The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Lexington’s annual theatrical rite of summer in the Arboretum kicks off this week with SummerFest’s production of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, directed by Joe Ferrell. Here’s a look at Act 1.
Jul4Filed under: SummerFest, Theater; Tagged as: Henry IV, Jesse Hungerford, KCTC SummerFest, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Part 1, Prince Hal, SummerFest, Tates Creek High School, Transylvania University, Trent Fucci, University of Central Florida in Orlando, Walter Tunis, William Shakespeare
Trent Fucci was doing what was normal for guys in his family.
His grandfather, Dominic Anthony Fucci, was an All-American in football and baseball at the University of Kentucky in the late 1940s, and he briefly played for the Detroit Lions in the National Football League.
His father, Sam Fucci, was a baseball and track standout at Tates Creek High School and played baseball for Auburn University. His uncle, Dominic Anthony Fucci Jr., was the 1975 Kentucky Mr. Basketball who also played baseball for Auburn and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox, making it to the teams’ Triple A affiliate.
Trent’s cousin, Ryan Fucci, is currently a baseball standout at Tates Creek.
As Trent was getting started in sports, playing T-Ball, his mom, Holly Fucci, noticed that whenever he wasn’t on the field, he was over at the stands, “entertaining the audience,” Fucci recalls, catching himself referring to sports fans as, “the audience.”
Fucci says, “My mom said, ‘We need to get you into a theater program.’”
And he did do some theater, in school at Tates Creek. But he also stayed with sports, all the way through his Freshman year at Transylvania University, where he played baseball.
“Finally, it became apparent that I needed to focus on theater,” Fucci says.
And his stage career since is another example why as much as we watch college sports programs to look for future sports stars, it’s also worth watching the stages for future marquee actors.
Fucci has gone on to graduate school at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he will spend his last year, the 2010-11 academic year, as an intern at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater.
And it was Orlando and the prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival that helped point Fucci toward his biggest role in his hometown.
Looking for a monologue to perform in the Festival, a couple of University of Central Florida professors pointed Fucci to Prince Hal from William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I. Fucci’s performance of the monologue that ends Act I earned him the classical acting award in the competition.
So, who are we going to see onstage at the Abrboretum when SummerFest kicks off July 8? Which usual suspects will be on stage, and who are some of the new talents we can look forward to getting to know?
Answers to those questions are somewhat epitomized at the top of the bill of the first play, Joe Ferrell’s production of Henry IV, Part 1. The title character will be played by Eric Johnson, who was Antony in last summer’s production of Antony and Cleopatra and has been a leading man in the Arboretum several times, while Prince Hal will be played by Trent Fucci, who’s played supporting roles in the past and is stepping into the spotlight. Personally, as a colleague, I can’t help thinking Walter Tunis was probably born to play Falstaff.
Once on This Island will be led by Adam Fister, whose performance in Hair last summer was a star-establishing turn, and Jackie Chance, who will be a new face to a lot of viewers.
Here’s the lineup for the shows, which will run July 8-26.
Henry IV, Part 1 by William Shakespeare, directed by Joe Ferrell
King Henry the Fourth — Eric Johnson
Prince Henry of Wales (Hal, son of King Henry) — Trent Fucci
Lord John of Lancaster (son of King Henry)– Zach Moseley
Earl of Westmorland (loyal to the King)– Mike van Zant
Sir Walter Blount (loyal to the King) — Joe Gatton
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester (rebelling against King Henry) — Tim Hull
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland (Thomas’ older brother, also rebel) — Mark Smith
Hotspur, Henry Percy, (Northumberland’s son, rebel) — Jack McIntyre
Lady Percy (Kate, Hotspur’s wife) — Brooke M. Haney
Lord Edmund Mortimer (Kate’s brother, rebel) — Michael Grice
Lady Mortimer (his wife) — Haley Manion Smith
Owen Glendower (Lady Mortimer’s father, rebel) — Terry Withers
Earl of Douglas (rebel) — Nick Vannoy
Sir Richard Vernon (rebel) — Nick Schwartz
Sir John Falstaff — Walter Tunis
Edward (Ned) Poins — Jesse Hungerford
Bardolf — Jeff Sherr
Peto — Sean Harkless
Mistress Quickly (Hostess) — Bianca Spriggs-Floyd
Chamberlain/Sheriff — Zach Moseley
Messenger — Evan Chethik
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by Patti Heying
Dr. Jekyll — Bob Singleton
Elizabeth – Kim Dixon
Lanyon – Adam Luckey
Utterson, etc. – Jacob Karnes
Carew, Inspector, etc. – Matt Seckman
Poole, Maid, etc. – Susan Wigglesworth
Dark Angel, etc. – Pinelopi Williams
Dark Angel, etc. – Jim Trujillo
(note: in this version, Hyde is played by four actors)
Once on This Island by Lynn Ahrens and Lynn Flaherty, directed by Margo Buchanan
Julie-Ann Aguhob — Mama Eurali
Katie Berger — Beaux Homme
Tamia Bowden — little girl
Manuel Castillo — Armand
Jackie Chance — Ti Moune
Clark Davis — Storyteller
Taylor Eldred — Andrea
Adam Fister — Daniel
Tarynn Grundy — little Ti Moune
Alicia Helm McCorvey — Erzulie
Tamera Izlar — Asaka
Tyshaun Lang — Tonton
Luther Lewis — Agwe
Justin Norris — Storyteller
Pam Perlman — Beaux Homme
Peggy Stamps — Storyteller
Jason Thompson — Papa Ge
Juonita Thurman — Storyteller
Manny Thurman — Storyteller
Joseph Waterbury-Tieman — Storyteller
Emanuel Wright — Storyteller
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich