Stepping Out

The family that ‘plays’ together …

It’s all relative for the Island Park Theatre Group


The Island Park Theatre Group had been rehearsing a new production of "Smokey Joe's Cafe" at Lincoln Orens Middle School. The show was to open November 9, but Superstorm Sandy had other plans. Undaunted, the cast is looking for a new venue for the show. According to Director and Choreographer Sal Canepa, Island Park has supported IPTG for years and now it's time for the cast and crew to give back. This show will be a fundraiser for various organizations in Island Park that suffered damaged. All previously purchased tickets will be honored. If you know of a venue please contact IPTG at (516) 554 6295. The rescheduling of Smokey Joe's Cafe will be announced in this paper.

This story orginally ran in the Nov. 1 issue of the Herald. Now, more than ever, do we appreciate family — those we were born into, and those we make along the way.- Mary Malloy


John, Lionel, Ethel and Drew Barrymore. Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and Jamie-Lee Curtis. Henry, Peter and Jane Fonda. Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave — and don’t forget Long Island’s own Baldwin brothers.

What do all of these people have in common? They’re show business families — dynasties if you will — and they share more than a bloodline — they share a love and a passion for their craft. Acting families prove that not only is it a familial desire to hoof it, belt it or just ham it up, it’s downright genetic. All over the world, talented brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts and cousins prove that the family that plays — and sings, and dances — together, stays together.
In local community theater groups on Long Island, family members interact in a completely different way (and sometimes not so different) than they do at home. They are acting families — and most are having the time of their lives.

Brothers, mothers, and others
With the Island Park Theatre Group, the family acting bug starts at the top — Cestaro brothers John, of Island Park, and Frank, of Oceanside, have been involved in community theater for years, both on and off the stage. John, who is currently the president of IPTG and co-producer of this year’s show, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” has been around for 25 years. He has appeared in “Arsenic and Old Lace” with the Long Beach Theatre Guild, and the “Sound of Music” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” among other shows. Frank, who co-produced last year with his brother, has been in the business for the last eight years, appearing in “Gypsy.” This year, he’s in charge of ticket sales.
“We have a very special mother and daughter relationship no matter what we do together,” said Island Park resident Reneé Hugues, 42, who will be in this year’s production alongside her 11-year-old daughter, Jordan. “The difficult part is fitting it into both of our busy schedules — but we make it work because we love it!” Hugues, Jordan and her brother Justin, 13, all appeared in the IPTG’s 2010 production of “On Broadway: A Musical Revue.”

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