It’s been on her “bucket list” for ages, according to Laurie Helmers, director of this summer’s Brave Community Theatre musical. She’s referring to the Broadway classic, “Mame,” which will come alive on the Spring Valley Community Center stage Aug. 13 to 16 during the Ag Days celebration.
Featuring a cast of 27 and an orchestra directed by Andrew Lovejoy, audiences will be delighted by this adaption of the story that was first a book, then a stage production, then a musical, then a film.
“It’s not performed very often because of its extensive requirements for set changes and a room full of costumes. It is a demanding show,” said Helmers. “We’ve tamed those elements down to something manageable for the Spring Valley production and yet the essence of fun and adventure is there.”
Set in New York and spanning the Great Depression and World War II, it focuses on eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis. Her fabulous life with her wealthy friends is interrupted when the young son of her late brother arrives to live with her. They cope with the Depression in a series of adventures. Rosalind Russell, Angela Lansbury and Lucille Ball are just a few of the famous women who have lent their talent to the title character.
The addition of an orchestra was a decision made by the Brave Community Theatre board at the suggestion of Helmers.
“We are excited to add this element to our show, it’s a challenging undertaking but fortunately Andrew Lovejoy has the experience and expertise to pull it off,” said Craig Cornell, president of BCT.
Both cast and orchestra drew from Spring Valley residents but also from the area, including Rochester. “There will be many new faces under the lights,” said Helmers. “We are pleased to bring this quality entertainment to Ag Days.”
Children who participated in BCT Kidz Kamp, under the direction of Ashley Cleveland will present a short show at 6 p.m. each evening. The presentation is free and open to the public.
The cast includes Bruce Adams, Patricia Barrier, Bob and Marcy Capelle, Craig and Shelly Cornell, John, Laurie and Myatt Helmers, Rochelle Hovde, William Jahn, Kristy Kinneberg, Zachary Klein, Sarah Kohn, Nathan Lange, Isabella Loutfi, Corey Marzolf, Novella Meisner, Julie Mlinar, Linda Niemeyer, Stephanie Osterhus, Randy Peterson, Trey Pokorney, MaryAnn Schultz, Samantha Siskow and Loel Wessel. Set and costumes are by Debi Neville and Trish Cudney.
Tickets are available at Sunshine Foods and at the door, $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and students. Brave Community Theatre is a 501(c)3 established in 1972.