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Set in the Roaring Twenties, “The Boy Friend” by Sandy Wilson Is a Light-and-Lively Musical at RLT

Raleigh Little Theatre will present "The Boy Friend" on June 8-10, 14-17, and 21-24 in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre

Raleigh Little Theatre will present "The Boy Friend" on June 8-10, 14-17, and 21-24 in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre

Long-time Raleigh Little Theatre artistic director Haskell Fitz-Simons will stage a community-theater production of English composer and lyricist Sandy Wilson’s 1954 musical comedy/romance, The Boy Friend, on June 8-10, 14-17, and 21-24 in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre. The Boy Friend premiered in 1953 in London’s West End, and made its Broadway debut in 1954.

According to Raleigh Little Theatre:

“Though written in 1954, the light-and-lively spoof is set in the carefree world of the French Riviera during the Roaring Twenties.  A comic pastiche of Jazz Age musicals, the sparkling farce plants its tongue firmly in cheek while beguiling audiences with catchy tunes (‘I Could Be Happy with You’) and period dances, including the latest craze, the ‘Charleston.’

“The musical’s original 1953 London production ran for 2,078 performances and opened on Broadway at the Royale Theatre on September 30, 1954, closing on November 26, 1955 after 485 performances.  Newcomer Julie Andrews made her Broadway debut as Polly, with a cast including Millicent Martin [as Nancy].  For her introduction on Broadway, Andrews received the [1955] Theatre World Award.  She was ‘discovered’ by My Fair Lady producers during her appearance in this play.  Cast in the lead for My Fair Lady, Andrews catapulted to fame on Broadway and film.

“Set entirely at Mme. Dubonnet’s School for Young Ladies, the light-hearted spoof features the usual cast of giggling girls, mistaken identities, young love, old flames, and even an aging roué.  Amid flappers and fluttering hearts, the wild 1920s are brought to life through spirited song and dance, and the popular show promises a delightful evening for young and old alike.

“The Raleigh Little Theatre production opens Friday, June 8th, and is directed by Haskell Fitz-Simons, RLT‘s artistic director of nearly 30 years.  The stellar cast features both RLT veterans and newcomers.”

Misha Nikitine as Bobby and Sarah Winter as Maisie (photo by Stuart Wagner)

Misha Nikitine as Bobby and Sarah Winter as Maisie (photo by Stuart Wagner)

The Raleigh Little Theatre cast for The Boy Friend includes Sarah Moore as Polly, Joshua Broadhurst as Tony, Misha Nikitine as Bobby, Sarah Winter as Maisie, Alison Lawrence as Mme. Dubonnet, John Adams as Percival Browne, Tony Hefner as Lord Brockhurst, Kate Tonner as Lady Brockhurst, Sarah Gordon as Fay/Lolita, Christina Hunt as Dulcie, Lauren Hussey as Nancy, Paige Harper as Hortense, Elisha Garcia as Pierre/Pepe, Bruce Stewart as Garcon, Bruce Mashburn as Alphonse, and T.J. Broadhurstas Marcel.

Also according to Raleigh Little Theatre:

“For the first time in several years, [we] will host performances in the Louise ‘Scottie’ Stephenson Amphitheatre on Sunday evenings after performances of The Boy Friend. Raleigh Concert Band [http://www.thercb.org/] presents ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses,’ an all-Broadway program including selections from Gypsy, A Little Night Music, and Funny Girl on June 10th. The Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra [http://www.carolinajazz.com/wp/] presents a Father’s Day program on June 17th (rain date: June 24th) to honor ‘Uncle Paul’ Montgomery [1924-2002], the beloved Raleigh radio and TV entertainer and jazz pianist. The program will include Basie, Ellington, and the singing of Kathy Montgomery Gelb. Both shows start at 7 p.m., and tickets are only $5.”

In addition to director Haskell Fitz-Simons, the Raleigh Little Theatre creative team for The Boy Friend includes choreographer Nancy Rich, assistant choreographer April Grossi, musical director Julie A. Florin, technical director Jim Zervas, scenic and lighting designer and properties manager Thomas Mauney, costume and wig designer Vicki Olson, sound engineer Todd Houseknecht, and stage manager Scott Wray.

Raleigh Little Theatre presents THE BOY FRIEND at 8 p.m. June 8 and 9, 3 p.m. June 10, 8 p.m. June 14-16, 3 p.m. June 17, 8 p.m. June 21-23, and 3 p.m. June 24 in the Cantey V. Sutton Main Stage Theatre, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.

TICKETS: $22 ($18 students and seniors 62+), except all tickets $12 on June 10th.

BOX OFFICE: 919/821-3111 or http://www.etix.com/.

SHOW: http://raleighlittletheatre.org/shows/11-12/boyfriend.html.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.raleighlittletheatre.org/.

DIRECTIONS/MAP: http://raleighlittletheatre.org/about/map-directions.html.

PARKING: http://raleighlittletheatre.org/about/parking.html.

NOTE 1: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh (http://www.artsaccessinc.org/) will audio describe the 3 p.m. June 10th performance.

NOTE 2: All shows are wheelchair accessible, and assistive listening devices are available for all shows.

OTHER LINKS:

The Musical: http://www.mtishows.com/show_detail.asp?showid=000013 (Music Theatre International), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boy_Friend (Wikipedia), http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?ID=2169 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066858/ (Internet Movie Database).

Sandy Wilson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Wilson (Wikipedia).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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