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CC Playhosue to Revive PINOCCHIO as Part of 50th Anniversary Season

In December 1963, Paul Crabtree's The Perils of Pinocchio opened in the auditorium of the Cumberland Elementary School and created a county-wide storm of enthusiasm that gave birth to the Cumberland County Playhouse two years later. Now, on September 25 the Playhouse will present an updated version of the beloved musical fantasy as part of CCP's 50th Anniversary Season.

"We've updated 'Pinocchio' for a whole new generation, while still keeping true to Paul Crabtree's original vision," says director Weslie Webster (The Wizard of Oz). "We actually use some of the original costumes from the show, along with scenic elements from designer Joe Varga's beautiful 1988 production. And we're working with the same team that created the projections and animations for The Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins, who have promised the most amazing special effects they've produced yet!"

The cast will include more than two dozen young actors from Cumberland and Putnam counties, along with members of the Playhouse professional acting company. Featured in this year's cast are Chavin Medina and Sasha Villaruz who alternate in the role of Pinocchio, Levi Bailey and Sophie Burnett, who share the role of the Cricket, Darbi Banegas as the Queen of the Sea, Malachi Banegas as the Muledriver, Katey Dailey as Madam Pudda, with Camden Holbrook, Ethan Reed, Braxdon King, Sidney Warner and Carmen Medina as members of the Storybook Family. Playhouse professionals are Quinn Cason as Geppetto, Lindsey Mapes as the Blue Fairy, Donald Frison (who also choreographs the show) as the Fox, Chaz Sanders as the Cat, and Jensen Crain as Mother. Ron Murphy is Music Director and conducts the Playhouse Orchestra for this production.

The Perils of Pinocchio is rated G and is sponsored by members of the Crabtree family. Tickets are available by calling 931-484-5000 or by visiting

Currently at the Playhouse: Smoke on the Mountain, rated G, sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, through October 10 and Ken Ludwig's (Lend Me A Tenor) hilarious farce The Fox on the Fairway, rated PG-13, sponsored by Good Times Wine, Spirits & Brew, through October 16. Upcoming: Inlaws, Outlaws, and Other People (That Should Be Shot), rated G, sponsored by Uplands Village, October 22 through December 12. Tickets and information are also available for Southern Stars Symphonic Brass and other events. All CCP productions are made possible through sponsor support, with additional support provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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