Annapolis troupe marking 50 seasons Theater: The Colonial Players' golden-anniversary season will feature favorite plays previously produced by the group.

August 20, 1998|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Colonial Players will launch their 50th anniversary season Sept. 4, and it includes a mix of dramas, melodramas, comedies and a musical, all of which the company previously presented.

From Sept. 4 through Oct. 3, the players will present N. Richard Nash's "The Rainmaker," a 1954 play about a con man who gives hope to drought-stricken farmers by convincing them he can make it rain. "The Rainmaker" became a 1956 film with Burt Lancaster in the title role and was first done by the Colonial Players during their 1959-1960 season.

Ernest Thompson's "On Golden Pond" arrives Oct. 23 and plays through November. Produced during the company's 1981-1982 season, the play was a 1981 Oscar-winning film starring Henry and Jane Fonda and Katherine Hepburn.

The plot concerns an adult daughter's visit to her father's summer cottage, where she tries to penetrate barriers that her stepson later surmounts to have the relationship she never had with her retired professor father.

The annual return of Richard Wade's version of Charles Dickens' "Christmas Carol," with music by former Annapolis resident Dick Gessner, will run from Dec. 3 through Dec. 13.

From Jan. 27 through Feb. 20, Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park" will be staged. First performed by Colonial Players during the 1968-1969 season, this heartwarming comedy tells of a young New York couple's love surviving the hardship of a fifth-floor, walk-up apartment. Simon's play became a 1967 movie with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford as the young couple.

March brings the season's only musical, "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living In Paris." Originally done by the players during their 1977-1978 season, this perennial favorite began as a piece of French cabaret. All the songs are by Jaques Brel with English translations by Mort Shuman and Eric Blau, who produced the show in this country. "Marathon," "Madeleine" and "I Loved" are among the show's memorable songs.

The concluding show of the season runs from April 23 through May 22 -- "Angel Street," a melodrama about a young wife confined to her home by her possessive husband, who convinces her she is ill. This 1939 British drama became the classic 1944 film "Gaslight."

Subscriptions for the season are available at $55 for adults on Friday and Saturday evenings, and $40 on Thursday evenings and Sunday matinees. On Thursdays and Sundays, student and senior subscriptions are available for $30. Subscriptions may be ordered at 410-268-7373.

Pub Date: 8/20/98

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