Our amazing team of regulars and part-time volunteers are committed to bringing classic theater to audiences at a price they can afford. We take our convictions and turn them into entertainment. Think you'd be a good fit? We know you will. Get in touch for more information!
Seeing a need for great theater in the Corcoran neighborhood, Corcoran Park Players was established and staged productions from 1982-2016. After our tenure at Corcoran Park, we played in assorted other venues. After 35 years, in 2017, we renamed our organization, Classics Lost 'n' Found Theater Company to continue providing great theater
Seeing a need for great theater in the Corcoran neighborhood, Corcoran Park Players was established and staged productions from 1982-2016. After our tenure at Corcoran Park, we played in assorted other venues. After 35 years, in 2017, we renamed our organization, Classics Lost 'n' Found Theater Company to continue providing great theater to local audiences. We've still producing while other theaters are long gone. When you see a CLFTC production, you see what we're all about.
Our mission has always been on producing great productions, be they popular recent works; plays to be rediscovered by classic playwrights or area/world premieres of new works. We've always been open to diverse casting and inventive staging, being flexible with sets, costumes and lighting while being dedicated to the entertainment aspect of the production!
We're very proud to announce that "A Night of Thrills, Chills and Murder!" was a smash hit! This double bill of Noreen K Brandt's "GHOULIES AND GHOSTIES: Tales of Horror and Suspense," and "The Cozy Tea Party Murders" did superb business. We're now in production for "A Christmas Carol Krampus," opening on December 9!
Our upcoming production of A Christmas Carol Krampus needs ushers for its four performances, December 9, 10, 16 and 17. Hand out programs and guide people to the theater space and to their seats. See the show free, too! Contact Theaterman1952@gmail.com for further information. Thank you!
Greg as Hermey in A Christmas Carol Krampus.
Shy by Mary Rodgers
Reviewed by Steven LaVigne
If you’re involved in theater, you quickly learn that everyone seems know everyone else (and talks about them when they’re not around. We all do it so don’t deny it!) The gossip can get pretty thick sometimes, too. Never has this been more obvious than in “Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers,” co-written with Jesse Green. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 480 pages, $35.00).
While she was born and raised in privilege, Rodgers had a difficult relationship with both of her parents, so the daughter of renowned composer Richard Rodgers, holds nothing back, exposing truths behind decades-old myth and heresy. Hostile toward her parents from an early age, she discusses her parents’ terrible parenting skills and even though she shared authorship with her mother, Dorothy, in a book about child-rearing, Rodgers relates that it was all really just for show. Dorothy Rodgers was not a good mother.
A mischievous child, Rodgers pulled all sorts of pranks when she was enrolled at the Brearley School, but following in her father’s footsteps, she majored in Music at Wellesley.
Lifelong Friendship with Sondheim
Like so many other theatrical icons of the era, the Rodgers family relocated to Bucks’ County, Pennsylvania, near Rodgers’ musical partner, Oscar Hammerstein and his wife, Dorothy. It was there that, as a teenager, Mary met her lifelong best friend, Stephen Sondheim. The talented young composer and lyricist was being mentored by Hammerstein and he befriended her when, like so many other artists’ children, she was searching for a way of making her mark in the world. At a summer camp in the late 1950s, she was encouraged by Sondheim, to write the score for a short musical version of “The Princess and the Pea” with lyricist Marshall Barer. The two were later asked to expand the material which would become Rodgers’ most often-performed work, “Once Upon a Mattress.” Years later, it was Rodgers who introduced Sondheim to the man who would change his life significantly, Harold Prince.
According to his daughter, in spite of the themes of tolerance that are so much a part of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, her father was actually a racist, sexist, homophobic womanizing alcoholic. You’d think, after he and his wife helped his first musical collaborator, lyricist Lorenz Hart dry out frequently, Rodgers wouldn’t touch alcohol, but that wasn’t the case. Over the years, she learned that her father would hide his vodka bottles in toilet tanks and elsewhere around the house. He was disgusted by Hart, a brilliant lyricist, whose alcoholism derived, at least in part, from his homosexuality. Sadly, shortly after “Oklahoma” changed musical theater forever, Rodgers and Hart collaborated on a successful revival of their musical “A Connecticut Yankee.” Hart died shortly after the revival opened.
Mary Rodgers states that following his beautiful score for “The King and I,” that due to his alcoholism, his music became overly sloppy and sentimental. While this can be argued when discussing “The Sound of Music,” the Encores’ recording of “Pipe Dream,” which was R & H’s only genuine flop, and the score for “Flower Drum Song” dispute her statement.
For one thing, she distrusted her father, because once, after she played one of her compositions for him, he dismissed it for being derivative. She never played any of her music for him again. He was also jealous of anyone whose work might be better than his. It had been a dream of Oscar Hammerstein’s that Rodgers and Sondheim work together.
She once played a composition for her father and he dismissed her work, so she never played anything again. RR was jealous of anyone whose work might be better than his, especially Sondheim. However, Rodgers was terribly rude to him when they collaborated on “Do I Hear a Waltz?” which was also a failure. Nevertheless, the score is sensational!
Among the musicals Mary Rodgers has contributed to are “The Mad Show,” where one of her songs, “The Boy From...” a satire on the Bossa Nova hit, “The Girl from Ipanema,” featured a lyric by
Esteban Rio Nido (aka Stephen Sondheim). She wrote songs for
“Free to Be...You and Me,” the musical revues “Hot Spot” and “Working,” and Bil Baird’s marionette adaptation of “Davy Jones’ Locker.” She is the author of the “Freaky Friday” series of novels, “The Rotten Book” and “A Billion for Boris.”
Mary Rodgers wed her first husband, lawyer Jerry Beaty, in 1951. They had three children. However, Beaty was gay, so they divorced in 1958. After working for years as a single mother (much to her parents’ chagrin). She and Henry Guettel were married for 52 years and among their three children is composer Adam Guettel, whose works include the Tony Award-winning musical, “The Light in the Piazza.” Henry Guettel died in 2013 and Mary Rodgers died a year later).
If there’s a flaw in this book, it’s that there’s no index for easy reference. However, besides editing, in Jesse Green’s extensive notes, he explains the trouble he had goading Rodgers into completing the book. His notes cover a lot of ground and they fill in many holes, explaining who many of the people are and how they contributed to the theater.
“Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers” is an outstanding biography of a fascinating woman, and a must, especially for those intrigued by the history of musical theater!
Each week, Noreen chooses someone to talk about and their work with CLFTC.
Featured Director: Greg Bastien. Greg is the director for our current production, Miss Robin Hood and Her Merry Band of Thieves, playing this Friday and Saturday at 7pm at Lake Nokomis Park in south Minneapolis. A long-time member of Corcoran Park Players and Classics Lost ‘n’ Found Theater Company, he’s appeared in many shows, including Romeo and Juliet, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and Ghosts of the Emerald Isle. He has directed Twelfth Night, A Woman of No Importance and two FastFest video productions.
Since the birth of this website, Noreen's Corner has featured the following people: Maureen Trepp, Alex Renshaw, Eni Ogundipe, Don Larsson (twice), Dean Hadland, Stephen Greenhalgh (twice), Corey Allerd, Selma Petterson, Noreen K. Brandt, Katie Holmes, Steven LaVigne, Greg Bastien, Coral Bastien, Ollie Bastien (a cat), Daniel L. Dyke, Helen Collins, Candy Dyke and Tony Gillen.
CORCORAN PARK PLAYERS TIMELINE
Our previous theater company, Corcoran Park Players, was in existence from 1982 to 2016. Here is a listing of CPP shows: (*denotes premiere)
1982 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis; Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward
1983 - The Miracle Worker by William Gibson; Cold Storage by Ronald Ribman; Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin; Grumblemuch, an original children’s show; All My Sons by Arthur Miller; Tap Dancing Across the Universe by William Borden (Area Premiere)
1984 - A Thousand Clowns by Herb Gardner; You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown by Clark Gesner; The Bad Children by Shirley Jackson/The Patchwork Quilt; The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash; A Thurber Carnival by James Thurber.
1985 - A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill (Full production and an excerpt for the MACT Festival); Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley; Winterthing by Joan Aiken;
On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson; Working, a musical.
1986 - The Dresser by Ronald Harwood; Merton of the Movies by George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly; The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie; A Cocktail at Porter’s, a musical
1987 - The Good Doctor by Neil Simon; Laundry and Bourbon by James McLure (MACT Festival entry); Play It Again, Sam by Woody Allen; Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams; Hay Fever by Noel Coward
1988 – Anna Christie by Eugene O’Neill; Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon; Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie; The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
1989 - Greater Tuna by Jaston Williams and Joe Sears (Full production and excerpt for the MACT Festival); Macbeth (The Scots Tragedy) by William Shakespeare; You Can’t Take it With You by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
1990 – The Hot l Baltimore by Lanford Wilson; Vanities by Jack Heifner; Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie
1992 - Auntie Mame by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee; Dark of the Moon by Howard Richardson
1993 - The Hollow by Agatha Christie; And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little by Paul Zindel
1994 – The Odd Couple by Neil Simon (female version); The Solid Gold Cadillac by George S. Kaufman and Howard Tiechmann
1995 - Dear Ruth by Norman Krasna; And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians) by Agatha Christie
1996 - The Autumn Garden by Lillian Hellman; Out of Sight Out of Murder by Fred Carmichael
1997 - The Whole Shebang by Richard Orloff (MACT Festival entry - Winner: Third place; Winner: Pam Kaufman, Outstanding Achievement in Acting); The Trip to Bountiful by Horton Foote; The Man Who Came to Dinner by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
1998 - The Women by Clare Boothe Luce; Picnic by William Inge
1999 - The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionesco (MACT Festival entry - Winner: Greg Toltzman, Outstanding Achievement in Directing); Don’t Drink the Water by Woody Allen; Done to Death by Fred Carmichael
2000: Nuts by Tom Toper; A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie
2001 - Chamber Music by Arthur Kopit (MACT Festival entry - Winner: Joanne Voves, Outstanding Achievement in Acting); God’s Favorite by Neil Simon
2002 - The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux; Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
2003 - The American Dream by Edward Albee (MACT Festival entry - Winner: Joanne Voves, Outstanding Achievement in Acting); Tour Bus From Hell * by Noreen K. Brandt (MN Fringe Festival production); The Marriage of Bette and Boo by Christopher Durang (co-produced as a fundraiser with Sweet Charities Theatre Company)
2004 – Alien Potluck * by Noreen K. Brandt (MN Fringe Festival)
2005 – The Comedy Murder Mystery Spoof Radio Show (MACT Festival entry); Morning’s at Seven by Paul Osborn
2006 - Death by Anchovy * by Noreen K. Brandt; The Presbyterian Blues * by Noreen K. Brandt (FASTFest entries)
2007 – Send My Regrets to Winn-Dixie * by Noreen K. Brandt (MACT Festival entry)
2008 – Meet the Taylors * by Noreen K. Brandt (FASTFest entry, also performed at a Fundraiser for Heritage Community Theater)
2009 – Still Life (MACTFest entry)
2010 - No show
2011 – The Belles of Winn-Dixie * by Noreen K. Brandt (MACTFest entry)
2012 - No show
2013 – Ole Olson: Norwegian Boy Wonder * by Noreen K. Brandt (MN Fringe Festival)
2014 – Audition 101 * by Noreen K. Brandt (FASTFest entry)
2015 – Ghoulies and Ghosties: Tales of Horror and Suspense * by Noreen K Brandt (MACTFest entry)
2016 - The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Please note: Those of you with a discerning eye will say "Oh, no! You missed a show!" However, we did not list shows that were produced solely by other theater companies, even if they involved our actors. For example, we had six actors perform in three scripts for the 2014 FASTfest - but two of the scripts were produced by other theaters. We’d like to thank our fellow theater companies - NKBProductions, Sweet Charities Theater Company, Pargeter Players and Powderhorn Arts Theater - for supporting us.
Classics Lost 'n' Found Theater Company
About our Theater: Corcoran Park Players was established in 1982 in the Neighborhood Community Center at Corcoran Park in South Minneapolis. We continued to perform there and eventually moved on to such venues as The People’s Center, The Lowry Lab and Dreamland Arts. We performed at various Minnesota Fringe Festivals, MACTFests and FASTFests throughout Minnesota. In 2016, we staged our final production, Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s Restoration comedy, The Rivals, at Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church. We then became Classics Lost N Found Theater, dedicating ourselves to performing lesser seen "classic" plays and original scripts by local playwrights. (*Denotes area premiere)
2017 May: Miss Lulu Bett by Zona Gale, directed by Steven LaVigne. The first play written by a woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church.
October: An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, directed by Noreen K. Brandt. Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church.
December: Dick Whittington and His Cat,* a Holiday panto, written and directed by Steven LaVigne. Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church
Fundraiser for Minnehaha food Shelf.
2018 May: Home-Not So Sweet-Homeless * by Noreen K. Brandt, directed by Frank Blomgren
.Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church. Fundraiser, over $1500 for a local organization helping the homeless.
October: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, directed by Steven LaVigne. Walker Church.
December: Snow White,* a Holiday panto by Steven LaVigne; directed by Dawn Linnell and Steven LaVigne.
2019 May: A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde, directed by Greg Bastien.!ake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, our new home in South Minneapolis.
October: Ghosts of the Emerald Isle * by Noreen K. Brandt
December: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, adapted and directed by Steven LaVigne.
2020: The Covid-19 season. No “live” theater, but Zoom to the rescue! MN FASTFest went virtual for the first time. In August the cast members for Twelfth Night (postponed in the Spring) performed the following:
In a Time of Masks, presented in cooperation with Pargeter Players. Written and directed by Greg Bastien, the script focuses on what happens when people wearing masks communicate badly. This play is available on our website and on our Facebook page.
Bad Mystery Suspense/Science Fiction Theater, presented on cooperation with NKB Productions. Written and directed by Noreen K. Brandt the script is about what happens when a bad mystery and bad science fiction serial come to life.
Two scenes from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, directed by Greg Bastien. In this video Feste (Don Larsson) torments Malvolio (Corey Allred), and the haughty Olivia (Selma Pettersen) falls for Viola (Helen Collins) who’s in disguise as her twin brother.
In 2020, we filmed three scenes to be shown as YouTube productions. In the Hound of the Baskervilles by A. Conan Doyle, adapted by Steven LaVigne and directed by Daniel L. Dyke, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson hear for the first time about the infamous Baskerville curse.
Tobey, written and directed by Greg Bastien. In this scene, Tobey, a rather snarky cat in British society knows way too many secrets for his own good.
Cats: A non-musical, written and directed by Noreen K. Brandt is about three aloof and preening female cats who take delight in tormenting Bob, the dog.
These videos should be available for viewing in 2022.
2021 Summer: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, directed by Greg Bastien, Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church and Lake Nokomis Community Center (outside)
October: The Hound of the Baskervilles * by A. Conan Doyle, adapted by Steven LaVigne, directed by Greg Bastien. Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church
Spring 2022: The Miser by Jean Baptiste Moliere, adapted and directed by Steven LaVigne, Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church.
Summer 2022: Robin Hood and Her Merry Band of Thieves * by Noreen K. Brandt, directed by Greg Bastien, Lake Nokomis Community Center; MACT Fast Fest in Faribault, MN: The Man Behind the Man in the Cape and Women's Work is Never Done by Noreen K. Brandt; Cock and Bull and Queen Enid by Steven LaVigne.
Fall 2022: "An Evening of Thrills, Chills and Murder, " two one act plays by Noreen K. Brandt, "The Cozy Tea Party Murders" a comedy in the style of Agatha Christie, directed by the playwright and "GHOULIES and GHOSTIES: Tales of Horror and Suspense, directed by Daniel L. Dyke..
In 2021, CLFTC presented Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Here is a scene from that production. We're hoping to download more videos as they come.
Greg Bastien - Director
Helen Collins - Viola (in disguise as her twin brother)
Selma Petterson - Olivia
Izzie Bastien - cameo appearance
Don Larsson - Feste, the fool
Corey Allred - Malvolio