Get lost: UWGB Theatre presents musical comedy ‘Gone Missing’

UW-Green Bay Theatre presents Gone MissingUW-Green Bay Theatre will present the musical comedy Gone Missing Nov. 15-17 at the University Theatre in Theatre Hall. Here, directors and cast members talk about what makes the show fun and unique.

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“It’s a relatively new musical and it’s a little bit different,” said show director and Associate Prof. John Mariano. “It was originally done by a theatre group in New York called The Civilians, and The Civilians produce all of their own material and then perform it. And the way this play was developed was they sent the company out to interview people about things they lost — things that have gone missing.

“And they’ve put all this together into a single piece of theatre that’s a collection of stories and monologues and scenes and songs, all based on that material that they gathered when they went out and interviewed people.”

It’s an unusual premise for a play, Mariano said, but one that audiences will enjoy.

“And as you watch and sort of see the play develop, you get a sense that they’re talking about a lot more than just the thing they lost,” he said, “ — that it’s almost the memory that’s more important than the thing.”

UW-Green Bay senior Natalie Vanden Heuvel plays two characters in Gone Missing — one who has lost her shoe, and one who’s a pet psychic. Both are a bit crazy, she said.

“It’s one that makes you think, but not one that makes you exhausted watching it,” Vanden Heuvel said of the show. “It’s fun; you have fun watching it. These characters are so funny and exuberant. All the songs are so different.”

The musical element requires collaboration with music director Courtney Sherman and choreographer Denise Carlson-Gardner. It’s been an enjoyable process that deviates from the norm, Sherman said.

“It’s not the same as a traditional book musical in that the songs are tied into the action of the story,” she said. “They have their own individual moments. Each of the songs is in a different style, most of which are contemporary pop styles of music — but, for instance, we have one that’s in the style of a Bossa Nova. We have one that’s in the style of a cabaret lounge singer type of song, and a number of others that represent lots of different styles of music.”

Audiences also will enjoy a unique perspective during the play, said UW-Green Bay senior Jade Landry.

UW-Green Bay Theatre present Gone Missing

“I like this show because I like that it gives the audience a different perspective on — it almost gives them a chance to interview each character,” Landry said, “because it’s putting the audience in the seat of the interviewer, which is an interesting aspect I think.”

Interesting — and fun but a bit odd, Vanden Heuvel said.

“It’s kind of strange — it’s a strange musical,” she said. “But it’s great — and yeah, I really enjoy working on it.”

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