By MATT CRANE
Beginning Thursday, the cast and crew of “SCT: Unplugged” will bring a completely different style to stage for the theater’s 2012 summer musical fundraiser.
Carole Sorenson, who has worked with Starkville Community Theater for 10 years, said this show marks her first time in the director’s chair.
“It’s been the most amazing experience with the band and my cast and my co-director Bonnie Oppenheimer,” Sorenson said. “It’s been great fun because I have had terrific help from John Brocato who dreamed this up with me.”
That dream, Sorenson said, was to gather a group of talented musicians and singers to perform the kinds of songs people have been listening to for years.
“It’s music that you get into your car and drive to work and hear on the radio, and sing along to,” she said. “It’s music that brings back so many life memories.”
While past summer musicals, notably helmed by SCT veterans Pattye Archer and Allison Stamps, have featured songs from Broadway and particular decades in American history, Sorenson said supporters of SCT are in for a different kind of show.
“In the past, the summer musicals have been incredible, but this is very different,” she said. “This is music everybody in the world listens to, and grew up hearing.”
The show’s company feature 16 singers, two of whom, Brian Hawkins and MJ Etua, have been involved in every one of the 14 summer musicals SCT has produced.
“I can’t imagine my summer not doing the show,” Hawkins said. “I love to sing and be part of an ensemble that makes wonderful music.”
Hawkins said he enjoys the creative process and is looks forward to performing for the Starkville community.
“This show provides a unique experience for our SCT supporters and the general public,” he said. “The music is fabulous and the vocals are awesome.”
One of the biggest changes from previous years will be the addition of the musicians onstage with the performers.
The “SCT: Unplugged” band features: Marcus Vowell on guitar; Carole Soreson on piano; Drew Dieckmann on guitar; Jim Beaty on bass; Peyton Wolf on guitar; Vinny Brocato on drums; John Brocato on guitar and harmonica; and a special appearance by Daniel Jones and Joy Carino on the violin.
Above all, Sorenson said she wants every audience member to sit back and have a good time with good music.
“I want people to come in and feel like they’ve walked into someone’s basement, kicked off their shoes and opened a cold drink,” she said. “They’re sitting around with friends, listening to somebody just have a jam session.”
Tickets for “SCT: Unplugged” are available for $25 per person, which includes a champagne and dessert reception following each performance.
Show dates are set for July 19-21, and July 26-28. For more information, call 662-323-6855 or visit SCT online at http://www.sct-online.org .