Lots of Laughs at Brooke Hills Season; Auditions Saturday

The Brooke Hills Playhouse has finalized plans for their 47th summer season. According to Julia Barnhart of Wellsburg, president of the Playhouse’s parent organization, the Brooke County Arts Council, “Our audiences love to laugh, and we’ll be bringing them a lot of laughs this summer, with three comedies and two musical comedies.”

The season opens May 25-27 and June 1-3 with the jukebox musical, “The Marvelous Wonderettes Dream On,” created by Roger Bean, and featuring popular songs from the 1960s and ’70s, including “I Know a Place/Downtown,” “L-O-V-E” and “When Will I Be Loved.”

In this latest installment in the Wonderettes saga, the girls return to Springfield High for the retirement of a beloved teacher, and return in the second act for their 20th class reunion.

The second play of the summer is Ken Ludwig’s farcical look at the sillier side of golf in “Fox on the Fairway,” in which the stuffy members of the Quail Valley Golf and Country Club retire to the club’s Tap Room for a tale of mistaken identities, slamming doors and over-the-top romantic hijinks. The show will run June 15-17 and 22-24.

The second musical of the summer, “The Full Monty,” is scheduled for July 6-8 and 13-15. Adapted from the 1997 British cult hit film, the American adaptation by noted playwright Terrence McNally moves the story to Buffalo, N.Y., where some unemployed steelworkers decide to do their own Chippendales-inspired strip show, but with the twist of doing “the full Monty,” getting totally naked on stage. The show features songs by David Yazbek.

The Playhouse’s annual show for younger actors and audiences is fourth on the summer schedule, with performances July 27-29 and Aug. 3-5. This year’s youth production will be “Charlotte’s Web,” Joseph Robinette’s funny and poignant stage adaptation of E. B. White’s children’s classic.

This tale of friendship among farm animals who work together to prevent Wilbur the pig from becoming someone’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, spotlights Charlotte the spider, whose heroic efforts inspire the whole barnyard.

The 47th season will conclude Aug. 17-19 and 24-26 with “Farce of Habit,” the sequel to last summer’s hit production of “Farce of Nature” by Jessie James, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten. This time Arkansas’ Reel ‘Em Inn is invaded by a group of nuns on a nature retreat.

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As owner D. Gene Willburn tries to overcome his sphenisciphobia (fear of nuns and their religious habits) and his wife, Wanelle, is going through withdrawal from her caffeine habit, they also face the “storm of the century” and an axe murderer on the loose.

All Friday and Saturday performances will be at 8 p.m., and all Sunday performances will be 2 p.m. matinees.

Auditions for the first three shows of the summer will be held Saturday, April 7, at the Brooke Hills Park Clubhouse. Auditions for “Fox on the Fairway” will begin at 10 a.m. followed by “The Marvelous Wonderettes Dream On” at noon and “The Full Monty” at 2 p.m.

Dates, times and locations for auditions for the rest of the 2018 season shows will be announced at a later date.

The script for “Fox on the Fairway” calls for three females and three males, while the cast for “The Marvelous Wonderettes Dream On” has parts for four females. “The Full Monty” offers roles for 12 adult males, one boy and eight women. Actors will be asked to read selections from the script. No advance preparation is necessary. Those trying out for the musicals also will be required to bring their own pre-recorded accompaniment.

Anyone unable to audition at the scheduled date and time should call or text the Playhouse at 304-737-3344 by Friday, April 6, to make other arrangements or to leave questions about any of the shows.

Barnhart noted that Playhouse patrons can see all five main stage productions this summer for the price of four, if they order 2016 season passes by May 26. “It’s a real bargain for audience members, at $48 for adults, $40 for senior citizens and students, and $32 for children under 12,” she said.

Once the season begins, ticket prices at the box office will be $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and students and $7 for children for non-musicals, and $13 for adults, $11for seniors and students and $9 for children for the musical.

Patrons may order their advance season passes by sending a check or money order, payable to The Brooke County Arts Council, along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope, to P. O. Box 186, Wellsburg WV 26070. Patrons are asked to specify how many passes they are ordering for adults, senior citizens, students and children under 12.  All pre-season orders must be received by Friday, May 25.