‘The Marvelous Wonderettes,’ by Roger Bean
Where: Trinkle Main Stage, Mill Mountain Theatre, Center in the Square, Roanoke
Dates and times: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. April 28; 7:30 p.m. May 1; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 2; 7:30 p.m. May 3; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 4; 2 p.m. May 5; 7:30 p.m. May 8; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 9; 7:30 p.m. May 10; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 11; 2 p.m. May 12
Tickets: $27; students, $25
Information: 342-5740; http://millmountain.org
STEPHANIE KLEIN-DAVIS | The Roanoke Times. Andrea Dotto (center) rehearses Friday for the musical production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes” on the Mill Mountain Stage with Matthew Glover (from left), the associate artistic director; Jessi Tidwell; Rebecca Russell; Katie Emerson and Peppy Biddy, the artistic director. The show marks MMT’s return to the Trinkle Main Stage at Center in the Square.
“It’s my party,” wailed New York actress Katie Emerson, “and I’ll cry if I want to.”
As Emerson bawled and flailed her arms across the stage, the rest of the cast tried to console her character, who has just spotted her husband flirting with another woman. She stomped off Mill Mountain Theatre’s Trinkle Main Stage and up the aisle between the empty seats, still singing and sobbing.
MMT producing managing director Ginger Poole laughed at Emerson’s antics. Back on the stage, Peppy Biddy, the co-director of MMT’s newest production, “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” asked the cast to start the scene over. “Let’s take it from the ‘Waaaah!’ ” he said.
Mill Mountain is hoping its return to its big stage won’t be cause for tears.
“We’ve developed this new business model. It’s got to work,” Poole said. “Here’s the test — is this show going to stand on its own?”
The region’s only Equity theater, Mill Mountain has been plodding along the comeback trail since mounting debt forced the cancellation of its regular season and the dismissal of almost all of its staff in early 2009.
The nonprofit has never gone away. Its education programs continued under Poole, who for a long time was the theater’s only employee. The theater put on children’s plays tied to the education program while its board worked to get a reported $750,000 in debt paid off or forgiven. The stripped-down theater had resolved its debts by May 2010, and put on its first Equity production since going dark, “Greater Tuna,” in March 2012.
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