WMC troupe puts musical twist on 'The Princess and the Pea'


July 15, 1996|By Lois Szymanski | Lois Szymanski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE PROFESSIONAL SUMMER COMPANY in residence at Western Maryland College is stirring up a lot of fun with new productions at the Theatre on the Hill (TOTH).

"The Princess and the Pea" is a production that children are sure to enjoy. This version of the classic fable includes audience participation and original music.

The prince's search for a true princess is complicated when a young woman claiming to be a princess has to be tested.

The test? Can she feel the discomfort of a single pea through a pile of bedding?

Although based on the original story, TOTH's version has been adapted by Ray Ficca and Sean Fri.

Ficca is a New York resident in his fourth year with TOTH. He is also directing the production. Fri is from New York, where he performs in a variety of productions.

The TOTH version of the story adds several characters and three songs written by Ficca and Fri.

After the queen doubts the princess's identity because she has been found outside in the pouring rain, the queen sings a song called, "Think, Think, Think," wondering what she can put under the bedding to test the young girl's sensitivity.

Many who are fans of the princess suggest large items, such as a watermelon. But the chancellor suggests a pea.

The chancellor is played by Western Maryland College sophomore Ryan Keough.

During the production, the princess, played by Lindsey Higgs, a Westminster resident and recent graduate of Westminster High School, sings a touching ballad titled, "If I Wasn't a Princess." The prince gets an original song, too. When he sings "I Can't Find Her Anywhere," listeners get a lesson in geography.

"The song lists cities and countries from around the globe, places the prince has searched for a princess," said Don Schumaker, a public information officer at Western Maryland College.

"The story is not a musical," he added, "but it has had original music added because children love music and respond well to it. It has the same premise and story line as the original production, but Theatre on the Hill has added some special touches of their own."

The show will run Saturday and July 27 and August 3, 10 and 17. All Saturday matinee performances begin at 2 p.m. Seats cost $5.

"Greater Tuna" will rock the stage of the Dorothy Elderdice Understage Theatre with laughter, beginning Saturday. The stage is located beneath the main stage in Alumni Hall.

According to Schumaker, "Greater Tuna is a finger-licking comedy in the tradition of Jeff Foxworthy."

This two-man show gives the audience a peek at the lives of folks who live in a west central Texas town called Tuna. Two radio show hosts, Thurston Wheelis, played by Ficca, and Arles Sturvie, played by Joshua Perilo, provide the thread that runs through the comedy.

Their radio show is responsible for keeping things stirred up and provides a backdrop for other characters, whom they also play.

There's the priest who talks in cliches, the guy who sees UFOs, the woman who can't say no to adopting a dog and the woman who hates dogs so much she's ready to go into therapy to deal with that hatred.

Then there's Di Di, who runs the local used weapons store, and her husband, R.R., the town drunk. These are just a few of the funny characters that will come on stage in a comedy that includes 20 costume changes!

Tickets for TOTH's version of "Greater Tuna," a long-running New York comedy, cost $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, and $7 for children under 12.

Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. July 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 and Aug. 7 and 14 and at 7: 30 p.m. July 21 and Aug. 4 and 11..

Stop by and enjoy the productions at Westminster's own Theatre on the Hill.

Pub Date: 7/15/96

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