Posted: Friday May 18, 2012
May 18, 2012
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will open its 44th season of professional theatre with the popular musical comedy “Forever Plaid” on Thursday, May 31.
One of the biggest hits in the history of Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will return for nine performances only. “When we asked our audiences last summer which of our many popular shows they would like to see again, this was clearly top on the list,” artistic director Colleen Reilly said. “So, we are pleased to present the hilarious and magical tale of the four-part harmony group who, following their untimely demise in 1964, are given one last chance to perform. Let the Plaids serenade you with more than a dozen of the era’s most beloved hits, including Catch a Falling Star, Three Coins in the Fountain, Perfidia, and many more. Join us once again for this celebration of the best of the 1950s: a time of innocence, sincerity, and the Ed Sullivan Show.”
A preview performance is scheduled at 8:10 p.m. Thursday, May 31. Performances are set for 8:10 p.m. June 1-2 and 5-9. A matinee is listed at 2:10 p.m. Saturday, June 2.
This production will mark the fourth time that Saint Vincent Summer Theatre has presented Forever Plaid. “We performed it three years in a row in 1997, 1998 and 1999,” Ms. Reilly recalled. “And we brought it back in 2010. It is something of a phenomenon across the country but it is especially popular here at Saint Vincent. Because we are only presenting nine shows, I want to remind people to make reservations so they are not disappointed. We have two dates that are nearly sold out already.”
The show features Saint Vincent Summer Theatre veterans Anthony Marino as Frankie, Kevin Daniel O’Leary as Sparky and Greggory Brandt as Smudge. New to the Saint Vincent stage this year is David Scott Purdy who will play Jinx.
“Tony Marino has performed at Saint Vincent for a long time,” Ms. Reilly commented, “playing a variety of roles since the mid-1990s. He is one of those people who is totally at ease and comfortable on the stage. He has a great voice and is well known as the founder, along with his wife, Renata, of Stage Right in Greensburg.”
“Greggory first appeared at Saint Vincent two years ago in Plaid,” Ms. Reilly continued. “He did a great job. He brought a touching humanity to his character and I am very happy that he could come back again.”
“Kevin has been with our theatre since 2009 and in those few years has become a popular and much-loved member of our company,” Ms. Reilly noted. “We’ve had people call the box office, wanting to know if he will be in the show this year. He is a wonderful actor and, interestingly, is the last actor who my father, Joe Reilly, cast before his death in 2009.”
“David is new to our stage and comes to us from New York City,” Ms. Reilly advised. “He has a great voice and introduced himself to me by sending me a link to a video he created on YouTube. We are very happy he could take the role.”
“I think Forever Plaid is one of the first jukebox musicals that took beloved songs and figured out how to combine them to create an original musical,” Ms. Reilly concluded. “I think it is one of the best, possibly the very best of that genre. The creators of the show didn’t just string together a bunch of great songs, but they also created wonderful characters that the audiences love. The characters all have their own stories and grow up a little over the course of the play. It makes it something more than just a few good songs. It’s really about love, redemption, and friendship. I know some people will be seeing it for the fourth time in our theatre. If there is anyone who hasn’t seen it and isn’t sure it’s their thing, I would urge them to give it a try because I know very few people who don’t have a wonderful time at the show. Father Tom Devereux, O.S.B., founder and producer of the Saint Vincent Summer Theatre, would usually come to see the shows my father directed, once or maybe twice during the run. The first time we performed Forever Plaid, he came every night. It was unheard of. And he didn’t do anything that was boring to him. Forever Plaid is a wonderful time for everyone including children of 6 and people in their 80s. Everyone loves it.”
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 by calling the theatre box office at 724-537-8900. Theatre patrons may also make reservations online by going to www.svst.org. A credit card is required for on-line reservations, and such reservations are transferable, but non-refundable.
Individual tickets are $10 for preview performances, $19 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings, $22 on Friday and Saturday evenings and $16 for matinees. Special theatre party group rates apply to groups of 20 guests or more. Senior citizens, 62 or older, are eligible for a $2 discount upon request on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings only. Special subscription plans are also available through Saturday, June 30. A new four-show subscription has been added this year. In addition, student tickets are available for $10 for any seat, any performance.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre performances are all scheduled in the comfortable, air-conditioned Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center on the Saint Vincent College campus. Free van shuttle service will continue to be provided to and from the spacious and convenient parking areas adjacent to the Saint Vincent Basilica.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will continue to feature its well-known Cabaret, the special after-the-show party to which all theatre patrons are invited. Saint Vincent students serve snacks, hot dogs and beverages after the production and also provide entertainment. The Cabaret is open after all performances except Thursday preview shows and all matinees. Theatre officials encourage donations if patrons enjoy themselves at the after-the-show party.
Upcoming productions include Suite Surrender June 14 to 30, The Foreigner July 5 to 21 and The Chief July 26 to August 19.
The 23rd annual Saint Vincent Summer Theatre Gala will be held Friday, July 13. All proceeds benefit the Saint Vincent Summer Theatre.
A free brochure is available by contacting the Saint Vincent Theatre box office at 724 537-8900.
Photos: David Scott Purdy, Kevin Daniel O’Leary, Greggory Brandt
More photos at Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saintvincentcollege/sets/72157629986267912/
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