Show promises fun and surprises

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 21, 2007

A school guidance counselor singing of the groovy times of Aquarius. A city councilman swabbing the deck as a lonesome sailor who dreams of lovely &#8220dames.” An Episcopal priest nicknamed &#8220Father Fuzz” who plays the drums.

Did we mention a certain judge who yodels in the most unique way (and buck dances, too)?

These are just a few of the treats in store for those who attend &#8220Puttin' on the Ritz,” the musical extravaganza debuting at the historic Ritz Theatre Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28.

By the way, those colorful characters mentioned above are, respectively, Starla Jones of Fort Dale Academy; Councilman Tommy Ryan; Father Fred Lindstrom and District Judge MacDonald Russell.

They and scores of other locals have been singing, dancing and hamming up a storm in recent weeks as they prepare for the upcoming show, the premiere fundraiser for the Greenville Area Arts Council.

 Both a show band and bluegrass band will provide live music; an array of sumptuous costumes is being completed for the production.

It's an event you won't want to miss, those in the know say.

&#8220Charlie (Kennedy, musical director) is right. Just hearing Mack yodel alone is worth the price of a ticket,” said cast member Harriet Foshee during Thursday night's full cast rehearsal.

From the Depression-era down-home tunes of &#8220O Brother, Where Art Thou?” to the light-hearted sophistication of &#8220Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend” and the rip-roaring cyclone of &#8220Oklahoma!” POTR offers something for everyone with its mixture of 18 hit Broadway and movie songs, plus one or two special surprises along the way.

&#8220The cast, crew and musicians have all been just wonderful,” said director Nancy Idland.

&#8220I am so proud of them and all their hard work.”

Cast members, who have practiced in small groups previously, clapped and cheered each other on at the full cast rehearsal, some seeing their fellow POTR performers take the stage for the first time.

&#8220This has been so much fun. I am getting more and more excited about the show,” Foshee said with a grin.

Tickets, which are $20 for adults and $15 for students, are available for either Friday or Saturday night and can be purchased in advance at Grayson's or The Pineapple in Greenville.

Twenty percent of the ticket revenue goes to the city; the balance will be used to pay artistic fees for the upcoming GAAC season.

Seating is not assigned for either night, so Idland recommends arriving early &#8220for a great seat.” The curtain rises at 7 p.m.