Friday, June 29, 2007
Overture, Curtain, Lights
Tonight is Opening Night!
Don’t Miss M*A*S*H !
Presented by the Evansville Community Theatre
June 29 & 30, and July 5, 6, & 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinee on July 1 at 2 p.m.
What could be so funny about an army hospital on the front lines during the Korean War? Anyone who’s ever seen the television show MASH knows the answer to that…and anyone who hasn’t, will find out when they come to see the Evansville Community Theatre’s summer production of the comedy MASH.
There’s family-friendly fun all-around with this play. You’ll find the wisecracking doctors, Hawkeye and Duke; the humor of the straight-laced Major Houlihan and Frank Burns; the young clairvoyant Radar; and the nurses ready to pull a few pranks for a little revenge. When it’s not a laugh a minute, it’s three laughs a minute!
The play is presented in the state-of-the-art Evansville Performing Arts Center at Evansville High School, 640 S. Fifth St. Performances are June 29 and 30, and July 5, 6, and 7 at 7:30 p.m.; with a matinee on July 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are all general admission and are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets are available in advance in Evansville at the Union Bank and Trust, Piggly Wiggly, Evansville Pharmacy, and Bank of Evansville.
Almost thirty Evansville community members are cast in the play, with a couple dozen more working behind the scenes. The cast features an assortment of people you see every day in Evansville. You might talk to Michelle Allen behind the counter at the Evansville Pharmacy – she plays nurse Louise Kimble. Of course you’ve bought stamps from Dave Persons at the Evansville Post Office – he’s Father Mulcahy. Let’s hope you haven’t had to see Tom Beaver, the cook Sergeant Devine, in his official capacity as an Evansville EMT. Ever asked for a special tip on which cuts of meat are best at the Piggly Wiggly? Frank Burns is played by Lee Dammen, the meat department manager. Or you might have had a haircut from PJ Spears – she plays the Korean woman, Nyng -- or a facial treatment from skin care expert Denise Sobeski , Nurse Janice Fury – both at All About You hair salon. Come see how these familiar faces become the humorous characters of MASH!
The production will also feature a home grown, USO-type show at intermission, with local talent and actors from the play. Enjoy some time travel back to the musical times of the early 1950’s.
The play, adapted by Tim Kelly, is based on the original book by Richard Hooker written in 1968. The name Richard Hooker was a penname for the author, Richard Hornberger. Hornberger based the book MASH on his own experiences as a surgeon at the 8055 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. The character of Hawkeye is based on himself.
In addition to the play, the movie and the popular television series are also both based on the book. MASH, the movie, directed by Robert Altman, was released in 1970. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, and won an Oscar for its screenplay.
Of course, the television show MASH is most familiar to people. It ran from 1972 to 1983, with a total of 251 episodes, and won 14 Emmy Awards. The finale of the series was the most-watched show in television history. Even today, the series runs on television almost daily. The program is still so popular due to its quirky comedy mixed with drama, and the endearing combination of characters.
Action in the play takes place in a simpler time, during the Korean War. The hostilities of the Korean War occurred from 1950 to 1953, though Congress extended the official war period to 1955. During those five years, 6.8 million American men and women served in the military. The fact that women served alongside men in the MASH units brings a different element to the story. In real life, more than 120,000 women were on active duty in Korea as nurses and at support units nearby in Japan and other far eastern countries.
Don’t miss the chance to include a MASH performance in your 4th of July week celebrations. For more information about the play, contact producer Jennie Nehls at 608-882-4926 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or check the Evansville Community Theatre website at www.ectstagelights.org.