Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will celebrate its 50th season of professional theatre with three productions during the summer months and a fourth production during the Christmas season, all directed by Saint Vincent Producing Artistic Director Greggory Brandt in honor of the Theatre’s founder, the late Fr. Tom Devereux, O.S.B.
This season will open with the popular comedy, Harvey, by Mary Chase, a show which was presented during the theatre’s first season in 1969, from May 24 to June 10.
“When Elwood P. Dowd starts to introduce his imaginary friend, Harvey, a six-and-a-half-foot rabbit, to guests at a society party, his sister, Veta, has seen as much of his eccentric behavior as she can tolerate,” Brandt commented. “She decides to have him committed to a sanitarium to spare her daughter, Myrtle Mae, and their family from future embarrassment. Problems arise, however, when Veta herself is mistakenly assumed to be on the verge of lunacy when she explains to doctors that years of living with Elwood’s hallucination have caused her to see Harvey too! It turns out that Elwood’s delusion has a strange influence on more than one of the doctors, and in the end maybe Harvey isn’t so bad after all.”
Preview performance is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24, and evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. May 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, June 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Matinee performances are at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 27, Wednesday, May 30, Sunday, June 3, Wednesday, June 6, and Sunday, June 10. There are no performances on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, or Monday, June 4.
The second show is a musical, Nunsense by Dan Goggin, from June 28 to July 15.
“Five of the 19 surviving Little Sisters of Hoboken, a one-time missionary order, discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally killed the other 52 residents of the convent with her vichyssoise,” Brandt related. “Upon discovering the disaster, Mother Superior had a vision in which she was told to start a greeting card company to raise funds for the burials. The greeting cards were an enormous success and, thinking there was plenty of money, the Reverend Mother bought some home entertainment equipment for the convent, leaving her with no money in the kitty to pay for the last four burials. With the deceased nuns on ice in the deep freeze, they decide to stage a variety show in the Mount Saint Helen’s School auditorium to raise the necessary amount. Get ready to meet Mother Superior, Mary Regina, her competitive but dignified rival, second-in-command Sister Mary Hubert, Sister Robert Anne, Sister Mary Leo, and wacky, childlike Sister Mary Amnesia, who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head. The entertainment that they present includes solo star turns, madcap dance routines and an audience quiz!”
Preview performance is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. June 29 (Gala), 30, July 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14. Matinees are at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 1, Thursday, July 5, Sunday, July 8, Wednesday, July 11, and Sunday, July 15. There are no performances on Mondays July 2 or 9, Tuesday, July 3. or Wednesday, July 4.
Leading Ladies, a farce by Ken Ludwig, will complete the summer season, Aug. 2 to 19.
“In this hilarious comedy by the author of Moon Over Buffalo and Lend Me a Tenor, two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, find themselves so down on their luck that they are performing ‘Scenes from Shakespeare’ on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania,” Brandt said. “When they hear that an old lady in York, Pennsylvania, is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and get the cash. The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out that the relatives aren’t nephews, but nieces! You can only imagine what happens next.”
Preview performance is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. Matinee performances are at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, Wednesday, Aug. 8, Sunday, Aug. 12, Wednesday, Aug. 15, or Sunday, Aug. 19. There are no performances on Mondays, Aug. 6 or 13.
Home for the Holidays: A Christmas-style Concert Celebration, created by Brandt, will have three performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16.
“This holiday revue will celebrate the Christmas season with some of your favorite holiday songs,” Brandt shared. “Home for the Holidays will feature more than 20 classic holiday selections including White Christmasand Holiday Inn as well as from memorable movies and other timeless holiday traditions. Come and hear some of your favorite holiday songs performed by top-notch Broadway performers!”
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre patrons are asked to make ticket reservations in advance because seats are reserved at all performances except Thursday evening preview shows, which are general admission. Reservations may be made by calling the theatre box office, which opens on Monday, May 7, at 724-537-8900. Theatre patrons may also make reservations online by going to www.svst.org. A credit card is required for online reservations, and such reservations are transferable, but non-refundable. An additional $1 service charge will be applied to all tickets when they are picked up from the box office.
Individual tickets are $15 for preview performances, $22 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings, $25 on Friday and Saturday evenings and $18 for matinees. Special theatre party group rates apply to groups of 20 guests or more. Senior citizens, 62 or older, are eligible for a discount upon request on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings only. Special subscription plans are also available. Four-show and three-show subscription plans are again being offered this season. In addition, student tickets along with aspiring artists are available for $12 for any seat, any performance.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre performances are all scheduled in the comfortable, air-conditioned Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center on the Saint Vincent College campus. Free trolley service will continue to be provided to and from the spacious and convenient parking areas adjacent to the Saint Vincent Basilica.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will continue to feature its well-known Cabaret, the special after-the-show reception to which all theatre patrons are invited. Saint Vincent students serve snacks, hot dogs and beverages after the production and also provide entertainment. The cabaret is open after all performances except Thursday preview shows and matinees. Theatre officials encourage donations ($5 per person) if patrons enjoy themselves at the after-the-show gathering.
The 29th annual Saint Vincent Summer Theatre Gala will be held Friday, June 29. All proceeds benefit the Saint Vincent Summer Theatre. To receive an invitation or further details, phone 724-805-2901.
A free brochure is available by contacting the Saint Vincent Theatre box office at 724 537-8900.