‘An Evening of Love Songs' next for Highland Stage

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:46

    VERNON-The Highland Stage is launching the remainder of its eighth season with a Feb. 26 cabaret event to raise funds for the nonprofit company's operations. "An Evening of Love Songs" will feature many of the company's past performers in a series of solos and duets that will be capped by a preview of the April dinner theater engagement of the love-and-marriage musical I Do, I Do by Rainbow Productions and sponsored by the Highland Stage. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Vernon. The requested donation is $10 for all patrons. The cabaret will offer light refreshments, coffee, tea, and wine. The two-character musical I Do, I Do, was a hit on Broadway featuring Mary Martin and Robert Preston. Written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, the team that created The Fantasticks, the production is touring from New York to Ohio during the year. The show has to do with a couple that falls in love and gets married. It follows them through to old age. The musical's performers, Faith Anderson and Jon Hartlage, are using the show to raise funds for their own planned wedding in July of 2006. Proceeds for this April 8 and 9 dinner theater are split between The Highland Stage and Rainbow Productions, which pays the two professional singer-actors. The company's season then moves to the world of Shakespeare, as the company plans to present the comedy Twelfth Night in the manner experienced by Elizabethan audiences for area theater lovers and students. The play will be characterized by high energy, audience interaction, and an emphasis on costumes, props, multiple role and cross-gender casting, and a de-emphasis on scenery and stage lighting. The method, popularized internationally by the Shenandoah Shakespeare Company, brings running time down to just over two hours and provides an Elizabethan experience. It will be directed by company founder William Donald and will be scheduled in early June. The company's final effort of this season will be its annual Summer Youth Musical Theatre in late July and early August. The title is still being decided. For tickets to the Feb. 26 cabaret, call 973-875-3039, or stop at Holy Counselor Lutheran Church on Sandhill Road in Vernon during the daytime.