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'Snow White' gets a new musical

| Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Cast members (from left) Blake Altman of Southmoreland, Luc Bouille of Hempfield Township, Dennis Jerz of Greensburg, John Noble of Greensburg , Dylan Baughman of Connellsville and Mike Zula of Penn Trafford; (center) Elly Noble of New York City, Vince Tresco of Delmont and Anthony Marino of Hempfield Township, rehearse for Stage Right's upcoming production of Snow White on Wednesday evening, September 12, 2012 at Stage Right, in Greensburg. Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review
Cast members (from left) Dennis Jerz of Greensburg, Elly Noble of New York City, Vince Tresco of Delmont, Dylan Baughman of Connellsville, John Noble of Greensburg, Mike Zuba of Penn Trafford, Lou Bouille of Hempfield Townshi, Blake Altman of Sothmoreland and Anthony Marino of Hempfield Township, rehearse for Stage Right's upcoming production of Snow White on Wednesday evening, September 12, 2012 at Stage Right, in Greensburg. Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review

There's a buzz of excitement this week in the Greensburg rehearsal studio at Stage Right, where a local cast is preparing for the premiere of a full-length musical a year in the making.

Anthony Marino, Stage Right's artistic director, has big plans for “Snow White the Musical” that don't end at the Palace Theatre. He's hoping to take this production all the way to New York City — or at least to have it published so other groups can perform the show.

Whatever happens after this weekend, he says “the other creators and I are committed to seeing that this show has a life after this initial production. This is definitely a debut performance of a show that will be seen again.”

Marino and his creative partners have worked to reveal more about “the inner lives” of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs than other versions of the story based on the German fairytale by the Brothers Grimm.

“The score by David Mahokey (of Connellsville) and Greg Kerestan (of Greensburg) is really a tremendous work of art,” Marino says. “It not only tells the story but does so with songs you'll swear were from existing Broadway hits.”

Cast in the title role is Ellen Noble of Greensburg, a graduate of Stage Right, Greensburg Salem High School and Point Park University, who now lives and works as an actor in New York City. Marino says there wasn't any doubt that Noble was the right choice to portray Snow White.

“This is a role that could become too dark, unless you have an actress who has a sparkle, and an energy that is equal to obstacles she faces,” says the director. “Elly, aside from having the most remarkable instrument for a voice, can move a whole moment forward with her sparkle. She can convey so much with just a smile or a sideways glance and, all the while, doing it in a performance that's smart and tough and layered in a way that makes Snow real.”

Noble says her Snow White is somewhere between the soft, kind character in the Walt Disney version and the harsher interpretation of the character in the Grimm fairy tale.

“She's a loner, searching for something that makes her complete,” Noble says.

She last acted at Stage Right in 2010 in the lead role of “Peter Pan.” In her two years living in New York, she has performed in a revival of “The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd” and an off-Broadway production of “Carrie” based on the Stephen King novel.

She says it's good to come home again, especially as her father, John Noble of Greensburg, is cast in “Snow White” as the King. The father and daughter have acted together many times, but “it's a little different now,” Ellen Noble says. “I've been away from home a long time, and he really misses me. It's really fun to work with him again, and he couldn't be happier.”

Filling other leading roles in the Stage Right production are Renata Marino as the Evil Queen; David Cabot as Proudfoot, the head Dwarf; Vince Tresco as Prince Charming; and Tony Marino as the Magic Mirror.

Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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