Comedy on marquee at Mountain Playhouse

By Kelly Urban
Tribune Democrat

March 24, 2016

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The 77th season of the Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown will take audience members on a comedic journey.

The playhouse will produce six shows that will bring laughs, upbeat music and even mystery to the stage.

"This season, all the shows have an element of comedy to them that will make you laugh," said Laura Argenbright, the playhouse's executive director.

"When we send out surveys, it seems that across the board people want to laugh and feel good, so we made sure that this will be a season of good humor."

Before the season officially begins, the playhouse will stage a production for younger theatergoers.

For more than a decade, the theater has partnered with school districts to offer educational theater productions for elementary students.

"Charlotte's Web" will be performed by TheatreWorks USA at 10 a.m. and noon May 9-13.

The production is based on E.B. White's story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte.

"Almost 4,500 students came through last year from 18 school districts," Argenbright said.

"We are almost completely sold out for this year's show."

The musical comedy "The Bikinis" by Ray Roderick and James Hindman, with music by Joseph Baker, will kick off the regular playhouse season June 14-26.

A girl group from the '60s is reuniting and bringing back the sun, fun and all the great songs they sang down on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore to raise money for the folks at Sandy Shores Mobile Home Beach Resort.

"This is a story about the music, a sing-a-long with songs you know all the words to like 'Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,' 'Under the Boardwalk' 'His Kiss' and 'I Will Survive,' " Argenbright said.

"Social Security," a comedy by Andrew Bergman, will be presented July 5-17.

This Broadway comedy centers around a married couple who are art dealers. Their domestic tranquility is shattered upon the arrival of the wife's goody-goody nerd of a sister, her uptight CPA husband and her archetypal Jewish mother. They are there to try to save their college student daughter from the horrors of living only for sex. The comic sparks really begin to fly when the mother hits it off with the elderly artist who is the art dealer's best client.

"This is a crazy comedy that is multi-generational and shows what can happen when people in the same house clash," Argenbright said.

Next up will be Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes' farce "Too Many Cooks," which will be performed July 19-31.

It's 1932 and bootlegging is at its peak.

Irving and his daughter, Honey, are preparing for the opening of their gourmet restaurant in Niagara Falls, Canada. When their featured famous French chef fails to appear, things quickly turn into a recipe for disaster. It only gets worse when they persuade an unemployed drifter to don the chef's hat and temporarily step in.

"This is a true farce with crazy characters, mistaken identities and mayhem," Argenbright said.

The comedy "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" by Joe DiPieto, with musicby Jimmy Roberts, will be performed Aug. 2-14.

From the promise of new romance to the disappointments of midlife, a funny look at the reality of relationships from the first date to happily, or unhappily, ever after.

"This is a comedy based on all the stages of romance and love," Argenbright said.

"If you've ever been in any kind of a relationship, you'll find this humorous and something you can to relate to."

"Deathtrap," a comedic thriller by Ira Levin, will be presented Sept. 20 through Oct. 2.

A down-on-his-luck playwright's student tells him he has written the perfect suspense play and will bring it to the playwright's Connecticut home. The suspense over whether the playwright will kill the student and take credit for his play forms the crux of the thriller.

"This is so suspenseful and fun with twists and turns right up until the end, when it catches you by surprise," Argenbright said.

The musical "Cowgirls" by Mary Murfitt will end the season Oct. 4-16.

The production tells the story of Jo and her saloon in Rexford, Kansas, staffed with sidekicks Mickey and Mo. To raise enough money to save Hiram Hall, Jo books the Cowgirl Trio to play a honky-tonk performance sure to bring down the house. When the classical Coghill Trio shows up on the saloon doorsteps booked by mistake, the female group must find their inner-twang and go from Chopin to country and save the debt-ridden saloon from foreclosure.

"This is a good, country musical and an audience favorite," Argenbright said.

Curtain times are 7 p.m. Tuesdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 2 p.m. Fridays, 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets for each show range from $20 to $41. Youth and student tickets are available for $10 and $8 on Wednesdays.

Groups with a minimum of 10 guests qualify for discounts for theater packages.

Season subscriptions, minisubscriptions and FlexPasses also are available.

Tickets can be ordered online at or by calling the box office at 629-9220.

Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.