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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 2, 2009

Journeying with the Titanic cast

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — People often say there is no point in seeing the musical Titanic, because they already know how it ends: The ship sinks.

So says Jeffrey Hocking, who is directing the popular play, which will run from July 8 to 12 at the Guilderland Performing Arts Center in Tawasentha Park.

“I tell them, this play is not about the end, it’s about the journey. And that’s completely true about the process of watching the play come together, too. It’s my favorite part,” Hocking said.

Hocking, a board member of the Family Players of Northeastern New York, will present the story of the doomed ship in a slightly different way than the popular movie.

A cast of 69 people, ranging in age from 8 to 80, will act out eight or nine different story lines about passengers on the ship — the roles will examine the experiences of first-class through third-class travelers, according to Hocking.

Hocking said the board chose the show in mid-January, and started rehearsals at the end of April. The Titanic ran on Broadway in the 1990s, and won a Tony award in 1997.

“The music is absolutely gorgeous; it’s one of the biggest draws,” Hocking said, noting that Family Players has a 13-person orchestra that he called “outstanding.”

Over the 10 weeks of rehearsals, Hocking said he was thrilled to see the progress of the play.

“The evolution of the play is something special to me,” he said.

Titanic is a family show; there is no bad language, and it’s a great history lesson, according to Hocking. It’s a good opportunity to get people talking about the class differences in the past, he said.

The Family Players of Northeastern New York have performed at GPAC for the last 12 or 13 years.

“It’s beautiful to perform outside under the stars,” said Hocking. He encourages people to arrive early and picnic on the grass before the show starts.

General admission to the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. each night, is $10. Discounted tickets of $8, purchased in advance, are available for groups of eight or more — contact Julie Philips at 377-3955 or online at juliepaperclip@yahoo.com.


Packed summer season


Other entertainment on the GPAC summer schedule includes:

 — Red Grammar, a Grammy nominated kid’s entertainer, on July 2;

— The Guilderland Town Band, conducted by Kathleen Ehlinger, on July 16, and Aug. 6;

— The Riverview Ramblers, a foot-stomping bluegrass and country band on July 23;

— The Georgie Wonders Orchestra on July 30;

— Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra on Aug. 13; and,

— Hair of the Dog, a Celtic music band, on Aug. 20.


Tawasentha Park is located off of Route 155 in Guilderland. Performances, except for Titanic, are free. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Viewers are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

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