Spitfire Grill at Church Hill Theatre

September 4, 2013

Church Hill Theatre
Church Hill, Maryland
September 3, 2013

The Spitfire Grill is an award-winning contemporary musical, with music and book by James Valcq and lyrics and book by Fred Alley, and was based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff. It opens at Church Hill Theatre on September 20 for a three-week run. Ben Brantley, the tough New York Times critic, described the songs as “shiny with tunefulness, hope, and all-American inflections of country and folk.” The Associated Press called it a “lovely new musical in the Rodgers and Hammerstein tradition” and USA Today urged readers to “open your heart and visit the Spitfire Grill.”

Although the show has since enjoyed enormous popular and critical success in the U.S. and overseas, it opened in New York City on September 7, 2001, less than a week before the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. While The Spitfire Grill’s message of hope and redemption was especially appropriate during a time of national mourning, it remains less well known than it should be. Church Hill Theatre is proud to introduce it to Delmarva audiences.

The Spitfire Grill follows the story of Percy, a young parolee who looks for a new start in Gilead, Wisconsin. Her personal journey soon involves others in Gilead, with the community itself seeking renewal and a new sense of purpose. Curious readers can learn more and sample the songs at the musical’s official website: www.thespitfiregrill.com

Shelagh Grasso, long time head of the drama department at Queen Anne’s County High School, directs, with Julie Lawrence assisting her as music director. Grasso says this show is also a strong statement about our own local community, for the cast includes actors from Chestertown’s Garfield Center and Oxford’s TAP, as well as those with previous CHT experience.

Grasso’s talented cast includes includes Lucia Foster, Jane Copple, Nina Sharp, Matt Folker, Colin Grave, Diane Landskroener and Curtis Hammer. The backstage team includes producer Sally Borghardt, stage manager Michelle Christopher and her assistant Rebekah Becraft, and technical director Carmen Grasso. Brian Draper is the scenic artist and Ron Christopher, Jim Johnson and Jusden Messick helped build the set. Doug Kaufmann and Nic Carter designed the lighting plan and Patrick Fee is in charge of sound. Barbara Bedell is responsible for costumes and Andrea Daniels is props coordinator.

The Spitfire Grill runs from September 20 until October 6, with shows at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm on Sundays. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 410-758-1331 or online at www.churchhilltheatre.org

Photo: "Something's Cooking at the Spitfire Grill.”  Left to right: Colin Graves as Sheriff Joe, Nina Sharp as Shelby, Jane Copple as Hannah, Lucia Foster as Percy and Diane Landskroener as Effy."

“Something’s Cooking at the Spitfire Grill.” Left to right: Colin Graves as Sheriff Joe, Nina Sharp as Shelby, Jane Copple as Hannah, Lucia Foster as Percy and Diane Landskroener as Effy.” Submitted Photo

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