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SHEAR MADNESS To Open Totem Pole Playhouse's Brand-New Summer Subscription Series

SHEAR MADNESS To Open Totem Pole Playhouse's Brand-New Summer Subscription Series

Totem Pole Playhouse, America's summer theatre, located in Caledonia State Park between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA, has announced a major change in its programming format starting this summer. Beginning May 31st through September 8th, a new 5-show summer subscription series will be offered. The new format will allow Totem Pole to offer a wider variety of offerings beyond the limited productions which the Playhouse produces. In addition to the new 5-show offering there will be several "Friday Fun Nights" throughout the summer which will include family movie night sing-alongs complete with picnic dinners and solo shows featuring performers from Broadway and Television.

The new format will allow Totem Pole the opportunity to present large cast musical productions from the nationally-recognized theatrical production company, Theatre A Go-Go, Inc. in addition to offerings from other successful producing organizations. Theatre A Go-Go produced the sold-out production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Capital Theatre last March as a fundraiser for the summer theatre.

"This new format will allow us to continue to produce the high-quality professional productions our patrons have become accustom to over the past 69 years, while offering Totem Pole with the opportunity to present even larger productions in the summer.", said Totem Pole Producing Artistic Director, Rowan Joseph. "This business model will also allow us to present productions throughout the year, not just in the summer months, at other area venues. We are currently working on plans to present productions in the future at the Capital Theatre in Chambersburg, the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center in Shippensburg, the Carlisle Theatre in Carlisle and the Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown, MD." Joseph also explained that while there are on-going plans to add new women's bathroom facilities, a gift shop, and a water garden to the grounds of the Playhouse there are no plans to add heat to the legendary venue itself. Totem Pole Playhouse is located in the 1,200-acre Caledonia State Park which is part of the 85,500-acre Michaux State Forest.

Opening the new summer subscription series will be Totem Pole Playhouse's production of the comedy whodunit, Shear Madness. The play has the distinction of being one of the longest-running stage comedies in the world. The original production has been running at the Charles Playhouse in Boston, MA since January 29, 1980 and a second production has been playing in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts since August of 1987. Totem Pole audience favorite, Shane Partlow, who recently appeared in this year's Oscar-winning Best Picture, Green Book, plays the operator of a local (Chambersburg, PA) beauty salon where the murder takes place. The production will feature many humorous references to Franklin and Adams County area attractions. Zack Powell, who has appeared regularly in the Kennedy Center production will reprise his role of 'Mikey', the young detective and Craig Benton, a veteran of the Kansas City production will play the lead detective, Nick Rossetti, who leads the audience in solving the murder mystery. Rounding out the suspects are Lisa McMillian from the show's national tour, reprising her role as socialite 'Mrs. Shubert', and New York actors, MaryAnne Piccolo and Christian Cardoza as the other stylist in the salon and a handsome antiques dealer. The audience joins in the fun by voting at every performance on who the murderer is with the cast then performing a particular ending, which can change from one performance to the next. Totem Pole's Producing Artistic Director, Rowan Joseph, directs the production.

The hugely popular bluegrass gospel musical, Smoke on the Mountain, returns to the stage of the legendary summer theater produced by Theatre A Go-Go, Inc. The ensemble production will star Madison Hagler from last year's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Allison Rose Munn from Mamma Mia!; along with New York actors Caleb Adams, Julia Hoffman, Malka Wallick and St. Louis, MO actor, Michael Amoroso. Completing the cast and making his Totem Pole stage debut will be local physician, Kenneth Griggs, M.D., a medical specialist in diagnostic radiology with Summit Health in Chambersburg. Dr. Griggs performed professionally for many years before entering the medical profession and he continues to act whenever his busy schedule allows. Smoke on the Mountain was originally performed at the Totem Pole Playhouse back in 1998. Veteran Totem Pole director, David Caldwell, will direct, musical direct, and stage the production.

The third offering in the series will be Totem Pole's production of the critically-acclaimed Broadway play Souvenir, the stage version of Meryl Streep's 2017 Academy Award and Golden

Globe nominated movie Florence Forster Jenkins. Voice teacher to Broadway stars and beloved Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Professor, Patricia Linhart, will take on the role of the delusional diva. She will be teamed with veteran Broadway actor, Bob Walton, as 'Cosme McMoon,' Ms. Jenkins faithful piano accompanist. Walton has appeared in 5 Broadway productions including the multiple Tony Award-winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the Tony Award -winning musical and 1980's box office smash hit Dolly Parton & Burt Reynolds movie, will take to the stage as the fourth offering in the Playhouse's new subscription series. Branson, Missouri veteran performer, Miranda Jane stars as 'Miss Mona Stangley', the proprietress of the legendary "chicken ranch" operating outside Gilbert, Texas. Kristopher Holtz, plays the local sheriff, 'Ed Earl Dodd' who watches over Miss Mona and her girls. J.R. Stuart, who played the larger than life Producer in Totem Pole's 2017 production of The Drowsy Chaperone returns as 'Melvin P. Thorpe', the crusading television reporter (played by Dom DeLuise in the movie) who decides to make the illegal activity an issue causing the legendary the place to be closed down after more than a hundred years of operation. Theatre A Go-Go, Inc. is producing the production which will boast a cast of over 40 singers, dancers, actors and musicians - the largest cast to ever appear on stage in a production in the Playhouse's 69-year history.

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