Tag Archives: Sammy Guthartz

Westport Is Back! Concert Proves It

A few weeks ago, Westporters expected a bleak, COVID-induced, entertainment-free summer.

It’s been anything but.

The Remarkable Theater’s drive-in movies are a spectacular success. The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s Supper & Soul series sell out.

Last night, a pair of energetic, talented recent Staples High School graduates produced their own special show.

The “Westport is Back! Drive-in Musical Cabaret” drew a capacity (and properly masked, socially distanced) crowd to the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

A social bubble enjoys the show.

It was a team effort. Sam Laskin and Sammy Guthartz — plus fellow Staples Player alum, stage manager Karalyn Hood — got plenty of help from Remarkable Theater gurus Doug Tirola and Marina Derman.

Recent graduate Sammy Guthartz and Max Herman ’19 harmonize.

The filled house — er, parking lot — enjoyed an evening of entertainment. Thirteen performers who were at Staples in 2020 joined forces with 6 graduates from recent years.

Rising sophomore Madelyn Spera,

Their repertoire was wide-ranging. Their talent and enthusiasm was sky-high.

Rising junior Evelyn Stevens, with Staples Players musical director Don Rickenback.

And a portion of the proceeds went to 4-CT, to aid state residents impacted by COVID-19.

AJ Konstanty (playing keyboard) dedicated the song “Brother” to his brother Colin (left, watching with his mother, right, and frined Paul Hwang).

It was a great chance for Staples performers — who missed the spring play and concerts — to be back on stage. And to share it with some powerhouse alumni.

Jack Baylis, Staples High School ’15. (All photos/Andy Laskin)

It was a great night for Westport, too.

COVID be damned. The show must go on!

Westport Is Back! Musical Cabaret Set For Friday

In their 4 years at Staples High School, Sam Laskin and Sammy Guthartz made their marks on Players’ remarkable theater troupe.

In less than a month of drive-in movies at the Imperial Avenue parking lot, the Remarkable Theater has made its mark on Westport.

Now the young, go-getting recent grads and the driving forces behind the theater are joining forces. The result will be a remarkable concert — benefiting a remarkable organization. A portion of the proceeds from the “Westport is Back!” drive-in musical cabaret” go to 4-CT, which aids state residents impacted by COVID-19.

Laskin and Guthartz have assembled a cast of superb young performers for this Friday’s event (July 17, 6:30 p.m.). Doug Tirola and Marina Derman of the Theater have ensured it will be a memorable one.

Georgia Wright will perform … (Photo/Dawn Shmaruk)

Thirteen performers were at Staples this past year. Six others graduated between 2015 and ’19.

Their selections span many genres, from “Grease” and “Falsettos”  to “Wicked” — plus Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton, Elton John and Adele.

The opening act — local band Could Be Jesus — includes Staples and King School students.

Laskin is familiar with the importance of entertainment like this — and the difficulties of producing it. He was president of Players, an actor in many shows, and served 2 years as student chair of the Westport Youth Commission. A high honors graduate, he’ll study government, theater and film/media at Dartmouth.

Guthartz is another talented actor. He’s worked behind the scenes as Players’ manager of fundraising and outreach. He’s headed to the University of Michigan’s BFA program.

… as will Tomaso Scotti (Photo/Dawn Shmaruk)

Both praise the Remarkable Theater’s Tirola and Derman for helping them produce Friday’s show. Former Players stage manager Karalyn Hood co-produces the event.

The “Westport is Back!” drive-in musical cabaret is not officially affiliated with Staples Players. “Sammy, Karalyn and I just see this as an awesome way for Staples students and alumni to produce musical entertainment and raise money for a great cause,” Laskin says.

(Tickets are $65 per car. “Doors” open at 5:30 p.m. Click here for reservations.

(Performers include Georgia Wright, Claire Baylis, Sammy Guthartz, Tobey Patton, Kelley Schutte, Annabel Kavetas, AJ Konstanty, Derrick Adelkopf, Krish Shah-Nathwani, Avery Mendillo, Christian Melhuish, Tomaso Scotti, Owen Keaveney, Maizy Boosin, Camille Foisie, Jack Baylis, Madelyn Spera, Max Herman and Riley Wells.)