WWL>Topics>>5-9-14 1:10pm Angela: on Rivertown Theaters

5-9-14 1:10pm Angela: on Rivertown Theaters

May 9, 2014|

Angela talks with Gary Rucker and Kelly Fouchi, co-artistic directors of Rivertown Theaters, about their production of Young Frankenstein.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well this is the day we all wait for it is our special because we start our weekend. This time with the news flash. Frankenstein. Lives and this is a fact is he's right here in the studio with me ready to tell us all about he should look at the river town theatres. In our Friday opened my excitement we're gonna get to know the man who plays young Frankenstein. Gary rocker. Jerry and Kelly Boucher our co artistic directors of river town theatres. Both accomplished actors and directors. And they were awarded the management contract by the city -- -- It's a very exciting time for commuters in our area and this is another example of positive things happening in the arts so let's start with. Okay it is opening night. Tonight he -- young Frankenstein. You looked so normal thing. That Millen -- mustache familiar to us. Think and the first of all we're talking about young Frankenstein but I want to congratulate you -- this is in new bucolic missing believed. You you both. Were named. Big Easy entertainers of the year yet that is huge and it's that was such an honor for us to get that phone call. But that is that we we live in the community of tremendous talent so to be recognized. That big is enormous room absolutely -- and when they called a scary and violent that each other and said. And we an -- go along -- we've been doing and never even. Considered to be honored in and that ways it was really a big shot in the -- of great. Now this was actually that night yet. So they can't you do not no no no we did know ahead at times do they call this. Three weeks before and lucky enough we were able to prepare a speech has its confident and seem eloquent when you received the award so we -- I'll definitely time. But it's also a statement of the culmination of all you have done if you say you just rock girl wouldn't continue to do but is doing great stuff. And then for your theater. Under your guidance to what -- theater of the year by the times -- him. Yeah. It's like you know we we do this because we love it and we're proud of what we do and so for someone else to stand up and say hey we're recognizing all your hard work and in all the attention to detail you're putting in and to onerous for that it's not it's not why we do it but it what it does is it forces us to sit back and kind of just appreciate her and achievements which we never really take the time to do so. It's special it's really special and we we really appreciate every honor that comes our way -- So. Let's talk about the creation of your company and you will have both an independently doing incredible things in the -- Saturday joined hands. We had been working together alive and Gary and I shared a similar. Passion and desire for detail anesthetics and just a certain standard that we both felt like week. Agreed upon and we said he thought let's give us a shot on our -- and so week. Formed a company and produced all over the city as independent theater. And artists and when. Contract became an option -- said I think we can do and you know we've spent enough years. You know live an out of a box and pull in big huge musicals you know out of a box and recently had our own home. We think we'd be unstoppable so we've decided to -- -- -- -- contract and luckily enough we had a pretty impressive proposal right now I think they've been. -- the country came at that point where I mean we've been doing it for a few years and it's just exhausting and we said you know we really need at least operate on out because how long can we keep. You know putting on threats musicals out of the back of -- hauled in a week to do it so it all kind of lined up perfectly for us to have this opportunity and you know we're really thankful that. You know that the city -- -- trusted us -- that. River town Gator head has been opened for awhile then closed and reopened you know it's been over for between four years and it it can it continually remained in operation but -- -- -- the last few years that audiences that dwindles and you know it's just it was time for a breath of fresh air like so much in their return area they just. Needed some new life so we were lucky that we were ready when the heat it was timing was -- Speaking of audiences dwindled but I just noticed today that you have. So many tickets you can -- -- to perform -- we've been extremely lucky when when we took over the and a lot of the river to an audience knew Kelly -- from working there in the past so. When word got out that we were gonna take over there was just such an excitement about us coming back and it sounds really -- -- I don't even read it -- -- You know it's that's knew there was a lot of excitement about it so since we took over to our season ticket base our audience is it just builds and builds and we just extended young Frankenstein we actually already extended Shrek for next season and this year everyone of our musicals has held over. Com under the -- -- held over for performances so. I feel like we're doing something right if you know -- he manages the business and how largest economy decency it seeks to 99. That's and we do a very beautiful on VIP suite that seats ten people. And they were able to add -- -- every once in awhile with you know for you to walk ups and when he took on them -- It's it's a big fear but it's a very intimate theater which is what we love about it. Beautiful space really plush and you know beautiful pristine BM so as a very classic theater feel. And it's a perfect house for being splashy musicals which like today. -- -- like fixable. Yes it's it's it's the best kept secret in town you know not meet people realize it's other people thing it's really far away it's not. It's free parking at the best prices in -- we just realized though it there's no reason we always say if you see when a question he'll be back. Right because you know we knew we need your -- and you hear community theater there's a stigma but people they really don't know what they're getting in the consumer and Russia. That's the -- that we usually get from our patrons especially first time attendees while I didn't know this -- -- -- -- leave the quality of theater that's happening out here any to tell my friends you know so. Where -- spread the lawyer that has there and doing big huge things. -- only because I have to visualize. I have been ripped and and it's been a very long time. You go to and get up on millions -- speaking of -- can take -- -- highway near river -- returns and Jefferson -- re right on the on the on the money there. We're block -- Williams a block of terrorism -- a block of land supplement -- correct yes. I've got it so although the Evelyn Dorsey failed the and a great time I wanna talk about -- sort of Frankenstein -- you are Franken. Yes that played -- doctor happy. It's that that I don't know -- together if it's the biggest most exhausting role I've ever done but it's so rewarding it's so much fun. And you know people know the movie they love the movies so just getting Ted paid tribute to Gene Wilder who's one of the great comedians of our time is it's really been special. And you know Ricky -- directing it and there's no one more charming and wonderful and funny to work with the -- so it's just it's been a dream for. Yeah absolutely but we love that. Yeah that's how well he did. And I know that it's very important but he is a gift yeah truly. -- this man for all seasons when it comes to grant writing directing acting yeah he's separate in a very good friend. It's hard to have both of those things but he's just like I just I love hanging over them as much as -- like working with a minutes that's a great thing that you know. So to get direction from -- and you have directed yeah so. A director getting direction from someone -- what you do but now I mean it's you know. I'm not gonna say it's always a 100% wonderful instrument -- the we fight like crazy but we always fight for the the purpose of a great -- And when I direct him when he directs me like there's obviously a mutual respect and we're always come out battling for the best bid the biggest laugh and I think that's what makes us a -- team. You know because we we just both want the audience that every time. -- this tremendous you want everyone to stay with -- we're gonna continue to talk to the two co co artistic directors of river town theatres. And of course if you have any questions I'll give us a call at 2601870. Stay with this I'm Angela under the W. Well we are talking about all good things and theater happening in -- With our two new friends are -- friends. Were talking with Gary Rucker and Kelly Boucher who are the co artistic directors of river town theatres in Kenner. Producing this week and next week and next Frankenstein. You know brings young friends and why I keep fighting has been -- -- losing and you're young men up there and what's really scary. -- he told us as he walked in the he was on the talk show when you were written horse ready and I must have been seventy. Now Alex -- as a teenager than. It was long enough ago that Olympic we need to do the -- and look at that and that. -- -- -- with child does and as -- -- Talk about that I think people love stories of two best friends and veterans for ever now. And you were the best in his -- Conventional. Getting -- I'm a -- can think of anyone better than that my friends do you should have been there with me. If she did a great his right investment. The -- -- you hear her side and you did the -- -- the whole thing I did get to address. And equipment and did you give him actually -- -- Dinner. Well path that you hit it pretty tired. And Mary with two. Girls yes. And also run. -- Denton school yeah actually have a performing arts studio on -- hand on course the other dance tumbling music and theater because we do it all and to be offered dance and theater and police and piano and tumbling and trying to you know build a new generation. In the -- and -- And so you do it that's like your -- on yeah that's my full time job in addition to this full time job but luckily they work hand in hand. And they both serve each other beautifully so it's. Ally it's really tough then I barely sleep but I feel like them live in the dream I mean I get to have a career and performing arts. In New Orleans it's amazing. And you also have two children who are now in the theaters of some of their college with an ES and Roberts out well they definitely have the bug. It would is not by choice you know be a lot easier if they weren't interested and I can kind of separate work and play but. They they got the theater bug and they love it and and it is great to have them with semi husbands performer as well so. We actually all adjusted any together is the first we've ever done together and that was really really smells -- filmmakers think -- -- bit ironic and of that is for effect -- -- does your husband work. Beyond theater -- he actually runs the studio with me so -- we get to work together at home which is a dream and you know he's involved in the theater mostly as a performer but also as -- From them Pakistan Moreland financial advisor at her feet and. And a decent sound forest and he's very he's very handy live electronics -- Jack about comical mark he's you know compared. And now you're married and who is your wife and actress she is we've played opposite each other a few times is these past few seasons and that always cracks me up movement. And and my son he he he loves video games as much as theater but he'll -- both. In yeah he was I was on -- the great he was in lane is in Covington and I I cried the whole time and I was I was so proud. Like can he play got Rossi gets shot that's a couldn't handle enough it was too much for -- so well that has to be the number one most emotional. Yeah play of all time and I'm like I think about long India. Clinton. Bring an -- in the home. I can't even read the runway yeah I. If I hear I have to turn around in the snow on anyway and an independent. Mind that it but you you obviously have integrated very. Busy lives and we are not to forget that you teach to line yeah that's my other -- -- if if I teach acting for people who don't care about acting this. I got a lot of football players and baseball but now but it's a lot of fun and -- it's if he's acting appreciation and I love that class more than anything. And so lucky to have a job it's a great department and in -- school that is and just you know luckily the hours -- flexible enough that you can kind of people places and into -- and. So the football players in baseball players you're teaching really poison count that much better actors than you think they. And especially the kickers for summary you know he did they turn in a theater dollars you get a job exactly that's right. And one of them actually one of them came to see we did the ladies of the communities recently -- my students came into the site you show you Roque. As a I have the beauty Smart enough tickets to the teacher and I -- okay I'll take it and so that's again to her hand and do you do anywhere with two in similar. We see that I mean right now we're both I don't know -- -- soldier -- -- Actually did my first show ever has some -- I was sixteen I was cast any vita. Which like a major production at that age to be thrown into all that and that's where I got all my experience just hands on being thrown into the best in now. And it's kind of full circle because my daughter is actually be playing gazette in my name is this summer at some -- That's going to be a little -- people sitting in the audience watching. We're both so much you mean Michael Howard in semi boring carefully they're all such. Incredible fear of people that we were lucky enough to learn from and I like to think that everything we do every success we had is like. Somehow for them too because we are now on we wouldn't know a lot of us you know we we learn from them you know so. And it would like to try to create a similar it is fun loving. Wonderful experience for the cast and crew mean we elect to kind of you know pay that forward elements of its work but it's got to be found out just fine -- we wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun. -- that -- and then that roar of the crowd I think is excellent final thing it has its lottery response from the audiences I mean their ages and received so well and they've been so grateful about the new life that we've read interpret town in the in the theater itself and I think they're happy with the choices are making for shows and like -- said earlier in the fact there were over selling and holding over all of our musicals I mean that's amazing. Of course we would love to have more on incident as we'd love to run for a month if -- -- But it it's going really well and I think people are happy with what we're doing are you -- all year round theater course there's season. We do have a season and we have a five show and a six -- option but we produce all yearlong like -- we -- Camelot as an additional Porsche which wasn't part of our season. And we also have our beautiful -- up space which we just completely renovated across the courtyard and using that as -- children's theater. So we do produce three shows there threat the year for children. And and where always inviting other feeder companies to come in and -- in the space when we are not -- we wanna keep the theater going all your long and you know nearly haven't art. Now that that is tremendous people love that yeah -- and and well we're gonna talk about adamant about your thoughts on what has happened post-Katrina. Utica relieved and many shifts of thing is all in -- sense one certainly wonderful fuel what are some of the shows you did this year. We opened with 42 street. Which was huge success you know I mean it's the punches and still big Broadway splashy musical and we had a great time doing it and -- I had tricked into directing that's another story from. But it was it was one of those -- relieved him and then we had Harvey. And -- -- had any weeks sandwich then and there during Christmas and then we had an original under the boardwalk which was a musical review of four seasons speech bullies and -- And that was like -- -- -- Most -- has it ever done clearly can -- -- and if yes absolutely. Who did that and that was done by the New Orleans buddies which is a -- a group that. Is comprised. Rich Arnold. Mark fishy Michael Paris fell and frank Eindhoven. Support guys that rich wrote it and composed it and it's an original music review that they put together and that's part of our mission each season is to have a local. Show that a local has written so that we give -- the stage and had an opportunity -- Asia. Now that is hopefully they'll redo it again yes it was yes -- we'll -- or. We kind of commission did with the idea that once they did that they can -- into -- places and they've already -- again and again and it that the run they had -- at -- it was Greek is at a time bookings just from doing there you know so it kind of serve the purpose we hoped it would -- and -- four guys yet they have there's actually a few more comic Scotts -- part of it may become rotate in and -- There's a couple of guys that -- neutral and there. All equally ami AM -- each night you might have a different cast which was fun and we did have some patrons come back more than once they concede the different actors. Everyone stay with this over gonna take a break for the news but we're going to be back talking theater right after this. Apple -- are very special guest today Gary rocker and Kelly -- -- who are the artistic directors of river town theatres. They got the contract two years ago they have. Not breathe new life into it and it's. Pace standing room only but you can always but one more chair would be there again. You know but but good for you that you have -- something that. Is -- it look let's talk a little bit about. Post-Katrina. Because I do looked tired and I know Manning -- too many closed it was a struggle. And now you're seeing it come back -- the -- city while teeth has reopened. What you all are doing and it's so you have to be feeling like. We're back. Down. We are and we we have felt that the attendance and the love that every town I mean I think people want to see good theater and they want to see. Big productions. That face appeared did change a little bit after Katrina there seemed to allot more independent companies. Popping up in doing more controversial work and just you know not the traditional big musicals that we used SE. From a petite and Havertown and and -- and companies like that. But it's been great because it an added diversity to the theater scene in a -- islands. So there's a little truly something for everyone as far as at the -- or whatever type of theater you're interested and there's something. I'm gonna go back in time. To to to view. Gary was your nor your successes haven't -- that the bug pitches then. Actually I was I was sixteen not six but it was a high school with about a -- And IE and couldn't play sports very quick healthy but let us and -- so that's when I started was in high school about Martin in. I'd love did and I that I cast in the importance of being earnest as the Butler. And that changed my life and -- -- just kept doing it from the islands loved it I love doing it and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of you know forward for the rest of my life so you went to college study it and -- you know and got a master's degree from there and with studied under David Hoover -- one of the greatest people in the world and I've just been lucky that I've I've had the opportunity to continue to work and to challenge myself you know as as a bottler. And did you ever give thought of -- and go to the Big Apple now I I never really. Thought I'd ever be famous -- needed to be anything more than I am in eight I did a tour and I I did summer stock it was always. In those fine but I like being home -- you know being on -- with people I was friends with them. Just that sense of like New Orleans and community is like being a part of that. It didn't I didn't it didn't matter what stage I was on as long as I enjoyed being on that stage you know and when did you transition to directing as well. It was actually at river town and I hadn't worked there -- a few years -- -- said you know having you've been around -- I just haven't enjoyed working with some of the directors of -- being here I'm just not getting anything -- -- -- -- -- when he put your money where your business and OK so. He gave me a show on the season and I didn't it was a hit and I love didn't. So he kind of allowed me to continue to directly from them in an instant and then the first time he offered me the musical like instantly call Kelly like. Okay kiss me -- -- Damn Yankees what he when it is so. We did -- yankees and that was our first collaboration was at river towns and you know as directors are also as director and choreographer -- I can't -- act together effort you know years before that and I. So you were a little girl and you were a dancer and yep and I guess that before literally an effort show is at summer earlier glee I'd started at the top he can and and being surrounded by. So many wonderful artists and just atmosphere there I mean I was hooked instantly and then you know when she do some -- -- You just wanna keep on back and they do so many so quickly so those three shows -- summer and just like that got the bug and kept dancing and doing shows and -- and I -- actually. Doing not really can't show but it you know smaller musical and and we did and yankees' latest utterly an interview we just clicked like we had the same. Passion and we are finishing each other's sentences. You know about the things one on stage and just ideas that we had and we were kind of feeding off of each other and -- it meet for a bigger better project. And and when did you transition to directing. Actually I've only directed ones and I said it was something small musical called Ian I think it's a commitment. But act like I was ready and and I kind of a RD co director with Gary and even though his name was on and I think I I took a lot of the director responsibilities for things especially -- he was also in the show. So I had been kind of working with him in under him so to speak. And style like you know this is -- im kinda doing it already it just not officially. And it was a great experience and I am a crazy perfectionist and and lightly to pay attention to a lot of details I think that works really -- offered or actors so. You know children dogs Christmas holiday -- crazy was there anything you could throw at someone for their first time but -- is enemies and the organism is so great can't do it again actually think that that is sort of and I am looking at both the view and I'm thinking. Families children jobs. And you're running a theater and participating in the theater -- You know we're we're very lucky -- that our families completely understand. What we do and lightly yours and you know luckily my wife and her husband are totally OK with -- -- on the phone together at 1230 at night. You know talking because they get it I mean they know that you know this is what we do and -- the two doing it so we're we're very lucky that we we have the support that we have at home. Now that's right but that -- able to make a living. Yes and I think that's a big deal we we need to have that in the Marlins to keep the great talent and yeah. Definitely yeah okay everybody stay with this'll be right back. Well we're back talking with the via co artistic directors of river towns theater and and all the exciting things that are happening there and again I guess everything has its ups and downs and now you've picked back up and it's wonderful to hear that people are responding yes that -- getting people in the seats. So your season is ending this will be Franken young Frankenstein is a -- close there are so to speak and then you take this nice break that you desperately need it. Re meet your husband of two and a half if it's an alien and then. -- new season -- RD pick -- -- absolutely we we we gear up almost a year ahead at times so. This time last year we are RD pick the season that's coming up. And where in our season subscription campaign right now because we're starting -- season September and meet -- maybe it may be two weeks of a break because we're opening wish wreck. And it's huge under so we're gonna spend the summer building tragic -- building all those crazy costumes and props and after track. The one man two governors which is regional premiere of that it displayed in from London it's crazy funny it's almost like a variety show. It's it's farce. With -- -- musical interludes. It's it's just really a tremendously funny too and Ricky Graham is gonna direct that so and really good hands with that it's it's it's hard to describe that the plot that it's based on a serving a few masters but it's been. Updated to London in the fifties so it's just it's it's really to slapstick and funny. Are you going to be in the I mean negotiations -- the -- -- the director for her yes. So and then after that that we're gonna have a Christmas Carol the musical home which is actually the version that played at Madison Square Garden for ten years so it's it's actually a big musical a lot of big production numbers. But the same heart of the story. And then we're in January gonna have the will Rogers follies. And then we're gonna have our local. Edition which is -- grams when you smile and and we're gonna close with dirty rotten scoundrels the musical my gosh this is a great -- out we're excited about it it's pretty ambitious but you know. We have to -- ambitious titles we and we have to pick things that people are somewhat familiar -- and they're gonna be really excited about you know to get him to come out to the theater and like Jerry said if they come once we feel like I'll be back. And you know that people want musicals. Yet they love -- to be the trend yet we you know we I love. Non musicals that's how I was until I started so we try to if you that our crowd pleasing enough that I mean. I'm assuming that trend change the world and can do anything to heavier too you know controversial like we -- really fun non musicals. Doing an unusable helps pay the bills a little bit you know -- musicals are so expensive on. Well looking at doing a few more of musicals and unusable slots once in awhile but I think than non -- that we pick this year just so good so wonderful that. There is that you know there is exciting and in 182 governors has musicians and it so. Close enough protein -- even. Now you get any state or around local funding we can zero point deny everything is zero and buy tickets sales. Which is a lot of pressure forests and again because we do these big ambitious titles there are very expensive but. He knows it's been working so far because we have had good audience support. I don't think people realize what it takes. They they look at the look at the talent on the stage and they know people work hard but they don't really understand the magnitude now of what. What you said you gonna take a two week break which are really building sets for Shrek and everything around them and all that cost money. You know and that people don't realize they they see that we hold over -- -- and assume that we're just paying ourselves. We don't make any thing to do that you know that money goes right back into the shows and read document the company sell you know it's it's it's a fine line we want to keep the doors open but. I think we're Smart enough I mean we've done for two years yes that's kind of president that's. In going into picking our seasons we try to pick something that we feel like will serve a wide demographic. Like you know doing Christmas Carol the musical last year we did in -- brings families and which of course radical also do this season. But and we also want -- present things like one and two -- which is kind of body. And then dirty -- scandals which is -- kind of risque so the adults feeling -- have that night at the theater as well so it's a debt divers season. And that's the platform we always start on what we're picking precious. And do you use corporate sponsors who the -- -- the slopes -- -- none -- -- things that we do have. Treasure -- casino has recently become one of our sponsors and it's sponsored that the different memory years and stuff -- thrilled to have them back. -- but you know that's that's. That's the biggest thing we need at this point Venus being in new company is summit take a chance come see our -- see what it is he how many people would bring into the theater. And you know that if they put their name on us to putting their name on the best product in town so. And so I just I know -- got a thought about this but he -- for like 101000 dollar sponsors 50000 I'll take fifty dollars. If you -- I -- I think whatever you and again I mean we we have pat you know corporate -- and ship packages that go anywhere from a 150 to 101000 dollars so we're of course opened. To anything that can help us at this point. Well you're such a part of of the new can't even rent and I remember having the president on and he was so proud of the fact that he would put signage. -- to show we're Kenner begins right and he was absolutely correct I never noticed it and drive into the airport and that's why there's there's a real sense of renewal going on in Kenner. Wanting to bring young people and people to root themselves there and having a theater of this quality is part of that yet so very very important it would be. It would be good for local sponsors to jump -- -- we hope so you know on river town just acquired the main street initiative and in main street program and the holder to an area as being revived and the Peter really is the hub. Mean we're the largest facility there and -- week we have about 25000 people that come through the theater on a yearly basis and you know. -- distinct area itself is gonna start to see a big revival and we hope people get on orderly and what exactly does that mean main street designation. It's like magazines -- just means that you get there tax breaks for some of the businesses that wanna go there on they're grants that help with. You know. How I was hitting the president elect a light poles and yet you know just be aesthetics of the area dotted -- -- gaming and yet -- just there's there's more. Government money available to your area because the countries deemed it an important place to be. If that makes sense it makes a lot of chances and what else is out there now. Already had a planetarium so let there they just opened that -- -- which has been wildly popular on us that Cassel has been turned into a comedy. Judy rose one of the people who shows that there is she's amazing so that's happens on. A new restaurants about to open restaurant to appear to be -- place is still there there's a few galleries so gift shops yeah. There's a lot of stuff kind of balance yes all the well as an area and the Dallas actually is getting me to open and -- Reception hall yeah area I think it was the train museum is now reception hall and it's beautifully just they just renovated the whole thing. So yeah I mean that. Everyone's paying attention river town now and realizing it's a nice area it's beautiful and everyone's. I guess taking it seriously and making sure that it lives up to what we know it can be. And and then the beauty not only of the great things that you do on the theater in the theater. Is that it has easy park Alley restaurant here let me tell you how important yes. Analysts -- your season ticket holder every every weekend and I go I say we're so lucky every parking and you can feel safe. You know it's great little area to walk around you can go have dinner park your car -- demo cobblestone street and walk into the theater. And look at great direction wonderful man and a wonderful voices great dancers -- you I mean our patrons have been really wonderful and complementary they say our season is super ambitious they said it's more exciting -- the sang there and that's their words not tires on and when they come they do say like while. We had no idea of equality and how amazing the shows are. So well continued continued success you Frankenstein. Held over another -- is really through the next couple of weeks. All right we we were supposed to close on the 24 which is my birthday -- I was looking forward to that -- and now we're gonna close and twenty fifths of we we just added that performance yesterday yes it was there's really get -- matinee and if you if you're a -- person still great seats left of that final Sunday. Good luck to you as best we we'd love and consulates -- Everyone stay with -- will be right back.