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Oakdale Alum, Friends Set Stage For Spring Production
A Fantastickal Production
Fantasticks cast members David Rodrigues, right; Devon Doss, front; and Madeleine Marhulik, back, are shown rehearsing for the upcoming show, which will be hosted at Oakdale High School Theater in early April.


It has been five years since the Rodrigues family has shared the stage of Oakdale High School Theater. On Friday, April 1 audiences will be reminded once again of their talent and treasure as the husband, wife team of David and Diane Rodrigues are once again joined by oldest daughter Madeleine Marhulik as OHS Alumni and Special Guests present “The Fantasticks.”

The show will be hosted weekends at the OHS Theater starting on Friday, April 1 and running through Sunday, April 10. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the OHS Business Office or The Oakdale Leader office. Proceeds from the event benefit the OHS drama students’ New York City trip scheduled for late May.

“It’s the first time the three of us have been on stage together since Annie,” Rodrigues said of his wife and daughter and the hit summer of 2011 production at OHS.

“She plays Luisa, the young female lead. Everyone’s going to be in for a treat,” he said of daughter Marhulik. “I almost start crying when I think about her singing. She’s been singing since she was two. So to see her in this role is a real treat.”

The cast includes: David Rodrigues, co-director/El Gallo; Brianne Cordano, The Mute; Devon Doss, Matt; Madeleine Marhulik, Luisa; Diane Rodrigues, Bellomy; Bryan Mills, Hucklebee; Don Bilotti, Henry and David Braga, Mortimer.

Rodrigues shared that he and wife Diane are longtime fans of the show and first entertained the idea of bringing it to audiences from their back yard last summer, but the plan fell through.

“Bryan wanted to be in a show,” the co-director said of OHS Drama teacher Bryan Mills, and the best way to do that was to bring the production to the OHS theater.

“I don’t know why I thought I could direct and be in it,” he continued. “Luckily Maryann Curmi agreed to come on and help us. She’s a great director.”

The Fantasticks is a 1960’s musical loosely based on the play The Romancers. It tells the story of two neighboring fathers who trick their children to fall in love. The children discover the deception and reject the love match only to later reconnect and renew their vows.

“There’s so many different age groups it relates to,” Rodrigues said of the story line. “As time goes on there are so many characters. It tells a beautiful story that is instrumental, lyrical, comical … it’s just beautiful.

“It’s relatable, that’s what I really like about it,” he continued.

In addition to co-directing with Curmi, Rodrigues noted special guests/cast members Don Bilotti and David Braga are both well known in the theater community.

“Don Bilotti was artistic director for many years at Stage 3 and David Braga is a well-known local actor. To have them join this production is a real treat,” he said.

The focus is also on the actors in this stage version.

“It’s a minimal set,” Rodrigues explained. “So it will be reliant on the performance versus the set pieces. It’s hard to describe because it draws from so many types of theater forms. I believe they’ll (the audience) find themselves enjoying all these types of art forms.”