Whip Hubley during rehearsals of “Fireflies” at the Good Theater in Portland. Submitted photo

Good Theater will kick off the 2023/2024 season with “Fireflies” by Matthew Barber, running Wednesday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 29. “Fireflies” is a warm, witty romantic comedy about finding love in the most unlikely of places. Theater artistic and executive director Brian P. Allen shares “I fell in love with this script the minute I read it. It is sweet, charming and very funny. I think a feel-good show is a terrific way to kick the season off.”

Valeri Perri during rehearsals of “Fireflies” at the Good Theater in Portland. Submitted photo

Retired schoolteacher Eleanor Bannister lives a quiet life alone in tiny Groverdell, Texas, set in her routines and secure in her position as the town’s most respected woman—until a hole in her roof draws the attention of Abel Brown, a smooth-talking drifter intent on renovating Eleanor’s house, and possibly her life. Can the unexpected sparks of late-life romance be trusted, or is there truth in the gossip that Abel isn’t all that he seems to be? Either way, the whole town is talking.

Director Brian P. Allen shares “I fell in love with this script the minute I read it. It is sweet, charming and very funny. I think a feel-good show is a terrific way to kick the season off.”

The production stars Valerie Perri, Whip Hubley, Grace Bauer, and Dalton Kimball, and feature a set and sound design by Steve Underwood, costume design by Kathleen Kimball, lighting design by Iain Odlin, props design by Heather Irish, and stage management by Michael Lynch.

Grace Bauer during rehearsals of “Fireflies” at the Good Theater in Portland. Submitted photo

Playwright Matthew Barber was born in Los Angeles and is a UCLA graduate. His stage play “Enchanted April” premiered in 2000 at Hartford Stage and opened on Broadway in 2003, garnering the John Gassner Award for Outstanding New American Play and Drama League and Tony Award nominations for Best Play. With more than 500 international productions to date, “Enchanted April” has become one of the most produced plays of the past decade. Current work includes the stage play “Fireflies,” which premiered in 2017 at Long Wharf Theatre (Edgerton Foundation New Play Award), and two screenplays — the original historical drama “Independence,” and a film adaptation of his stage play “Enchanted April.” Barber has been a participating playwright in Broadway’s 24 Hour Plays event to benefit Urban Playground, is the recipient of Wurlitzer Foundation and Art OMI fellowships, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Performances of “Fireflies” are at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays; at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays; at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays; and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Please note that face coverings will be required at all Thursday and Sunday performances. All tickets at $40, and may be purchased online at goodtheater.com or by calling the Box Office at 207-835-0895. A limited number of $10 rush tickets will be available for each performance beginning two hours before showtime, and may be purchased online or at the door.


Upcoming shows

“Broadway At Good Theater: The Twin Piano Edition”

Nov. 1-Nov. 19

Nine singers, the two amazing pianists from Carousel and some of the greatest music ever created for Broadway will delight audiences in this special subscription event. Guest star and Broadway veteran George Dvorsky will lead the cast. “The twin pianos were such a hit last year with CAROUSEL, I wanted to feature them again.”, says Allen. “I looked at a number of shows but none of them were quite right for us. Consequently, I decided to create an event featuring songs from some of Broadway’s classic shows with their glorious twin piano arrangements. We will have nine singers and I’m going to act as host and tour guide offering up gossip, little known facts and some history on these great musicals.”

“One Man, Two Guvnors”

Jan. 17-Feb. 11

The fast-paced and hilarious farce by Richard Bean stars Dustin Tucker and is based on the classic Italian comedy “The Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni. This over-the-top and wildly funny production is a perfect antidote to the winter blues. Allen says, “I’ve wanted to do “One Man, Two Guvnors” for several years. I’ve wanted Dustin Tucker to work with Good Theater for several years. When I asked if he would be interested in tackling this piece, I got two things off my wish list: we are doing the show and Dustin is doing a show at Good Theater.“

“Killer Comfort”

Feb. 16-Feb. 18

Grab your bestie and join us for this hilarious comedic solo show written by and starring Lynne McGhee, about maintaining sanity in a world gone mad. Coping has never been such fun when murder, maniacs, and musicals are the antidote. “Killer Comfort” is directed by Allen, who shares that “audiences roared with laughter last season. This year she is back for five more performances before launching the show on a tour.”


“A Man of No Importance”

Feb. 28-March 24

Set in Ireland in the 1960s and featuring a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty, “A Man of No Importance” tells the story of bus conductor Alfie Byrne and his community theater players. “I love that my 100th directing assignment for Good Theater will be ‘A Man Of No Importance’”, Allen says. “This is the one show in our history that I really wanted to do again. First performed in our third season, now, almost 20 years later, it will get a completely reinvented production. It is an exciting way to celebrate this personal milestone.”

In an effort to make the magic of live theater more accessible for all, Good Theater has a new ticketing policy for the upcoming season: A minimum of six $10 tickets will be held at every performance. Those tickets will go on sale two hours before curtain, and can be purchased online or at the door. If a performance isn’t sold out, there will be more $10 seats available two hours before curtain. Students may purchase these tickets for $5.

To purchase tickets, please call the Box Office at (207) 835-0895, or visit the online Box Office at www.goodtheater.com. Subscriptions for all four mainstage productions are offered (“Killer Comfort” not included in subscriptions), and may also be purchased by phone or online.

Good Theater, a 501c3 non-profit, is the professional company founded by Brian P. Allen and Steve Underwood in 2001. Good Theater is dedicated to presenting quality theatrical productions that are entertaining, uplifting, and inspiring, using the best artists available. Good Theater welcomes and supports all ethnicities, religions, ages, genders, and orientations. We appreciate diversity on our stage, within our company, and in our audience. Good Theater is located in The Hill Arts at 76 Congress St., Portland. For tickets and information, please call the Box Office at (207) 835-0895 or visit www.goodtheater.com.

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