Bowie Playhouse welcomes another theater company

February 09, 2007|By MARY JOHNSON | MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun

Begun as an all-volunteer organization offering high-quality productions, Prince George's Little Theatre has moved to the 150-seat Bowie Playhouse for its 47th season.

A nonprofit amateur organization, it joins two other performing arts groups - Bowie Community Theatre and 2nd Star Productions - at the city of Bowie's recently renovated playhouse.

"It is a goal of the Bowie Playhouse to provide quality live theater family entertainment to the citizens of Bowie at affordable prices," said master theater lighting and sound technician and all-around arts supporter Garrett Hyde. "We had a production meeting for Prince George's Little Theatre's Side by Side by Sondheim, and I'm excited both about the show and the fact that we have another well-established group doing quality musicals at the Bowie Playhouse."

Another benefit of having three production companies at the Playhouse, Hyde said, is the increased performing opportunities for residents of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties.

Roy Peterson, president of Prince George's Little Theatre, is pleased to share space with the two companies, saying, "We knew this situation would be perfect for us, since the majority of our members, performers, directors and patrons come from Anne Arundel County and the northeastern section of Prince George's County. With the theater practically sitting on the border between both counties, we knew this would be a wonderful opportunity to increase the number of quality theater productions available to residents of both counties and the city of Bowie."

The Little Theatre most recently staged Merry Christmas, George Bailey, a 1940s radio show version of It's a Wonderful Life. Its next production at Bowie Playhouse will be Side by Side by Sondheim, running Feb. 16 to March 3. The revue in two acts, which demonstrates the wit and insight of Broadway's most influential artist, will be produced by Peterson and James and Carol Baldwin and directed by Ron Wilder; the musical director is Mac Fancher.

"This is a director's dream for me," Wilder said. "I get to stage so many of Sondheim's masterpieces, along with some lesser-known songs. I would never be able to direct all of the shows represented in this revue. Some are never produced, and all are a delight.

"As I've worked on the show, I've remembered some people saying that Sondheim can't write a melody," Wilder said. "Listening to "Anyone Can Whistle," "Send in the Clowns," "Losing My Mind" or "I Remember" persuades me to ask the audience to be the judge of Sondheim's delightful music."

Performance dates at the Bowie Playhouse in White Marsh Park are 8 p.m. Feb. 16, 17, 23, 24 and March 2 and 3; and 2 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. Call 301-937-7458 for reservations and information.

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