Imagine this scenario. You’re sitting in the audience at the Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin College campus. You haven’t experienced the thrill of live theater for almost a year and a half. Stars from past Maine State Musical Theatre shows stand right behind the curtain, like race horses at the starting gate. They’re as thrilled to be back on stage, doing what they love to do, as you are to be in the audience. The curtain comes up and…they’re off!

Welcome to “Stars of MSMT-I” (which runs from July 28-August 1) or Stars of MSMT-II (which runs from August 4-8). Each spectacular concert will showcase four stars selected by Curt Dale Clark, MSMT Artistic Director. They will sing some of their favorite songs from past shows and share stories about their lives in theater as well as their deep affection for MSMT and the town of Brunswick.

Stars of MSMT-I will feature Charis Leos, Lauren Blackman, Robert Creighton and Kingsley Leggs. Stars of MSMT-II will feature Felicia P. Fields, Heidi Kettenring, David Girolmo and Gregg Goodbord.

“These shows are a gift to our faithful supporters,” says Clark, “the people in Midcoast Maine who have kept us propped up during the pandemic.” Clark says that his mother Kaye speaks for many when she says, “This disease has stolen a year from my life.”

Clark directed and choreographed the shows (remotely) in advance, but he admits that, “These people are superstars; they don’t need to be told what to do.” The stories will be interspersed with a mix of songs – some happy, some sad; some belt-it out numbers, some haunting ballads.

Space precludes even a partial listing of the impressive Broadway, MSMT and regional theater credits of these eight consummate professionals. That said, odds are that any MSMT show over the last 20 years has featured one of more of them, such as “Hello Dolly,” “Gypsy,” “Les Miserables,” “The Music Man,” “Sister Act,” “The Full Monty,” “Mary Poppins,” “South Pacific,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Annie,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Sophisticated Ladies,” and on and on.


Charis Leos, a perennial MSMT favorite who was last seen in the title role of “Hello Dolly,” can’t wait to return Maine. “I’m so excited to be coming back to perform on the stage I love performing before the amazing audiences. MSMT is a mainstay up there, and it’s been closed for too long.”

Felicia P. Field, who last starred at MSMT in “Sophisticated Ladies” and “Let the Good Times Roll” and won a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in “The Color Purple,” says, “The MSMT staff treats all the actors so well; they’re on top of everything.” Like Charis Leos, Felicia is delighted to be performing once again. “I love to be able to take my talent and give people something to think about. Good theater fuels your mind and your heart.”

Lauren Blackman, last seen at MASMT as Glinda in “The Wizard of Oz” and Irene in “Hello Dolly,” says, “I’m so excited to be back on stage performing on a stage I love with the people I love. I’m probably going to cry. It just feels right.”

Ben McNaboe, Music Supervisor for MSMG, says, “It’s great to return to the place where I became a professional in the field. The return of MSMT also provides a lot of work for local musicians.”

David Girolmo, last seen at MSMT in “Hello Dolly” and “The Wizard of Oz” gave his thoughts in a piece in “Broadway World Maine” by Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold. “Live performance is a signal that our balance and sense of normalcy has returned. We step back into a world of performer and audience creating together. There is no substitute for that experience. Unlike watching Netflix, you cannot pause to get a snack; you can’t rewind to see what you’ve missed. Live theater teaches us to interact, to invest, to create the experience together.”

As the lyrics of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” suggest, “Who could ask for anything more?”

(Tickets for “Stars of MSMT – I” and “Stars of MSMT – II” and all other MSMT shows go on sale for subscribers on June 30 and for the general public on July 1.)

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” columns. [email protected]

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