Church Hill Theatre Announce Opening of Blood Brothers

October 23, 2014
By

CHURCH HILL THEATRE
Church Hill, MD
October 21, 2014

Church Hill Theatre will stage Blood Brothers, Willy Russell’s enormously popular musical, from November 7 to 23, 2014. Directed by Shelagh Grasso, long-time head of drama programs at Queen Anne’s County High School, Blood Brothers ran for 24 years and 10,000 performances in London. Building loosely on the Alexandre Dumas novel The Corsican Brothers, Russell’s contemporary take is the story of Edward and Mickey, fraternal twins separated at birth. One grows up privileged, the other in hardship—but fate brings them together in dramatic circumstances. Inevitably, they fall in love with the same girl—a situation with heartbreaking consequences. The music and lyrics are tuneful, intelligent and an essential part of the gripping drama.

Director Grasso is ably assisted by Julie Lawrence as Musical Director and Carmen Grasso as Technical Director. The talented cast portrays the characters from the twins’ birth until their young adulthood. Nina Sharp portrays Mrs. Johnstone, the boys’ down-on-her-luck mother, and Kyle Lindenberger is Mickey, the son she keeps. Curtis Hammer is Eddie, the child secretly adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Lyons, played by Patrick Fee and Rebecca Becraft. Chelsea Clough is Linda, the girl both boys fall for. Marcia Gilliam is the Narrator, Nic Carter is Mickey’s brother Sammy and Bob McGrory and Robbie Spray share the role of Policeman. Mary Grace Brosius, Brent Mitchell, Liz Clark, Robbie Spray and Maya McGrory form the Chorus.

The action takes place in and around the Johnstone and Lyons homes in Liverpool, England, from the late 1950s until the mid-1960s, when social class too often determined life outcomes. Grasso uses a line from the opening and closing song, “Tell Me It’s Not True; Say It’s Just A Dream,” to mix hard edge realism with a sense of escape.

On Broadway, Blood Brothers attracted notice when Petula Clark made her Broadway debut as Mrs. Johnstone and when half-brothers David and Shaun Cassidy played her sons. The musical received Tony nominations for best musical, best book and best direction and several actors were nominated for their individual performances.

Behind the scenes at Church Hill Theatre, Producer Sally Borghardt, Stage Manager Michelle Christopher, Costumer Barbi Bedell, Props Master Debbie Whitaker, Lighting Designer Doug Kaufmann, Set Decoration Artist Brian Draper and Sound Designer Chris Rogers keep everything flowing smoothly. Sam Stenecker plays the piano and served as rehearsal accompanist.

Blood Brothers will run from November 7 to 23, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and on Sundays at 2 pm. CHT offers special 2 for the price of 1 tickets on opening night, Friday, November 7. Blood Brothers addresses themes of poverty and deprivation. The cast and crew invite audience members to bring along non-perishable food items that will be donated to local food banks and shelters.

Call the box office at 410-556-6003 (please note new phone number) or visit the website www.churchhilltheatre.org for details and reservations.

Submitted Photo: Sammy (Nic Carter), young boy (Brent Mitchell), and twin brothers Mickey (Kyle Lindenberger) and Eddie (Curtis Hammer) enjoy a moment of rest from their backyard play in the musical, Blood Brothers, playing November 7 through 23 at Church Hill Theatre.

Sammy (Nic Carter), young boy (Brent Mitchell), and twin brothers Mickey (Kyle Lindenberger) and Eddie (Curtis Hammer) enjoy a moment of rest from their backyard play in the musical, Blood Brothers, playing November 7 through 23 at Church Hill Theatre. – Submitted Photo

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