BURNSWICK – Maine State Music Theatre will supplement its four main stage shows this season with a concert version of the 1926 operetta “The Desert Song.” The operetta, set in the early French outposts in the exotic Moroccan desert, was a favorite of MSMT founder Victoria Crandall and features book and lyrics by Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II and Frank Mandel, and music by Sigmund Romberg.

The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 16, at the Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin College campus. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the box office at 725-8769 or log on to www.msmt.org.

Inspired by the 1925 uprising of Moroccan fighters against French colonial rule, “The Desert Song” follows French leader General Birabeau’s quest to destroy a band of Arab rebels in Morocco. A dashing and mysterious leader known as the “Red Shadow” leads the rebels and kidnaps Margot, a French girl soon to be married to one of Birabeau’s men. A tale of adventure, love and mistaken identity ensues.

Crandall enjoyed operettas and included many of them in the early MSMT seasons. The 2008 production of “The Desert Song” is MSMT’s third performance of the operetta. Its MSMT debut was in 1960.

“The Desert Song” features Dennis St. Pierre, star of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Les Misérables,” as the Red Shadow; while “Superstar” co-star and “All Shook Up” actor Michael Deleget stars as Sid El Kar. Actress Devin Dukes plays the role of Margot. MSMT’s Artistic Director Charles Abbott and Development Director Lynne McGhee also star in the production.

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