PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

June 10, 2013

Troupe to belt it out for bucks

Musical numbers will run gamut in PALT fundraiser

PORT ARTHUR — Jeff Courts has an affinity for playing the villain, and he doesn’t know why.

“Maybe because I'm such a good guy, I like playing the bad guy,” the Beaumont resident said with a laugh.

Courts will continue his tradition of portraying nefarious characters when he sings the part of Inspector Javert — the Joker to Jean Valjean’s Batman — in “One Day More” from the beloved musical “Les Miserables.”

This number is just one of the treats in store for anyone who attends the PALT-A-Palooza fundraiser, a variety of musical numbers presented by Port Arthur Little Theatre, 4701 Jimmy Johnson Blvd. The fundraiser will be held June 14-15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 16 at 2:30 p.m.

“The first act will be mostly stuff we've done in the past, and the second act is going to be some newer musicals — stuff we'd love to do but probably will never get to do,” Courts said

“Les Miserables” falls into the latter category, Courts said — and yes, there will be something for both purists and newbies.

“You've got the ones who really loved it, and the purists that were in love with the stage musical and said, 'That was horrible,’” Courts said. “Both are extremely enjoyable in of themselves.”

Other contemporary numbers include the rock musical “Spring Awakening” and an obscure Scottish play (not THE Scottish play) called “McPherson’s Rant.”

“Me being a lover of all things Scottish, it’s a way I could fit the bagpipes into our fundraiser,” Courts said.

The first act will consist of numbers from “Brigadoon,” “West Side Story,” “The Fantastics” and even “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” director Justin Sanders said.

This marriage of sleek classic theater and their edgier, more hip counterparts is all for one purpose — theater renovations.

“There's a huge bucket list — right now there are some foundation issues, and upgrading certain things like our lighting system,” said Sanders, who lives in Nederland. “Even if it’s just a little bit, that’s still good.”

The renovations, Sanders said, will play a starring role in keeping the artistic community of Port Arthur afloat.

“The arts are such a vital part in this community,” Sanders said. “The first place they typically cut anything is the arts, and it's a shame.”

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA

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