posted July 22, 2005

HSRT Presents Musical "Spitfire"

 Hope Summer Repertory Theatre opens its second musical of the year with the bluegrass and country tinged, "The Spitfire Grill" at 8 p.m. on July 22 in the DeWitt Theatre

Hoping to turn over a new leaf, Percy Talbot heads straight from prison to the small town of Gilead. She meets and works for the owner of the Spitfire Grill, Hannah, who is dealing with her own past, as she tries to find a future. Along with meek Shelby, the three women breathe new life into the old town.

Country and bluegrass-flavored tunes help tell this enchanting story of grace, courage, and forgiveness. The songs range from straight country hoe-downs to humorous asides, but make the homespun nature of the story all the more real.

The play premiered Off-Broadway in 2001 and was selected as one of the five best musicals of 2001 by "New York Magazine." It has also won the Richard Rogers Production Award, and received nominations from the Drama Desk, Drama-League, and New York Outer Critics Circle.

Although the play is based on the film by the same name, the storyline was altered and all the music was created for the show.

Equity Guest Artists Christine Nelson and Susan Ericksen head up the cast. Ericksen, playing Hannah, is familiar to HSRT audiences for her acting roles and many turns as director during 17 years with the company. Nelson has been winning audiences over with her role as Gertrude McFuzz in this year's production of "Seussical."

The show also features David Earl White and Christina Hall. Roger DeLaurier directs the show, and Fred Tessler is the musical director.

In addition to the July 22 opening, "Spitfire Grill" runs on July 23, 27, August 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, and 12.

While at the ticket office, be sure to reserve tickets for the other great HSRT mainstage shows, including the Alan Ayckbourn comedy, "Bedroom Farce" the musical "Seussical," and a modern interpretation of Moliere's "Scapin." HSRT's "second stage" show is the comedy-drama, "Drawer Boy," while Holland's Park Theatre is home to HSRT's popular cabaret offering, "Happy Holidaze!." The Children's Performance Troupe is presenting Jon Scieszka's "The True Stories of the Three Pigs and The Frog Prince (cont'd)" and Dennis Foon's "The Short Tree and the Bird Who Could Not Sing."

The ticket office is located in the DeWitt Center, on the Hope College campus, at the corner of 12th Street and Columbia Avenue in Holland. Prices range from $8-$25 for musicals, and $8-$18 for plays. Ticket office hours are 10 a.m-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and one hour before all show times. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 616-395-7890. For more information visit www.hope.edu/hsrt.