For years, Michael Mirra and his Little Radical Theatrics productions have been a moveable feast, performing at Mamaroneck’s Sandbox, Pleasantville’s JCC, PlayGroup Theater in White Plains, Whippoorwill Hall in Armonk and the Schoolhouse in Croton Falls.
The group was created four years ago as the theatrical home for those in the window between high school and community theater, scratching a theatrical niche for college-age kids and those fresh out of college.
The new year will bring change to Little Radicals, with a mid-January production of the Stephen Flaherty-Lynn Ahrens musical “Once on This Island” in a new and permanent home: Yonkers’ Grinton I. Will Library.
Executive Producer Fatima Viegas says the move is an effort to bring affordable theater to southern Westchester and to give LRT a place to call its own.
Viegas adds that she is working with the library system and the city “to update the auditorium itself and will be helping to bring in a state-of-the-art lighting and sound system including all new lights” which will make it a go-to venue for performing arts groups.
Ed Falcone, assistant director at the Will Library — at 1500 Central Park Ave. — said Tuesday that he has been told, unofficially, that an upgrade to the old lighting and sound system is in the works.
“They have the same light panel that I saw when I was in high school in the 1960s,” he said with a laugh. “It’s pretty sad, so we are interested in upgrading it.”
Eddie Ayala, a spokesman for Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, said Tuesday the mayor will earmark $20,000 in next year’s budget proposal to cover the upgrades at the library. As the budget won’t be submitted to the City Council until April for the fiscal year to begin June 1, the work wouldn’t start till summer at the earliest.
“As far as the timeline, it’s nothing major so we’re not looking at months to finish the work,” Ayala said. “We look at it as a solid investment that will benefit this group (Little Radical) as well as all of the citizens of Yonkers.”
“Once on This Island” — a charming ensemble piece based on the 1985 novel “My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl” by Rosa Guy — has a lot of elements from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” It is set in the Caribbean, with gods and a peasant girl named Ti Moune and a rich boy named Daniel. Performances will be at 8 p.m., Jan. 17, 18 and 25 and at 3 p.m., Jan. 26. Mirra directs, with musical direction by Shoshana Seid-Green and choreography by Erin Pryor.
Tickets — $25 adults, $20 students and seniors — here, or by calling 800-838-3006. For details, email LittleRadicals@aol.com.
The cast includes: Alia Munsch, Alejandro Funes, Joy Arzaga, Timothy Chan, Markiss Robert, Ayanna Williams, Stephanie Lourenco, Torrey Rodriguez, Maria C. Jacobi, Joshua Judin, Skyhari Higgins, Naimah Hakim, Kayla Leacock and John Schule.
(File photo: The Grinton I. Will Library theater is scheduled to become the new home of Westchester-based Little Radical Theatrics, with the Jan. 17 opening of “Once on This Island.”)