A World Premiere (ZORRO!), two classic gems (THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS and WITHIN THE LAW), a new adaptation based on stories written by a Pulitzer Prize-winner (CHRISTMAS IN WISCONSIN), and an American detective joins Holmes (HOLMES AND CARTER MYSTERIES) AND a Sunday Film Series! (See Sidebar)
What a great line-up that you won't want to miss! See Details below for Shows!
June 11 - July 19 at 8:30: (no show on Fri. July 4; added show on Sunday July 6) The First Fifty Years This comedy/drama charts the ups and downs of a married couple in seven scenes from 1872, seven years after the end of the Civil War, to their golden anniversary at the beginning of the Roaring ‘20s, in 1922. ELTC’s artistic director tracked down the only known script of this forgotten gem at the Billy Rose Collection at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts in NYC. Playing on Broadway in 1922, this was the first success of Henry Myers who later wrote screenplays, including Destry Rides Again, and numbered Jay Gorney, who wrote the tune for "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," as one of his collaborators. Many may know the 1952 Tony Award-winning play The Fourposter written by Jan de Hartog that covers 35 years of a marriage from 1890-1925, and was adapted into the musical, I Do! I Do! but The First Fifty Years came first. To read an article by Jacob Schaad in "The Gazette" about Gayle's research, click here.
Tues. July 1 at 8:00: The Dancing Princesses based on a story by The Brothers Grimm, performed by members of the Student Workshop Theater - an admission-free performance for the community. For more information about our Student Theater Workshop and other workshops for all ages and school residencies, go to Click Here. For an application for the Summer Student Theater Workshop Click Here. (Photo is from the performance of ELTC's Wildwood's After-School Program, performed by 6th and 7th grade students.)
July 23 - Aug. 30 at 8:30: Zorro! (World Premiere) In 1919, the character of “Zorro” first appeared in The Curse of Capistrano. Written by Johnston McCulley, it was a serialized novel in “All-Story Weekly” magazine. After the success of Douglas Fairbank’s silent film, it was reissued under the title The Mark of Zorro. Now he’s on stage in this world premiere adapted by James Rana. When a common citizen realizes the governor of Old California is arresting people because they disagree with him, he dons a mask and cape, and wields his sword to avenge the wrong. Of course he falls in love along the way. But she is, of course, in love with Zorro, and not the alter ego. As in ELTC’s world premieres of Rana’s highly successful adaptations of The Poe Mysteries and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a cast of six portray a variety of roles. (Photo of James Rana when he was in The Poe Mysteries.)
Sept 17 – Oct. 12 at 8:00: (No show on Wed. Oct. 8; added show on Sun. Oct. 12 at 7:30): Within the Law This Broadway sensation had the enviable record of being the most popular and financially successful play to hit New York in ten years. Part of its charm lies in the fact that it’s a drama, comedy, romance, and mystery all rolled into one hit. Opening in September, 1912 at the Eltinge Theatre, it ran for two years (a long run in those days), receiving praise from critics, social workers, city officials, and audiences alike. The plot involves Mary Turner, a sales clerk in a big Manhattan department store, being falsely accused of shoplifting. Her pleas for justice solicit a sneer from the store owner, but she warns him that, although she is no thief, if he doesn't pay his employees a decent wage, there will be more thefts. After her prison term, Mary learns how to fight society and wealth with their own weapons, so she can seek revenge on those who wronged her by staying just “within the law.” This was familiar territory for playwright Bayard Veiller, who grew up poor in Brooklyn and spent many years as a police reporter before becoming a successful playwright. Within the Law was adapted into three successful films and a teleplay in the 1950s. It was last on Broadway as a limited run in 1928: part of a revived-play series. (Photo is from the 1916 silent film that was destroyed in 1920.) To read an interview with the playwright in "The New York Time," 1912, click here.
Nov. 7 and 8 at 8:00: Holmes and Carter Mysteries ELTC’s popular vintage-radio style production, complete with live sound effects and commercials, with two great detectives! Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Copper Beeches about a governess in peril, and Nick Carter and the Strange Dr. Devolo, in which Manhattan millionaires are missing. The same cast of six go from taking on roles in Victorian England, to portraying characters in New York City during World War II.
While Sherlock Holmes was solving crimes in England, Nick Carter was busy in Manhattan. Carter first appeared in The Old Detective’s Pupil, serialized in Street and Smith’s “New York Weekly” in 1886 – a year before Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes’ first caper, A Study in Scarlet. In October, 1930, the Sherlock Holmes radio series began with The Adventure of the Speckled Band and in April, 1943, the Nick Carter series was launched with The Strange Dr. Devolo. Holmes on radio lasted until 1950, with a variety of actors portraying Holmes, including Basil Rathbone. The Carter series lasted through 1955 with only one actor playing Carter: Lon Clark. While Copper Beeches is not the original script by Edith Meiser (this one is adapted by Gayle Stahlhuth), The Strange Dr. Devolo IS the original script. The Nick Carter Detective character, copyright, and trademarks are owned by Conde Nast. Used with permission. Click Here to See Cast Bios and Notes
Nov 28 - Dec. 13 at 8:00: Christmas in Wisconsin: Tales by Zona Gale (Nov. 28, 29, Dec. 7, 11, 12, and 13 at 8:00; Special Matinee on Dec. 13 at 2:00) This Pulitzer Prize-winning author centered many of her stories in the imaginary town of Friendship Village, filled with all sorts of interesting people, not unlike those in Lake Wobegon in Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. The tales are brought beautifully to life in storytelling fashion by ELTC’s artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth. As in her other holiday shows, including The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, she portrays thirty-plus characters, quickly moving from one to another. This unique holiday treat has become a holiday tradition for many Cape May visitors and tourists.
“Stahlhuth mesmerizes audiences as she moves seamlessly from character to character.” - Catherine Dugan, “Exit Zero”
Shows run Wednesdays through Saturdays unless otherwise noted.
Location: First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May
Tickets: $30 general; $25 senior; $15 students; ages 12 and under free.
Tickets for Holmes and the Christmas Show: $25; $15; age 12 and under free
Group Rates Available and Dinner/Show Packages
SEASON SPONSORS: CURRAN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT,
THE HENRY SAWYER INN, ALEATHEA'S RESTAURANT, and LA MER BEACHFRONT INN