MILL HALL - It's a season of not only oldies-but-goodies, but also "Goldenees," as Millbrook Playhouse celebrates its 50th season this summer.
Blending plays and musicals presented in the old barn theater through the last few decades, coupled with first-time productions and highlighted by the re-staging of the first comedy ever produced, Millbrook Playhouse promises that the 2012 season will be "classic" in many ways.
With a lineup of four shows on the upstairs Main Stage and four in the downstairs Cabaret, Artistic Director Teresa K. Pond and the Board of Directors announced the "Classic season - 50 years and counting."
"Grease" (June 13 to 16 and 19 to 23) - The season opens with the classic musical evoking the look and sound of the 1950s. The greaser "Burger Palace Boys" and the hip-shaking "Pink Ladies" sing and dance their way through Rydell High School. With songs "Greased Lightin'," "It's Raining on Prom Night," "Summer Nights" and the hilarious "Beauty Shop Dropout," the rollicking score became the soundtrack of a generation.
"The Sound of Music" (June 28 to 30 and July 3 to 7 with two matinees July 3 and July 7 ) - Another season opener from yesteryears, Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical is bound to be one of the audience's "Favorite Things," with the tuneful telling of the postulant Maria coping with the spirited Von Trapp children and their stern father. Set in Austria on the eve of World War II, "The Sound of Music" (especially with the casting of community children) should be one of Millbrook's most popular attractions.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" (July 12 to 14 and 17 to 21) - William Shakespeare's classical play features madmen and misguided lovers, mischievous fairies and a troupe of bumbling amateur actors. Somewhat of a departure from traditional summer stock fare, the Bard's romantic farce will be directed by Teresa K. Pond in her second stint as artistic director.
"Always Patsy Cline" (July 26 to 28 and July 31 to Aug. 4) - The classic country musical based upon the life and music of Patsy Cline is Ted Swindley's popular tribute to the legendary country singer. The two-woman musical is based upon Patsy Cline's friendship with a rabid fan named Louise Seger who regularly corresponded with the singer until her death. The plane crash in March 1963 was just a few months before Millbrook staged its first show in June of that year.
More than a dozen hits such as "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces," "Sweet Dreams" and "Walking after Midnight" make "Always, Patsy Cline" a jukebox of country music favorites.
"Come Blow Your Horn" (June 21 to 23 and 26 to 30) - Neil Simon's comedy is "classic Millbrook," as it was the first production ever produced back in 1963.
A swinging 30-ish bachelor takes his rebellious brother under his wing as wine, women and money flow freely with unexpected results as the horrified parents cross their fingers, hope for the best and pray.
"The Woman in Black" - (July 5 to 7 and 10 to 14) - This classic ghost story by Stephen Malatratt, which will receive its first telling in the Cabaret's cozy setting, has attained the distinction as the second-longest-running non-musical in England's West End. A ghost dressed in black haunts a neighborhood where her illegitimate child was accidentally killed. The locals fear for their lives prompting a lawyer and actor team up to unravel the spooky mystery in this theatrical spine-chiller.
"Boeing-Boeing" (July 19 to 24 and 24 to 28) - This classic 1960s French farce by Marc Camoletti is the other Cabaret's first-timer. The 2008 Tony Award-winning
"Best Play" has a self-styled lothario pilot who has an Italian, German and American finance, each a beautiful air hostess at his bidding during "layovers" till all three show up at his Paris apartment one fateful night. "Boeing-Boeing" is a bit earthy and a very physical comedy.
"Nunsense: A-men" (Aug 2 to 4 and 7 to 11) - Dan Grogin's classic musical comedy "Nunsense" gets a makeover when male performers don the nuns' habits.
The script is the same but there's lot more smirks and belly laughs as the manly sisters' feverish fundraiser triggers hoots of laughter.
Changes and charges
Millbrook will have two shows for its Saturday Children's Theatre Series. With the popularity of Theatre Camp 2012, Millbrook will add a second camp in August with details to be released this winter.
After many years of opening on Thursdays, Millbrook, after opening the season on Thursday, June 13, will switch its opening night for other productions to Fridays. Curtain time for all productions is 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on the second week Wednesdays.
Spring will bring a bevy of volunteers and board members to spruce up the Playhouse with some planned renovations. Season tickets are now available online with individual tickets on sale in spring 2013.
For tickets and performance schedules, call 748-8083 or visit www.millbrookplayhouse.org.