News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: June 12, 2003 (03-51)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Students become stars at Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre 2003
26th Season Includes Productions of Me and My GirL and HELLO, DOLLY! 

Montgomery College students bring classic Broadway musicals to life during the Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre.  This 26th season features the production of Me and My Girl in the months of June and July and the production of Hello, Dolly! during the months of July and August. 

Almost 100 students – ranging in age from 15 to 40 years old – are currently enrolled at Montgomery College for the Summer Dinner Theatre course.  For 10 weeks, they take classes in everything from voice to makeup and movement.  Students also learn about producing musicals in a dinner theatre setting.  For many of them, Summer Dinner Theatre is the first time that professionals help them learn the craft of acting.   

That was the case for New York City actor Melissa Lone, a former Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre student.  Lone is currently touring the country in the cast of Beauty and the Beast and is the understudy for the lead role of Belle.  Recently, the production stopped at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., not far from Lone’s hometown of Wheaton. 

Lone credits Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre with giving her that first big break.  At the age of 11, she was cast as an orphan in the musical Annie.  Only 11 days before the first show, Lone was chosen to take over the lead role of Annie.

“They were great,” Lone said about the support she received from the Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre production staff.  “They saw potential and they knew what to do with it.  They opened a whole new world for me.  Musical theater is what my life is now and I can’t live without it.”      

“For me, watching these young performers discover their art and themselves in their art is the reason I come back every year,” said Susan Hoffman, chair of the Speech, Dance, Theatre and ASL Department at the Montgomery College Rockville Campus.  “We’ve watched students grow up, even whole families grow up.  It is a safe place for them to learn and grow.”

The first production of the season, Me and My Girl, is a rags-to-riches comedy about a poor man who learns he is an heir.  It features the songs “The Lambeth Walk,” and “Leaning On a Lamppost.”  The second production, Hello, Dolly, is the story of a matchmaker who meddles with good intentions, but often, gets into trouble.  The songs, including “Hello, Dolly” and “Before the Parade Passes By,” will have you humming long after you leave your seat.

The dates for Me and My Girl are June 20-21, 27-28 and July 5 with matinee performances on June 22 and July 6.  The performances of Hello, Dolly! will run on July 18-19, 25-26, and August 1-2 with a matinee on June 27.  For evening shows, the buffet opens at 6:30 p.m. and the curtain rises at 8:15 p.m.  For matinee performances, the buffet opens at 12:30 p.m. and the curtain rises at 2:15 p.m.

A special matinee benefit performance of Hello, Dolly! will be held on Sunday, July 20, as a tribute to former U.S. Representative Connie Morella, who is also a former Montgomery College English professor. Tickets for the performance and the “Hello Connie” tribute are $35 per adult and $28 for children under 12.  To purchase these special tickets, contact the Montgomery College Alumni Association at 240-567-5378. 

Regular show tickets cost $32.00 for adults and $23.50 for children under the age of 12 years old.  There is a 10% discount on the purchase of tickets to both shows.  Priority seating is given to those who purchase their tickets early.  For more information, call 240-567-7676 or log on to www.montgomerycollege.edu and click on the Summer Dinner Theatre hot link.

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