have just discovered the secret of time travel,” said Kathy Davis. “It’s music.”

Davis, a production crew member, was watching several of her friends in rehearsal for the upcoming retrospective show featuring plays staged by the Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association (OHMPAA) over the past two decades. She said it was amazing to watch them slip easily into characterizations and songs from shows they had done years ago.

Director Linda Sturdivant said she saw that same magic as she watched the reunion of Shirli Allen and Sharon Young, who are reprising “In My Own Little Corner” and “Impossible” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.”

“They haven’t done the numbers since 1996 and it was like they just stepped out of that production,” Sturdivant said.

The OHMPAA Retrospective Show, which opens Aug. 25, will include musical highlights from such shows as “Side by Side By Sondheim,” “Cinderella,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Grease,” “Working,” “The Secret Garden,” “The 1940s Radio Hour” and “Forever Plaid.” Many of the original performers have come together to reprise their original roles, some of which were done 20 years ago.

Among the earlier shows to be recalled are “The Mikado” and “H.M.S. Pinafore.” There will also be numbers from “Grease,” “The Fantasticks,” “Nunsense,” “Little Mary Sunshine” and “It’s a Grand Night for Singing.”

“This has been a mammoth undertaking, but the show is going to be amazing,” Sturdivant said.

Projected images of photos from the original shows will flank the on-stage performances.

A special display of humorous and nostalgic memorabilia and photos from past shows has been collected to create a chronological display of the OHMPAA productions. The items will be in the first floor dining hall space at the historic Paris Hill Academy building where most of the troupe’s performances have taken place.

Jeff Orwig, who will be master of ceremonies for the show, is also reunited with the others who comprised the memorable “Forever Plaid” quartet of a few seasons ago. One of them, Sam Tisdale, is coming from Washington state, and another, Dawson Hill, is traveling from the Boston area. The fourth “Plaid” is Todd Hutchisen. They will repeat their renditions of “Three Coins in a Fountain,” “Undecided,” It’s Gotta Be This or That,” and “No, Not Much.”

Orwig emphasized that this show will be much more than a reunion of past performers. There will be “something for everyone” from the quirky comedy of the “Stepsisters’ Lament” in “Cinderella” (Laura Gouin and Jen St. Pierre) to the beautiful “Lily’s Eyes” duet by Ed Baldrige and Hutchisen from “The Secret Garden.”

Shirli Allen, June Sawicki and Allison Whitney will sing “Three Little Maids” from “The Mikado;” and “Havana Dance” from “Guys and Dolls” will be performed by Debi Irons and her dance troupe. Numbers from “The 1940s Radio Hour” are “Daddy,” “That Old Black Magic,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

Orwig said audiences will love the recreation of “Kansas City” from “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” (originally in “Oklahoma!”).

“It will be just as great for an audience that never saw the past shows as it will be for those who remember the original OHMPAA productions,” he said.

Other performers are Tom Littlefield, Kelsey Franklin, Meredith Jones, Kristen Searles, Elton Cole, Jane Riseman, Rusty Brackett, Jeremiah McDonald, Kate Lotito and Josh Witham.

Jeremy Hill is music director and piano accompanist for the show.

The show runs one week only from Wednesday, Aug. 25, through Sunday, Aug. 29. All performances are at 8 p.m. at the Paris Hill Academy building with the exception of Sunday’s 2 p.m. matinee. Tickets are $8 and $12 and are available in advance at Books-N-Things, 743-7197.


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