Category Archives: Main Stage

Moonlighting Math Teachers

Guest blog by Hans Boeschen
Director of The Buddy Holly Story

In 2011, three years after moving to Columbia from Nebraska, I walked into my first ever community theatre audition. I had been involved in school productions since the second grade, was just shy of a minor in theatre, and had, at that time, been teaching high school theatre for three years. I had never tread the boards in a community production, however. That first audition, almost eight years ago, would change my life.

That was when I met Lou. Boeschens

Since that time, either Lou or I have been involved with 25 productions ~ on the stage or on the production team. (I am well aware of Lou’s extensive involvement in Columbia community theatre long before we met. I will forever be trying to catch up.) In seven of these 25 shows, we were lucky enough to be working together.

This production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is not only my first time directing for Town Theatre, but it is also the first time Lou and I have joined up as director/musical director. It has been such a joy to have Lou by my side throughout the process. Many times our dinner conversation has been about the show. To be able to ask her about a directing choice or work through a transition has been such a wonderful resource. She has been my biggest supporter, my rock, and my sounding board (pun intended). Not to mention, she is an amazing musical director.

I believe the true power of the theatre is in the connections it builds. Whether those connections be amongst the cast working together for months, the audience who see the raw emotions of each actor, or within the community at large as we examine what life is about through the stage, theatre unites us. I consider myself extremely lucky that the theatre brought Lou and me together and that I get to be a part of such a vibrant community theatre environment.

I am continually thankful for Town for providing a safe space for two math teachers to moonlight as thespians.

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning… A Word from The Von Seezrich Family

Narrated by Dell Goodrich

Performing is and has long been a common theme in our family dynamic. Growing up, I thought every family had a rule that prohibited singing at the dinner table. Don’t they? Was this a hint of the future for us?

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James, “Aunt Dell” and Marshall enjoy a day a the beach.

As adults, conversation at our family gatherings often centers on who is involved or planning to be involved in a production. Usually at Town Theatre (and there’s a LOT of talking at these gatherings, as you might imagine)!) It is a bond that we all cherish. At family dinner, one Sunday late this past summer, I brought up the subject of auditioning for Buddy Holly. After finishing Beauty and the Beast in August, I was already craving an opportunity to get back to the theatre and hoped to be involved in this production in some capacity. My initial inquiry was whether my sister, Rebecca, or my brother, Charlie, planned to audition (I knew my talented youngest nephew, Jack, already a veteran of the TT stage, was too young for this one.) Imagine my surprise and delight when Rebecca informed me that her two oldest sons, my nephews James and Marshall Seezen, were interested in auditioning and planned to play their own instruments. They’d never appeared on the TT stage before. And Charlie was throwing his hat in the ring too! Yay!

That decided it for me right away. I was definitely auditioning. I really wanted us all to do this together. When Charlie was cast as Buddy Holly, the nephews as two of the Crickets, and me as a “Crickette”, I was over the moon and couldn’t wait to get started. The journey has been every bit as rewarding as I knew it would be. Every day and every performance, I grow more excited about the blossoming “grown-up” friendship I’m building with my nephews. [We just became Facebook friends!]. It’s great to see more of Charlie, too, as he has been so busy this last year, being both a newlywed and the new drama teacher at AC Flora.

It has been just amazing to go through this process together and to glimpse it through the eyes of newcomers like my nephews, after all these years…. Especially with dear friends Hans, Lou, and Shannon leading us. It is especially significant and memorable for me to get to share the stage with both of my families in Town’s 100th year.

Rebecca and I became part of the Town Theatre family more than 35 years ago, with Showstoppers I and The Sound of Music. I asked Rebecca to share her thoughts about the older boys joining their other family members as “Townies.”

A family shot after Willy Wonka, summer 2017.

She shared many of my same sentiments. “It has been so fun to watch y two older sons become a part of the Town family. They are joining not only their aunt and uncle, but me, their younger brother, and their dad as Townies. It is hard to describe how it feels to see all 3 of my kids finding joy on the stage where I grew up. I am proud, of course, but it also strengthens our bond as a family. We have this common experience that we share. We all know what it feels like to run those stairs to the dressing room, wait backstage for a cue, and hear the applause of a sold-out crowd from that historical stage. It is such an amazing theatre family, and I’m glad to welcome James and Marshall to it.” 

In one of the first productions I did with my brother, Charlie Goodrich, I also played a music legend, Tammy Wynette. We have similar research and preparation styles for these roles, so I already knew what was ahead for Charlie as he met the challenge and enjoyment of portraying a known figure, whose music and sad story has touched so many people. I also knew he would nail it. I’d seen him do it with many roles before, most notably as Johnny Cash. As predicted, Charlie has thrown himself into the role and shines as Buddy Holly. James and Marshall, being such accomplished musicians themselves, enhance the experience as they share the musical spotlight with Charlie and bassist, Billy Bishop. But wait, there’s more! Not only is Charlie an accomplished actor, singer and musician, but he is making a name for himself as a director. And he’s darn good at it! (I know! Rebecca and I have both been cast in plays he directed.) He’ll be directing Mamma Mia in the spring. Hopefully, some of us will have the chance to collaborate again on that production.

This is what Charlie had to say about this particular experience. “What a joy to be involved in this fabulous production! This Season at Town is not only is the 100th Season for the Theatre, but also my 10th Season of continuous involvement.  Initially, I only planned to direct this season (Mamma Mia), but when I saw the audition notice for Buddy, I instantly jumped at the challenge.  I already knew that Dell was auditioning, as were my nephews, James and Marshall.   At the callback we all attended I could feel that this would be a special production if we were all cast.  To my delight, we all were!

This production has been an immensely special one for many reasons.  Of course, getting the privilege to portray the legendary Buddy Holly is an honor that I cannot express in words.  However, getting the chance to share the TT stage with my nephews for the first time and with Dell for the third time has made it all the more enjoyable!  Town Theatre has always held a special place in the hearts of my family.  That place has been cemented even more by this wonderful production.  I can’t thank Hans, Lou, and Shannon enough for giving all of us the chance to experience this awesomeness together!”‬‬

When I asked my nephews how it felt to be a part of this, their responses reflected that they have now found the same joy as the rest of us, being on the TT stage. The bug has bitten them and they plan to keep on rocking with TT in the days to come. They also look forward to a chance to work with cousin, Agnes Babb, in a future production.

James, playing the Crickets’ guitarist, shared how he cherished this opportunity on many levels. “I have had an absolute blast doing this play with my family. It was totally awesome to get to share a stage with some of my favorite people. I am ecstatic to get to jam out with my uncle, my aunt, and my brother in front of such an amazing audience. I want to thank Hans and Lou Boeschen for all the math help, Uncle Charlie and Aunt Dell for all the support backstage, and my little brother Marshall, for keeping me on tempo.”

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James, “Uncle Charlie” and Marshall at USC graduation.

Marshall, playing the Crickets’ drummer, indicated he is still discovering what a gift it is to share this passion with the rest of us. “Working with my whole family has just been surreal. I remember when I was a kid when Charlie first started at Town. Since then it always seems like someone is doing a show. Whether it be one of Charlie’s, Mom’s, or Dell’s shows or one of my little brother’s (Jack)….or even both my parents, Charlie and my little brother all in one. Before this show, I have stuck primarily to the Cardinal Newman drama program. Now that I’ve started at Town Theatre, I look forward to many more shows with my great family.”

I can’t adequately express how incredibly proud I am of my talented family. (As anyone who knows me is well aware. I brag about them to anyone who will listen!) I’ve jokingly called us “The Von Goodrich Family Singers”, in homage to the Von Trapp Family (The Sound of Music). Now that the next generation is represented, I think I will be modifying that to “The Von Seezrich (Seezen-Goodrich) Family”. 😉

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James, Marshall, Dell and Charlie together in The Buddy Holly Story.

We have many, many years ahead of us to enjoy working together and to share our love of performing. Thanks, Town Theatre, for making a place for all of us to join in the fun!

 

 

Reflections on West Side Story – Take Three

Editor’s Note: In our current production of West Side Story – we have three “veterans” of Town’s 1998 production. David Swicegood (Director) and Tom Baldwin (Doc) penned their thoughts earlier in the series. TAKE THREE is courtesy of Kerri Roberts who is playing the role of Maria. 

In the summer of 1998 I was 21 years old, preparing to start my senior year of college, and engaged to be married. I was privileged to study voice at Columbia College with the incomparable Lanny Palmer, who encouraged me to go and audition for West Side Story at Town Theatre. I was not a Columbia native and had not been involved in any theatre outside of Columbia College where I was active in opera, and Columbia Classical Ballet where I danced for four years during college. I had absolutely no idea about the community theatre scene in Columbia. I remember being so nervous about auditioning, but so excited about the potential of doing something new. To be honest, I don’t remember much about the audition process except the director, David Swicegood saying to me, “I’m SO glad you could sing!” I immediately felt welcomed and right at home in that little old theatre! It’s been that way ever since.

I genuinely have no negative memories associated with the 1998 production. It was, in fact,  truly ground-breaking in my life. I had been a singer. I had been a ballerina. I had been in operatic productions. For me, West Side Story was the first time that I experienced the thrill of doing all the things I loved – singing, dancing and acting – all in one medium.  I came alive with it! That was when I first discovered my passion for musical theatre. David was such an easy, kind, inspiring director, who truly loved what he was doing, and the environment of the show was always positive in my memory. I remember the week of intense choreography sessions when Maurice Brandon Curry came to teach us the whole show! Maria doesn’t dance all that much, but it was still so fun to learn from Maurice and to watch the rest of the cast, many of whom would not have called themselves dancers, come together and nail these iconic dances! Christopher McCroskey was our music director and working with him was also a pleasure. This production team, along with Janet Kile as the costumer, worked together so well to create a show that was truly a joy to be a part of. I felt nothing but encouragement!

For sure, the best part of West Side Story 1998 was the people. David, Christopher, and Janet are all still very dear to me and I treasure any chance I get to see them and/or work with them. Brian Childers was so talented and such an easy stage partner as Tony. It has been so great to watch him go on to have a successful career! That was when I met Shannon Scruggs, who has become a friend, a director and a colleague for whom I am very grateful! Agnes Babb and Lou Boeschen are also “Town family” that I first met in West Side Story! I have such fond (and funny) memories as stories of all the Jet and Shark guys and girls, some of whom actually came to my wedding a few months after this show closed. I’ll never forget the connection with Robby Sweet (Chino) during the last scene of the show and the tears in his eyes almost every time.

When I learned that Debra Bricker Brewer would play the role of Anita, I remember feeling very intimidated. She had been a ballet teacher, known for her sharpness and demand for excellence. But she embraced me as a sister rather than a student and we had the best time playing these roles together. She killed it as Anita! We still squeal out “Querida!!!” whenever we see each other!

Tom Baldwin was just as precious as Doc the first time around. And although Maria and Doc are only ever on stage together in the very last scene, Tom was always encouraging to me and kind. He only ever called me Maria after that! Who would have thought that 20 years later we would serve the same church in worship each week and be getting to reprise our roles in West Side Story 2018?! The first time he was technically too young to play Doc and this time I am technically too old to play Maria, but we’re making it work!

Will and KerriOf course, I could never leave out Will Moreau.  West Side Story 1998 was also his first show at Town Theatre, so we were “newbies” together.  Will played the role of Bernardo, Maria’s protective older brother. He was much more experienced and mature in his craft than I was, but he quickly came alongside me and encouraged me.  He saw my potential and never missed an opportunity to tell me what he thought about it.  After this show, we didn’t work together in the theatre for 18 years! BUT we reconnected through the world of social media while my family was living on the mission field in Zambia, Africa. I didn’t know that much about Will and his personal passion and work in 1998. But I got to know him over the years by watching and reading about his life online! And he did the same with me.  We developed a true respect and affection for one another over the years.

When I came back to the States and got reconnected with my theatre family at Town, Will was one of the people I was most excited to see! Everyone loved being around Will! We would chat whenever we would see each other around the theatre. Then when the audition announcement came out for My Fair Lady we giddily talked about auditioning! He was SO excited about the possibility of playing the role of Alfred P. Doolittle, as was I about playing the dream role of Eliza Doolittle! The day that we got the call offering us the roles of Alfred and Eliza we both happened to be at the theatre.  Will came running to the lobby to find me and we hugged and jumped around squealing! I will always treasure having that show together. It gave us the opportunity to spend time talking about life and faith over coffee, to play family again on stage (however dysfunctional), and to share in the comradery of a fantastic cast.

Last fall, just a couple of weeks after Will had actually gone to share about Native American culture with my youngest daughter’s class, we lost him so suddenly. One of the kindest, most genuinely loving people I’ve never known. I am grateful to have called him a friend. To have played his daughter on stage, but first to have played his little sister back in 1998. Thank you West Side Story for not only being a catalyst for discussions on love, racism, bigotry and violence but also for being the place in my own life where passions and treasured relationships were born! I’m so grateful!

REFLECTIONS ON WEST SIDE STORY – TAKE TWO

Editor’s Note: In our current production of West Side Story – we have three “veterans” of Town’s 1998 production. David Swicegood (Director) penned his thoughts earlier this week. TAKE TWO is courtesy of the one and only Doc, Tom Baldwin. 

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Tom Baldwin as Doc, 2018. PC: Go Flash Win.

Doc’s Memories of 1998:

West Side Story (1998) was my first show at Town Theatre after an eight-year absence. I had just played Senex in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Workshop the year before and was just starting to get the “theatre bug” again. I remember going to the open audition where I sang my eight bars (of something) and tried to dance. Jennifer Austin (who became a lovely friend) was the dance captain. She started giving out a lot of dance commands to a lot of experienced dancers (and me) and, needless to say to anyone who knows me…I didn’t shine. Well, the cast was going to be doing Maurice Curry’s choreography so, as also holds true for Joy’s current wonderful choreography, they were going to need some pretty good dancers. That’s the kind of show it is. Now don’t get me wrong, I knew I was in over my head. I had made a pretty good Freddie Eynsford-Hill, i.e. sings pretty but don’t move too much, but I knew I was no Tony. And, I was 40. What was I thinking?! All I knew was that there were all of those great Leonard Bernstein songs and I wanted to be part of them and the twenty-somethings (that includes you too, Ag and Candice!) who cherish this classic work. This thing, West Side Story, builds a bridge across generations. So, I went home, despondent, thinking I wouldn’t get a call back from David. I popped my VHS tape of the movie into my VCR and started listing to the opening overture. When it gets to “Maria,” tears start streaming down my face. I made a decision to do something that I would never recommend to anyone who auditions for shows (but, it merely worked for me). I decided to crash callbacks. The night of callbacks, I was sitting down front with my sheet music in my hand ready to sing again and then David touches my shoulder. I look up and he says, “I don’t need to hear you sing again, but I want you to hang around”. So, I did. Apparently, “Doc” had been cast, but whoever was going to do it had to drop out (probably Bubba Fulmer J).  I read for “Doc.” I was cast as “Doc.” The rest of the experience was just funny, touching, exhilarating and one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had.

Here is a list of fond memories from the show:

  • True, real life brothers, “Womb-to-tomb”, “Sperm-to-worm”, Brian and Mark Childers (“Tony” and “Riff”).
  • The night that Jonathan Monk (“Baby John”) and Will Moreau (“Bernardo”) couldn’t spin Doc’s combo back staircase/storefront for the last scene with Tony and Doc. Will said, “Doc! The latch is stuck!” LOL
  • Baby John, Chino and Doc singing the “Maria” echo from the wings.
  • Brian (“Tony”) letting out an “Ow!!…Ow!!!!” one night when I clocked him real good!
  • Lee Reynolds (“Glad Hand”), during a rehearsal, standing in the circle looking serious in the Tony death scene in a tweed coat and heart-covered boxer shorts.
  • Debra Bricker (“Anita”) thinking I was shy. Ha!
  • Robbie Sweet (“Chino”) – An all-around good guy and a good friend.
  • Kati Baldwin – My seven-year-old daughter standing in a chair on the front row, applauding during a curtain call with a look of wonder on her face.
  • David Swicegood – How do you make it look so easy when it obviously ain’t? Grace in the face of adversity should be his middle name.
  • Shannon Willis (Scruggs) – You grew up to be quite a woman from the little teenager that I once knew.
  • Kerry Grimsley (Roberts) – Wow! You’re still here! Still brilliant and beautiful. I get déjà vu all over again when you turn the gun on the crowd. It’s good to see that some things haven’t changed.

 

Reflections on West Side Story – Take One

Editor’s Note: In our current production of West Side Story – we have three “veterans” of the show one being the director, David Swicegood. David directed Town’s 1998 production and it was stellar. Here are some of his memories of that show that you may enjoy.

“One of my fondest memories of West Side Story in ’98 was, having David Swicegoodcast almost the whole show {at least in my mind}, but I still hadn’t seen a Maria. The last person to audition was a lovely young dark-haired girl who looked EXACTLY how Maria should look. I closed my eyes and said “Please God. let her be able to sing!” Well, her name was Kerri Grimsley {now Roberts} and when she began singing I literally cried! Her voice still takes my breath away, and I couldn’t be happier to have her play Maria again, as beautiful as ever and a voice possibly better than it was 20 years ago.

I also had a “youngish” man named Tom Baldwin who auditioned for the role of Doc, a non-singing but important character role. The script described the character as being in his 60s and Tom was much younger than that! I had a good feeling about Tom however and cast him as Doc. He was so good! I thought about him when I found out I would be directing the show again and, to my surprise, he came to auditions! And now he’s the right age to play Doc! He actually wrote on his audition form “I am the ONLY Doc!” And he is.

My long-time friend Maurice Curry came down from New York to collaborate with me as the choreographer for the show in ’98 and did an amazing job! We tried to get him to come back and do it again, but due to his responsibilities as the Executive Artistic Director of the Eglevsky Ballet Company in New York, was unable to commit to it this time. The wonderful Joy Alexander took the helm as Choreographer and has been AMAZING!! Things DO work out!

During the ’98 show, I also got to work with a very talented young lady named Shannon Louise Willis, whom I had directed in The All Night Strut, my first directorial job at Town Theatre. She was Rosalia in ’98 and was fantastic, as she always is! I directed her again the next year in Sweet Charity, and you probably know that, in addition to singing, directing and choreographing at Town, she is now the Executive Director of the theatre. Just shows you that when theatre is in your blood, it’s there forever.

I also would like to mention that several of my ’98 cast have gone to professional careers in theatre, film and television including Brian Childers, Mark Childers, Melinda Schmidt {now Wrenn Schmidt professionally} and Jennifer Austin. I’d really like to think I played a small part in instilling in them {and all the cast, then and now!} a love of performing and especially the joy of live theatre.

One last memory to share ~ I had finished casting the show in ’98 except the role of Bernardo. I got a call from Sandra Willis, Town’s Executive Director at the time, and she sort of whispered: “Bernardo is in my office!” I asked her to see if he could wait a few minutes and I raced to the theatre and met Will Moreau who, of course, became Bernardo. It was his first show in Columbia and Will became a household name and mainstay of Columbia theatre. Not only was he a good actor but also a great friend and tireless advocate for many causes until his untimely passing last year. He is greatly missed and will long be remembered for his contributions to our city. Rest in peace, friend.”

~David SwicegoodWSS will

“Tale as Old as a Third Time”

By Kristy O’Keefe
Member of the 2005, 2009 and 2018 casts of Town’s Beauty and the Beast

In 2005, I walked through Town’s doors to audition for the Midland’s debut of Beauty and the Beast. As a childhood favorite Disney tale, I was ecstatic to be cast as a Teabag (yes, I still remember my choreography)!  I looked up to so many of the talented actors, and often remember reciting the Silly Girl’s lines in the wings…I thought they were so hilarious! One of the production dates even fell on my 11th birthday so…I brought my friends to the production!  I will never forget peaking through the wings (yes, I know, against the rules) and seeing all my friends with their light up roses.  After the show, I introduced everyone to Belle, the Beast, Babette, and all my favorite dancing utensils! When the production came to a close, I was devastated.  I continued to perform “Be Our Guest” every night in my living room!

Flashforward to 2009—Town announced it was bringing Beauty and the Beast back, due to popular demand! I vividly remember jumping around the house celebrating and chose an audition song that day! I was cast as a wolf and plate, alongside some of my best friends.  This 2009 production will always hold a special place in my heart—having danced with one of my biggest role models, Agnes Babb.  Being the youngest of the wolves, I felt very intimidated by all of their dance experience.  Agnes made me feel so welcome and even named me “leader of the pack.” Little did I know this was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.

As we open Beauty and the Beast for the third time at Town, I can’t help but reflect on how magical each production has been.  “Be Our Guest” becomes more and more extraordinary with time—even if we want to pass out on the last kick-line! The chemistry between each cast is different, yet beautiful.  As we raise the curtain this weekend, I am so grateful to have Agnes by my side once again.  Thirteen years later, and I am still ecstatic to perform my favorite Disney tale with some of my best friends—I guess I don’t have recite the silly girl lines in the wings though. Thank you, Shannon Scruggs, for casting me and Ag as part of such an enchanting production that has truly touched my heart in so many ways. Will there be a 4th?  Well… “If it’s not baroque, don’t fix it!”  ag and K

From left to right Agnes Babb and Kristy O’Keefe, 2009 and 2018

The Game’s Afoot comes to Town

DSC_2272_HRIt is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are nonstop in this glittering whodunit.

Starring in Town’s presentation of this mystery thriller is Chip Collins (Million Dollar Quartet) as William Gillette. Karen Herschell (My Fair Lady) portrays his elegant, though a bit foggy mother Martha. Clayton King (The Addams Family) takes on the role of Felix Geisel, the theatre company’s character actor with Sarah Strobolakos (You Can’t Take It With You) as his wry and outspoken wife, Madge. Town newcomer Kira Nessel, appears as Aggie Wheeler alongside William Ellis (The Little Mermaid) who plays her newlywed husband Simon Bright. Writing her way into the story line is Zsuzsa Manna (You Can’t Take It With You) as Daria Chase, celebrity columnist, with Allison Allgood (Les Misérables) as Inspector Goring. By turns, witty and incisive, then suddenly lost and dim, Goring is disarming in her inability to be defined. Always off the mark, and yet never far from the truth, somehow she always gets her man… Or woman.

The show is directed by Milena Herring with assistance from Jeffery Schwalk, stage management from Brandi Byers, costumes by Jillian Carey and technical design by Danny Harrington.

The Game’s Afoot is generously sponsored by

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Pro-rated memberships now available

What would you say if we told you we could save you some money? Well, we can! Even though our season opener, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, has closed, we are now offering pro-rated memberships for a limited time. We have a great line up for the rest of the 99th that you don’t want to miss!

Visit here to read more about our remaining shows. The information below tells you how you can save!

If you need ten or more tickets, check out the Patron and above levels here. Those tickets are interchangeable so, if you miss a show, you won’t lose any valuable tickets.

Our pro-rated memberships are listed below. Each membership gets you one ticket to each of our remaining four productions. And, it will save you money over cash box office ticket prices!

Adult 4-show membership
$70

Senior/Full-Time College/Active Duty Military 4-show membership
$65

Youth 4-show membership
$55

Pro-rated memberships are on sale NOW! Visit us online at towntheatre.com or give us a call at 803-799-2510. If you leave us a message, we’ll get back to you by the next business day.

See you at the theatre!

Pro-rated memberships are available! MEMBERS can save MONEY!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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Sept. 22- Oct. 8

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre Dame showcases the film’s Academy Award-nominated score. The musical begins as the bells of Notre Dame sound through the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer who longs to be “Out There” observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though – the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three gentlemen vie for her attention, Frollo also embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all.

Starring in the challenging role of Quasimodo is Jeremy Reasoner (Million Dollar Quartet, The Little Mermaid). His attention is focused on the entrancing Esmeralda, taken by Blakelee Cannon
(The Addams Family, Shrek the Musical) and Sheldon Paschal (Million Dollar Quartet, The Addams Family). The deceptive Dom Claude Frollo is being portrayed by George Dinsmore (Spamalot; The Buddy Holly Story) with Captain Phoebus in the hands of Town Theatre newcomer, and choir master for this production, Augie Gil. The king of the gypsies, Clopin, is being played by Will Moreau (My Fair Lady, Annie Get Your Gun).

A sweeping score and powerful story make The Hunchback of Notre Dame an instant classic. Audiences will be swept away by the magic
of this truly unforgettable musical.

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Director ~ Jamie Carr Harrington
Musical Director ~ Michael Simmons
Choreographer ~ Tracy Steele
Lead Costumer ~ Jillian Carey

This show is generously sponsored by:
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Town’s 99th season ~ early bird pricing now!

Town Theatre is excited about our 99th season — complete with something for everyone. Beautiful music, holiday cheer, heartwarming stories, a little mystery and toe-tapping fun! Each of these shows is NEW to Town — a hard task to accomplish when you are our age! Purchase your 99th season membership BEFORE JUNE 1 and enjoy the same price that you paid for the 98th!

Purchase HERE or call 803-799-2510 12 noon to 5 PM.

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Sept. 22 – Oct. 8, 2017

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre Dame showcases the film’s Academy Award-nominated score. The musical begins as the bells of Notre Dame sound through the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer who longs to be “Out There,” observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though – the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all. A sweeping score and powerful story make The Hunchback of Notre Dame an instant classic. Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.


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Dec. 1-17, 2017

A holiday classic from the writer of the musical theatre classic, The Music Man!, and based on the movie of the same name, Miracle on 34th Street features a book and score by none other than Meredith Willson. Single mother, Doris Walker, doesn’t want her six-year-old Susan’s head filled with romantic notions. Their neighbor, Fred Gailey, tries to woo Doris by charming Susan and taking her to see Santa Claus at Macy’s, where Doris works. Doris is not impressed, but when it turns out that Macy’s Santa may, in fact, be the real Kris Kringle, a wave of love spreads across New York City that melts even the most cynical hearts. This joyous, heartwarming musical is the perfect holiday treat!


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Jan. 19-Feb. 4, 2018

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish centers on Edward Bloom, a travelling salesman who lives life to its fullest… and then some! Edward’s incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him – most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, Big Fish is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre – for an experience that’s richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself.


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March 2-18, 2018

It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit.


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May 11-26, 2018
The 1950s are out, and change is in the air! Hairspray, winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, is a family-friendly musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs. It’s 1962 in Baltimore, and the lovable plus-size teen, Tracy Turnblad, has only one desire – to dance on the popular “Corny Collins Show.” When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob, Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network… all without denting her ‘do! You can’t stop the beat in this big and bold musical about one girl’s inspiring dream to dance.