Dark comedy that unfolds family secrets up next at Middletown Lyric Theatre

Middletown Lyric Theatre is celebrating its 40th season by honoring its roots in musical theater.

“When we set out to do the 40th season, we wanted to go back to Middletown Lyric Theatre’s roots to celebrate musical theater, which is why it’s called ‘Middletown Lyric Theatre,’ because there was a passion for musical performance back when it was first started,” said Charley Shafor, managing artistic director of Middletown Lyric Theatre.

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Shafor said he is proud to continue leading Middletown Lyric Theatre, bringing productions to the next generation of theatergoers.

“I think for any not-for-profit, especially a local group that still has deep roots and connections to the city, 40 years is quite an accomplishment,” Shafor said.

The musical “Miracle on 34th Street” will be performed Dec. 14-15 and Dec. 21-22. The musical “Baby” will be performed March 1-2 and March 8-9.

Here’s a look at the Middletown Lyric Theatre’s next production:

“Other Desert Cities”

Billed as a dark comedy, the play is a show Middletown Lyric Theatre has wanted to do for several years, according to Shafor.

“I am a big fan of Jon Robin Baltz, as a performer and a writer. When we chose the show, there was no relevance, necessarily, to it politically, but I think now in what’s going on in the country, it might bear witness to some people, or might touch some people,” he said.

In the play, Brooke Wyeth returns home after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents, brother and aunt in Palm Springs. During the visit, Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir that dredges up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history — a wound they don’t want reopened.

“It certainly has serious subject matter, but there is also some humor in it. I think it stretches the family unit at its core to stay supportive, to stay loving, to have one’s political beliefs, and to have one’s thoughts about what it means to be a parent. It covers the whole range of family situations,” Shafor said.

The production’s cast is comprised of Linda Callahan (as Silda Grauman), Sally Fint (as Brooke Wyeth), Fred Hunt (as Lyman Wyeth), Elizabeth Long (as Polly Wyeth) and Dan Maloney (as Trip Wyeth.)


HOW TO GO

WHAT: "Other Desert Cities"

WHEN: Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. Additionally, there will be a matinee performance at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17.

WHERE: Middletown Lyric Theatre is at 1530 Central Ave., Middletown

ADMISSION: $18 reserved seating (plus ticketing fees). Purchase at www.middletownlyric.org. Advance purchase recommended. If available, tickets may be purchased at each performance.

MORE INFO: www.middletownlyric.org or at 513-425-7140.

NOTE: The show contains adult language.

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