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Playbills aplenty

November 04, 2004|by KATE COLEMAN

katec@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - "The beauty of live theater is you never know what you're gonna get," said Vicki Gontz, who's directing "Gold Dust Memories, A 50 Karat Revue" which will open Chambersburg Community Theatre's 51st season Friday, Nov. 5.

Gontz was talking to the cast, crew and a few "stage moms" assembled before rehearsal last Thursday evening - just a day more than a week before opening night at the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg.

Her announcements included some bad news. The college student cast in roles for three of the show's more than 50 musical numbers was out due to a conflict with a required class.

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In the "life imitates art" category, Sally Herritt, the company's executive director, had bronchitis. She was hoping to recover by curtain time to sing "Adelaide's Lament" from "Guys and Dolls." The song's refrain, "A person can develop a cold," seemed more than appropriate.

"Gold Dust Memories," is a celebration of the community theater group's half-century anniversary and includes a cast of 30 to 35 performers ages 9 or 10 to 50-something.

The show and some of the songs taken from shows performed through five decades are emblematic of the community theater experience - in Chambersburg and the other Tri-State area venues.

Amateur performers - people who have busy lives of work, school and family - participate for the love of it.

Renee Sharpe expressed a similar thought in the role of Sister Robert Anne from "Nunsense." As another part of "Gold Dust Memories," she sang, "I don't care if I'm rich or famous, I just want to be a star."

Season schedules are at right for Apollo Civic Theatre in Martinsburg, W.Va., Chambersburg Community Theatre, Old Opera House Theatre Company in Charles Town, W.Va., and Hagerstown's Potomac Playmakers. Information about Brunswick (Md.) Community Theater reader's theater also is included. Chambersburg's Conococheague Players, another reader's theater, doesn't have sessions scheduled, but information is available by calling 1-717-264-2247.

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