Different worlds, eras and genres will soon converge at St. Marys Little Theater as the organization debuts this year’s edition of “An Evening with the Stars.”
Over 30 local performers will take on the personas of the likes of Loretta Lynn, Michael Buble and even Jessica and Roger Rabbit in a revue-style show that director Barbara Ryan described as an unexpected night of entertainment, even for those familiar with the performers.
“This gives an actor an opportunity to really shine as opposed to being forced into a role,” she said. “They choose their artist, assuming it’s someone they look like and sound like. It gives them a chance to shine in a way they might not ordinarily.”
St. Marys Little Theater first put on “An Evening with the Stars” in 2018 – and but for the audience and community reaction, it would have been a one-off.
“We had so many people say last year that we have to do it every year,” she said. “And this year we have a totally different lineup of acts.”
The show, hosted by actors portraying Sonny and Cher, involved acts that range from Moms Mabley to Christina Aguilera, which assures there will be something for even the most eclectic audience.
“When you hear these voices, when you hear Willie Nelson sing, you think it’s Willie Nelson,” Ryan said. “There’s such a variety, whether you’re a fan of the 60s, 70s, 80s … People will laugh and cry, it’s just stunning.”
Ann Walsh is an assistant director and will also be performing as Bette Midler. She said that beyond the wide range of acts, the show will benefit those who may want to see their fellow St. Marys residents showcasing their talents.
“The people that come are always amazed at the ability in such a small area,” she said. “I think people like to see what’s in their community, who lives next door to them?”
She added that most people involved in the production are from the St. Marys and Kingsland area, which contributes to the “local-gone-global” feel of the production.
“Many of the people that do this haven’t done a lot —maybe they’ve sung in churches or done theatrical work in the past, but this is a big chance for them to shine in the area,” she said.
Even though it might not be a production audience members are familiar with, Ryan said, the cast members are familiar community members, and this makes all the difference in the world.
“One of the important things to note with community theater attendance is you become a part of humanity,” she said. “It’s like you get to know someone. You walk out of the theater feeling like you’ve made 31 new friends.”
“An Evening with the Stars” runs at St. Marys Little Theater, 1000 Osborne St, St. Marys, at 7 p.m. Sept. 13, 14, 21 and 22. There will be a 2 p.m. matinee Sept. 20. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.