Maine’s summer theater season begins anew this week, as both Ogunquit Playhouse and Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick draw the curtain beginning Wednesday night.

Ogunquit opens with star power. Emmy Award-winning TV star, celebrity stylist, author and fashion designer Carson Kressley makes his theater debut in the musical “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Kressley, who has been in a town a little more than a week preparing for the show, stars alongside two-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel.

Kressley is cast as the Man in Chair, an obsessive fan of old musicals who imagines performers coming to life in his shabby apartment whenever he plays one of his favorite cast recordings. Throughout the show the musical bursts to life as the Man in Chair continuously brings the audience in and out of the fantasy.

Kressley is best known for his work on the Bravo network hit “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Engel reprises the role of Mrs. Tottendale, which she created for the original Broadway production. Engel is best known as Georgette Baxter from the “Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

The show runs through June 26. Tickets range from $49 to $63 per show. Visit or call 646-5511.

Up the road in Brunswick, Maine State Music Theatre opens its season Wednesday with the popular classic “Always … Patsy Cline.”

The musical pays tribute to the country singer who died in a plane crash in 1963 at age 30. The show is based on a true story about Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961 and continued a correspondence with Cline until her death.

The musical includes many of Cline’s hits, including “Crazy,” “Walking After Midnight” and “Sweet Dreams.”

Chan Harris directs a cast that includes Maine State veteran Charis Leos as Louise and Maine State newcomer Jenny Lee Stern as Cline. Stern’s credits include the first national tour of the musical “Jersey Boys.”

The show is onstage through June 26. Tickets range from $31 to $54 are may be purchased by calling 725-8769 or visiting


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