#039;Seven Brides#039; coming to Ritz

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2005

What began life as a short story by Stephen Crane of &uot;The Red Badge of Courage&uot; fame, became a B-list back lot movie musical hit at MGM, was turned into a short-lived television series in the 1960s and then took to the stage as a Broadway musical in the 80s?

&uot;Seven Brides for Seven Brothers&uot;, of course.

The rip-roarin’, romance-filled, action-packed musical is about to make its way to the Camellia City, complete with a live orchestra. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15 at the Ritz Theatre downtown.

&uot;Seven Brides&uot;, a slightly belated Valentine’s gift to the city, is the final production presented by the Greenville Area Arts Council (GAAC) during their 2004-2005 season.

The musical is the story of a young waitress who is swept off her feet by the eldest of seven brothers who live in the Oregon Territory of the 1850s. Little does the new bride realize she will be expected to cook, clean and mother her spouse’s six single brothers, a bunch of rough-edged lumberjacks who behave like overgrown adolescents.

She hatches a plan to get the six married off – only they have different ideas. The six decide to rush off to the nearest town to kidnap the young ladies they fancy – and conflict and comedy ensue.

The story line is based loosely on Crane’s story &uot;The Sobbin’ Women&uot;. The 1954 MGM movie musical starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell was an unexpected box office hit, as well as a critical success for the studio. Songs include &uot;Bless Yore Beautiful Hide&uot; and &uot;The Sobbin’ Women&uot;.

Roberta Gamble of the GAAC is certain the stage version of the musical will be a hit with local audiences, too.

&uot;We think this will be a wonderful show for the entire family. We are thrilled to have a live orchestra performing the tunes, too – it makes for such a special theatrical experience,&uot; says Gamble.

Tickets are $20 each for adults and $15 for students, and are available for advance purchase at The Pineapple downtown. For more information

contact Roberta Gamble at 382-3414.