The Playhouse Returns to Five Shows in 2020
The vision is clear in 2020 as The Playhouse at McConnellstown returns to a five-show season. Since 2015, The Playhouse has produced four shows to accommodate building maintenance and upgrades. It’s 38th season promises suspense, ghosts, and amour.
The season opens in April with an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic “Murder on the Orient Express.” Written by Ken Ludwig, this production offers a dazzling, satisfying evening of suspense, train travel, and murder.
In a posh Istanbul hotel, first-class passengers await their boarding call for the fabled Orient Express to Paris. Hercule Poirot, a last-minute addition to the group, is squeezed onto the train by unflappable conductor Michel at the urging of Monsieur Bouc, the detective’s old friend and director of the train company.
After the train leaves the station, there is a middle-of-the-night blizzard and a murder. No spoiler—it’s in the title. With the train stalled by snow, Monsieur Bouc (fearing for his company’s reputation) begs Poirot to solve the case before police arrive. And of course, he does.
“Murder on the Orient Express” takes the stage April 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, and 25th at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees are April 19th and 26th at 2:00 p.m.
June issues in the supernatural with the haunting comedy “Mom’s Gift.” Playwright Phil Olson merges a ghost who can only be seen by one living soul with an angel who must accomplish a mission before earning her wings.
The “single living soul” is Kat Swensen, who returns home for father’s 60th birthday. She is greeted by none other than Mom’s ghost, who informs her disbelieving daughter that she has been sent home on a mission. The mission is unclear, but she’s got one day to complete the task, or she won’t be able to move on.
Since Kat and her Dad haven’t spoken since Mom’s funeral, it seems the assignment is to facilitate a father-daughter reconciliation. This is easier said than done since Kat would not come home if not for this a court-ordered visit. Along for the festivities are Kat’s younger sister Brittney, grown-up boy-next-door Kevin, and Trish, the homecare nurse who attended Mom before she passed. Mom’s Gift is a surprisingly serious comedy that keeps you laughing until it moves you to tears.
“Mom’s Gift” runs June 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th and 13th at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees on June 7th and 14th at 2:00 p.m.
July heats up with the musical murder mystery “Something’s Afoot.” This collaborative work is written by James McDonald, David Vos, and Robert Gerlach with additional music by Ed Linderman. “Something’s Afoot” spoofs detective stories, mainly the works of Agatha Christie, and especially her detective novel “And Then There Were None” (a.k.a. “Ten Little Indians”).
Set in 1935 at Lord Rancour’s country estate, the servants prepare for guests expecting a pleasant holiday. When a storm washes out the only route to or from the estate, everyone realizes they are trapped. It isn’t long before the first murder takes place. Mayhem ensues as the guests and staff are picked off one by one through such other fiendishly clever concealed devices.
“Something’s Afoot” opens July 31st and continues its run August 1st, 6th, 7th, and 8th at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees are August 2nd and 9th at 2:00 p.m.
September promises love, laughs, and lingerie with “The Sensuous Senator.” In standard Michael Parker fashion, this farce delivers a lot of naughty but nice dialogue, in-and-out door slamming, near-misses, compromising situations, and comedic pandemonium.
Senator Henry “Harry” Douglas is a longtime politician who has based his entire career on “family values” and being highly judgmental of others. Just weeks before his election, Harry learns that his rather dowdy wife, Lois, is going out of town for a few days. The sanctimonious senator hastily phones his sexy secretary Veronica and invites her over for the night. Veronica declines, so the senator calls his favorite escort service to send over a replacement.
As Harry prepares for his evening with the escort, he receives several unexpected visitors including his nephew Congressman Jack Maguire and the elderly neighbor Congressman Clyde Salt. Then comes lovely young Fiona, the girl from the escort service. Shortly thereafter arrives Veronica, who has changed her mind about her other engagements.
Before Lois reaches the airport, her fashionable Washington townhouse is swarming with libidinous politicians, scantily dressed women, security police and a muckraking reporter from The National Intruder! When snow closes the airport and she returns home, the bedlam crescendos to a surprise ending in this outrageous farce.
“The Sensuous Senator” runs September 25th, 26th and October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees on September 27th and October 4th at 2:00 p.m.
The 2020 Season will close with its annual Holiday Production. The Playhouse has not decided on a play, but don’t worry. The decision is sure to get audiences in the holiday spirit with plenty of “warm and fuzzies.” The Holiday Production runs November 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th and December 4th and 5th at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees are November 22nd, 29th, and December 6th at 2:00 p.m.
All casting decisions are at the discretion of the show’s director. In addition to actors and actresses for the production, we are also looking for volunteers. We are seeking production assistants, stage managers, stage crew, concessions, front of house staff and parking assistance. Anyone who would like to volunteer, please email Terry Ayers, Executive Director at email@example.com.
Evening shows on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are at 7:30 PM. Sunday matinees are at 2:00 PM. Ticket prices are $15 for regular admission, $13 for seniors (age 60 and older) and students (age 6 and older). For reservations call 814-627-0311. The Playhouse is located at 11680 Raystown Rd, Huntingdon, PA, six miles South of Huntingdon Borough right on Rt. 26 in the Village of McConnellstown. For more information, please check the website at www.littletheater.com, like us on Facebook (The Playhouse at McConnellstown), or follow us on Twitter @LittleTheater.