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SUMMER LOVIN' to be Presented at Summer Place Theatre

Audiences will be serenaded by classics like "Too Darn Hot" (Kiss Me, Kate) and "Sunday" (Sunday in the Park with George).

SUMMER LOVIN' to be Presented at Summer Place Theatre Summer is back, and so is live theatre! The Summer Place, Naperville's community theatre since 1966, will return to the stage after a 15-month hiatus. They're kicking off their 3-show program with an original musical revue called Summer Lovin' to celebrate their favorite season. This concert of summertime Broadway favorites will be performed outdoors by a talented cast of Chicago-area singers and a live band the weekend of June 18.

Summer Lovin' was conceived by Co-Directors Emma Gingold and Jeff Sand, and Music Director Rex Meyer, the same team that produced Summer Place's spring fundraiser in March of 2020.

"[That show] was one of the last live events in Naperville before the shutdown last March, so it feels like coming full circle to produce another musical revue as we begin to emerge from the pandemic together," says Jeff.

Emma adds, "We're literally getting the band back together!" The four-piece live band will provide the accompaniment for the cast of 19 singers, and they can't wait to finally perform again. "The joy on everyone's faces at the first in-person rehearsal spoke volumes."

For safety reasons, rehearsals were held online for the first few weeks. But Zoom music rehearsals present some unique challenges. "With latency, you can't actually sing 'together,'" says Emma, who taught the music using a combination of traditional rehearsal techniques and homework. "They had to be super independent, but frankly, it paid off." All that hard work at home meant that their first in-person rehearsals were both efficient and spine-tingling. "It was a thrill to finally hear the cast sing together in person after several weeks of Zoom rehearsals," says Jeff.

Audiences will lounge on their picnic blankets and camp chairs to be serenaded by classics like "Too Darn Hot" (Kiss Me, Kate) and "Sunday" (Sunday in the Park with George). Kick off your shoes and dance in the grass to "Another Day of Sun" (La La Land) and "The Schuyler Sisters" (Hamilton). And sing along to hits like "In Summer" (Frozen) and, of course, the karaoke classic "Summer Nights" (Grease). Tunes from favorite shows like Mary Poppins, Shrek: The Musical, and Come From Away are also featured, plus a song from In the Heights, which will be released in movie theaters this week. The songs were chosen to invoke memories of picnics, ice cream, climbing trees, taking vacations, and good times--something many of us have been looking forward to all year.

Summer Place president Don Gingold, who will also serve as the show's Emcee, is just as excited to be back on stage as the rest of the cast. "It'll be a little different outdoors, but anytime we can perform in front of a live audience is time well spent," says Don. Interestingly, Summer Place began as an outdoor theatre company that performed in a tent at North Central College, "so this year will be a bit of a throwback for some of our long-time season ticket holders," Jeff says. He also likens it to Ravinia, with a more palatable ticket price.

And really, the talent of the cast and the summery subject matter can't be beat: "I didn't know there were so many show tunes about summer!" says Don, "but deservedly so... We should do this every year!"

Summer Lovin's will perform live outdoors at the Wagner Family Pavilion at the 95th Street Community Plaza in Naperville on June 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00 p.m. Bring blankets or chairs. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors, students, and children. American Sign Language interpreted on Sunday, June 20.  Visit https://summerplacetheatre.org/Tickets to buy online.


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