Three out of four summer productions are now open and rotating on Festival Theatre’s schedule. “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” has just TWO performances left: July 26th and August 16th. “Almost, Maine” can be seen through August 17th, and the Conservatory production of Aristophanes’ “Frogs” will run through July 31st.
The raucous musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum has one goal, to make audiences laugh. Utilizing classic ideas from burlesque entertainment, this play tips its hat to lots of adult humor, while still keeping things innocent and appropriate for most ages. A favorite since its Broadway debut in 1962, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” won several Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Musical. Festival’s production, with a powerful cast of talented singers, has been delighting audiences since opening June 19th. Time is running out with only two shows remaining, this Saturday, July 26th, and Saturday, August 16th.
Almost, Maine, which opened in early July, is a story of a different style. Often humorous, often tender, this show consists of several short scenes, all set in the same small town in rural Maine. All taking place over the course of one night, we see different characters grappling with human experiences, all on the theme of love. Some are falling into love, some falling out of it. Some are ending a relationship; others don't even realize they are beginning one. This play is a romantic comedy with a slightly surrealist approach allowing the figurative to become tangible. “Almost, Maine” is staged in the Elbow Room, the street-level performance space, which creates an intimate atmosphere and features limited seating. Shows have been selling out and early reservations are recommended for this memorable play about the rise and fall of our hearts, and the human stories that are created from sharing love.
Opening last weekend on the main stage was Aristophanes’ Frogs, the fourth annual Festival Theatre Conservatory for Young Performers (FTCYP) production. Featuring a cast of five youth actors and five adult professionals, "Frogs" is an ancient but hilarious play. It centers on the Greek god Dionysus as he journeys to the underworld to bring back to the land of the living the best playwright, Euripides, who has recently died. Along the way he encounters many obstacles and humorous characters as he battles his own fear, vanity, self-importance, and a few outside intrusions. Although the play is centuries old, the humor and the values that it reflects are timeless. From slapstick style humor to thoughtful examination of what makes good art, this play is perfect for audiences of all ages. With the goal of introducing young audiences to classical work and cast members to different theatre techniques, this Conservatory production delights, entertains, and surprises its audience. Festival would like to thank Chuck and Sherry Pearce for sponsoring the opening night Afterglow party last weekend.
Coming up, the final repertory selection of the summer is the mysterious playground of a show, The 39 Steps, opening August 9th. Four actors take on a hundred roles in this face-paced mystery comedy. An adaptation of the 1935 Hitchcock film, this spy thriller is taken apart and put back together in the almost Monty Python-like style. One actor will play the lonely Richard Hannay, one actor will play the beautiful and mysterious women he encounters, and the other two actors will play everyone else in the show. A whirlwind of dramatic action, "The 39 Steps" moves from a dusty apartment to train stations to high-brow parties to police stations and back again in seamless transition. Come and see how the mystery unfolds, but come ready to have a blast, because theatre artists having this much fun is simply bound to be contagious!
Great music, much laughter, bawdy comedy and sweet, tender moments are on stage now. See the Calendar for dates and times, and like us on Facebook to be among the first to see discount offers!
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Contact the box office with any questions. The box office is open Tues - Fri 10 AM - 4:30 PM and one hour before every show. Festival Theatre is located at 210 North Washington Street in downtown St. Croix Falls, inside the historic Civic Auditorium.