Bisceglie brings a local ‘Big Band Bash’

From left, Tami McMillan, Karen Haas, Michelle Irwin, Jim

It may not be

Dancing With The Stars

, but if you like to watch dancers strut their stuff or if you
like to cut a rug yourself, read on.
It may not be “Dancing With The Stars”, but if you like to watch dancers strut their stuff or if you like to cut a rug yourself, read on.

John Bisceglie, master of innovative theater, and Gilroy Community services Department are opening “Big Band Bash”. With a cast of 75 kids, ranging in age from 4 to 22, plus moms, dads and Jim Shuster of Dutchman’s Pizza, the interactive show promises to bring the big band era of the ’40s back to life. And yes, the setting is an interactive nightclub where audience members are welcome to get up and dance along with the stars. Performed in the round, the show will feature glitzy costumes and historically correct hairdos.

Bisceglie’s love of theater began quite unexpectedly. Growing up, he wanted to be a farmer but his school put him in a theater program. This lucky accident uncovered an amazing talent for performing. His skills include directing, dancing, costuming and advertising, as well as a knack for inspiring kids and adults to sing, dance and get involved.

Since 1985, Bisceglie has created, directed and choreographed hundreds of community, commercial and professional productions featuring actors of all ages.

He was the artistic director for San Jose Parks and Recreation’s Young People’s Theater for nine years and has served Gilroy’s Community Services Department in a similar capacity for the past 19 years. He has directed and produced productions for Christopher Ranch, Hoey Ranch, The American Musical Theater of San Jose, Bella Mia Restaurant and the Victory Theater.

In 2009, he directed and produced the “SF Follies” in San Francisco’s Union Square. The show received four Bay Area Critics Circle awards. Most recently, he directed and produced “Forever Broadway” at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco with a cast of 80 adults. As a professional actor, Bisceglie appeared in “Peter Pan” with Cathy Rigby and as Tony in “Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding”. He also established the San Francisco Children’s Musical Theater, expanding his colorful and elaborate productions to young actors from all around the SF Bay Area.

“Big Band Bash” will be Bisceglie’s 40th production with Gilroy’s Community Services Department. He was introduced to the Gilroy theater scene in 1992 while performing in “Oklahoma”. The following year he directed “Peter Pan” on the dirt lot, on the corner of Eigleberry and Fifth streets. Putting his own spin of wacky and colorful on the well known story, Bisceglie quickly became an icon among Gilroy’s children’s theater enthusiasts.

Bisceglie loves to do shows in Gilroy and finds it “amazing, what a little responsibility, teamwork and a spotlight can do.” Watching kids 5 to 6 years old continue to come back to do shows after graduation and into their college years, being a part of their lives and shaping who they become is his greatest reward.

Other shows not to miss this month include SVCT’s “Noises Off”, featuring Rosalind Farotte. Deemed “the funniest play ever written”, the play within a play also features Jonathan Bass, Chase Ouellette, Peter Mandel, Jason Harris, Beth Harnett, Ann Gilbert, Jen Ellington and Travis Blanchard. With slamming doors, sexual dalliances and misdirections, it will have you laughing out loud.

For holiday fun and laughter, Pintello comedy Theater will present “Bob’s Your Elf” by Norm Foster beginning Thanksgiving weekend through Dec. 11. Director Marion Pintello said, “It’s a lot of fun with all the Christmas stories mixed together.” The cast of veteran actors is lead by Rob Langford as Bob, with Bill Corneth, Jennifer Langford, Barbara Smith and Bill Tindall as the zany Thithleville Thespians. If that doesn’t sound like enough fun, Rod Pintello dons a suit and boots to play Santa Claus. “Bob’s Your Elf” is sure to add joy to your holiday season.

On Oct. 13, the Gavilan College Board of Trustees honored the Gilroy Arts Alliance with its 2010 Community Spirit Award, given to organizations that contribute in a positive way to the communities that make up the Gavilan Joint Community College District. The new Interim Center for the Arts on the corner of Monterey and Seventh streets is currently holding a Glass and Pottery Show and in December will present a Christmas boutique. Vendor booths are still available through Sylvia Myrvold, and if you’re interested, e-mail [email protected]

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