52nd season of Saint Vincent Summer Theatre to feature "The Marvelous Wonderettes," "The Sound of Music" and "Million Dollar Quartet
LATROBE, PA – Saint Vincent College’s 52nd season of professional theater will feature three timeless musicals directed by Saint Vincent producing artistic director Greggory Brandt.
This season, cast members consisting of professional actors from Actors’ Equity Association along with other professional regional actors will perform Roger Bean’s off-Broadway musical comedy “The Marvelous Wonderettes from May 21-31; Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s Tony Award-winning classic “The Sound of Music” from June 25–July 5; and “Million Dollar Quartet,” featuring the music of legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, from July 30–Aug. 9.
The shows will be performed in the spacious, air-conditioned Performing Arts Center in the Robert S. Carey Student Center on the Saint Vincent College campus. There will be five matinee productions of each performance, and complimentary transportation will be available to and from the parking areas and Performing Arts Center.
“Doo-wop takes center stage in ‘The Marvelous Wonderettes,’” said Brandt. “Set in 1958 at Springfield High School, four girls with hopes and dreams perform classic songs such as ‘Lollipop,’ ‘Dream Lover,’ ‘Stupid Cupid,’ ‘It’s My Party’ and more than 20 other hits. The first act takes place at the girls’ prom, while the second act follows a decade later at their high school reunion. This show was the first show I directed six years ago during my first season at Saint Vincent. It’s such a fun musical!”
“The Marvelous Wonderettes” debuted in 1999 and has earned a host of honors. In 2007, it was awarded the Franklin R. Levy Award for Musical Intimate Theatre at the Los Angeles Ovation Awards as well as best ensemble performance at the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award.
Set in Austria in 1938, “The Sound of Music” tells the story of the von Trapp family, headed by widower Captain von Trapp.
“A postulant nun is sent away from her abbey to decide whether she is suited for monastic life,” explained Brandt, “and serves as a governess to the captain’s seven children. Baroness Elsa Schräder believes the captain is her destiny, but the governess has slowly won a place in the family’s heart. I’ve been wanting to bring this production to our summer theatre stage for a long time, and I’m very excited about it!”
“Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi” and the title song are among the well-known songs in this classic musical, the last written by the iconic duo of Rodgers and Hammerstein. The original Broadway production opened in 1959 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It would later be adapted into a 1965 film starring Julie Andrews, which took home five Academy Awards.
The third show of the summer, “Million Dollar Quartet,” documents a chance meeting of four of the biggest musical acts of the 1950s at a recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
“On Dec.4, 1956,” Brandt said, “Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley assembled at the Sun Records studio. Perkins was supposed to record a few songs with a new performer, Lewis. Elvis visited the studio with his girlfriend, a singer, while Cash has stopped by to talk to recording impresario Sam Philips, who was trying to sign Cash to a new contract. Soon, a jam session breaks out with each star opening with a verse from one of his most famous songs, such as ‘Blue Suede Shoes,’ ‘Who Do You Love?,’ ‘Folsom Prison Blues,’ ‘Long Tall Sally’ and “I Walk the Line.’
“This production will blow the roof of the theater,” added Brandt. “I can’t wait for this show to be performed for our loyal audience. It’s a great balls of fire, don’t-want-to-miss show!”
The musical premiered in 2007 at Florida’s Seaside Music Theatre, before running on Broadway from April 2010–July 2011, spanning 489 performances. It was nominated for three Tony Awards.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre patrons are asked to make ticket reservations in advance because seats are reserved at all performances except Thursday evening preview shows, which are general admission. Reservations may be made online under the “Shows” tab at www.stvincent.edu/svst, or by calling the theatre box office at 724-537-8900.
Individual tickets are $15 for preview performances, $27 on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings, $30 for Thursday, Friday or Saturday evenings and $25 for Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees. All ticket prices include the additional box office fee. Special theatre party group rates apply to groups of 20 or more guests. Senior citizens aged 62 or older may receive a discount of $2 per ticket on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
A special three-show subscription plan for evening performances is available for $78 plus an additional box office fee depending on the show day and time. Full-time students with a valid student ID or aspiring performing artists may purchase a ticket for any performance for only $20.
The 31st annual Saint Vincent Summer Theatre Gala is scheduled Friday, June 26, in the Robert S. Carey Student Center. It is a festive evening of gourmet food and professional theatre hosted by a select committee of theatre supporters. All proceeds benefit Saint Vincent Summer Theatre. For further details, contact 724-805-2922.
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