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Catawba College presents The Boyfriend

By Cassandra Bell
for The Salisbury Post
“The Boy Friend” is coming to Catawba College Nov. 12-15 in Hedrick Little Theater on campus.
Written by Sandy Wilson, the musical opened on Broadway in 1954. Julie Andrews starred as the original Polly and years later made her directorial debut when the show took its first national tour.
This clever, light-hearted show takes place on the French Riviera in Nice. The young and beautiful Polly Browne attends Madame Dubonnet’s school for “perfect young ladies,” and in an attempt to impress the other students, writes a letter to herself from her pretend boyfriend who she claims is coming to visit. She runs into a mail delivery boy, Tony Brockhurst, and they are quickly enamored with one another.
Polly worries about her father, Percival Browne, who thinks all men are only interested in his daughter because of the fortune she will one day inherit from him. The story continues through Polly’s struggles and the lives of those around her as Sandy Wilson puts a 1950s twist on the roaring 1920s. Despite the lies and trickery of the young lovers, all concludes well in a comedic twist, with all of the characters passionately paired together for a happy ending.
Catawba College Theater Arts professor, Dr. Missy Barnes directs this family friendly “G” rated show. Her interpretation of “The Boy Friend” is a modern perspective of the 1950s view of the 1920s.
“This performance is a cleaner, more detailed musical in comparison to many past productions” Barnes says, and the evidence is in the depth of research displayed through the scenic and lighting designs.
The actors take the show a step further by upping the stakes in the world of the play to create real, lovable characters for audiences to enjoy. Trouble with social status, finding true love, reconciling relationships and being true to one’s self are things we still experience and understand today, even though the show was written over 50 years ago.
“The Boy Friend” follows its characters as they love, learn, and live together in a story that reflects a need for fun, love, and beauty in the world around us.
The lighting design for “The Boy Friend” was done by Catawba Theatre Arts Professor Christopher Zink, who also serves as the technical director for the show. His lighting helps the audience understand the time and place of the show while giving the stage a happy, romantic feel.
Catawba Theatre Arts Professor David Pullium created the scenic design, which was based around the idea of confection and Parisian cakes. The set is complete with a classic 1920s Hollywood style, combined with French Art Deco, giving the stage a beauty of period elegance.
Cast members of “The Boy Friend” include Jacqueline Allen, Christopher Baglio, Caitlin Becka, Brad Boaz, Christine Caldemeyer, Canaan Cox, Michael Innis, Kaylee Johnson, Vanessa Malanga, Zach McRae, Christine Plough, Matt Patrick, Vaughn Pollman, Jesse Siak, Danielle Smith, Caitlin Springs, Mara Stewart , and Rob White.
Other crew members for “The Boy Friend” include Dustin Sullivan, stage manager; Christopher Baglio, assistant stage manager; Katie Haeuser, assistant stage manager; Autumn Hamilton, dance captain; Mary Alice Nichols, assistant choreographer; Luke Robinson, assistant technical director; Thomas Hawfield, lead carpenter; Katie Alexander, props master; Kat Tierney, lead props; Megan Fields, hair and makeup design; Shanna Locklair, first hand; Amber McCleery, wardrobe; Carmen Bartlett, master electrician; Meggie Bumgarner, costume designer; Kat Campagna, second hand; Carrie Foster,scenic charge; and Annabelle Prince, lead electrician.
Sarah Hall is music director; Susan Trivette is assistant music director.
“The Boy Friend” opens in Hedrick Little Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m., with shows following at the same time on Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14. On Sunday, Nov. 15 there is a matinee at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Catawba students.
For more details, contact the Catawba College Theater Box Office at 704-637-4481. You can also buy tickets online at http://www.showtix4u .com.
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Cassandra Bell is a Catawba College student.

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