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Theater group preps for fourth season at CCC

The Clackamas Reperatory Theatre will present three plays this season

One is a 'hysterical, traditional British farce,' another features 'gorgeous music,' while the last one is 'funny, moving and thought provoking,' said Cynthia Smith-English, managing director of Clackamas Repertory Theatre, describing the professional group's upcoming season.

This will be CRT's fourth season in the Osterman Theatre in the Niemeyer Center on campus at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City.

First to open is 'See How They Run,' a classic British farce; it runs from July 10 to July 27.

'There are chases, confusion, doors' and even a dog, Smith-English said, adding that during its recent revival in England critics compared it to 'Noises Off.'

It will be directed by Merril Lynn Taylor, a guest director who works with the Coaster Theatre in Cannon Beach, and who has directed for other groups in the Portland area.

Next up, from Aug. 7 to Aug. 24, will be 'Swinging on a Star - The Johnny Burke Musical.'

Although Burke may not be a familiar name, many of his tunes will be recognizable to audiences, Smith-English said.

In addition to 'Swinging on a Star,' Burke wrote 'Pennies from Heaven' and 'Misty,' just to name a few 'jazz standards,' she added.

Burke also wrote all the lyrics for the Bing Crosby-Bob Hope 'road movies,' Smith-English said.

The musical will be directed by Cynthia Smith-English's husband, David Smith-English, who is the artistic director of CRT.

The show is arranged in a 'really clever' way, she said, as all the songs are grouped thematically and 'the scenes are fun.'

Plus there is 'tap dancing, great singing and a hot band,' featuring George Mitchell on keyboards; Mitchell is Diana Ross's keyboard player, Smith-English said.

The final show is a departure from farce and musical entertainment, but is a piece most people have heard of: 'Waiting for Godot.'

It will run from Sept. 25 to Oct. 12, and David Smith-English will again direct, mostly because he wanted to explore a 'range of things,' Cynthia Smith-English said.

'Waiting for Godot' is a play by Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett, which Cynthia Smith-English called a '20th century masterpiece.'

The play does not 'have an easy ending' and 'brings up a lot of questions,' she added.

'The two characters act like vaudeville characters to amuse themselves - humor is clearly in the script,' she said.

New additions

There are some new additions to the season this year, including a new curtain time of 7:30 p.m., pre-show presentations and post-show talk backs by area professors and actors, who will comment on the shows and answer questions about them.

Smith-English said there is a special offer in regard to season tickets going on right now. 'If you buy two season tickets by June 16, you will get one free ticket to any show,' she said, adding that al fresco dinners for an additional $15 are available before the shows on Saturdays in July and August.

Tickets are $20, with special rates available for seniors and students. Call the box office at 503-657-6958, ext. 5351, for more information.