'The Breakfast Club' reconvenes for another round of angst
Back in the 1980s, before teens had the luxury of mobile phones to text each other, they had face-to-face conversations.
Geyer Performing Arts Center takes audiences back to those days in its retelling of “The Breakfast Club,” a show based on the 1985 John Hughes movie that starred “Brat Pack” actors, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson.
Director Jessica Zack of Uniontown has chosen to keep the setting, plot and characters the same as the film version. The story revolves around five high school students who spend an all-day Saturday detention together and learn a lot about each other in the process.
“It is a rare opportunity to get to see a classic movie like this put on stage,” Zack says. “Anyone who’s a fan of the movie will definitely appreciate the stage version, and I think it will be fun for them to come and see what the differences are and how we interpreted certain moments.”
For those that haven’t seen the movie, the director says it will be a chance to experience a brand-new story that she knows they will enjoy.
“Most importantly, I know everyone will be blown away by the talent of this cast,” she says. “They are all so phenomenal and have all been working incredibly hard to put on a show that people will love and that they can be proud of.”
Tackling ‘princess’ role
Jordan Gilbert of West Newton takes on Ringwald’s movie role, portraying Claire, “the princess,” in the GPAC play.
“She’s a stereotypical high school prom queen, except like everyone else in ‘The Breakfast Club,’ there’s more to her than just what her stereotype dictates,” Gilbert says. “I think Claire’s secretly not a terrible person, she just spends so much time saddled with her mean-girl, popular friends that she doesn’t know how else to act.”
She says she got back into performing over the summer at the Geyer with “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
“I haven’t been able to actually be in many shows since high school. I really love theater and missed it a lot. And besides, who could possibly pass up the opportunity to be in a show as legendary as ‘The Breakfast Club’?” she says.
The cast also includes Mike Hamilla of Uniontown, Matt Tracy of Mt. Pleasant, and Shannon Riley and Payton Dell, both of Greensburg.
Zack has directed 10-minute plays for several festivals, most recently at the Phoenix Arts Center in Uniontown in September. She also directed a one-act play she wrote in a festival held at the Geyer last year by Actors and Artists of Fayette County.
She has performed in more than 20 community theater productions, 15 of which were at the Geyer. Most recently she portrayed Rosalia in “West Side Story” and was an ensemble member in “Jekyll and Hyde.”
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.