posted May 17, 2005

HSRT Announces 34th Season

Hope Summer Repertory Theatre (HSRT) is opening its 34th season of professional theatre featuring musicals, drama, and comedy. The season opens on Friday, June 17, with the current hit musical "Seussical" in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

The season also features the comedy "Bedroom Farce," the musical "The Spitfire Grill," and a new take on an old classic, "Scapin," all on the DeWitt main stage. HSRT's popular cabaret show returns to the Park Theatre on Friday, July 1, with its own creation, "Happy Holidaze." The intimate Snow Auditorium hosts the moving comedy-drama, "Drawer Boy."

"Seussical" weaves the witty, wild, and whimsical world of 14 Dr. Seuss classics into a musical for the whole family. When chaos erupts in the Jungle of Nool, it will take the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, and a gaggle of favorite Dr. Seuss characters to bring harmony back to their world. Both children and adults will love this adaptation, which was written by the Tony-award winning team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. After the Friday, June 17, opening, "Seussical" will show at 8 p.m. on June 18, 21, 22, 23, 27 and 29, and July 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 19, 21 and 26. On Thursday, July 14, there will be a 2 p.m. matinee performance.

The comedy "Bedroom Farce" opens on Friday, June 24. Written by Alan Ayckbourn, often called the "British Neil Simon," the play tells the comings and goings in three British bedrooms which grow hilariously out of control as the members of a self-absorbed couple attempt to save their marriage and thereby wreak havoc in the lives of three other couples. After the Friday, June 24, opening, "Bedroom Farce" will show at 8 p.m. on June 25, 28 and 30, and July 6, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 28.

The musical, "The Spitfire Grill" opens on Friday, July 22. This heart-warming story of grace, courage and forgiveness is played against the musical backdrop of down-home bluegrass and country songs. Percy Talbot, fresh from prison and looking for a fresh start, arrives in the depressed town of Gilead, where she lands a job at the Spitfire Grill. Winner of the prestigious Richard Rogers Production Award in 2001, this musical celebrates the passionate spirit of hope and renewal. In addition to the Friday, July 22, opening, the musical plays at 8 p.m. on July 23 and 27, and August 1, 3, 5, 8, 10 and 12.

The final main stage show features comedians Bill Irwin's (Pickle Family Circus) and Mark O'Donnell's (Saturday Night Live) take on Moliere's "Scapin," opening on Friday, July 29. The story of the scheming and mischievous servant Scapin who swindles two fathers into providing the funds for their sons' romantic misadventures, this distinctly contemporary, vaudeville-style take on this classic comedy has it all--mistaken identities, slamming doors, young love, and, of course, a chase. In addition to the Friday, July 29, opening, 8 p.m. performances are scheduled for July 30, and August 2, 4, 6, 9, 11 and 13.

Snow Auditorium plays host to Michael Healey's comedy-drama, "The Drawer Boy," opening on Thursday, July 14. It's 1972, and a self-absorbed young Toronto actor, Miles, arrives on a small farm to do hands-on research for an upcoming role in a play about country life. He is sent to live with two less-than-enthusiastic, middle-aged farmers. Miles unwillingly stumbles upon the truth about their past and as a result, their lives are forever altered when art attempts to imitate life and the line between truth and fiction is crossed. In addition to the July 14 opening, the "Drawer Boy" will show at 8 p.m. on July 15, 19, 21, 26 and 27, and August 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10.

"Happy Holidaze" is the theme for HSRT's popular cabaret show playing at the Park Theatre, near downtown Holland. Opening at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, July 1, this year's cabaret is another original creation of HSRT musical director, Fred Tessler. So revisit both the well-known and offbeat holiday classics presented in the cabaret style. In addition to the Friday, July 1, opening, "Happy Holidaze" will show at 8:30 p.m. on July 2, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 28, and August 2, 4 and 6.

The DeWitt Center theatre box office opens on Thursday, May 26. Prices range from $8 to $25 for musicals, and from $8 to $18 for plays. Season coupons, ranging from $42 to $60, are also available.

The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. On performance dates, the box office will be open through intermission. The box office is located in the theatre lobby of the DeWitt Cultural Center, located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. Tickets or additional information may be obtained by calling the box office at (616) 395-7890 or visiting the HSRT Web site at www.hope.edu/hsrt. Information about the Children's Performance Troupe is also on the Web site.