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Prizery announces line up for Summer Theatre

What do a fairy godmother, “Red, White & Blue Gala” and the Gospel of  Matthew have in common? All will be entertaining crowds in Halifax County this summer. 

The Prizery this week announced its line-up for Summer Theatre Celebration 2012. 

The celebration begins June 21 when the curtain will rise on the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” for 11 performances. This age-old story concerns a young woman forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother and self-centered stepsisters, who dreams of a better life. With the help of her fairy godmother, Cinderella is transformed into a princess and finds her prince. 

Chris Jones, artistic director, has promised a few surprises with this show. 

“We are excited to be doing ‘Cinderella,’ as they are currently developing a revival for Broadway. As always, you will see some amazing local talent on our stage as well as some cast members returning from past seasons. Come and enjoy our version of ‘Cinderella’ and let us surprise you!”

When the curtain finally goes down on “Cinderella,” the theatre will echo with tunes celebrating the founding of our great county with the opening of the “Red, White and Blue Gala” that opens on the 5th of July. 

This fundraising event for The Prizery will feature American patriotic music with a sprinkling of Broadway show tunes. 

“This show will allow us to focus on the amazing voices of our cast, both local and professional and celebrate the 236 birthday of our great nation, which seems appropriate during this election year,” Jones said.

Currently running on Broadway is the critically acclaimed “Godspell,” but one doesn’t have to go to New York to hear the chart-topping “Day by Day,” they can hear it in South Boston. 

The musical is structured around a series of parables, based on the Gospel of Matthew (though three of the parables featured are recorded only in the Gospel of Luke). These are then interspersed with a variety of modern music set primarily to lyrics from traditional hymns, with the passion of Christ treated briefly near the end of the performance. 

The word “Gospel” is derived from Anglo Saxon “Gódspell” (ca AD 1000), which means “good word.”

 “I know the community is going to enjoy this show, and I hope that each member of our audience with take a little of the ‘good word’ home with them,” Jones said. 

Jones said it was his faith in the community that helped to select this show after the success of the kick-starter event that helped to raise over $25,000 to make the Summer Theatre Celebration a reality. 

According to Community Arts Center Foundation President Alison Streeter, the Community Arts Center Foundation Board had decided to eliminate the Summer Theatre Celebration as a cost-saving option. 

However, once word spread, the community and former actors and crew from the summer shows mobilized to seed the funding effort. 

“It was not only heartwarming but inspiring to see the reaction of those who had entertained us over the past summer and members of the community spring into action and come to the aid of The Prizery to make summer theatre possible. The generosity of the community never ceases to amaze me,” Streeter said. 

She added last summer, the second season, welcomed four Broadway musicals to the Chastain Theatre and brought more than 4,000 patrons from 15 states to historic downtown South Boston. 

The community sees the impact that The Prizery has financially and understands the benefit that it adds and for that we are very grateful, Streeter stated. 

Summer Theatre Celebration 2012 is underwritten by Halifax Regional Health System, Dominion Power and Commons Grounds.

“Cinderella” opens June 21 and runs through July 1. “Red, White & Blue Gala” is July 5, 6 at 7:30 and July 7 at 3. “Godspell” opens July 13 and closes on July 21. Tickets are on sale now at The Prizery box office at 700 Bruce Street 434-572-8339 or on-line at www.prizery.com.