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LTC presents 'Jamaica' part of the Lost Treasures Collection Series

Three performances only Feb. 19, 20

'Jamaica' is part of the Lost Treasures Collection at Lakewood Theatre Company.

Lakewood Theatre Company’s The Lost Treasures Collection, a series named for its “rarely performed musical gems,” is in full swing.

In its sixth season this year, the series’ carries the theme “Passport to Romance,” and each musical is presented in a concert/cabaret style. The second installment in the series, “Jamaica” will offer three performances, Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 20 at 2 and 7 p.m. on Lakewood’s Side Door stage at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego.

Shows in the Lost Treasures Series are presented script-in-hand, with minimal staging. There are no sets, props or the typical trappings of a fully staged production.

“Jamaica” features music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, and book by Harburg and Fred Saidy. Lakewood’s production is directed by Ron Daum, with musical direction by Beth Noelle.

The show, produced by Kay Vega and Steve Knox, is set on a tropical island paradise off Jamaica’s coast. A poor but handsome fisherman, Koli (Joey Côté), loves Savannah (Essie Canty Bertain). But the beautiful Savannah spends her hours daydreaming of glamorous New York. When glib New York businessman Joe Nashua (Seth Rue) arrives to take over the island with plans for big money and fast growth, she falls for his promises of fame and fortune. Yet, the island’s conjuror, Grandma Obeah (Josie Seid), will change everything, revealing true love in a swirl of magic, music and calypso.

Others cast members include: Carmen Payne, Yohannes Murphy, Eric Asawaga, Matthew Freitas and Kurleen Nowickas. Musicians include pianist Beth Noelle, keyboardist Tyrene Bada and percussionist Christopher Johnedis.

Arlen’s music parodies a form of Calypso that was hot in the 1950s, largely because of the popular Harry Belafonte, for whom the musical originally was written. Belafonte withdrew from the production due to illness, and the musical was reshaped around the talents of Lena Horne, who starred as Savannah.

Ticket prices are $20 for all seats. Contact the Lakewood Theatre box office at 503-635-3901 or order online at www.lakewood-center.org. Food and beverages are available to purchase before and during the show.