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Lees-McRae Summer Theatre 2015 Musicals Begin This Weekend with Oliver!


Lees-McRae Summer Theatre 2015 Musicals Begin This Weekend with Oliver!

Lees-McRae Summer Theatre is excited to announce the 2015 Summer Theatre schedule. This year’s season, which includes Oliver!, Lend Me a Tenor and The Denim King: The Moses Cone Story, is packed with family-friendly comedy, laughs and good memories. Online ticket sales for the three shows are now open.

The season kicks off with Oliver! The Musical, which runs from June 26 – July 3. This beloved musical based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist has won numerous awards including the Tony for Best Musical and Academy Award for Best Picture. Set in the 19th century, Dickens makes important social statements about the conditions of poverty in London, yet does it with comedy, empathy and the ever-present sense of hope. Songs like “Consider Yourself” and “As Long As He Needs Me” move the exciting plot through the streets of Dickens’ city, entrancing the audience and showing them the historical truths of his time.

Lend Me a Tenor runs from July 15 – July 19. This comedy won the Tony for Best Play and Best Revival of a Play. The New York Times says it is “one of two great farces by a living writer.” The London Times says, “A remarkable piece of theatre… a masterpiece… Author Ken Ludwig has verve, a sound grasp of plot mechanics and a rare ability to couple high art with low comedy.” Tito Morelli, famous opera star, is supposed to perform Otello, but Tito has been given tranquilizers so the manager has to find someone else to play his role. Once Tito awakens, we have two “Otellos,” two women in lingerie who think they are Tito’s lover and the manager in one mishap after another.

The Denim King: The Moses Cone Story runs from Aug. 1-7. Several years ago, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation commissioned Janet Speer and John Thomas Oaks to write a musical about the Cone Dynasty and Flat Top Manor, the Cone mansion that resides along the Parkway in Blowing Rock, NC. The Denim King was produced at the Blowing Rock Stage Company and became their best attended production. Lees-McRae is proud to partner with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and Well-Spring Retirement Community to produce this fascinating show, the story of how Moses and his brother Ceasar developed textiles — particularly denim. Add to that the Cone sisters who accrued one of the largest contemporary art collections in the country and you have a tale worth telling. It takes a musical to show its grandness!

“It seems like the stars have fallen into place as we’ve been hiring our 2015 team,” said Janet Speer, artistic director of Summer Theatre. “Oliver! will be pure joy; a stage full of children and outstanding professional actors who will bring you the classic story of Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Lend Me a Tenor makes me laugh out loud just thinking about it; one of my favorites! And then there’s The Denim King: The Moses Cone Story, which is close to my heart.”

Lees-McRae Summer Theatre is committed to producing quality theatre experiences. The company serves audiences who view the productions and students who are training in their craft, as well as serving the high country community as collaborators for the betterment of our area.

In addition to online ticket sales, tickets may be purchased at the box office beginning June 17.

For more information about Summer Theatre or to purchase your tickets online, please visit lmc.edu/summertheatre.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With 950 students hailing from 31 states and more than 8 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828-898-5241.