A 'Titanic' Event at Tawasentha Park

When people hear that Jeff Hocking is directing Titanic: The Musical, they often have one question.

Is this the same story on which the movie was based?

No, Hocking said, this version doesn't tell of the love story between Rose and Jack, portrayed by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. But like its film counterpart, "Titanic: The Musical," a Tony Award-winning show, features a love story among passengers, as well as tales of folks common and famous.

So while some people may be hesitant to invest their time in a show whose ending is so well-known, Hocking stressed that "Titanic: The Musical" is a story about people, not so much a sinking a ship.

"I think there's something new and different in this journey, and it's really beautiful," he said.

The journey kicks off Wednesday, July 8, when the Family Players of Northeastern New York put on the first performance of "Titanic: The Musical" at Tawasentha Park in Guilderland. The show runs through Sunday, July 12, with performances at 7:30 each night.

This is one of Family Players' biggest productions ever. The cast numbers about 70, with another few dozen people working backstage or sitting in on the orchestra. Hocking said that the show attracted people who wanted to be in "Titanic: The Musical," which is not often staged locally, as well as people who just enjoy community theater regardless of the show.

True to its name, Family Players also attracts a lot of families, he said.

Casey Kalica and her mom, Mary, for instance, are both involved with the show. Casey plays Kate McGowan, while her mom is a co-producer.

The two first worked with Family Players about 15 years ago, when a then-5-year-old Casey landed a part in "Annie." She's now a student at Hartwick College in Oneonta, but she was excited to come home to be in "Titanic."

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