Something between Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and those albums from our childhood where thespians such as Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone acted out classical theater scenes: it’s the third iteration of Play Brawl, a competitive acting game, for the benefit of Philadelphia Theatre Company, on March 13.
Again at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (starting with a cocktail party so get there early), PTC’s home, this Friday’s Play Brawl will follow suit with its past competitions in that local celebrities in the Philly business, arts and entrepreneurial worlds will team with regional actors to perform popular scenes from theater, television and film. Past Play Brawl’s have included the illustrious likes of Comcast’s then VP, David L. Cohen, acting his heart out to a wild, loud crowd.
“It can get pretty raucous,” said PTC’s Development Director, Christopher Kramaric.”It’s not called ‘play nice.’
While each set of competitors (see below) will act – or sing – their hearts, attending audience members (and drinks are being served) vote for the winning performance.
Actor Michaela Schuchman, usually bouncing between stages in Philadelphia and New York City, is a first-timer to Play Brawl, and is excited to hit the PTC with three separate partners. “It’s been tough bouncing between them, but it’s been a lot of fun so far,” she said, laughing about how she likes one opportunity – singing “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shope of Horrors with Jonathan D. Lovitz, Senior VP at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce – just a little bit more than her other stage shots on March 13.
“And of course, we’ll be the winners,” said a confident Lovitz, a one-time dancer and actor whose last big Philly stage performance was n the early 2000s, with Ted Neely and the original Broadway cast of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The rest of the competition looks like this
Mindy Dougherty Baiada, Executive Director, Music Theatre Philly, performing a scene from Legally Blonde.
Jonathan Lovitz, Advocate, Politician, and Former Theatre & Television Star, singing Suddenly Seymour, from Little Shop of Horrors.
Sulaiman W. Rahman, President/CEO, DiverseForce, LLC, performing a scene from Hitch.
Garrett Snider, Founder, Childhood Resilience Foundation, performing a scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Michael G. Turner, Head of School, The Shipley School, performing a scene from Groundhog Day.
Rob Wonderling, President & CEO, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, performing a scene from Animal House.
Now, play brawl.