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MORMON Parody Opens Season 33 At Terrific New Theatre

Terrific New Theatre opens its 33rd season Sept. 13 with the Alabama premiere of a new musical comedy that isn't scheduled to reach Off-Broadway until October. "The Book of Merman," a send-up of the Tony Award-winning smash hit "The Book of Mormon," will run for three weekends at TNT - including two Sunday matinees - closing on Sept. 29.

"The Book of Merman" follows two Mormon missionaries who, while casting their proverbial net from house to house, find themselves on the doorstep of the legendary Ethel Merman, who happens to be looking for a new song. Most people would be tongue-tied by this epic Broadway surprise, but for these Elders, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" as they have a gay old time with Miss Merman!

Directed and choreographed by Henry Scott, with musical direction by John Allen Bankson, "The Book of Merman" stars Birmingham favorite Amy Johnson as "Ethel Merman," Benjamin Kitchens as "Elder Braithwaite" and Chris Charleston as "Elder Shumway." The production runs Sept. 13-29 on Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees on Sept. 16 and Sept. 23 at 2:30 p.m.

Rounding out the creative team are set designers Kevin Thomas and Kenneth Patterson, lighting designer Scott Littleton and stage manager Kim Dean Davenport. TNT's artistic director is Tam DeBolt, now in her third season.

With a book by Leo Schwartz and DC Cathro, and music and lyrics by Schwartz, "The Book of Merman" is slated to open Off-Broadway on Oct. 21 at St. Luke's Theatre in New York City following preview performances scheduled to begin Oct. 5.

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