The cast is set for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “State Fair”-- the first production of the 2007-2008 season by the North Platte Community Playhouse. “State Fair” will be presented at the Neville Center for the Performing Arts, at 8 p.m. on Sept. 28, 29, and Oct. 6, with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on Sept. 30 and Oct. 7.
Directors Jennifer Winder and Willa Brinkmeyer announced the cast.
Dick Hall will play the part of Abel Frake, a farmer who fervently hopes his prize hog will win the blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair. Lodelia Baxter will be in the role of his wife Melissa.
Abel’s ambitions for his hog are intensified by his $5 bet with his neighbor, Dave Williams, played by Walter “Scotty” Scott, who also appears as a roustabout.
His daughter and son, Margy and Wayne, will be played by Chelsea Fuesner and Scott Carlson, with James Holys as Margy’s longtime suitor and Sarah Wilson as Wayne’s girlfriend.
At the State Fair, Margy meets a cynical but charming news reporter, Pat Gilbert, played by Shane Williams, and Wayne becomes infatuated with a showgirl, Emily Arden, played by Susan Williams.
Other pig farmers, who sing in a quartet with Hall, are Don Swigart as Lem, Rick Nelson as Clay, and Kevin McGahan as Hank Munson.
Swigart is also a roustabout, McGahan a bartender, and Nelson a judge and “Uncle Sam.”
Harmonizing in another quartet -- the Fairtones -- are Holys; Glenn Van Velson; Bill Drost, who also appears as a judge and a concessionaire; and Dan O’Neill, who also plays Gus.
John Browers plays the fair announcer as well as the Astounding Stralenko, and Angie Wiese is the Hoopla Barker.
Todd Turner is the chief of police.
Other cast members are Edy Worick as Vivian; Carleigh Smith as Jeanne; Michael Beisner as Charlie; Megan Dalby as Violet; Teresa Smith as Judge
Heppenstahl; Sue McKain as Mrs. Edwin Metcalf; Tim Thompson, who mans the shooting gallery; Austin Logrande as a balloon vendor and judges’ assistant; Kortnei Hoeft as a judges’ assistant; and fairgoers Abby Kryzsko, Jennelle Worick, Macy Granger, Brikelle Torrez, and Lily Wilkinson.
“State Fair”, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, was produced in 1997 as a professional touring show and a Broadway musical with John Davidson as Abel Frake and Kathy Crosby as his wife.
The book by Tom Briggs and Louis Mattioli is based on the screenplay by Hammerstein and the novel by Phil Stong.
It was the only show that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote for the screen.
“State Fair” was released as a movie with Dana Andrews and Jeanne Crain in 1945. A remake in 1962 starred Pat Boone and Ann-Margaret.
With comedy, romance, and familiar songs like “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” and “It Might As Well Be Spring,” “State Fair” is a family-oriented show that will appeal to people of all ages.
Prices for season memberships include $40 for adults, $20 for students, and $100 for families (two adult and two student memberships).
This year, special patron memberships are being offered. Those interested in purchasing season or patron memberships should call the North Platte Community Playhouse, 308-532-8559, or visit the Playhouse website: www. northplattecommunityplayhouse.org.
The Neville Center is downtown at 5th and Bailey.