AUBURN – Community Little Theatre’s 69th season will bring “music, comedy and touching drama – all the best that community theater has to offer,” said CLT Executive Director Doreen Traynor.

In October, Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate” comes back to the stage where the organization’s local performers first staged it more than 50 years ago. It was the first musical that CLT produced after 15 years of comic and serious plays.

In 2009, CLT will present “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” “Drood,” “Lost in Yonkers” and “Miss Saigon.”

Four of the season’s five shows are musicals and all are award winners.

There is lots of variety in the periods portrayed in the shows.

“Kiss Me Kate” dates back to the 1940s, but its costumes and sets also include a dazzling display of style from Shakespeare’s day. “Drood” has a Victorian setting; “Miss Saigon” is about the tumultuous end of U.S. involvement in Vietnam; “Lost in Yonkers” is a touching and funny autobiographical piece by Neil Simon about boyhood days in 1943; and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is a modern-day musical revue.

Veteran CLT director David E. Lock is directing “Kiss Me Kate,” which opens Oct. 10. The play-within-a-play production combines Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” with Cole Porter’s music and lyrics, and each character’s on-stage life is complicated by what is happening off-stage.

A Broadway production of “Kiss Me Kate” won the 2000 Tony for Best Musical Revival. CLT will present this new version.

Ellen Peters will make her directorial debut with the January production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” written by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts. DiPietro also penned “Over the River and Through the Woods.”

Traynor described this musical celebration of modern-day romance as “the perfect show for a great date night.”

“It offers a look at everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit,” she said.

Mitchell Clyde Thomas, who directed last season’s “A Christmas Carol: The Musical,” will direct the musical version of another Dickens classic, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” which opens in mid-March. This wildly warmhearted theatrical experience kicks off when the Music Hall Royale (a hilariously loony Victorian musical troupe) “puts on” its flamboyant rendition of the unfinished Dickens mystery.

The giddy playfulness of this play-within-a-play draws the audience toward one of the show’s most talked-about features – the audience votes on the solution as the prelude to an unusual and hilarious finale.

Dick Rosenberg, who has been directing CLT productions for more than 30 years, will direct the season’s only nonmusical, Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers.” Two young boys move in with their grandmother upstairs over her candy store where they deal with a slightly crooked uncle and two slightly strange aunts. “Lost in Yonkers” opens in June.

The final show of CLT’s 69th season is “Miss Saigon,” directed by Richard Martin. An American soldier and a Vietnamese girl fall in love, only to be separated during the fall of Saigon. The book and music of this epic pop-opera are by the some team who brought the world “Les Miserables.”

The first four shows will be performed at CLT’s home at the Great Falls Performing Arts Center on Academy Street. “Miss Saigon” will be presented in mid-August in the air-conditioned Lewiston Middle School auditorium.

For more information about CLT and season tickets, call 783-0958 or visit www.laclt.com.


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