Jan. 27, 2011
Theater students a Shawnee State University present a light-hearted musical, "The Boy Friend," that will be featured in the first dinner-theater production at the university on Valentine's Day, Monday, Feb. 14.
The musical comedy by Sandy Wilson ran in London in 1954 for 2,078 performances, more than five years. The scene takes place on the Riviera in France in the Roaring 1920s at a girl's finishing school.
"The music is delightful," said John Huston, associate professor and coordinator of the Theater program at SSU. "It's real upbeat jazz of the 1920s."
The fun begins when Polly Browne, daughter of a millionaire, is attracted to a poor errand boy and she pretends to be a secretary because she doesn't want him to know about her inheritance, thinking that he was poor.
In the end, she finds out that he is really the son of Lord and Lady Brockhurst, who had left home to try to make his own way in the world.
"It's all about people finding love," Huston said, "It's light-hearted, toe-tapping and just a fun play."
Julie Andrews made her American debut performance on Broadway as Polly in 1954. That launched her career in America and in 2003, she made her directorial debut with a production of "The Boy Friend" at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, N.Y.
The play has had several revivals including a production played in 2006 at the Open Air Theatre at Regent's Park, London. This also proved to be a highly acclaimed production, and was revived during the Open Air Theatre's 2007 season.
"The Boy Friend" will be playing at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts for six performances at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10 through Saturday, Feb. 12 and on Thursday, Feb. 17 through Saturday, Feb. 19.
A special dinner-theater is planned for Valentine's Day, Monday, Feb. 14 with reservations only at $24 each. A limited number of reservations are available.
General admission for the play only is $8 and for students, faculty and staff, admission is $6.
To make reservations for Valentine's Day or for more information, call the McKinley Box Office at (740) 351-3600.