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HCA hosts musicals, comedies for hot summer nights

by | Aug 1, 2022 | Featured, Featured: Features

“Seussical Jr.”

Enter Stage Left Theater actors rehearse for “Seussical Jr.” It’s one of the three productions being staged in August at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. PHOTO/ENTER STAGE LEFT THEATER

Two musicals and a handful of original comedies combined into one production will provide entertainment for all ages at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts every weekend in August. Enter Stage Left Theater, HCA’s resident theater company, will put on “Seussical Jr.,” “Little Women The Musical” and “A Play, A Pint & A Pie.”

“ESL [Enter Stage Left] has been putting on summer stock performances for the past 14 to 15 years,” said HCA Executive Director Kelly Grill. “The productions draw really talented students who are serious about their work. It is a learning process for them. Besides performing, they help with everything from sets to costumes. And for audiences, these shows are wonderful.”

ESL veterans Eric Balboni and Alyssa Surrette will direct the musicals.

“Seussical Jr.” kicks off the month on Friday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m., when Dr. Seuss’ beloved characters — Horton the Elephant, Cat in the Hat and more — come to life onstage singing and cavorting in Circus McGurkus and beyond. Families with young ones and the young at heart can take in the musical extravaganza outdoors, so bring a lawn chair or blanket.

“Little Women The Musical” will offer a different take on the classic story written by Louisa May Alcott about her life growing up in Concord. The well-loved characters of Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth March along with their mother, Marmee, neighbor Laurie and others will fill the stage with song, laughter, tears and the strength of the human spirit. “It runs for two weekends and is just an outstanding production,” said Grill. “Little Women” will be performed inside the Delbridge Family Performance Space at 7:30 p.m. the weekends of Aug. 12-13 and Aug. 19-20. A special dress rehearsal will be offered at a reduced ticket price of $10 per person for senior citizens on Thursday, Aug. 11.

The month of productions winds up on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 6:30 p.m. with the second annual “A Play, A Pint & A Pie.” Based on the tradition of the Glasgow (Scotland) theater, the one-night only outdoor event for ages 13 and up will offer five one-act comedies from writers nationwide. Each play lasts about 15-20 minutes. “Audiences loved last year’s performance, so we had to bring it back for another year,” said Grill.

This year one of the comedies was written by Hopkinton resident Elizabeth Farris. The others were written by two California playwrights, one from Colorado and one by another Massachusetts writer. Besides having their work performed, the playwrights also will be competing for cash prizes awarded via judges and audience votes.

In addition to the entertainment, audience members 21 and older will enjoy a pint of ale while root beer will be available for those who are younger, along with a meat or vegetarian pie from Thwaites Market in Methuen. Make sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy the show.

Tickets for all the shows plus more information can be obtained by visiting HopArtsCenter.org, calling 508-435-9222 or stopping by the box office at 98 Hayden Rowe Street. Free admission is available by using the HCA pass, which may be borrowed at the Hopkinton Public Library and for EBT cardholders through the statewide Card to Culture program.

In case of inclement weather, the outdoor programs will be moved inside the Delbridge Family Performance Space.