NEGAUNEE - As one of the final rehearsals was under way for "Spamalot," the latest production from The Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council, that organization's president, Connie Lindblom, sat toward the back of the Vista Theater.
She had a huge smile on her face as she enjoyed the run-through of the Tony Award-winning musical. As an experienced musical theater participant, Lindblom knows what kind of time and effort go into making a production happen.
"It's like the tip of the iceberg of the work, what you see up on stage," Lindblom said. "It's the littlest part but the highest. The amount of time that's put into a production is so huge. So much goes into it.
Playing the knights in “Spamalot” are, from the left, Brian McDonald, Mike Ryan, Kelsey Dillon, Jacob Laitinen, Robert Smedman and Martha Webster. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)
Helmets to be worn in the Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council’s production of “Spamalot” wait on wig heads. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)
Laura Nagle, right, who plays Lady of the Lake in “Spamalot” gets into costume with the help of Kayla Billings, kneeling, and Eliisa Gladwell. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)
"People would be amazed if they saw what really goes into putting on a show like this."
"Spamalot" premiered Thursday and continued Friday, with four more performances set tonight and June 13-15.
PAAC Executive Director Al Keefer, who is directing the show, said like with other productions, those involved in "Spamalot" demonstrate a lot of love for the craft of theater. And devote an awful lot of time toward making what's on paper come to life on the stage.
"What people don't always realize is that if we have 23 people on stage, there are 23 people off-stage putting in work," he said. "We have people who help with costumes, make up, lighting, props, sets...
"So you take 50 people who are at it three or four hours a day," Keefer said. "Then again maybe three or four hours at night, the time devoted to this really adds up quickly."
With Ilean Green working on costumes, Ryan Henry on lights and sound, Katie Killian as musical director and Eliisa Gladwell as choreographer, responsible people contribute greatly to making the show a reality.
People like assistant director Emmye Wiig of Marquette, who when prompted, humbly offers a look at some of what she has done for "Spamalot."
"I helped paint the set. I will help with hair and makeup," Wiig said. "Whatever Al needs me to do, I will do. I guess you could say I hope make sure everything comes together when it should come together."
Although she's been involved in productions for about 10 years, Wiig still has some nervousness before the show premieres.
"Oh, yes, absolutely," she said. "I get nervous and excited. This is a really funny show. There are a lot of newcomers this time, which is nice to have."
Keefer said the group of people involved has been wonderful.
"It's such a nice mix of people," he said. "We have high school kids from Marquette, Negaunee and Ishpeming. We have people who have done other community theater. We have people who have done our productions in the past. That's what great about PAAC.
"In this production, we have people ages 15 to 60. Some are on stage for the first time, some have been on stage practically since they were born," Keefer said. "It makes things a lot of fun."
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.