The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 18, 2014

Cresson Lake to open 40th year with annual educational festival

LORETTO — Area theatergoers will tell you that top-notch entertainment can be found in their own backyards.

Cresson Lake Playhouse will once again please audiences at bargain prices.

“We look forward to a wonderful season, especially since we will be marking our 40th anniversary,” said Elaine Mastalski, playhouse executive director.

“Plans are still in the works on how we are going to mark the occasion.”

Annual festival

The community theater company opens with its annual Children’s Theater Educational Festival.

The event, which runs from late April through early May, gives children ages 5 to 10 the experience of a theatrical production coupled with an educational fair.

The festival, which runs April 27, May 1–4, May 7–10, will give children the experience of a theatrical production coupled with an educational fair. It is for children ages 5 to 10.

The production is the Disney version of “101 Dalmatians.”

Open to adults

The two performances open to adults will be April 27 and May 4. Tickets for these two public performances are $5 for children younger than 12 and $10 for adults.

Human owners Robert and Anita live happily with Dalmatian parents Pongo and Perdita as they raise their Dalmatian puppies. Everything is quiet until the evil Cruella De Vil, Anita’s former classmate, plots to steal the puppies for her new fur coat.

Admission for day performances for schools is $4 for students and $7 for adults. Teachers are admitted free.

Regular season

The regular theater season opens May 22 with “9 to 5, The Musical,” a hilarious story of friendship and revenge.

Pushed to the boiling point by their boss, three female co-workers concoct a plan to get even with the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot they call their boss. They conspire to take control of their company and learn there’s nothing they can’t do – even in a man’s world.

“For those who enjoyed the movie with Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, they will certainly enjoy our production because they are quite similar,” Mastalski said.

Classic story

The season continues with another musical, “Disney’s Camp Rock,” which will open June 19.

A classic story of rivalry and power opens with Mitchie and her friends arriving at Camp Rock, ready to spend another summer jamming out and having the time of their lives. But the new, flashy Camp Star across the lake now threatens Camp Rock’s very existence.

“We view this as a sequel to ‘High School Musical,’ which we did several years ago,” Mastalski said.

Love story

July 24 will be the opening of “West Side Story.”

The musical tells a love story that takes to the streets in one of the theater’s finest accomplishments.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City, as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the “American” Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks.

“This is a timeless classic from 1956 and is considered to be a true American classic production,” Mastalski said.

Some of the unforgettable songs in the show are “Maria,” “Tonight,” “Somewhere” and “I Feel Pretty.”

Special production

A special production at the playhouse will be “I Remember Mama,” which will come to the stage on Aug. 28.

“As Cresson Lake celebrates its 40th anniversary, we will offer ‘I Remember Mama,’ which was the first show produced at the barn theater in 1974,” said Mastalski.

The playhouse officials will pay tribute to founder Eleanor Lantzy’s vision to bring theater to the patrons of the central Pennsylvania region.

The story tells how Mama, with the help of her husband and Uncle Chris, brings up the children in their modest San Francisco home during the early years of the 20th century.

Fall feature

Cresson Lake’s fall production will feature a first when it debuts “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in October.

The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the bee, run by three equally-quirky grown-ups.

“This production has adult content and is not suitable for young audiences,” Mastalski said.

Season tickets are available at $40 for students and $50 for adults and are available by calling 472-4333.

The subscription series includes productions of “9 to 5 – The Musical,” “Disney’s Camp Rock,” “West Side Story” and “I Remember Mama.”

“We offer quality entertainment at low admission prices, making these performances family-friendly,” Mastalski said.

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