Musicals, Shakespeare, laughs & cows: 15 shows at Cape Cod theaters

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There are shows on theater stages (and a beach!) from Provincetown to Falmouth this week, with new ones opening in Wellfleet, Brewster, West Harwich and Falmouth. The productions represent writers from Stephen Sondheim to Noel Coward, Greek tragedy to kids shows, plus, in Provincetown, a world premiere and a Broadway star.

Never-before-seen plays are also being developed through staged readings with the unique Cape Cod Theatre Project back in person in Falmouth. First up June 30-July 2 at Falmouth Academy (7 Highfield Drive) is "The Violet Sisters" by Gina Femia. Information on the season: https://capecodtheatreproject.org/ and see our related story.

Sybil Chase (Ali Rose Dachis) and Victor Prynne (Duane Boutte) are about to do serious pillow battle as the astonished Elyot Chase (Chris Thorn) and Amanda Prynne (Charlotte Bydwell) look on in the Cape Playhouse production of "Private Lives."
Sybil Chase (Ali Rose Dachis) and Victor Prynne (Duane Boutte) are about to do serious pillow battle as the astonished Elyot Chase (Chris Thorn) and Amanda Prynne (Charlotte Bydwell) look on in the Cape Playhouse production of "Private Lives."

On our website at www.capecodtimes.com/entertainment, you'll find what our reviewers have to say and recommend about shows continuing this weekend: "Private Lives" at Cape Playhouse in Dennis; "Lady Hamlet," at Provincetown Theater; "Buried Child" at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater; "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" at Cotuit Center for the Arts; and "Kiss Me Kate" at College Light Opera Company in Falmouth.

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CLOC is also due to open its next five-night musical, "No, No Nanette" on Tuesday, July 5; http://www.collegelightoperacompany.com/. In the middle of the Jazz Age, when Nanette wants to go live the high life with her friends in Atlantic City, she's told "No" by everyone but sneaks away anyway for an adventure. A pre-show lecture at the July 8 performance will reveal how a 1971 revival of the show changed the face of Broadway.

And Cape Playhouse moves into its next show, "Always ... Patsy Cline" on Wednesday, July 6. For more on that production and what else is coming up, read on:

Shows indoors/outdoors at WHAT

A Sondheim you may not have heard

In a tribute to composer/lyricist Sondheim, who died last year, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater will present “Marry Me a Little,” a revue conceived by Craig Lucas and Norman René featuring “trunk songs” that were dropped from final productions of “Anyone Can Whistle,” “Follies,” “Company,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “A Little Night Music.”

The show stars Sam Perwin and Brittany Rolfs as two New York singles stuck in solitary apartments who sing of fantasies and yearning on a lonely Saturday night. Kevin Quill makes his WHAT debut as music director and accompanist.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays July 1-22 indoors on the Julie Harris Stage at WHAT, (2357 State Highway, Route 6). Tickets: $25-$40, with discounts for seniors and students; 508-349-9428, http://www.what.org/.

Young chefs 'cook a meal' with audience help

A summer of family theater through Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater’s WHAT for Kids shows begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, featuring the new commissioned show “How to Cook Up a Good Idea” by MJ Halberstadt outdoors in the Larry Phillips Performance Pavilion (2357 State Highway, Route 6).

The interactive comedy, directed by Amie Lytle, will feature the young artists of WHAT’s Professional Development Internship Program in a story about friendship, mistakes, apologies, forgiveness and the pressures of being an 8-year-old restaurant owner. This imaginary restaurant includes a secret magical pot that bubbles over with good ideas — suggested by the audience — that help when the littlest chef is stumped.

The shows, written and designed to be a shared experience for all ages, will continue at 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays through Aug. 11. Tickets: $12. Reservations and information: 508-349-9428, http://www.what.org/.

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Three shows outdoors at Cape Rep

From left, Alison Weller, Trish LaRose and Maura Hanlon star in Cape Rep Theatre's 2018 production of the musical "Mamma Mia." The women will reunite to reprise their roles in the 2022 production of the musical in Cape Rep's outdoor theater.
From left, Alison Weller, Trish LaRose and Maura Hanlon star in Cape Rep Theatre's 2018 production of the musical "Mamma Mia." The women will reunite to reprise their roles in the 2022 production of the musical in Cape Rep's outdoor theater.

A Broadway musical revival with familiar faces

Most summer evenings at Cape Rep Theatre’s 200-seat outdoor theater in Brewster will be filled with the musical sounds of “Mamma Mia,” a lively romance based on the songs of ABBA — from “Dancing Queen” to “Super Trouper” — and written in part by band members by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.

Back from the company’s 2018 production of the Broadway musical will be Trish LaRose as Donna Sheridan, a single mom living on a Greek island whose daughter (Chelsey Jo Ristaino) has three possible dads from a romantic summer years ago, plus associate artists Alison Weller and Maura Hanlon as Donna’s best friends. The cast also includes familiar Cape Rep actors Anthony Teixeira, Jared Hagan and Ari Lew as the three possible dads.

The show, directed and choreographed by Dani Davis with musical direction by Sarah Pool Wilhelm, will be performed at 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays July 6 through Aug. 14 at the theater at 3299 Main St./Route 6A. Tickets: $40.

Puppets and cows

Cape Rep is offering its Summer Children’s Show Series at 10 a.m. some weekday mornings at the outdoor theater. On Tuesdays through Aug. 30, it’s “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Puppets, Paul & Mary,” with puppeteer Mary Wilson and singer/songwriter Paul Kehoe. On Wednesdays and Thursdays through Sept. 1, it’s “Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type,” based on the children’s book by Doreen Cronin. Tickets: $12.

If it rains, both daytime and nighttime shows in the outdoor theater move inside, where mask are required. Tickets and information: 508-896-1888 or https://caperep.org/.

Actress Victoria Clark will perform in Provincetown before going back to Broadway this fall in "Kimberly Akimbo."
Actress Victoria Clark will perform in Provincetown before going back to Broadway this fall in "Kimberly Akimbo."

Broadway’s Victoria Clark in Provincetown

This week’s stop in Provincetown by a Broadway star will feature Victoria Clark, a Tony Award winner for “The Light in the Piazza,” and star of “Sister Act,” “Gigi” and “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” She’s due to be back on Broadway this fall in the title role of the off-Broadway hit “Kimberly Akimbo,” but first she’ll make her Provincetown series debut singing and talking with Seth Rudetsky as music director and host.

Shows are at 7 p.m. July 1-2 at the Art House, 214 Commercial St. Tickets and information: https://provincetownarthouse.com/.

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Greek tragedy on a beach

Campfire Quorum’s summer production, running Sundays July 3-Aug. 7, will be “The Love of a Nightingale,” Timberlake Wertenbaker’s modern retelling of an ancient Greek myth that the “female-forward” troupe will perform on a beach. Well, actually two beaches.

This is the second production by the new company, dubbed a “think-ubator” project of the Provincetown Community Compact. The show uses movement, a marine setting and a Greek chorus to tell the story of Philomele, who is raped and silenced by her brother-in-law, then she and her sister take their violent revenge. The production, directed by Megan Nussle, includes local actors Brittany Rolfs, Lee Goffin-Bonenfant, William Mullin, Ed Donovan, Alice Murphy and Sam Sewell.

The nonprofit Outer Cape company says its mission is “to make nomadic, organic, fantastic live theatrics. Campfire Quorum strives towards a mutually symbiotic relationship of art and nature by using environmental sites and minimal resources to sustainably and evocatively make fantasies come alive. In this way, our productions serve a dual purpose of promoting awareness and appreciation for our natural venues, while envisioning a sustainable path forward for live theater, its artists and the environment.”

Shows will take place at 4 and 6:30 p.m. on six Sundays, with three days  at Herring Cove South Beach on Province Lands Road (July 3, 10 and 31) and three on the beach of the Crown & Anchor, 247 Commercial St. (July 17 and 24 and Aug. 7). Tickets: $40, $50 for “the Dionysian Experience”; https://www.campfirequorum.org/, 508-687-2267. Proof of vaccination is required to attend.

Family shows begin in West Harwich

The summer of family shows on the outdoor stage at Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Junior Theatre (105 Division St., West Harwich) kicks off with "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse," running at 3 p.m. July 3, then Mondays through Thursdays July 5-21. The play, adapted by Kevin Kling (NPR's "All Things Considered") from Kevin Henkes' story, is a children’s tale that emphasizes the importance of being considerate.

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The show will be directed by Jane Staab, founder of the Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University, with a cast that includes Tess O'Leary, Oliver Shaw, Kelly Martin, Grace Olah, Tristan Divincenzo, Matt Gardner, Emily Murray, Ashlynn Nee, Kathy Hamilton, Perry Gill, Henry Cramer, Juliet Seeley, Georgia Lee Small, Mia Lyons, Bodhi Gardner and Phoebe Schuessler.

Reservations and information: www.capecodtheatrecompany.org, 866-811-4111 or 508-432-2002.

Jillian Louis will play famed country singer Patsy Cline in the Cape Playhouse production of "Always ... Patsy Cline."
Jillian Louis will play famed country singer Patsy Cline in the Cape Playhouse production of "Always ... Patsy Cline."

Celebrating a musical legend

After “Private Lives” closes at Cape Playhouse, the theater will put the spotlight on an iconic singer from decades ago with its production of the musical “Always … Patsy Cline.” Created by Ted Swindley, the show tells the story of country-music pioneer Cline — the "original cross-over" music artist who died in a plane crash at age 30 — through real-life letters chronicling the stages of her 10-year career. Those were written between Cline and super-fan turned close friend and confidant Louise Segar, who accidentally met in a bar in 1961.

The show’s soundtrack features 27 Cline hits, including “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces” and “Sweet Dreams.” Starring as Cline will be Jillian Louis, whose credits include Broadway’s “It Shoulda Been You,” Off-Broadway’s “Soul Doctor” and “Chick Flick” and a touring production of the TV show “Cheers” as Diane.

Playing Louise will be Sally Wilfert, who has appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning production of “Assassins,” “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “King David”; she was Rona Lisa Peretti in the first national tour of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and has numerous Off-Broadway and Carnegie Hall credits. Directing will be Paige Price, whose 35-year career in theater includes acting on Broadway and off, and as artistic director of Theatre Aspen and Philadelphia Theatre Company.

The show runs July 6-16 at the playhouse, 820 Main St. (Route 6A), Dennis; https://www.capeplayhouse.com/.

Contact Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll at kdriscoll@capecodonline.com. Follow on Twitter: @KathiSDCCT.

This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Cape Cod theater: Musicals, Shakespeare, laughs, cows in 14 shows