HARRISON – Deertrees Theatre and Cultural Centre will kick off the summer season with a musical comedy about ghosts, an old theater and a small town.

“In Good Spirits” is a zany farce about five mismatched ghosts stuck in limbo and doomed to haunt the theater in which, for various reasons, they died. When a community theater group moves into the abandoned playhouse, hilarity ensues. Should the ghosts haunt them out? Should they help them?

The script was written by Massachusetts playwright Howard Odentz with orchestration by three-time Emmy winner Bruce Zimmerman. The show features 19 original songs.

The ghosts are portrayed by Craig Holden as the Shakespearean actor, Laslo Miller, who hates community theater; and Robin Priest who plays 1920s era flapper Edie O’Reilly. Rick Albert and Tobi Crosby portray the young couple, Salvadore Secconado and Bunny Hopper, who were killed in a freak accident during a high-school dance held in the theater (the mirror ball fell on them). Completing the quintet is Tequila Mockingbird, the fabulous drag queen with a heart of gold, played by Doug Alford.

When a perky little girl named Carol-Ann Gold, played by Maggie Scarlett, enters, the audience soon finds out she is not an average little girl – she sees dead actors. And she knows the only way for them to escape the theater and go to heaven is to be good to the living and help the community theater, if they can.

And community theater members do need help. They cannot afford the royalties for their first production. Their original fundraiser was a flop. The lead actor has a stutter, and love entanglements abound among the cast.

All the ghosts, except Laslo, agree to help and, with their agreement, the idea for a production of “Jaws – The Unauthorized Musical” is born.

Following the tradition of opening Deertrees each year with an in-house production of fun-filled family theater, “In Good Spirits” is produced and directed by Bill Felts. Music direction is by Gould Academy’s Jim McLaughlin, Debi Irons does the choreography and Linda Mercer is the stage manager. Gretchen Hatfield is the set designer and costumes are by Susan Wallace.

“In Good Spirits” will premiere at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, and run for six performances, including matinees on Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29. Tickets, $14, are available at Renys and The Cool Moose in Bridgton, the Country Sleigh in Naples, The Fare Share Co-op in Norway and the theater. For more information, log on to www. deertreestheatre.org.


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