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Schoolhouse treats islanders to a ‘Lovely Night’

By Staff | Oct 22, 2009

The Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater premiered their 2009-2010 season with a captivatingly romantic revue featuring music by world renowned lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.

Once again, Schoolhouse artistic director Victor Legaretta has assembled some of the finest performers this little island stage has ever seen – and heard – and most of them are appearing on Sanibel for the first time.

Amanda Hunt, Pamela McKenna, Joshua Noble, Kevin Rose and Elizabeth Urbanczyk make up the incredibly talented ensemble, backed by a fabulous duo consisting of musical director Justin Cowan on the piano and returning Schoolhouse alum Miguel Cintron on drums.

As the title suggests, “Lovely Night,” weaves a loose, but charmingly romantic narrative among the extraordinary quintet via some of Hammerstein’s most memorable compositions, including selections from “Oklahoma!,” “State Fair,” “Flower Drum Song,” “The King and I,” “South Pacific” and of course, “Cinderella.”

Rose’s rendition of “Love Look Away” is moving and touchingly beautiful, just like Urbanczyk’s performance of “I Have Dreamed” and Hunt’s “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”

McKenna is a firecracker during “I Cain’t Say No” while Noble cranks up the energy for “Honey Bun.”

But each vocalist seems to be as comfortable with the serious ballads as they are with the light-hearted numbers – and let’s face it: it just wouldn’t be Hammerstein – or Schoolhouse – if there wasn’t some humor involved, even Cintron gets in on the gags!

So get ready to have a few good laughs and enjoy a “Lovely Night” courtesy of the Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater – but please, if you’re anything like me, try to control the inevitable urge to sing along (let’s leave that to these spectacular professionals)!

“Lovely Night” will run at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday until Nov. 7. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children 16 and under. For more information and to order tickets, call 472-6862 – and don’t forget to check out the theater’s beautifully revamped Web site, www.TheSchoolhouseTheater.com.

The Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater is located at 2200 Periwinkle Way.