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Streeter graces stage as ‘Wonderette’ at Prizery
SoVaNow.com / October 01, 2012Let Alison Streeter tell you in her own words her life story in the arts:
My parents were teachers in Pittsburgh, Pa., when they went on strike in the mid-70s. I’m showing my age, but this also coincided with my birth. They decided to form a two-man band called “Two Way Street,” pack up the family and hit the road. They played the hotel/resort circuit for two to three years before deciding to settle down in Fort Wayne, Ind. I don’t have any memories from this time, but I do have an uncanny ability to remember the songs and lyrics of many popular songs from the 60s and 70s. Coincidence? I think not.
My dad just retired as a high school band director and continues to sit in, playing, with various bands in the area. He can play any instrument, but considers his main focus woodwinds (sax, flute, clarinet, etc.).
My mom claims she isn’t a real singer, but I disagree. She also plays guitar, bass and piano. She too is a retired educator, her last position being assistant superintendent of a district near Philadelphia. I was very lucky to grow up in a musical household where there was always something playing, from classical to jazz to musical theatre to popular music.
Growing up, I called the Performing Arts Center (now Arts United Center) in Fort Wayne, Ind., my second home. The facility served as the home base for our Civic Theatre and Youtheatre, and was one of the performance venues for the Fort Wayne Ballet, Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Dance Collective.
I was cast in my first show, a production of “A Christmas Carol,” at age five (though couldn’t do the show due to some scheduling conflicts), performed in a musical revue as part of the children’s ensemble when I was eight or nine, then was cast as Annie in “Annie” the following year. From that point on, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved in something music, dance, or theatre-related. I can’t put into words how exciting it was to dance in “The Nutcracker” with the Fort Wayne Ballet and Fort Wayne Philharmonic for several years, or getting to ride in a convertible as Annie during the annual 3 Rivers Festival Parade!
In high school, it was pretty common for me to go to school, have some kind of band/choir/play rehearsal after school, then go downtown to the Performing Arts Center for rehearsal until 10 p.m. or so, often doing homework in the car during the 30-minute commute. God bless my mother, who had to drive me all the time! I was also fortunate to have a theatre internship during my senior year of high school, for credit, where I learned various aspects of technical, management and other behind-the-scenes duties that are necessary for each production. Also during high school, I was able to perform for three summers at area summer stock theatres. The experience and training I received as a child and teenager prepared me for college and beyond, and definitely fueled the fire for something that’s become a lifelong passion.
The music in “The Marvelous Wonderettes” is basically a “Your Hit Parade” of the 1950s and 1960s with over 25 incredible songs! The first act takes place at the 1958 Springfield High School Senior Prom and features hits like “Mr. Sandman,” “Lollipop,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “Stupid Cupid,” and “Sincerely.” The second act takes place at their 10-year reunion and includes songs like “Heatwave,” “Leader of the Pack,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Respect” and “Rescue Me.” The musical arrangements are incredible, and the four-part female harmonies are really challenging for us, but I’m very excited with how rehearsals are going thus far.
We will also have a live band on stage, with Randy Savage, Jon Latane and Berkley Priest. Local audiences will know most, if not all of these songs, and I think they’ll fall in love with the characters in the show. There’s also some audience participation, so come ready to have a great time!
“The Marvelous Wonderettes” opens Oct. 11 and runs through Oct. 19. Tickets: 434-572-8339 or http://www.prizery.com.