Westfield's Nicole Sollazzo Plays 'Little Red' in World Premiere of New Musical
Center Players, the Freehold theatrical company, will perform "The Musical Adventures of Horatio Wolf and Little Red."
What do you get when you take some familiar fairy tales, throw them into a blender and creatively combine them into something brand new? Center Players did just that and came up with their current production, The Musical Adventures of Horatio Wolf and Little Red, an original magical musical story.
Nicole Sollazzo, an 8th grader at Roosevelt Intermediate School, portrays one of the title characters: 'Little Red.'
A troupe of actors called the "Let's Pretend Players" wander into Center Playhouse to enact an imaginative musical story that will charm kids of all ages from 3 to 103. They create a magical forest, don fanciful costumes, and sing and dance their way through fairytale moments with characters that will bring joy and laughter to audiences of all ages.
The script came about when four members of Center Players began brainstorming possibilities for a children's production and couldn’t find a really funny script, they began to talk about what they really wanted - a play that could be performed by adults and children and includes catchy music. Similar to the plot out of an old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney film, they decided to write and produce their own show. Ray Ruiz, a retired math teacher and Center Players board member, who also happens to be a professional musician, wrote the music and lyrics and a show was born.
The play is directed by Leslie Hochman, of Old Bridge, who has directed musicals and family-friendly fare throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties and features Sami DeSocio of Holmdel, Zach Berman of Tinton Falls, David Clarke of South River, Dina Agranovsky of Freehold, Doriane Feinstein of East Windsor, Calista Amrell of Howell, Sollazzo of Westfield, Francesca Alexander and Bernice Garfield-Szita of Manalapan and Jake Hollander of Eatontown.
Musical Director Ray Ruiz, of Monroe, said, “The process took about 9 months, similar to having a baby. Like a newborn child, this play is near and dear to our hearts and we can’t wait to see the audience’s reaction. People who’ve stopped by during our rehearsals love the play’s charm, humor and simplicity. We believe those young and those young at heart will enjoy this production.”
The Musical Adventures of Horatio Wolf and Little Red runs for only two weekends at Center Playhouse, in downtown Freehold, on Saturday, Aug. 11 and Aug 18 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for Children (ages 3 through 12) and include light refreshments.