Crew 
Jill Palumbo as Mrs. Earnest W. Stanley     Linda Viel     Director  
Mary O'Connor as Miss Preen     Jean Lioy     Producer
Adam Rosengarten as Richard Stanley     Stephen Mennella     Stage Manager
Melissa Mugica as June Stanley     JoAnne Lemenille    Properties Mistress
Jose Rivera as John     Bill McMeekan    Set Design
Karen DiFabio as Sarah     JoAnne Lemenille/Jean Lioy    Set Decor
Susan Roberts as Mrs. Dexter     Jean Lioy    Props Asst.
Katterine Velasquez as Mrs. McCutcheon     Ed Whitman    Lighting Design
Jeffrey Milstein as Mr. Earnest W. Stanley     Ed Whitman    Lighting Operator
Mary Elizabeth Gismonde as Maggie Cutler     Glen Crane    Sound Design
Alan Foster as Dr. Bradley     Michael Bieber    Sound Operator
Steve Lemenille as Sheridan Whiteside     Steve Lemenille    Publicity
Anne King as Harriet Stanley     Katie Engel    Playbill/Marketing
Peter Curley as Bert Jefferson     Steve Lemenille    Webmaster
Debbie Badal as Lorraine Sheldon     Wendy Bregman    Box Office
Ed Bontempo as Beverly Carlton     Ed Bontempo    Costumes
Russell Ortiz as Banjo     TBD    House Managers
Susan Roberts as Baker     TBD    House Managers
Ed Bontempo, Katterine Velasquez as Expressmen     TBD    Ushers
Ed Bontempo, Richard Bull, Russell Ortiz as Luncheon Guests     Jean Lioy    Stage Crew
Susan Roberts as Baker     JoAnne Lemenille    Stage Crew
Richard Bull, Katterine Velasquez, Susan Roberts as Radio terchnicians     Gary Gurman    Photographer
Richard Bull, Susan Roberts as Deputies     Stu Schnitzer    Videography
    George Hiltz    Set Construction Chairman
    Sal Villani    Set Construction
    Paul Kirsh    Set Construction
    Russ Ortiz    Set Construction
    Ed Whitman    Set Construction
    Ed Whitman, Dave Frey    Lighting

The Cast
(Mrs. Ernest W. Stanley) Jill is happy to be appearing on the WCP stage for the first time, having been involved with community and school theater for many years. Her favorite roles include Magenta from The Rocky Horror Show (Cranford Dramatic Club), Mazzepa from Gypsy, and Lady Bracknell from The Importance of Being Earnest (The Jefferson Theatre Troupe). Thank you to Linda and the cast and crew. Much love to Cillian.

(Miss Preen) is delighted to be making her WCP debut with such a talented group. As a fan of Kaufman and Hart from the age of 14, she is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful play. Favorite roles include the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet (Fearless Productions), Helen Potts in Picnic (Villagers Theatre), Karen in Jake’s Women (Main Street Theatre Company), Vi Moore in Footloose (Somerset Valley Playhouse), Margaret Grace in A Man of No Importance (Edison Valley Playhouse), Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance (Dunellen Skylight Players), Rose Hoffman in Working (Mystic Vision Players), and Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man (Villagers Theatre). Many thanks to Linda for the opportunity to play the redoubtable Nurse Preen; thanks to Jean and the rest of the production team for all their hard work and support; and thanks to fellow cast members for making the experience memorable and fun.

(Richard Stanley) Adam is thrilled to be making his acting debut with WCP. He graduated Rutgers University in 2013 with a degree in accounting. Recently, he has been taking acting classes at the New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts. He is thankful for the opportunity to work with a great cast and crew and looks forward to appearing in more plays in the future.

(June Stanley) Melissa graduated from Ramapo College in 2013 with a double Bachelors of Arts in Acting and Literature. Melissa has appeared in various short films, commercials, stage productions and was honored to be a semi-finalist at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival . A few past credits include: Hairspray (Penny Pingleton), Godspell (By My Side Soloist), Inherit the Wind (Rachel Brown), Vanya Sonia Masha & Spike (Nina), Dog Sees God (Van's Sister), A Bright Room Called Day (Annabella Gotchling), and Blood Wedding (The Mother). She is thrilled to be returning to Westfield Community Players. Thank you to the cast and production team for this amazing experience!

(John) Jose A. Rivera is thrilled to be making his Westfield Community Players debut in The Man Who Came to Dinner. Raised in Puerto Rico, Jose moved to NYC as a teen and fell in love with theater -- studying acting at Actors Advent and tap at Steps on Broadway. Jose joined the Convent Players of St. Mary’s in Woodside, NY, where he directed Hansel & Gretel and starred in Designers with Dirty Faces. He also emceed and ran audio for Breathe, which was part of the 13th Annual NY International Fringe Festival. Most recently, Jose played the Wizard in Once Upon a Mattress by interACT Theatre Productions. He extends his thanks to Westfield Community Players and the entire cast and crew for welcoming him into the family. He’d also like to thank his wife Michelle and daughter Grace for their incredible love and support.

(Sarah) Karen made her acting debut as Nurse Flinn in last season's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and she couldn't be happier to be performing again at WCP . She would like to thank Linda Viel for this opportunity. She would also like to thank the cast and crew for patience and help. Finally she would like to thank her family, especially her daughters, for their constant inspiration.

(Mrs. Dexter) is thrilled to be back at WCP having made her WCP debut as Mrs. Rogers in last season's production of And Then There Were None. This is Ms. Roberts' 37th credited role which includes various children's productions, musicals and comedies in numerous local NJ community theaters. Susan is the queen of quirky character roles. When Ms. Roberts is not on stage, she is behind the DVD camera filming others in their productions -- many of whom are in this show. Susan wishes to thank her own support cast of Stuart, Alberta, Adam Roebuck and the cast and crew of this humorous production.

(Mrs. McCutcheon) is excited to be making her Westfield Community Players debut in The Man Who Came to Dinner. Currently a freshman majoring in Theater at Raritan Valley College; she is excited to not only be doing her first "out of High School" play, but to be working with such a wonderful cast, crew and production team.

(Mr. Ernest W. Stanley) Jeff has been tripping the light fantastic for the past six (6) years and it has been fun. He has written books, acted, directed and produced plays that have been performed in New York and New Jersey. Recent acting credits have been To Kill A Mockingbird, Inherit the Wind, The Odd Couple and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In addition to working as an accountant, Jeff has performed in many student films from accredited theatre schools such as NYU, NYFA, City College, etc. He is currently working on another play that he has written called So You Think You’re Godd which will be performed in December at Beth El Synagogue in East Windsor, New Jersey. Check out my website at: www.jemproductions13.net. As always, Jeff is thankful to his wife, Elyse, for putting up with his hectic schedule and he dedicates all his performances to his mom.

(Maggie Cutler) Mary Elizabeth Gismonde is excited for making her debut with WCP. She is a graduate of Rutgers University, B.A. Theatre Arts and a proud alumna of Douglass Residential College. Favorite credits include UCPAC's Mauritius (Jackie), ReThink Theatrical's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Helena), and Mirapiece Dance Theatre's NYC production of Used (Featured). Mary practices a variety of art forms professionally, but her "true north" lies in theatre. When not performing on stage or screen, you can find her in the world of folkloric and fusion dances, fine art photography, professional mermaiding (yes, mermaiding), children's drama therapy, and non-profit arts administration. She is most grateful to her loved ones for their support on this wild journey, as well as to the the cast & crew for their dedication and many talents. "In the words of the Master... I've never felt more like Christmas in my life... I may vomit".

(Dr. Bradley) Alan is delighted to be making his WCP debut in this production. Alan has had a lifelong love of theater, which he must have inherited from his great-great-great grandparents, who were actors in 19th century Denmark. He was recently seen in Blithe Spirit at Cranford Dramatic Club, in which he also played role of the doctor. Previous roles in California have included The Foreigner (David), Dial ‘M’ For Murder (Max), Opal’s Husband (Otis), Alice in Wonderland (White Rabbit), Black Comedy (Harold), The Wizard of Oz (Tin Man), Snow White (Huntsman), Deathtrap (Sidney), and God’s Favorite (Lipton). Alan has also directed community theater productions of a number of British comedies.

(Sheridan Whiteside) Steve has directed WCP's production of Dial 'M' for Murder, A View from the Bridge, the comedy Squabbles, {p r o o f}, Barefoot in the Park, A Thousand Clowns and last season's And Then There Were None. In 2013 Steve was nominated for a NJACT Perry Award for OUSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY for {proof}. He also has appeared in six consecutive productions here at WCP.

Steve has been involved in theatre since his college days at Jersey City State. He is a retired Social Studies teacher and Drama Director of 29 years with the Hackensack Public Schools. Steve was also a MFA candidate at Montclair State. He has acted with Tower Players and the Opera Workshop of Jersey City, StageCrafters (Fairlawn), and Bergen County Players. He has also acted in dinner theatre for Regal Productions.

Some of the roles he portrayed were: Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (Tower Players), the Grandfather in The Long Christmas Dinner (Tower Players), Ulysses in Tiger At The Gates (Tower Players), Paul Verrall in Born Yesterday (Bergen County Players), Paul in Barefoot in the Park (Fairlawn), and Michael in Second Time Around and the Inspector Paul Sevigne in A Shot In The Dark (Regal Productions) and the Grandfather in Kurt Wiell's Down in the Valley (Opera Workshop). Steve portrayed Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stanley in Death of a Salesman, The Magistrate in Fools, and Gen. Oscar Fairfax in Little Mary Sunshine and Kilroy in Don't Drink the Water, and most recently as Daniel in Almost, Maine…all for WCP. Steve was nominated for a 2009 NJACT Perry Award for OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE MEMBER for his role as the Magistrate in Fools.

His directorial credits include: You Can't Take It with You, Harvey, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Gramercy Ghost, George Washington Slept Here, L'il Abner, The King & I, Oklahoma, Sound of Music, The Diary of Anne Frank, Our Town, South Pacific, The Music Man, Rehearsal for Death (all for HMS), Dial 'M' for Murder (Stagecrafters/WCP).

Steve was nominated for two (2) 2012 NJACT Perry Awards for OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A PLAY (As Producer for Rehearsal for Murder) and as OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY (Rehearsal for Murder). Steve was also nominated for two (2) NJACT 2011 Perry Awards: OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR in a Play for his role as Justice Lawrence Wargrave in Main Street Theatre's production of And Then There Were None, and OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR in a Play for his role as Isaac Cohen in Westfield Community Players production of Abie's Irish Rose.

Steve is currently the President of WCP, as well as, the webmaster here at WCP. Steve wishes to thank his wife, JoAnne, for getting him back involved with theatre. "Without her support and love, I can accomplish little. Thank you dear!!" Steve also thanks Sherrie Ahlin and Drude Roessler for making his WCP experiences very special. A special note of thanks to Katie, Mike, JoAnne, James, Glenn, Bill and Barbara for their contributions in making this another excellent production. And of course special thanks to this Cast/Crew for their hard work and love of theatre.

Steve has also performed at the Grove Street Theater in Montclair performing in Apricot Productions' 1-act series. Also, he has appeared in a series of monologues entitled Sex, Relationships and Sometimes… Love at The Old Library Theater, Main Street Theater Company; and at the Producer's Club and the Jerry Orbach Theater, both off-Broadway, NYC. Steve also directed Harper Lee's classic To Kill A Mockingbird at the Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC) on the Hamilton Stage, in Rahway, NJ for Fearless Productions.

(Harriet Stanley) is pleased to be back on the WCP stage after a really long intermission. Recently she has had leading roles in PLAY ON!, THE MUSIC MAN and YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU with Trilogy Repertory in Basking Ridge. Anne is happily retired from corporate life and is the proud grandmother of James Michael.

(Bert Jefferson) Peter is pleased to be back on stage with WCP having also appeared in last season's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as Dr. Spivey. Other Westfield credits include Almost, Maine,as Steve, A Streetcar Named Desire as Pablo, Rehearsal for Murder as Leo Gibbs, Death of a Salesman as Biff Loman, Don't Drink the Water as Axel McGee, Fools as Count Gregor Yousekovitch, Hot L Baltimore as Bill Lewis, A Midsummer Night's Dream as Demetrius, and A View from the Bridge as the Immigration Officer. Recent credits from other area theaters include Twelve Angry Jurors as Juror #8, Agatha Christie presents--The Patient and Sunday at the Seashore, Play On as Billy/Steven Sellers, Richard the Third, King Lear, Doubt as Father Flynn, Cards on the Table, All My Sons, Crucible and Taming of the Shrew. Thank you to Linda and a wonderful cast and crew!

(Lorraine Sheldon) is delighted to be back on stage at WCP! Debbie is no stranger to WCP. Ms. Badal was last seen here at WCP in Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike. She also appeared in WCP's production of Private Lives in the role of Amanda Prynne. Some of her favorite WCP past roles include Lexie in The Dixie Swim Club, Cookie in Rumors, and Mildred in Squabbles. Other favorite roles are Maria in Lend Me a Tenor at Studio Players in Montclair and M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias with Hexagon Players. Additionally, Debbie performs in ballroom dance competitions with the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Morristown. Heartfelt thank you to Linda Viel, the director, for this wonderful opportunity. To the production staff, thank you for making this a great theater to work at. To my two inspirations in life, the best daughters any mom could ask for, Kristen and Brittany. I love you!!

(Beverly Carlton, Luncheon Guest) Ed Bontempo made his WCP debut in last season's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in the role of Aide Williams. Ed is celebrating 30 years in the theater from performing, costuming, choreographer and director. Some of Ed's favorite shows are Drowsy Chaperone ,Nine, Dames at Sea, Follies and Fiddler on the Roof. Thanks Linda for this opportunity.

(Banjo, Luncheon Guest, Radio technician) Russ Ortiz was last seen on stage here at WCP in And Then There Were None. Prior to that, Russ was seen here at WCP in Tribute, A Thousand Clowns. Almost, Maine, Barefoot in the Park, Rehearsal For Murder and Squabbles. During the past seven years Russ appeared in over 39 productions in New Jersey and N.Y. In 2014, Russ appeared in Twelve Angry Men, A Man Of No Importance, Sex Relationships and Sometimes…Love, Time Stands Still, The Laramie Project, To Kill A Mockingbird, And Then There Were None, A Christmas Carol and Inherit the Wind. Thanks WCP for allowing me to do this wonderful role. Thank you the entire cast for making this a wonderful experience. Thanks to all the crew for all the hard work in putting this production up. Thanks to my sons Jason, Scott and Tony and my daughter Jenn, for their love and support. Also thank you WCP working here has always been a pleasure.

Russ also serves on the Board of Directors of WCP as Secretary.

(Luncheon Guest, Radio technician) Richard was last seen here at WCP in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, making his WCP debut in that production. Richard has been interested in acting since he was a youngster and took part in productions at New Providence High School during his school years. He recently had a role in the Summit Playhouse production of Godspell as well as a role in The Day the Rainbow Broke Up with the Maplewood Strollers group. In his spare time, Richard enjoys spending time with his nephews Calum and Mason as well as watching classic TV and movies (especially those starring Jack Nicholson!)


Production Staff
(Director)Linda is elated to be returning to Westfield Community Players with directing this classical comedy, The Man Who Came to Dinner. Last season, Ms. Viel directed The Musical of Musicals---the Musical for WCP. Ms. Viel also directed Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike for WCP. Ms. Viel's other directorial experiences includes, a premier of Striking 12 at EVP, Leader of the Pack, Seussical at Spotlight Players, Rumors, God's Favorite at Villagers, Pinocchio in the KidsVill Series and other various community troupes. She was the stage manager for Plays in the Park for the musical comedy Company. She has also directed 25 musicals, which include, Hairspray, Wiz, Once On this Island, and …..West Side Story.

During the summer Linda directs and produces a summer theatre cabaret. Besides directing, Linda has performed in Guys and Dolls, 42nd Street, Anything Goes, and various other productions. Linda is also affiliated with NJACT, Paper Mill Rising Star, A Performing Academy, and is in the Who's Who Among Teachers of America. I would like to personally like to thank my new friends for their expertise, kindness and generosity on this production.

(Producer) Jean is a retired professor of microbiology at Union County College and also Rutgers/UMDNJ. She also has been a consultant with the NJ Office Of Homeland Security in the area of bioterrorism and emergency preparedness.

Jean was the Properties Mistress for Boeing-Boeing, last season. Being new to WCP, she is very thankful for the opportunity to learn about the backstage world of the theater. In fact, this is her first time as a Producer for WCP. Jean is also part of our backstage staff.

Ms. Lioy was recently elected to the Board of Directors as Director of Performance

(Stage Manager) Stephen Mennella is pleased to make his Westfield Community Players and stage-managing debut. Stephen has enjoyed being part of many memorable productions over the past ten years. Beginning with his role as Lt. Kendrick in Circle Player’s 2006 production of A Few Good Men, his other roles have included Ariel in The Pillowman, Dr. Boyle in Prelude to a Kiss, Lord Rivers and Lord Mayor in Richard III and Howard in Death of a Salesman. Many thanks to Linda, Steve and Joanne for bringing me on board this fun ride. As always, love and thanks to my awesome children and to all those who support me in this love of theater.

(Properties) JoAnne appeared as Mrs. Isaac Cohen in last seasons WCP's production of Abie's Irish Rose. She began her WCP experience with her role as Mildred WCP's production of The Cemetery Club. Since that time, JoAnne has been the Properties Mistress for our productions and served on WCP's Board of Directors as Director of Productions. JoAnne recently served as President of WCP for three terms; she is now serving as Director of Performance. JoAnne has been nominated for a NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Properties in a Play for Rehearsal for Murder

She has always been involved in theatre since she was a child back in Union with the Teen Stagers. She has also appeared as Polly in The Boyfriend, Anna in New Girl in Town; Eleanor in Second Time Around (for Regal Productions), and Peggy in Front Page. Besides doing props, she has worked on Scenery and Set Design. Her favorite role was Eleanor in Second Time Around because it gave her the chance to play her husband, Steve's, snobbish and self-centered wife.

JoAnne is a retired teacher of music from the Clark School system where she was the vocal, instrumental and music theory teacher for over twenty years and for which she directed and musical directed the plays for Kumpf School. "I make bead flowers - an old French art of using glass beads." Special thanks to my husband Steve and JoAnn Scanlon for giving me the chance to rekindle my love for the stage, and thanks to a wonderful cast and fabulous crew." It's good to have you back on front stage!!!

(Set) Bill not only serves as our set designer, but is currently WCP's Treasurer and serves on the Board of Directors. Bill has recently been nominated for a NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Set Design for a Play for Rehearsal for Murder

(Playbill/Marketing) Katie is WCP's Playbill and Marketing Director having been elected last June. Katie made her WCP debut in Tribute portraying Sally Haines. Katie has also Stage Managed for And Then There Were None last season.

Katie also was the Stage Manager for The Other Place produced by Fearless Productions at UCPAC's Hamilton Stage in Rahway, NJ back in 2015.

(Lighting Designer/Operator) This is Ed's second year with WCP. Ed has been instrumental in updating and improving our lighting system giving up greater opportunity to enhance our productions. Ed has also been a part of our construction staff.

Ed was recently elected to the Board of Directors to serve as Director of Technical.

(Sound Design) Glen has been nominated for a NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Sound Design for a Play for Rehearsal for Murder

(Sound Operator)Michael has played smaller and larger roles at WCP and Westfield’s Troupe of Friends free Shakespeare in the Park series. From 1999-2007 he was one of the lead male vocalists in the Daddy-Os and the Grateful Dads in the McKinley Kapers annual variety show. But he most enjoys working tech behind the scenes. Professionally Michael is Associate Chair of the Information Systems Department at NJIT (which also has a Theater Department and regular productions).

(Webmaster / Publicity) Besides directing for WCP, Steve also is the President of WCP and is the webmaster for our web site.

(Box Office) Wendy is our newest Board of Directors member. She is serving as our Box Office Director. Welcome, Wendy!!

(Costumes) Aside from portraying the role of Beverly Carlton in this production of The Man Who Came to Dinner, Ed has taken on the responsibility of being the costumer, including hair and make-up for this production.

(Set Construction Chairman) To be developed

(Set Construction/Board Sect'y) Russ Ortiz currently serves as WCP Board Secretary. Russ has also performed here at WCP in many productions, namely Tribute. A Thousand Clowns. Almost, Maine, Barefoot in the Park, Rehearsal For Murder and Squabbles. During the past five years Russ appeared in 36 productions in New Jersey and N.Y. In 2014 Russ appeared in Twelve Angry Men, A Man Of No Importance, Sex Relationships and Sometimes…Love, Time Stands Still, The Laramie Project, To Kill A Mockingbird, And Then There Were None, A Christmas Carol and most recently, Inherit the Wind.

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The Man Who Came to Dinner is produced under special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.  

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs  

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Revised design: July 17, 2008
Last updated Aug. 23, 2017 8:36 PM