Jacobson Center for Performing Arts brings second show to stage


The “Eighth Annual 2015 Fony Awards” will give regular folks a chance to rub elbows with the hottest stars of the future and even walk the red carpet this weekend at the Bridgehampton Community House.

A spoof on the Tony Awards—the annual presentation of Broadway’s highest honors—the latest music and dance performance from the Jacobson Center for the Performing Arts will take a wacky look at what “really” happens behind the scenes of a glamorous awards show.

The brainchild of Jacobson Center Executive Director Eric Jacobson, the performance will be a two-hour variety show showcasing award nominees by using parodies of such current hit shows as “High School Musical 14 (No End in Sight)” and “Huuters, the Musical.”

“It’s very tongue in cheek … It’s really a satire on the Tony Awards and we’re making fun of all these shows that cover the awards,” explained Joan Lyons, one of the four directors of the center. “What we’re doing is sort of poking fun at everything that goes into these award shows.”

Since beginning to work on the show last fall, the cast has been having a blast.

“It’s gonna be crazy,” Mr. Jacobson said enthusiastically during an interview last week. “I came up with this idea from when I used to work in dance schools and I did recitals, and recitals were so boring.”

The veteran performer and teacher assured that this weekend’s performance, complete with paparazzi and film crews, will be anything but mundane. Audience members will be able to get a sneak peak of what goes on behind the glitz and the glam of an awards show.

The show will include choreographed dancing and singing numbers, skits, Hollywood fistfights, and a look behind the scenes at the taping of television commercials.

“It’s everything that you would never see at an awards party,” Mr. Jacobson said. “Nobody’s safe.”

In addition to watching the entire live show, audience members are invited to walk the red carpet with the cast, who will be arriving in a limousine at 7:30 p.m. sharp.

The story is more futuristic than the center’s premiere production, “Joe Sent Me,” which was set in a 1920s speakeasy and performed last summer at Nova’s Ark in Bridgehampton.

In addition to take-offs on the entertainment world, the show, which opens Thursday, April 24, will include a number of skits revolving around world events, and the introduction of a few political leaders will also add to the story line. Cast members even choose who the president will be in 2015.

“They are hysterically funny. We just go so far over the top with this stuff,” Ms. Lyons, who is also performing in the show, said.

A not-for-profit organization, the Jacobson Center is dedicated to education and personal growth through personalized training in musical theater. Currently the center has more than 20 amateur performers ranging from pre-teens to mature adults involved.

Unlike traditional dance schools, the Jacobson Center takes a hands-on approach to performing and uses a series of rehearsals rather than the conventional classroom format.

“We don’t measure our growth by how well people sing or how well people dance compared to last year … What we are trying to do is instill into people the belief that they can do something they don’t think they can do,” Ms. Lyons said.

Since its inception in January 2007, the center has really come a long way.

“We’re definitely more focused. We really have our business up and running … We’re doing Broadway level choreography,” Ms. Lyons said. Only in its second year, the center is continuing to grow and will be looking to launch its first junior company, geared to children under 12 this fall.

After the show, the performers—who have been rehearsing almost daily at the Springs Presbyterian Church for the last few weeks—will get a much needed rest, but not for long.

By mid summer, Ms. Lyons said, the center will begin a fund-raising initiative to cover the cost of a rehearsal space of its own. “We would like to have our own home,” she said.

Performances of the “Eighth Annual 2015 Fony Awards” will be held at the Bridgehampton Community House at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26. Tickets are on sale now. Call 516-236-6970 for details, or email info@jacobsoncenter.org. Further information about the organization may be obtained at www.jacobsoncenter.org.

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