Gretna's summer season launches with The 1959 Dance Party, The Official Tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper (June 4-7). J.P. Richardson, the son of the Big Bopper, will portray his father in a cast that also features John Mueller as Buddy Holly and Ray Anthony as Ritchie Valens.
Following will be a production of the classic stage musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, starring offstage couple Timothy Shew (Les Miserables, Wonderful Town, The Scarlet Pimpernel) and Jane Brockman (The Light in the Piazza, A Christmas Carol, Camelot with New York Philharmonic). Stephen Nachamie will direct the Gene de Paul and Johnny Mercer musical with choreography by Judy Williams-Henry (June 11-21).
Almost Heaven – Songs of John Denver, featuring Matthew Naclerio, Allie Schauer, Elise Marie Eversole, Joe Bettles, Madeleine Clemens and Scott Johnson, is also on the bill (June 5-28). Jason Summers will direct and choreograph.
A trio of Broadway talent, including Rusty Reynolds (Miss Saigon), Teri Furr (Gypsy with Tyne Daly) and Steve Luker (42nd Street), will appear in the classic musical George M! (July 2-5). Dennis Courtney directs and choreographs.
Gretna's non-musical offering will be Cheaper by the Dozen, featuring Peter Levine and Mary Lou Barber (July 9-12). The comedy will have direction by Matthew Mazuroski. Closing the summer season will be the hit Jerry Herman musical Hello, Dolly!, starring Kathryn Kendall (42nd Street, Jerome Robbins' Broadway) as Dolly Gallagher Levi and Lew Loyd (42nd Street, 1776) as Horace Vandergelder (July 16-26). Veteran performer and Theatre World Award winner John Sheridan (Gypsy with Merman and Lansbury) will direct and choreograph.
Designing the Gretna summer season are New York designers Rob Wolin (scenic design) and Aaron Meadow (lighting design) in addition to local designers Tom Hackman (scenic), Nathan C. Gray and Dave Dorman (lighting), Kate Hopkins and Amy Johnson (costumes) and Joshua Rohrbaugh (sound).
The historic professional theatre, founded as part of the Chautauqua Movement in the late 1800's, featured early-career performances by Bernadette Peters, Barbara Walsh and Faith Prince and has played host to concerts from veterans Kaye Ballard and the late Laurie Beechman.
Tickets for the Mt. Gretna summer season are available by phoning (717) 964-3627, or by visiting GretnaTheatre. Gretna Theatre performs at the Mt. Gretna Playhouse, in Mt. Gretna, PA.