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News Release

Date: May 24, 2007
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

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Summer Dinner Theatre Serves Up 30 Years of Broadway Blockbusters
Montgomery College Students Will Bring “Dames at Sea,” “Ragtime” to Life This Summer

This summer, Montgomery College will celebrate 30 years of toe-tapping, sing-along Summer Dinner Theatre musicals with its presentation of two classic productions, “Dames at Sea” and “Ragtime.” Performances of “Dames at Sea” will take place June 15-16, 22-24, 29-30, and July 1. “Ragtime” runs July 13-14, 20-22, and 27-29.

Montgomery College’s Summer Dinner Theatre is an annual training ground for both aspiring musical theatre performers and behind-the-scenes artists. Just like a Broadway musical, student performers audition for roles and technicians apply for production work. Performers include Montgomery College theatre and music majors, visiting students who study during the year at various universities, talented high school students and members of the community. Those chosen to participate get 10 weeks of hands-on education in everything from singing and dancing to costumes and lighting.

For some students, Summer Dinner Theatre marks the first time they have worked with professionals to learn the craft of acting and theatre production. And in a true dinner theatre fashion, the students also serve as waiters at the performances.

The first production, “Dames at Sea,” is a wacky send-up of the Busby Berkeley-style Hollywood musicals of the 1930s. Love, confusion, and tap dancing take center stage in this fast-paced delight that is all in good fun. “Dames at Sea” will be directed by Roberta Gasbarre and choreographed by Roger Bennett Riggle, and the musical director will be Michael Rossi.

“Ragtime: The Musical” is the Tony-winning adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s panoramic novel. The play is a musical montage that dramatizes the American experience at the chaotic beginning of the 20th century. The sweeping epic weaves together the lives of three fictional American families playing against the events of the time. Professor Susan Hoffman, chair of the Montgomery College Theatre Department, will direct this production, with musical direction provided by N. Thomas Pedersen and choreography by Keittra Colombel.

Tickets for Summer Dinner Theatre are $35.50 for adults and $25.25 for children ages 12 and under. Prices include the performance and a full dinner buffet. At Friday and Saturday night performances, the doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with a show time of 8:15 p.m. On Sunday, the buffet will open at 12:30 p.m., with a 2:15 p.m. show time.

All performances are held in the Theatre Arts Arena on the College’s Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/summerdinnertheatre or call 240-567-7676.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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