When Suzanne Ochs of Dobbs Ferry trekked north to audition for Brewster Theater Company’s “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,” she didn’t know a lot about the show.
“I had the 6,000-foot view of what it was about: a group of women getting together, anniversary of James Dean, and they talk about stuff in the past,” she says.
What that “stuff” was, she wasn’t entirely sure.
Now she has an up-close view. This weekend and next, Ochs will play Mona, a West Texas woman whose life was forever changed when James Dean came to town to film “Giant.” (Sandy Dennis played Mona on Broadway and in the 1982 film.)
“My take on it is Mona got hit with a lot of situations that she just couldn’t handle, so she created her own reality,” Ochs says. “And you see the birth of that reality in the play and now this reality is going to crack.”
Director Debbie Levin said Ed Graczyk’s memorable characters – played by young actors “then” and older actors “now” – present “a broad opportunity for the actor and me to explore all the nuances and for me to create an integrated ensemble.”
“It’s about encouraging those relationships, even before we start working on the stage,” Levin says.
The Disciples of James Dean convene at the five-and-dime at 8 p.m. Oct. 16, Oct. 17, Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, at the Melrose School, 120 Federal Hill Road, Brewster. $15, $13 students and seniors.
Call 845-598-1621 or visit www.brewstertheatercompany.org. (The show contains adult language and content.)
“Jimmy Dean” is just one of many theatrical offerings this week. Here’s a sampling of the others.
Croton Falls: The Schoolhouse Theater opens its 11th season with Martin Sherman’s “Rose,” a one-woman show starring Broadway’s Annie McGreevey and inspired by the playwright’s grandmother. From a Ukrainian village to modern-day America, Rose’s journey is comic, tragic and epic. Oct. 15 through Nov. 1. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8; Sundays at 4. On Oct. 18, curtain is at 3, followed by a fund-raiser: a champagne supper and vintage-clothing fashion show. Tickets for the benefit are $100 for subscribers, $125 for non-subscribers. 914-277-8477. www.schoolhousetheater.org.
White Plains: Fort Hill Players present J.B. Priestly’s “An Inspector Calls,” about a British family that has every reason to be happy, until an uninvited guest shows up. Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 8 p.m., Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. $17, $15 for students and seniors; $8 for children. 914-309-7278. www.forthillplayers.com.
Armonk: Small Town Theatre presents Lee Blessing’s “A Walk in the Woods,” about a cynical Soviet arms negotiator and his young American counterpart. Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. at Hergenhan Recreation Center, 40 Maple Ave., Armonk. Limited seating. 914-273-0300. www.smalltowntheatre.com.
Irvington: The Town Hall Theater’s Clocktower Players bring serious firepower to stoke their theatrical coffers on Oct. 17. Marni Nixon, who lent her voice to some of Hollywood’s golden musicals – singing for Deborah Kerr in “The King & I,” Natalie Wood in “West Side Story” and Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady” – will headline “Sophisticated Fun,” an evening of cabaret. Also on tap, Broadway stars Cris Groenendaal (“Phantom of the Opera”), Juliet Ewing (“Footloose”), Terri Klausner (“Evita”), Terry Rakov (“Hello, Dolly!”). The evening is flanked by pre- and post-show receptions in the theater, at 85 Main St. Tickets $50-$200 (some include show and post-show reception). 914-591-6602 or www.irvingtontheater.com
Mamaroneck: The Emelin Theatre holds its 2009 benefit Oct. 15 at Beach Point Club, 900 Rushmore Ave., Mamaroneck. Cocktails and a silent auction at 6:30 p.m., dessert, entertainment by the Todd Londagin Five and a program honoring Rita Houston, music director of WFUV.
Kent Lakes: Arts on the Lake presents Harold Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter,” about hit men waiting to hear about their next job. Michael Frizalone and Paul Jannicola star, directed by Paul Austin. Oct. 16, 17 at 8 p.m., Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. At the 50-seat Lake Carmel Cultural Center (the former Lake Carmel Firehouse), 640 Route 52, Kent Lakes. $12, $10 for members. 845-228-2685 or www.artsonthelake.org.