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“Cycles: The Songs of a Lifetime” a musical revue celebrating the various stages of life and love, will premier at 8 p.m. Friday, May 21, at Franklin Square Park in Southport. The show is set for May 21-23 and May 28-30.
“Cycles” will be the seventh free musical revue Brunswick Little Theatre has performed in the park “as a gift to the community,” according to director Jonathan Richmond.
Each year, the theater group performs a musical revue in the park, inviting the public to bring their blankets, chairs and picnic baskets and enjoy the music under the stars. The latest musical revue is a collection of handpicked songs from a variety of popular musicals to illustrate “the four seasons of life,” Richmond said.
“It’s a whole series of love songs, taken primarily from Broadway.”
With the assistance of his three daughters—Eleanor Erickson, Jen Iapalucci and Katie Deese, all of whom are involved in Brunswick Little Theatre productions—Richmond pulled the songs together to illustrate the “cycles” of relationships—from falling in love through growing old together.
The show features musical numbers from “Pippin,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Sweeney Todd” and numerous others.
Five men and six women make up the cast: Frank Blackmon, Jamie Herlihy-Carbone, Thom Clemmons, Mark Deese, Jen Hancock, Jen Iapalucci, Katie Jacewicz, Linda Ladrick, Frank Mahoney and Eric Pittenger.
“It’s an awesome cast,” Richmond said. “I was most fortunate to get such wonderful voices.”
Richmond, formerly of New York, has been directing community-theater shows since the 1970s. The last musical he directed for Brunswick Little Theatre was “1940s Radio Hour” in 2006. He has worked behind-the-scenes on various park shows, but this is his first time directing an all-music revue.
Richmond said he likes the idea of giving back to the community in Southport, where BLT got its start more than 25 years ago and made its home base until the group began performing at the Odell Williamson Auditorium in 2005.
“Cycles” cast member Hancock agreed.
“I like the park shows. It’s more intimate, and I like being outside,” Hancock said.
Cast member Clemmons, performing in his fifth park musical, said he also enjoys the “less formal” nature of the show.
“The audience can relax under the trees and stars with their family and friends, and the cast can enjoy singing some wonderful songs—and all for free. This is a great time for the general public that is not familiar with BLT to get to see us for free and, hopefully, come see other paying shows.”
Cast member Deese said performing in a show that’s mainly songs from various plays presents its own challenges, but the cast is up for it.
“There [are] a lot of different composers and different styles,” he said. “Singing one composer’s work is quite different from another. …And anytime you try to do harmonies with 11 people, it’s a challenge.”
With an experienced cast of singers and a group of behind-the-scenes talent working overtime to produce a good show, the troupe seems ready to meet any challenge that awaits.
Want to go?
“Cycles: The Songs of a Lifetime”
8 p.m., May 21-23; May 28-30
Franklin Square Park, Southport
Admission is free
Bring a chair or blanket