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Musical based on holiday classic will run three weekends


The Cumberland Theatre will conclude their 34th season of entertainment with the holiday show Elf the Musical opening on December 1st and running through December 18th. The show is being sponsored by Mary Splain Shrout, MIXX Boutique, Queen City Creamery and Fore Axes.

Based on the cherished 2003 hit film, Elf starring Will Ferrell and James Caan, the musical tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan, who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.


Heading the cast as Buddy the Elf is newcomer Matthew Porter. Based in Detroit, Michigan, Porter holds a B.A. in Musical Theatre from Siena Heights University and has appeared in various roles at the Barter Theatre and Missoula Children’s Theatre. Playing opposite him as Jovie will be local actor Savannah Tagliaferro who has appeared on the CT stage in a number of productions: Mamma Mia, Carrie the Musical and, most recently, as Cathy in The Last Five Years.


Detroit-based actor Matthew Porter will play Buddy the Elf

Playing the roles of Walter and Emily Hobbs and both making their Cumberland Theatre debuts will be visiting actors Isaac Conner who currently resides in New York and Kay Koch of New Jersey. Local actor Oliver Nau is cast as their son Michael.


Rounding out the principal cast is Michaela Hale as Deb, Jordan Kline as the Store Manager and Steve Cairns pulling double duty as both Santa and Mr. Greenway.

The show features several large musical numbers and a strong ensemble cast as been assembled which is comprised of both local and out-of-town actors, singers and dancers. Sean Besecker, Jamiel Burkhart, Maria Cabral, Lillian Clark, Arianna Fiorentino, Kiersten Gasemy, Marty Jellison, Connor McCabe, Lexus Middleton, and Katelyn Shreiner will be featured throughout the production.


Elf the Musical is under the direction of Kimberli Rowley with musical direction by Kelly Schrecengost and choreography by Danny Durr. The design team includes Rhett Wolford (set and lighting), Jennifer Clark (costumes), and Durr (props). Run crew is comprised of Hayden Kline (stage manager) and Elizabeth Mudge (assistant stage manager/wardrobe assistant).


The show plays Thursday – Saturday nights at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. It is appropriate for all audiences and runs approximately 2 hours with one intermission. Tickets are available by calling 301.759.4990 or online at cumberlandtheatre.com. Group rates are available for groups of twenty or more. A complimentary opening reception will be held following the official opening night on Friday, December 2nd.

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Familiar characters tell a holiday story for children and the young at heart


The Cumberland Theatre will be presenting A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail this weekend for a limited run of four performances. The show is part of the CT’s Theatre for Young Audiences initiative and is approximately 40 minutes in length making it ideal for families with young children.

Christopher Robin tells a story of a Christmas Eve when Eeyore, the old gray donkey who lives by himself in the thistle corner of Hundred-Acre Wood, was absolutely miserable. It seems that he lost his tail. Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet get all of their friends involved and a search is organized. All the familiar characters are present, plus delightful songs, and a timeless theme, which concerns caring, sharing and the importance of friendship.


The show features the talents of Katelyn Shreiner (Winnie the Pooh), Brielle Windle (Eeyore), Sophia Brill (Piglet), Connor McCabe (Rabbit), Jamiel Burkhart (Tigger), Mikayla Dodge (Owl), Lexus Middleton (Kanga) and Marty Jellison (Christopher Robin). The creative team consists of Kimberli Rowley (Director) and Dodge (Music Director). Hayden Kline is the production stage manager with assistance from Thomas Kifer and Elizabeth Mudge.


Winnie the Pooh will run November 26th and 27th with 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm performances on both days. The show is performed with no intermission, however, refreshments will be available in the lobby before and after the performances.

A pre-show “character brunch” is also being offered at the Centre Street Collective at 11:30 am on both Saturday and Sunday where children can meet the characters from the 100 Acre Woods and enjoy various breakfast foods. To buy tickets and book your brunch, please visit cumberlandtheatre.com or call 301.759.4990.


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Passes and Subscriptions Now on Sale


The Cumberland Theatre has announced their 2023 Main Stage Season and season passes are now available for purchase. The theatre will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2023 and an exciting line-up of shows has been planned as well as youth productions, readings and other events.

The season will open in February with the Agatha Christie mystery Murder on the Orient Express. The adaptation by Ken Ludwig features a familiar tale with a dose of comedy. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a eight times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, the passengers rely on detective Hercule Poirot to identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.


In March, the theatre will produce The Wisdom of Eve. Adapted from the story by Mary Orr, on which the film All About Eve starring Betty Davis is based. An engrossing and revealing “inside” story of life in New York’s theatre world, told in terms of an unscrupulous ingenue’s rise to Broadway stardom. When we first meet Eve Harrington, she is standing in the rain by the stage door of the theatre in which the renowned Margo Channing is starring in her latest long-run hit. Waiting for a glimpse of her professed idol, she accosts Karen Roberts, Margo’s good friend and inveigles an invitation to meet the great actress herself. The meeting leads to unexpected opportunity as Margo, struck with Eve’s “sincerity,” takes her on as a personal secretary. Then Eve begins to move ahead in earnest, her true character emerging as she lies, cheats and blackmails her way to Broadway stardom—and then a Hollywood career—leaving the wreckage of her friends’ trust behind her.


The season will continue in May with the Tony-award winning musical The Prom. Recently adapted into a feature film starring Meryl Streep, James Corden and Nicole Kidman, the show tells the story of four eccentric Broadway stars who are in desperate need of a new stage. When they hear that trouble is brewing around a small-town prom, they know that it’s time to put a spotlight on the issue…and themselves. The town’s parents want to keep the high school dance on the straight and narrow—but when one student just wants to bring her girlfriend to prom, the entire town has a date with destiny. On a mission to transform lives, Broadway’s brassiest join forces with a courageous girl and the town’s citizens and the result is love that brings them all together. Also, winner of the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical, The Prom expertly captures all the humor and heart of a classic musical comedy with a message that resonates with audiences now more than ever.


June will take audiences behind the scenes of the perfect day gone wrong with the comic farce Perfect Wedding. Performed in literally hundreds of theatres throughout Europe and the United States, the show shines a light on an appalling situation. A bridegroom wakes on his wedding morning in his own bridal suite, with his bride-to-be about to arrive any moment, and finds a strange girl in bed beside him. What's more an extremely attractive girl whom, in the depths of his post stag-night hangover, he can't remotely remember even having been introduced to. Worse - during the ensuing panic to get the stranger dressed and out of the way, the bride arrives. The only way out of the dilemma is to persuade the best man to pretend that the hidden girl is his girlfriend. By the time the bride's parents and half the hotel staff get in on the act, the chaos reaches nuclear proportions!


The summer musical will be Escape to Margaritaville, which will run the entire month of July. The show is a musical comedy featuring the most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics, including “Cheeseburger in Paradise”, “Margaritaville,” “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” “Fins,” “Volcano,” and many more. With a book by Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl,” “Raising Hope”) and Emmy nominee Mike O’Malley (“Survivor’s Remorse,” “Shameless”), this hilarious, heartwarming musical is the summer party everyone has been waiting for!


The courtroom drama A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin will follow in September. This Broadway hit - Sorkin’s groundbreaking debut - tells the story of a group of military lawyers assigned to defend two Marines in Guantanamo Bay. During the course of the trial, they uncover a high-level conspiracy designed to eliminate weaker soldiers in the name of patriotism. The play was made into an award-winning film in 1991 starring Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson.


Evil Dead the Musical will run during the month of October – just in time for Halloween. This hilarious show takes all the elements of the cult classic films The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness and combines them into one of the craziest theatrical experiences of all time. Five college students go to an abandoned cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash an evil force that turns them all into demons. It's all up to Ash (a housewares employee turned demon-killing hero) and his trusty chainsaw to save the day. Blood flies. Limbs are dismembered. Demons tell bad jokes ... and all to music.. It's the only show with a "Splatter Zone"—a section of the audience that gets covered in fake blood. The show played off-Broadway in New York, has broken records in Toronto, has won awards in Korea and has had more than 200 productions mounted across the globe.


Finishing out the season in December will be The Holiday Channel Christmas Movie Wonderthon, a comical parody of holiday romantic comedies – told all at once! Audiences will travel to Hopewood Falls, Vermont, where singles in adorable sweaters converge to look for love. Can disguises help royalty and/or movie stars find the down-to-earth connections they crave? Will evil city slickers destroy charming inns and/or Christmas tree farms? Isn't it a little creepy for a meet-cute to depend on one person being in a coma? Audiences will find out in this wildly entertaining show!


Also, announced for 2023 are the Stars of Tomorrow youth actor productions which will take place in April and November. The theatre will produce SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical in the spring and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the holiday season.


Season Subscription Passes and Flex Passes are now available for purchase at cumberlandtheatre.com. Show sponsorships and program ads are also available for purchase. Any questions, can be directed to info@cumberlandtheatre.com or by calling the box office at 301.759.4990.



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