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Musical Theatre West Continues Reiner Reading Series With BELLS ARE RINGING, 5/20

BELLS ARE RINGING, the next staged reading of MUSICAL Theatre West'S REINER READING SERIES, will take place on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

Ella Peterson, telephone operator at Sue's Answer Phone, is in love with the voice at PLaza 0-4433. Come and remember a time before cell phones and voicemail, where operators were standing by to take messages and maybe even change lives. This classic show originally starred Judy Holliday and features the standards "Just In Time" and "The Party's Over." BELLS ARE RINGING opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre in 1956, with music by Jule Styne and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and closed after 924 performances. The original Broadway production was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse. It was nominated for four Tony Awards, with wins for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for Judy Holliday and Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Sydney Chaplin.

This staged reading of BELLS ARE RINGING presents the entire script and score, but with minimal staging and costumes.

BELLS ARE RINGING will be directed by REINER READING SERIES producer Michael Betts with Musical Direction by Mathew Smedal (MTW's Forbidden Broadway, GREATEST HITS, VOLUME 2, MAN OF LA MANCHA, 1776) and choreographed by John Todd (Broadway: MOVIN' OUT) and will feature Damon Kirsche (MTW: MAN OF LA MANCHA, ANNIE, 1776; Regional: A PASSING WIND, OKLAHOMA!, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC) as Jeff Moss; Beth Malone (MTW: THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES; Broadway: RING OF FIRE) as Ella Peterson; and Nick Santa Maria (MTW: THE PRODUCERS, SUGAR; Broadway: THE PRODUCERS, Tommy Tune's GREASE; Off-Broadway: SECRETS EVERY SMART TRAVELER SHOULD KNOW) as Sandor. Additional casting to be announced.

MTW's Reiner Reading Series, produced by Michael Betts with associate producer David Lamoureux, focuses on staged readings of classic musicals and forgotten gems, and maintains MTW's commitment to celebrate and preserve musical theater as an art form by exposing audiences to works that might not otherwise be produced on a larger scale. Through the minimalism of the staged reading format, we invite the audience to use their imaginations to explore and enjoy the diverse range of musical theater, both in style and era, including lesser-known shows by noted composers as well as noted shows by lesser-known composers.

Musical Theatre West presents BELLS ARE RINGING in a staged reading format for one night only on Sunday, May 20, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. at the University Theater on the CSU Long Beach campus at the 7th Street entrance. This series is generously underwritten by long-time Long Beach residents and Musical Theatre West donors Ken and Dottie Reiner, with additional funding from the Ackerman Family/Evalyn M. Bauer Foundation and has been recently awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Pre-purchased general admission tickets start at $25.00 ($30 day of at the door) and are available now through the MTW box office at 562-856-1999, x4 or at


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