By Cassandra Bell, Catawba Student
Photos: Kaylee Johnson
Theatregoers will enjoy a fun and fabulous musical comedy when they attend Catawba College's production of "The Boy Friend" November 12th through 15th in Hedrick Little Theater on campus.
"The Boy Friend" was written by Sandy Wilson and 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, France. 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 fifty 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 Perisian cakes. The set is complete with a classic 1920s Hollywood style along side of French Art Deco, giving the stage a beauty of period elegance.
Cast members of "The Boy Friend" include senior Jacqueline Allen of Winston-Salem; senior Christopher Baglio of Hubert; senior Caitlin Becka of Wilmington; sophomore Brad Boaz of Gastonia; senior Christine Caldemeyer of Mills River; sophomore Canaan Cox of Hendersonville; junior Michael Innis of Mint Hill; junior Kaylee Johnson of Charlotte; senior Vanessa Malanga of Rutherfordton; sophomore Zach McRae of Hendersonville; junior Christine Plough of Matthews; senior Matt Patrick of Trinity, Fla.; sophomore Vaughn Pollman of Overland Park, Kansas; sophomore Jesse Siak of Hendersonville; sophomore Danielle Smith of Charlotte; senior Caitlin Springs of Santa Clara, Calif.; junior Mara Stewart of Avon, Ind.; and junior Rob White of Mechanicsville, Md.
Other crew members for "The Boy Friend" include junior Dustin Sullivan of Monroe - Stage Manager; senior Christopher Baglio of Hubert - Assistant Stage Manager; junior Katie Haeuser of New Orleans,
La.- Assistant Stage Manager; sophomore Autumn Hamilton of Conyers, Ga. - Dance Captain; junior Mary Alice Nichols of Conyers, Ga. - Assistant Choreographer; senior Luke Robinson of Monroe - Assistant Technical Director; sophomore Thomas Hawfield of Monroe - Lead Carpenter; senior Katie Alexander of Vidalia, Ga. - Props Master; junior Kat Tierney of Smyrna, Ga. - Lead Props; sophomore Megan Fields of Moore, S.C. - Hair and Makeup Design; junior Shanna Locklair of Lewes, Del. - First Hand; junior Amber McCleery of Hendersonville - Wardrobe; senior Carmen Bartlett of Charlotte- Master Electrician; senior Meggie Bumgarner of Newton - Costume Designer; sophomore Kat Campagna of Watertown, Conn. - Second Hand; junior Carrie Foster of Baltimore, Md. - Scenic Charge; and sophomore Annabelle Prince of Charlotte - Lead Electrician.
"The Boy Friend" opens in Hedrick Little Theatre on Thursday, November 12th at 7:30 pm, with shows following at the same time on Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th. On Sunday, November 15th there is a matinee at 2:00 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 your tickets online at www.showtix4u.com.
PHOTOS: "The Boyfriend" Theatre Arts Production