Learn How Theatre Palisades Stage Scenes Are Orchestrated


Brandon Polanco, the director of “Bell, Book & Candle,”  will be at the Palisades Library Community Room to discuss how the scenes are staged for the upcoming play at Theatre Palisades.

Theatre Palisades, in its first collaboration with the Palisades Library, will feature director Brandon Polanco, who will present and direct a scene from Bell, Book & Candle at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, at the Palisades Library Community Room, 861 Alma Real.

The 1950 Broadway play by John van Druten has been called one of that playwright’s greatest comedy successes. The New York Times wrote “. . .completely enchanting- a wonderfully suave and impish fantasy.”

The main character, Gillian Holroyd is one of the few modern people who can actually cast spells and perform feats of supernaturalism. She casts a spell over an unattached publisher, Shepherd Henderson, partly to keep him away from a rival and partly because she is attracted to him. He falls head over heels in love with her at once and wants to marry her. But witches, unfortunately, cannot fall in love.

At the library, Polanco will show how a scene is put together in real time. Actors from the upcoming play Andrew Cereghino, Jeff Coppage, Laura Goldstein, Jasmine Haver and Michael Anthony Nozzi may be on site.

Polanco is the owner of Writer’s Block Entertainment (click here). He has created many award-winning films, like Writer’s Block, which stars Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad); Cannes Short Film Corner project Vicky & Jonny; and Alchemy which has played a 175+ film festivals around the world. His feature film, Earth Mother, is now available on Amazon Prime.

Elementals a sequel to his first feature film, is in development, and a part of his independent film franchise Earth Magic. He is happy to return to live entertainment with this magical production and to collaborate with this amazing group of artists.

The play, which will open at Pierson Playhouse on June 2 and run weekends through July 8, is produced by Martha Hunter and Maria O’Connor.

A 1958 movie was made of the play, staring Jack Lemmon, Kim Novak and James Stewart and was called “A very bewitching comedy.” In 1959, it was a Golden Globe nominee for Best Motion Picture – Comedy.

Early in 1957, producers launched a promotional search for Siamese cats to play Pyewacket in the film. According to one release, as many as 12 cats were needed to perform the number of stunts in the film. The primary cat used for the role in close-ups was owned by animal trainer Frank Inn, who reportedly gave the cat to Novak when he saw she’d formed a close bond with him. Pyewacket’s name was derived from testimony given in a 17th-century witch trial in England, and referred to a witch’s familiar.

Will there be a cat in the play? Go to the library on Thursday, and chat with director Palanco to find out.

Kim Novak starred in the film version of “Bell, Book & Candle” with the cat Pyewacket.

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