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The March Bard Bulletin

One of the most exciting events this month (March1-3) is Scranton’s own Lorenzo

Pugliese playing Sonny Bono in “The Cher Show” at the Scranton Cultural Center. He has

gotten tons of good reviews around the country during this national tour, and his hometown can’t wait to welcome him back. Lorenzo was Roger in last season’s “Rent” with SSF and previously played the lead in “Footloose”….SAMPLE REVIEWS: “Lorenzo Pugliese literally stops the show with his entrance as a perfectly cast Sonny Bono… He gains rigorous applause when we first hear him speak in Bono’s distinctive voice, and even more mid-song when he sings his iconic first lines in “I Got You Babe”. Pugliese also is successful in making a convincing transition from adorable new boyfriend to ambitious Svengali husband to betraying business partner, without losing the audience because he also channels Bono’s easy, charming demeanor.” (York, Pa.)… “The one name everyone can expect in a story about Cher was Sonny Bono, played by Lorenzo Pugliese, who bottled up Sonny’s look, voice, love, and resentment. From the original “I Got You Babe” to its reprise in Act 2, Pugliese tracked Sonny’s own evolution in the show from hopeful and bright to unsettling and dark and then tragically gone.” (Washington, DC)…” I have so many starry heart eyes to pass out to this cast….but my fellow audience members were raving the most about how perfect (Lorenzo) Pugliese was as Sonny. And I quote, ‘They couldn’t have picked anyone better to play Sonny.’ (Fayetteville, Ark.)…”The supporting cast alongside Cher held their own next to the icon, especially that of Lorenzo Pugliese’s Sonny Bobo. His voice and

appearance were strikingly similar, an almost uncanny reproduction of the image.” (Miami,

Fla.)… “Ella Perez (Cher) performed quite well, balancing the young artist’s drive and idealism with her naiveté. Her duets with Sonny Bono (Lorenzo Pugliese) wonderfully expressed the sweet electricity and tension in their relationship.” (Nashville, TN).

Rosanna Diaz returned to “Blue Bloods” on Friday, February 23, on CBS portrayed by our own Samantha Morales. Sam says, “Getting asked back after last season and especially after thewriter’s strike was the happiest of surprises. It’s my first recurring role - a career milestone I won’t ever forget, she says, adding, “And, if possible, Donnie Wahlberg was even kinder the second time around - a true class act and just the best example of how to act on set.“ Sam and her husband Anthony Mercado also enjoyed a trip to Barcelona last month with their gorgeous son Leo in tow. Among other things, Sam appeared with us as Lady Macbeth in the Scottish play some seasons ago, and is expected to direct a play for us during the upcoming Scranton Shakespeare Festival summer season….

Lizzie Gumula, the dynamic force behind SSF’s acclaimed Youth Ensemble, was director of

“Be Careful What You Wish For,” in Manayunk at the end of February. Lizzie is also working at the Walnut Street Theater in Philly, and will be back for an exciting summer season with the Youth Ensemble featuring “The Tempest” and “Into the Woods” There are lots of added events with Youth Ensemble this year, including a Meisner Workshop, Youth Orchestra, and a program specifically for middle school students. Check out the Scranton Shakes website to find out what’s going on!

Dawn McGurl, our ever-busy costume designer and SSF board director is working on this

spring’s Scranton Prep production as well as planning more special events for the Shakes Space at the Marketplace at Steamtown, including “Trivia with Conor” on Friday, March 22, 8- 9:30 pm with a “Lord of the Rings” theme hosted by SSF favorite Conor McGuigan ($5 admission, BYOB)… A “Paint and Sip” event will be held on Thursday, March 21, from 6 – 8 pm, at $35 per person. The theme is “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” This is also a BYOB and promises a lot of fun for all involved. Register at’s multi-talented husband Brian McGurl will perform for our first-ever Luncheon Concert at the Shakes Space on Wednesday, April 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Brian, who is the ShakesSpace liaison, is a founder of the Dunmore Musikfest and plays with the group Q-Ball...Also in April: Dunmore native Mark Loughney will be the featured artist for First Friday on April 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the ShakesSpace.

We love to support our SSF players when they are appearing elsewhere, and are thrilled to

share that “Fiddler and the Roof,” featuring our own Isabella Snyder, sold out for every single performance at Music Box Dinner Theatre in February…Likewise, Kelly Jean Graham and Camille Reineke got raves for their roles in “Pippin” at Ovation Playhouse last month, and Camille is moving right into a role in “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the Music Box Theater. Joining Camille in this cast will be Cate McDonald and Jimmy Williams, who both appeared in Scranton Shakes Panto production of “Jack and the Beanstalk” last December…

Marissa Anthony-Duricko, who appeared with SSF in our Scranton Fringe presentation of

“Strange America” last fall, is working her magic with the creative team at Mountain Mill

Playhouse for an upcoming production of “Escape to Margaritaville.” David Mattar Merten, who appeared some seasons back in the SSF production of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” is currently appearing on Broadway in Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People, starring Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli at Circle in the Square theater for a limited engagement through March 24. Jarrett J. Ferentino, Esq., participated in the worldwide premiere of “Crime Nation” on Feb. 20. He is the husband of SSF board member Nicole Ferentino and father of Victoria, who played the little girl in our 10 th anniversary season production of “Ragtime.”


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