Somerville Residents Cast in Newton Country Players’ Zanna, Don’t!
Two Somerville residents are starring in the Newton Country Players’ August production of Zanna, Don’t!
Kevin Hanley plays the titular character, Zanna, who gives up his magical abilities and his own personal happiness in the name of love. Anne Olmsted plays both Loretta, a performer at the cowboy bar who takes care of the Heartsville High students who visit her establishment, and Roberta, one of those students.
Heartsville High is home to a matchmaker who can also do magic, a chess team that’s more popular than the football team, and a student body that without hesitation, loves whoever they want, however they want, whenever they want. It is within this setting that conceptions about homosexuality are challenged, love is encouraged, and high schoolers are accepted.
Two things the characters in the musical do spark controversy: when they stage a musical about straight men in the military and when a mixed-sex couple wants to go to the prom. But as Zanna says and as the students ultimately learn, “Nothing done out of love can ever bring us harm.” With a fun, pop score, the musical may have last run off-Broadway in 2003, but its themes of tolerance and acceptance resonate today.
It’s a rare treat to see this show: when the Newton Country Players’ production opens on August 3, it will be only the fourth time this musical has been performed in Massachusetts.
Tickets are now available online at www.newtoncountryplayers.org. Tickets for adults are $20 and tickets for students and seniors are $18; MassBay Community College students with a student ID get in for free. Groups of 10 or more can save $2 off the regular rates; groups of 20 or more will pay $15 a ticket. Call 617.244.9538 or email email@example.com to make arrangements.
The performances will take place August 3-4 and August 10-11 at 8 p.m. at MassBay Community College in Wellesley Hills.