By Josette Keelor
In March, theatergoers will have their choice of music and laughter, darkness and high-speed hilarity at playhouses in New Market and in Winchester.
• At Winchester Little Theatre next weekend, "Twentieth Century" intends to take audiences on a hilarious ride.
Set in the 1930s, the play directed by Roxie Orndorff picks up speed when an ego-maniacal Broadway producer boards the Twentieth Century Limited with the intent of winning back his gal, now a temperamental Hollywood star who is just as determined not to be won over.
Show times at 315 W. Boscawen St., Winchester, are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday and Thursday, March 7-22. Tickets are $18.75 for adults, $16.75 for seniors and $14.50 for students. For more information, call 540-662-3331 or visit wltonline.org.
• Then in two weeks, The Schultz Theatre in New Market will begin its dark thriller "Jekyll & Hyde the Musical," based on Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 book, "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
Directed by Kelsey Brown, with musical direction by Richard Yingling, the story follows a London doctor, Henry Jekyll, who regularly but unknowingly becomes the homicidal Edward Hyde, killing eight people throughout the show.
It's a large and dramatic musical with a lot of choreography and visual effects, with elements of romance and murder mystery.
Tyler Cramer plays the doctor and his split personality, with Abigail Reedy as Jekyll's fiancée Emma Carew and Brown, herself, as Lucy Hale, a prostitute who becomes an obsession of Hyde's.
Brown said the cast's small size "allows us to focus on the acting."
Victorian-style costumes she described as "quite intense" are "the biggest focal point in terms of [visual] design."
But the greatest challenge right now is ensuring the cast's safety on stage with props like a dagger, a gun and a sword cane.
With assistant director Lauren Chapman at her side, spending long hours researching the time period for accuracy of detail, Brown said, "If I didn't have her, I would slowly be going crazy."
The Schultz Theatre, at 9357 N. Congress St., New Market, will perform "Jekyll & Hyde the Musical" at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 14-23. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit schultztheatre.com.
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-513, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org