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SCP Presents ‘Enchanted April’

Seneca Community Players continues its 35th season with “Enchanted April,” a heartwarming comedy about friendship, love and the rediscovery of life’s enchantments at 8 p.m. on April 20, 21, 27 and 28 and 2 p.m., April 22, in the Delavan Theatre in Seneca Falls.With May just around the corner, the dark days of April in the Finger Lakes, with temperatures and weather patterns more appropriate to winter than spring, are nearly over. But dark clouds may gather around the human heart, and for those who succumb, brighter days may never come. Such is the lesson of “Enchanted April,” director Becky Bly’s new stage adaptation of Matthew Barber’s play based on Elizabeth von Arnim’s 1921 best selling novel, with the promise of better times and sunnier outlooks for most everyone.”Enchanted April” opens in cold and rainy post-World War I London as Lotty Wilson (Pam Rapoza) and Rose Arnott (Laura Feligno) are introduced as the main characters. Both have husbands that overpower them, and their loveless marriages make them subjugated housewives. The English weather with cold rain beating against the doors of a ladies club does not help matters either. In the London Times, Lotty spots an ad for a secluded Tuscan villa for rent for the whole month of April. It should be the perfect place to rejuvenate the women, with wisteria growing everywhere and a view of the sea. To help pay expenses, they find two additional women to join them: Mrs. Graves (Kathy Hadley), a strong-willed autocratic woman who is very opinionated as to what she wants and does not want; and an upper-class flapper, Lady Caroline (Mariah Ernhout), who likes to dance on tables but wants to get away from the high life of gin and jazz.Also in the cast are RJ Rapoza as Lotty’s husband Mellersh, a supercilious and stuffy solicitor who firmly believes a woman’s place is in the home, and Jeb Albro as Rose’s husband Frederick, a breezy, sarcastic and sad husband who writes historical novels under a pen name.Patrick Fegley as Antony Wilding the villa’s landlord and Debbie Swenson as the Italian maid Costanza round out the company.Author Elizabeth von Arnim’s book is still read today by romantics. Both stage and screen have seen productions from the best seller, starting with a silent film version in 1925. Broadway saw a version that was adapted by Kane Campbell in 1925. RKO Radio films did a screen version in 1935, and Mike Newell directed a beautiful film of the romantic comedy with some of England’s top actresses — Jose Lawrence, Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright and Polly Walker — in 1992. Mathew Barber’s adaptation opened April 8, 2003 on Broadway where it was nominated for Tonys for Best Play and Best Actress (Jayne Atkinson). It ran 143 performances.The show is produced locally by Pam Bryan. Kimberly Stohel is stage manager, Rhonda Jasper is technical director, and Ellie Albro is master carpenter. Lynn Patti and Becky Bly are the set designers, and Carol Millis is the props master. Aerin Lanphear designed the costumes with assistance from Kris Marble while Ralph Sinicropi designed the sound, and Jeb Albro and Bly designed the lights. Hair and makeup are by Erin Winston and publicity is by Kevin Schoonover. Donna Russell is the show’s head of house. The light and sound boards are operated by Anita Grosso.Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. They are available at WomanMade Products in Seneca Falls, Area Records & Music in Geneva, by calling 315-568-9364, and on-line at www.SenecaCommunityPlayers.org.The Delavan Theatre is located on the campus of the New York Chiropractic College, Route 89 in Seneca Falls.SCP’s 35th season is generously sponsored by BonaDent Dental Laboratories. Other shows this season are: “The Sound of Music” directed by Kimberly Brown, July 26-29; and “When the Cat’s Away” directed by John King, October 11-14.Seneca Community Players’ mission is to foster, arouse and help broaden the interest, availability and appreciation of the theatre arts in Seneca and surrounding counties. Over its 35-year history, SCP has established itself as the only year-round Seneca County group that continually offers and produces quality theatrical productions highlighted by an annual summer musical. These productions provide the opportunity for community members to engage in the creative process on-stage, back stage and the design process.For more information about this or past shows or to become a member, visit www.SenecaCommunityPlayers.org.

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