Classics, laughs rule the stage this month

Area theaters will bring plenty of laughs and a little drama and adventure to audiences in upcoming June productions.

 

Theatre Shenandoah

Theatre Shenandoah began performances of Neil Simon’s “The Good Doctor” last weekend and will continue this weekend. Director and theater board member Richard Clem said the lesser-known Neil Simon production has been well received so far.

Clem said the play’s narrator, understood to be Anton Chekhov, acts as the glue between Simon’s sometimes-comedic, sometimes-poignant stories – the two writers juxtaposed in the production.

“It’s different techniques, different tones, different subject material and how it’s to be delivered,” he said. “The story from what Mr. Chekhov wrote is still there, it’s just put in its own little enigma that only Neil Simon can do.”

The stage won’t be full of shifting sets and props during the show – he said the audience’s visualization will come from the characters in their changing roles. Clem, himself, will be one of nine actors playing out the various scenarios, and he said he’s been able to see a bit of candid audience feedback firsthand.

“You can hear it as well when you’re in stage – you can hear the differences and see the reactions on people’s faces … especially in the poignant moments,” he said.

“The Good Doctor” will play at Theatre Shenandoah at 7:30 p.m. June 11 and 2:30 p.m. June 12. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for youth and seniors. Tickets are available at the box office, 507 Center St., Edinburg, by calling 540-984-3972 or online at http://www.theatreshenandoah.org/.

 

Schultz Theatre

With impersonators to spare, the Schultz Theatre in New Market will be performing “Elvis Has Left the Building,” by V. Cate and Duke Ernsberger, later this month.

After 30 years of acting, Hilerie Flathers said this show will be her directorial debut at Schultz.

“I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed the process and my cast is great,” she said. “Right off the bat, I had in mind who could play certain characters.”

She said the small cast of five presents plenty of hilarity and hijinks in the office of Elvis Presley’s manager, “The Colonel,” in the middle of a desperate situation.

“The setup is the summer of 1970 – it’s sort of a farcical take on actual events, a time where Elvis disappeared for a few days,” she said. “The writers … kind of made their own little twist on the facts.”

With plenty of laughs and a bit of Elvis music, Flathers said the show is appropriate for all ages.

The Schultz Theatre, at 9357 N. Congress St., New Market, will show “Elvis Has Left the Building” at 7 p.m. June 17, 18 and 24 and at 3 p.m. June 18, 19 and 26. Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the box office by calling 540-740-9119, at the door or online at http://tinyurl.com/joad25q.

 

Winchester Little Theatre

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of adventure and mutiny will kick off Winchester Little Theatre’s summer kid’s program later this month. Valerie O’Keefe, the theater’s publicity chair, said the theater performed Jack Neary’s “Treasure Island” around 10 years ago as one of its first children’s shows and wanted to bring it back this year.

Director Sara Gomez said audiences both young and old will recognize their favorite swashbuckling characters like Long John Silver and “get a good flavor of the original Robert Louis Stevenson story” in an energetic show.

“We love the fact that there’s a lot of audience participation in that the actors engage with the audience and kind of involve them with the story,” she said.

She said in the show’s 21-member cast, kids have come from all over – students from Berkeley County, West Virginia, to Warren County Public Schools and others from private schools or homeschooled children.

“There’s always a nice age range between 12 and 18. We have a good mix of boys and girls … and then we have a lot of new kids participating,” she said.

“Treasure Island” will play at Winchester Little Theatre at 2:30 and 7 p.m. June 18, 19 and 21-25. Tickets are listed as $9.99 and can be purchased at the box office, Blue Plate Books, Winchester Book Gallery or online at http://tinyurl.com/hmlnay5.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com

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