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Cabarrus Magazine

Old Courthouse Theatre Gets Ruthless!

Sep 24, 2018 08:30AM ● By Jason Huddle

The second show of Old Courthouse Theatre’s (OCT) 42nd season opens this Thursday. Ruthless! is the story of Tina Denmark, played by Sofia Suade, who is willing to do anything to get the part of Pippy Longstocking in her school musical, even if that includes murdering the leading lady. It is a dark, but funny musical that enjoyed a long off-Broadway run.

Directed by Matt Webster, who is making his directorial debut with OCT, Ruthless! promises to be an evening full of song, laughter and murder. “I wasn’t familiar with show, but I literally laughed out loud when I read the script, which is rare,” said Webster. He also added the show pays homage to other dark productions, such as Sunset Blvd. and Bad Seed, while taking it to a different


and comedic level. Webster also warned there is some language and situations within the show that may not be appropriate for younger audiences. “I would give it a PG-13 rating.”

Cheryl Opel, who is a long-time veteran of the community theatre, is serving as stage manager for this production. She says it has been one of her favorites. “We’ve had a lot of laughter and fun together,” Opel explained. “This by far, has been one of the easiest musicals I’ve ever had to manage, in part because it was such a small cast…but I will also take away some new friendships.”

Beyond the chemistry of this cast, both Opel and Webster agree the talent of the group is something

that deserves praise, as well as to be seen and heard. “The quality of this small cast, especially their voices, is stunning. Amy (McKay) may be one of the best actresses I’ve ever worked with and her voice is incredible. She is a gem,” Webster exclaimed. “(I could say the) same thing with Sofia (Suade) and she’s only 10!” Opel concurs. “The talent that oozes off this stage deserves an audience to come see it.”

In addition to the talent on stage, Webster brings his own talent and experience to OCT. According to the OCT website, he is a “Director and Actor who has worked with both adults and children for community and professional theatre companies from coast to coast; including the Silver Bear Theatre in Albuquerque, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Seattle Children's Theatre, Davidson Community Players, Theatre Charlotte, Matthews Playhouse and Children's Theatre of Charlotte. As a director, Matt has staged dozens of plays and musicals including Annie, Sleeping Beauty, One Bad Apple, Einstein is a Dummy, Tartuffe, Sleuth, The Tempest and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
In addition, Matt is a Theatre Educator and playwright, who recently gave up his classroom after 20 years to pursue directing full-time. His two plays, The Perils of Modern Education and The Myths at the Edge of the World were recently published by Theatrefolk.

The Ruthless! cast includes:

Amy McKay – Judy/Ginger

Sofia Suade – Tina Denmark

Lacey Caroline – Louise Lerman

Cassandra Barrier – Sofia St. Croix

Allison Proba – Ms. Thorn

Nancy Cottingham – Lita Encore

Amanda Bledsoe – Eve

Ruthless! opens Sept. 27 and runs weekends through October 14. You can visit for showtime information or to purchase tickets.

Article and photos by: Jason Huddle

Matt Webster Photo Courtesy: Old Courthouse Theatre


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