posted July 11, 2001

Educating Rita Takes Stage at HSRT

The only question is, who is learning the most? When a brash hairdresser decides to pursue college, her tutor is an aging professor who has lost his edge in life and education. The results are great comedy as Educating Rita opens at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre's DeWitt Theatre at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 20.

Professor Frank Bryant needs extra money, but he gets more than he bargained for when Rita shows up with her newfound passion for education. Her fresh approach to learning has Frank questioning not only what his colleagues teach, but his own work and himself as well.

Although successful as a film, Willy Russell's comedy comes to life best on stage, especially when David Colacci and Brandy McClendon take on the script. HSRT Artistic Director Colacci continues to create comedic highlights this season in addition to his role in Rumors. During his 16 years with the company, Colacci has created a number of unforgettable roles on stage, including Billy in Billy Bishop Goes to War, Oscar in The Odd Couple, and John Adams in 1776.

McClendon barked her way onto the HSRT stage as the hilarious dog, Sylvia, in Sylvia, and her new take on the Wicked Witch of the West in this season's The Wizard of Oz has earned her rave reviews. Along with Colacci, she is part of the incredible cast that is making Rumors a success.

The two Equity artists are working under the direction of Jahnna Beecham (The Nerd, Chaps).

After opening night, Educating Rita plays just seven more times: July 21, 25, 30, August 1, 3, 7, and 10.

While at the box office be sure to reserve tickets for the other great HSRT productions, including L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, Lyle Kessler's Orphans, the popular Rumors, a rock n' roll version of Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and the cabaret show He Loves, She Loves. In addition, the Children's Performance Troupe is presenting The New Kid and a recent adaptation of The Ugly Duckling.

Tickets are available now. The ticket office is located in the DeWitt Center, on the Hope College campus at the corner of 12th Street and Columbia Avenue. Prices range from $8-$24 for musicals, and $6 to $18 for plays. Season coupons are also available and offer several ways to save money for the whole season. Ticket office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and one hour before all show times. Tickets may also be purchased by calling (616) 395-7890.