Brooke Hills Playhouse reveals for ‘Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On’

REHEARSING — Micah Underwood, from left, Shannon Box and Heidi Wood rehearse for the Brooke Hills Playhouse’s production of Roger Bean’s jukebox musical, “The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On” with classic girl group songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Performances are May 25-26 and June 1-2 at 8 p.m. and May 27 and June 3 at 2 p.m.

WELLSBURG — Officials with the Brooke Hills Playhouse has announced the cast and crew for the group’s 47th season-opening production of Roger Bean’s jukebox musical, “The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On,” a sequel to the Playhouse’s popular 2012 production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes.”

Like the previous production, “Dream On” celebrates girl groups whose songs made their mark on American popular music.

The show, which runs May 25-27 and June 1-3, features 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 installment of the Wonderettes saga, the girls return to Springfield High for the retirement of a beloved teacher in Act 1, and celebrate their 20th class reunion in the second act.

According to Playhouse veteran and director-choreographer-set designer Diana Mendel of Wellsburg, the cast includes four actors familiar to Playhouse audiences and two others making their debut on the Brooke Hills stage.

The veterans include Margaret Camilletti of Wellsburg as the tomboyish class clown of the Wonderettes, Betty Jean; Shannon Box of Wellsburg as Cindy Lou, who was considered the prettiest girl in the Class of 1958; Mike Grubick of Follansbee as Springfield High Principal Varney; and Alana Scott, also of Follansbee, in dual roles as a stage hand and a janitor. Box previously performed in Playhouse shows as Shannon Taylor.

The newcomers to the Playhouse stage are Micah Underwood of Rayland as Missy, the group’s chronic overachiever; and Hiedi Wood of Wellsburg as Suzy, Missy’s happy-go-lucky best friend.

Mendel, who directed the original production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes” in 2012, said, ‘I’m excited to return to these beloved characters with four different young women, each with her own unique approach to her character.”

The actor-singer-dancers in the cast will be backed by four well-known area musicians, including principal accompanist and keyboard player Jessica Gulisek of Belmont, with Blake Giesting of Steubenville on bass guitar, Lakin Weaver of Follansbee on saxophone and Cody Stepanek of Wellsburg on percussion.

As with all Playhouse productions, Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Reservations for all performances are available by calling or texting the Playhouse at (304) 737-3344.

After “Wonderettes,” the season continues with Ken Ludwig’s farcical look at the sillier side of golf in “Fox on the Fairway.” The show runs June 15-17 and 22-24.

The second musical of the season, “The Full Monty,” is scheduled for July 6-8 and 13-15. Adapted from the 1997 British hit film, the American stage adaptation by noted playwright Terrence McNally, with songs by David Yazbek, moves the story to Buffalo, N.Y., where some unemployed steelworkers decide to put on a Chippendales-inspired strip show, in which they promise to give their audiences “the full Monty.”

The Playhouse’s annual show for younger actors and audiences is fourth on this summer’s 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 about the unlikely friendship between a pig and a spider.

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

The Brooke Hills Playhouse is offering five main stage productions for the price of four, provided they order 2018 season passes by May 25. The passes are priced at $48 for adults, $40 for senior citizens and students, and $32 for children under 12,” she said.

After the Playhouse’s 47th summer season begins on May 25, ticket prices for individual shows 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, $11 for students and seniors and $9 for children for musicals.

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 and students and children under 12.