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Story Archives: Strauss season packed with hits
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|Strauss season packed with hits|
By Michael DeVault
Dennis Gleason can barely contain his excitement when he tells people about the upcoming season of shows at Strauss Theatre Center.
As Gleason begins his third season as artistic director at Strauss Theatre's MainStage, he has just set the cast of the 2008-2009 season's first show, the Broadway hit Fantasticks.
"The Fantasticks ran for more than 40 years in New York and is still running today," said Gleason of the show, pointing out that The New York Times called "Fresh and sweet in a civilized way, captivating with a style that is entrancing."
The Fantasticks has been continuously running in New York for more than 42 years and boasts beloved songs like "Try to Remember" and tells the stories of young lovers, quarrelling fathers, and it even has a troubadour, Gleason said.
So far, Gleason has cast the show's six principle actors and expects to cast the remaining characters during the next few days.
Gleason said the show's multi-talented cast should provide audiences with a few familiar faces.
Tony Bayles will serve as the show's narrator, tying together the various stories. Scott Flanagan and Lauren Matherne return to Strauss, appearing as the Boy and the Girl, after starring in several productions last season.
Strauss veteran Michael Steele will play a retired actor opposite Troy Wold as the Indian. Rounding out the cast is Dixie Theatre and Strauss veteran Dennis Mitchell.
Fantasticks opens Sept. 11 and runs through Sept. 28. Memberships are on sale now for the entire season and Gleason pointed out they are reasonably priced.
Gleason said the 2008-09 season would be sure to delight audiences with a full schedule of top-shelf shows.
"This is our season of blockbusters," Gleason said. "Most of these shows have had extensive runs, not only in New York but throughout the entire world."
The remaining shows on the 2008-09 season are: Ladies First, a comedy about first ladies; the Neil Simon classic The Sunshine Boys; Smoke on the Mountain, a musical packed with gospel and bluegrass; and Same Time Next Year, one of the longest running Broadway plays in history.
For more information or to join Strauss Theatre Center's MainStage, call the box office at (318) 323-6681.