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April 6, 2010


Cast Announced for Bells are Ringing

Director Deborah Howard has announced the cast for Bells Are Ringing, the second major production of Gaslight's season.

Karen LaPlante is Ella Peterson, who works in the basement office of her boss, Sue (Dorothy Schull), of "Susanswerphone", a telephone answering service. She listens in on others' lives and adds some interest to her own humdrum existence by adopting different identities – and voices – for her clients.

Those clients include Blake Barton, an out-of-work Method actor (Matt Buganza), Dr. Kitchell (Bill Haley), a dentist with musical yearnings but lacking talent, and playwright Jeff Moss (Frank Omar), who is suffering from writer's block and desperately needs a muse.

As suggested by the song title, Ella considers the relationships with these clients "perfect" because she can't see them and they can't see her, yet she derives great pleasure from meddling in their lives. When Jeff Moss pleads with Ella for help in writing, she responds, and a romance ensues. Complications arise when Ella thinks that she does not fit in with Jeff's wealthy friends.

Adding complications to the plot are the police, who are certain the business is a front for an "escort service," and Sandor, the owner's shady boyfriend (Chris Cart), who unbeknownst to Sue is using the agency as a bookmaking operation. The bookie joint operates by the unique method of using classical music titles as codes for races and horses.

Rounding out the cast are Christopher Allen, Jen Cart, Bob Collins, Rebecca Cothen, Desiree Genthner, Whitney Lind, Eric Lundquist, Jennifer Raymond, Henrik Strandskov and Erik Tainter.

Deborah Howard directs, and Brad Howard is the Musical Director. Stage Manager is Linda Duarte, and Ellen Clair Lamb produces. The show features book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and lyrics by Jule Styne. The score features such favorites as "Just in Time" and "The Party's Over."

Gaslight Theater's production of Bells Are Ringing will open June 18th at Hallowell City Hall.