Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Chagrin Getting New Little Theater

Cleveland Press June 10, 1963

The Chagrin Valley Little Theater is one that has had its ups and downs over the years.

Many theatergoers can remember those summers during the '50's when Chagrin Falls was a regular stop for Broadway performers making the summer stock circuit. Martyn Green, when he was at the Hanna a few weeks ago with his Gilbert and Sullivan company, recalled playing there in "Visit to a Small Planet."

The theater was an Equity house (Actors' Equity is the performers' union) and in 1958 actor Howard Da Silva was hired as producer-director.

In recent seasons the theater has been used by community theater groups. This summer a new group has taken over the spot and to emphasize that it is new the name has been changed to Theater in the Valley.

Make no mistake -- this is still a non-professional group, but the man who is running things is optimistic about some day turning the theater back into an Equity house.

Printer Is Producer

Producer Don Dunkelberg is a full-time printer and a sometime actor with experience in off-Broadway and summer stock companies. He has given up his printing job for the summer as he gambles with this project.

He and director Richard Meadows studied at the Berghof Studio in New York. Meadows also worked and studied with Jose Quintero in New York and has appeared in off-Broadway productions.

"If we have a successful season and regain some of the patronage this theater once had, we'll double the productions to 12 next year and hire a resident company,"Dunkelberg predicted optimistically.

The productions for this season are varied and the opener Friday night -- "Tobacco Road" -- has admittedly created some comment. The other shows are "Three Men on a Horse," "A Street Car Named Desire," "Janus," "Under Milk Wood" and "The Egg."

In the first play will be Mimi Rubin from the Play House and Bill Middleton, former British actor who has worked for BBC and NBC.


Beginning tonight and continuing through Sept. 1 traffic will be heavy along Warrensville Center Rd. between Harvard Ave. and Emery Rd. Musicarnival opens its 10th season tonight, and it's the one live theater in this area that operates seven nights a week.

The familiar blue tent has been up for several weeks. It's practically new. It went up and housed a performance or two at the end of last season after an unusually bad storm left the old one in shreds.

"Carnival" is the opening: attraction. Tonight's performance is a benefit for the Lutheran Children's Aid and is sold out.

ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: Columbia Records has announced the issuance this month of a complete recording of Edward Albee's Broadway hit, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Naughty words and all?

Anna Maria Alberghetti who appeared in Warren with the Kenley Players last week in "Fanny," will star in a summer stock version of "West Side Story."

The show, now being cast, will tour elsewhere in the country for four weeks.