Tag Archives: a christmas story

Ticket tips & info for ‘A Christmas Story, the Musical’

Tickets sales are brisk for A Christmas Story, the Musical, running Nov. 15 through Dec. 8, so here’s a refresher on Near West Theatre’s ticketing system: how to get a seat, what happens if there’s a sellout, what to do if you buy a ticket and then can’t come, and other helpful tidbits.

There are 220 seats for each of the 13 performances. As of the end of the business day on Thursday, Nov. 14, a day before opening weekend, it was clear that you shouldn’t wait till the last minute. For more than half the shows, at least two-thirds of the seats were already gone. Our leading sellers at that moment, in order,  were Fri., Nov. 29 (180 tickets sold); Sun., Dec. 8 (161), Sun., Nov. 17 (157); Sat., Nov. 23 (155); Sat., Dec. 7 (150); Sat., Nov. 30 (147) and Fri., Nov. 15 (142), with several other dates close behind. [UPDATE, Nov. 24, 2013 — All performances are now sold out.]

Lots of people want tickets, as these did for Children of Eden (2012). Call if you're not coming! Photo by Terry Schordock

Lots of people want tickets, as these did for Children of Eden (2012). Call if you’re not coming! Photo by Terry Schordock

Advance sales and walk-ins will only heat up further with the show now being listed in every “Friday!” section of The Plain Dealer and news coverage increasing. So far we’ve seen stories in the The Plain Dealer,  Cleveland.com and FreshWaterCleveland.com. A “Sound of Applause” segment is due Nov. 21 on 90.3 FM, and a “Reel Cleveland” feature is coming in a couple of weeks on Time Warner TV20.

And now, the tips:

Basic ticket info. You can buy: (1) online anytime; (2) by phone, 216-961-6391, weekdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; (3) in person during those same hours at our business office in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District, 6516 Detroit Ave., Suite 9; or (4) — if you want to take your chances — at the theater ticket table, 3606 Bridge Ave. in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, starting one hour before show time.  Prices are $20 for a reserved Star Seat (described below), $10 for adult general admission, and $8 for child general admission (12 years of age and younger). Tickets purchased in advance will be waiting for you at the theater ticket table. You can arrive up to one hour before show time, and please arrive no later than 10 minutes before show time so that everyone can get situated for an on-time start. If you arrive 30 minutes or more before the show starts, you’ll line up with all other ticket holders in order of your arrival at the theater. When the house opens, 30 minutes before show time, general-admission ticket holders are free to choose any seat that is not marked as reserved. For forms of payment and other information, click here.

How to find out if tickets are still available. [UPDATE, Nov. 24, 2013 — All performances are now sold out.] Calling 216-961-6391 during the designated hours above, or going online and trying to buy tickets, are two ways to know if seats are still available for the show you want to see. Whenever possible, we also use Facebook and Twitter (@NearWestTheatre) to let the world know when there’s a sellout.

What happens if there’s a sellout. If a show is sold out (see above about how to find out), you can come to the theater, 3606 Bridge Ave., as early as one hour before show time, speak to the people at the ticket table and get on a waiting list to see if any tickets become available. The only way we can release seats that have already been reserved is if the people who bought them tell us they aren’t coming and give us permission to re-sell their tickets. So…ACSTMproductionimage

If you can’t come, please tell us! We can’t offer you a refund, but with you’re permission we’ll free up the seats you won’t be using and sell them to patrons who can come to the show. You can let us know by calling 216-961-6391 weekdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; sending an e-mail to Kelcie Dugger (kdugger at nearwesttheatre.org); telling us in person at the theater as early as one hour before any show; or calling 440-665-1796 after 4 p.m. weekdays or anytime on the weekend.

What’s a Star Seat? Your $20 ticket is first and foremost a wonderful way to support Near West Theatre’s art and mission and help keep our general prices affordable. Thank you! It also gets you a reserved seat of your choice, a free item at our gift shop (window cling, button, or wrist band), a gift shop discount and a free soft drink at our concession stand. To choose your seating location, just call 216-961-6391 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any weekday before the performance you’re attending and tell us whether you want to sit in a front, middle or back row, and to the left, center or right as you face the stage. On the night of the show, you’ll find your chair marked with your name (or the name of the party you’re with).

See you at the theater! — Hans Holznagel

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Supporters of this production of A Christmas Story, the Musical, include the City of Cleveland, Department of Community Development, and a presenting sponsor, Hinkley Lighting. Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.

———-

A Christmas Story, the Musical

Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,

 based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.

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Theater as community feast

It’s “Marathon Sunday” at Near West Theatre. Cast, crew and staff are together all afternoon and evening, preparing hard for A Christmas Story, the Musical, opening this Friday, Nov. 15. In a grand NWT tradition, tonight’s rehearsal dinner break is a potluck. Actors and their families chip in with casseroles or chicken, salad or soda pop, pizza or paper plates. If the pure joy of theater isn’t quite enough nourishment to get a person through 10 hours of stop-and-start scenes, imperfect set changes and technical tweaks, there’s always a pretty darned delicious break right in the middle of this one Sunday.

Food and community are always in the spotlight at the Marathon Sunday potluck. More pictures below. Photos by Hans Holznagel

Food and community are always in the spotlight at the Marathon Sunday potluck. More pictures below. Photos by Hans Holznagel

People line up, fill their plates, and spread out on the stage and risers, cross-legged or in chairs. They commiserate about sloppy entrances and stubborn set pieces, or just get their minds off it all for a few minutes, yakking about kid stuff, teen stuff and adult stuff — in short, reminding themselves, by sharing a meal, of the community they have become through two months of rehearsals. Soon the house won’t be their home anymore. They’ll migrate backstage, a community of mutual support onstage and off. After tonight it’s seven more in a row: rehearsals through Thursday, then performances through Sunday of opening weekend. What a great time to fuel up with a little companionship and a last cupcake. — Hans Holznagel

Cast, crew and staff take nourishment on stage and in the house.

Cast, crew and staff take nourishment on stage and in the house.

It's not just the food. It's the hang time.

It’s not just the food. It’s the hang time.

The aftermath -- with plenty of leftovers, thanks to Volunteer Coordinator Kim Flaherty and contributing cast members and families.

There’s enough for seconds, thanks to Volunteer Coordinator Kim Flaherty (left) and contributing cast members and families.

An ever-more-finished set, now including a festive main curtain, reminds everyone that the show opens in just a few nights.

An ever-more-finished set, now including a festive, custom-painted curtain, reminds everyone that the show opens in just a few nights.

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Supporters of this production of A Christmas Story, the Musical, include the City of Cleveland, Department of Community Development, and a presenting sponsor, Hinkley Lighting. Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.

———-

A Christmas Story, the Musical

Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,

 based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.


Help us get the theater ready on Sat., Oct. 26

Hot pizza, cold pop and that warm feeling of having made a difference: they’re all benefits of showing up for an hour or the whole afternoon of Near West Theatre’s Community Work Day on Saturday, Oct. 26. We need your help preparing the theater for A Christmas Story, the Musical, which will be in tech rehearsals before you know it.

Molly Andrews-Hinders and Jason Dugger worked on a coffin and other set pieces at the 2011 Community Work Day. Photos by Mo Eutazia.

Molly Andrews-Hinders and Jason Dugger worked on a coffin and other set pieces at the 2011 Community Work Day. Photos by Mo Eutazia.

No special skills are needed. Just show up, sign in and work side-by-side with Technical Director Josh Padgett, Assistant Technical Director Perren Hedderson, Designer Laura Carlson Tarantowski and other members of the production staff to get things organized for the show. At an NWT work day you never know till you show up exactly what work is needed. You might paint, sew, organize costumes and props, or just move things around. But you’ll definitely get lunch on us (if you’re not too late!) and get that great experience of being part of the community that makes our art and mission happen. Join us at our St. Pat’s performance site, 3606 Bridge Ave., Cleveland. — Hans Holznagel

Roxy Reminick (left) and Katie Medvec (center) were on patch-sewing, costume-organizing duty in 2011.

Roxy Reminick (left) and Katie Medvec (center) sewed patches and organized costumes in 2011.

Sam Utterback immersed herself in set-piece painting in 2011.

Sam Utterback immersed herself in set-piece painting in 2011.

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Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.

———-

A Christmas Story, the Musical

Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,

 based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.


New stage musical to kick off celebration of movie’s 30th anniversary

Events all over Cleveland this holiday season will mark the 30th anniversary of the classic movie, A Christmas Story, which was filmed here. Near West Theatre leads the way with the local premiere of A Christmas Story, the Musical, featuring a singing, dancing cast of 55 Greater Clevelanders. Thirteen performances are offered Nov. 15 through Dec. 8 at the theater’s Ohio City performance space, 3606 Bridge Avenue. Friday and Saturday shows (plus one Thursday) are at 7:30 p.m.; four Sunday matinees are at 3 p.m.

ACSTMproductionimageFunny, heartfelt songs and big production numbers are featured in this hilarious version of Ralphie Parker’s desperate quest to ensure the gift of his dreams ends up under his family’s Christmas tree. Based on stories by legendary radio humorist Jean Shepherd, the musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul premiered on Broadway in 2012. It was honored with Tony nominations for Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical.

Fans of the movie will recognize many familiar scenes and enjoy new musical-theater twists, ranging from Ralphie’s Wild West fantasy to dancing leg lamps. But they’ll also experience holiday warmth. “This story is one man’s memory of an unforgettable Christmas of his boyhood,” says Director Bob Navis Jr. “As Ralphie lobbies for his dream gift, a particular time and place are revealed: small-town America in the 1940s. We grow to love each member of the Parker family and understand their world, their dreams, their values and their love for each other and how that love is and is not expressed in this year of their lives together.” The cast, ages 8 to 59, includes 31 kids and teenagers.

Tickets can be purchased at www.nearwesttheatre.org, or by calling the box office at 216-961-6391 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. Reserved Star Seats with special benefits are $20; general admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.

American Sign Language Performance

The performance on Thursday, Dec. 5, will be interpreted in American Sign Language by the dramatic troupe, The HeArd. Seated facing the audience with their backs to the stage, four ASL artists will interpret all songs and dialogue in a dramatic style that is an art in itself. Audience members wishing to view the interpretation should request seats in the sign-language section when purchasing tickets.

Events Around Cleveland

A convention, a luncheon, a 5K/10K run, and the non-musical stage version of A Christmas Story are among the events that will celebrate the movie’s anniversary. For a list and details, visit www.achristmasstoryhouse.com and click on “30th Anniversary Events.” Participants include the Cleveland Play House, reviving the non-musical play for the first time in five years, A Christmas Story House in Tremont, Forest City Enterprises and Positively Cleveland.

Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Greater Cleveland Community Shares and the Ohio Arts Council, and for under-writing of this production by the Department of Community Development of the City of Cleveland.  Hinkley Lighting is a presenting sponsor of A Christmas Story, the Musical.

Cast:  Felix Albino, Kate Atherton, Andrea Belser, Christopher Byrom, Kylie Colvin, Meg Corrigan, Sharron DeCosta, Holly Feiler, Kara Fields, Edward Gale, Quin Galvin, Lindsay Hajostek, Hanna Harlor, Dave Hopkins, Corinne Howery, Angellise Irizarry, Davion Irizarry, Grace Janosik, Hannah Jarrell, Rachel Johanek, Louis Johnson II, Sabrina Kim, Cora King, Jonas Kukelhan, Antoinette Kula, Julianne Kurdila, Giovanna Layne, Madelyn Lockshine, Elliot Lockshine, Tyrus Martin II, Gabriele Moyer, Andrew Narten, Jameisha Neal, Sam Pantalone, Christine Pantalone, Phil Pantalone, Jocelyn Perkins, Andrew Pollis, Statia Rankin, Johanna Regan, Eric Reising, Tony Saar, Stellina Scacco, Brandon Schumaker, Grace Schumann, Ashanti Scott, Christine Thompson, Jordan Thompson, Rafael Velez III, Colin Wheeler, Jennifer White, Morgan Williams, Justin Woody, Connie Wynn, Bob Zombar.

Jean Shepherd (Narrator): Sam Pantalone

Ralphie Parker: Colin Wheeler

Randy Parker: Phil Pantalone

Mother: Holly Feiler

Miss Shields: Antoinette Kula

The Old Man: Andrew Narten

Flick: Elliot Lockshine

Schwartz: Louis Johnson II

Mary Beth: Giovanna Layne

Esther Jane: Morgan Williams

Scut Farkus: Edward Gale

Grover Dill: Rafael Velez III

Mrs. Schwartz: Julianne Kurdila

Flick’s Mother: Christine Pantalone

Female Elf, Nurse: Quin Galvin

Female Elf:

Male Elf: Brandon Schumaker

Waitress: Jennifer White

Production Staff — Director: Bob Navis Jr. Musical Director: Jordan Cooper. Assistant Director: Kelcie Dugger. Choreographers: Stephanie Morrison-Hrbek, Ellen Rooney. Technical Director and Production Manager: Josh Padgett. Assistant Technical Director and Video Designer: Perren Hedderson. Scenic and Properties Designer: Laura Carlson Tarantowski. Stage Manager and Assistant Production Manager: Ryan Wolf. Assistant Stage Managers: Josh Andrews, Leland Pestak. Lighting Designer: Mike Stein. Costume Designer: Sally Howe. Sound Designer: Joshua Caraballo. Properties Master: Jessica Rosenlieb. Properties Assistant: Kate Atherton.

———-

A Christmas Story, the Musical

Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,

 based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.


Website down? Tickets here!

The best time for a website to go down is — well, never. Or, anyway, not when the post card publicizing A Christmas Story, the Musical, is landing in people’s mailboxes and encouraging them to buy tickets online. Such, however, is the case at Near West Theatre, where we’re repairing a couple of technical problems at http://www.nearwesttheatre.org. We should be up and running again by Monday, Oct. 21, and maybe even intermittently between now and then.

ACSTMlogoBroadwayIn the meantime, if you can’t connect to the website, you can still buy tickets online at this link:  http://boxoffice.printtixusa.com/nearwest/eventcalendar

Or, as always, you can purchase phone, 216-961-6391 (weekdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), or in person at our business office in the Gordon Square Arcade Building, 6516 Detroit Ave., Suite 9, during the same hours. — Hans Holznagel 

 ———-

Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.

———-

A Christmas Story, the Musical

Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,

 based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.


Don’t wait on tickets for this one

If you’re excited to see A Christmas Story, the Musical at Near West Theatre, reserve early. With just under two months till opening night, we are already seeing encouraging early ticket reservations.

ACSTMlogoBroadwaySales began long before the Sept. 15 start of rehearsals. Among them were six Star Seats purchased by a New York City patron and a block of 25 tickets reserved by a local group. It’s no surprise that people are excited. This Cleveland premiere of A Christmas Story, The Musical, on stage Nov. 15 through Dec. 8, is part of a citywide celebration of the 30th anniversary of the beloved movie A Christmas Story – the saga of a little boy whose happiness back in 1940 depends on getting a Red Ryder carbine-action BB gun under the tree. This brand new musical version is a small-town slice of mid-America that wraps its way into your heart like the smell of hot chocolate and fresh baked Christmas cookies. It’s based on the film, which was shot mostly in Cleveland.

Near West Theatre will bring a special hometown touch to this newly minted Broadway favorite. On the NWT stage, you’ll see a diverse hometown cast of over 50, including more than 30 children and teenagers. They’ll play out Ralphie’s heroic fantasies of saving his family from wild-west villains, while his Dad dreams of winning a “Major Award,” complete with dancing leg lamps! With a stunning set showcasing 1940s Cleveland Christmas memorabilia and downtown shopping at Higbee’s, this production is a trip down memory lane that the whole family will enjoy.

Filled with big production numbers, A Christmas Story, The Musical premiered on Broadway in 2012 and was honored with three Tony Award nominations for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. Like the film, it is based on stories by legendary radio humorist Jean Shepherd.  It features funny and heartfelt songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a faithful yet inventive book by Joseph Robinette.

Tickets are available online here; by calling 216-961-6391 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays; or by visiting our business office in the Gordon Square Arcade Building, 6516 Detroit Ave., Suite 9, during those same hours. Any remaining tickets will be sold at our performance site, 3606 Bridge Ave., starting one hour before each show. General admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under; or support Near West Theatre’s art and mission by purchasing a $20 reserved Star Seat with special benefits. Sign-language interpretation will be offered at the performance on Thursday, Dec. 5. — Julie Cajigas

 ———-

Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.

———-

A Christmas Story, the Musical

Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,

 based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.


10 reasons to audition now

This week we wrapped up open auditions for A Christmas Story, the Musical, which hits Near West Theatre’s stage (a Cleveland premiere!) on Nov. 15. Even if you missed them, it’s not too late: read on! Artistic Director Bob Navis Jr., who directs the show, offers 10 reasons to give him a call and make arrangements to audition. (Adults, we’re talking to you. Men especially!) — Hans Holznagel

Top 10 reasons to audition for A Christmas Story, the Musical, at Near West Theatre

… From me, Bob Navis Jr., to you…

Bob Navis Jr. and Stephanie Morrison-Hrbek announce auditions for A Christmas Story, the Musical, at a July 25 press conference.

Bob Navis Jr. (left) and Stephanie Morrison-Hrbek announce auditions for A Christmas Story, the Musical, at a July 25 press conference at A Christmas Story House. Photo by Hans Holznagel

  1. This might very well be our last intergenerational fall show in the St. Pat’s Club Building, our theatrical home since 1978.
  2. This smash-hit musical version of the classic hit movie got rave reviews in New York last season. It’s coming back to Broadway this Christmas!
  3. Near West Theatre was courted to be the first theater in the Cleveland area to produce A Christmas Story, The Musical.
  4. We’re partnering with Tower City, the Cleveland Play House, A Christmas Story house in Tremont, and other organizations celebrating the 30th anniversary of the classic film that inspired this musical. The show will be advertised heavily throughout the region.
  5. The musical score is fantastic! Find clips of A Christmas Story, the Musical on YouTube. Hear the music. You’ll be hooked.
  6. All roles are open! Jean Shepherd, the Narrator (aka Ralphie grown-up), on stage throughout, telling the story, living out Ralphie’s fantasies with him, and becoming various characters in the story. A huge role that requires a layered, dramatic and comedic approach … Ralphie, the kid who wants a BB gun for Christmas … Mother, a much-expanded role in the musical, with two of the score’s best songs … Randy, Ralphie’s little brother…. The Old Man, a great part for a physical actor with a voice; sings some wonderful songs… Schwartz, Flick, Esther Jane, Mary Beth, some of Ralphie’s friends… Scut Farkus and Grover Dill, the school bully and his flunkie… Miss Shields, the teacher who leads the show-stopping, second-act production number, “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!”
  7. And more roles! Fantasy Villain, Bank Robbers, Prisoner, Can-Can Girlfriend, Deliver Men, Mrs. Schwartz, Police Officers, Firefighters, Doctor, Nurse, Flick’s Mother, Mobster, Santa Claus, Chief Elves, Nancy, Goggles Kid, Waiter, Waitress …
  8. And yet more roles! The company plays multiple roles in Ralphie’s real-world and fantasy sequences: Neighbors, Shoppers, Parents, Students, Townspeople, Elves and more
  9. It’s a big, fun, cast!  We are looking to cast a company of 50:  20 children, plus 30 teens and adults.
  10. It’s the longest-running show Near West Theatre has ever produced.  Four big weekends!

Don’t miss out.  Call Bob Navis Jr. at 216-281-6879 and we will schedule you to come to further auditions as needed.

May all your bells jingle! — Bob

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Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.

———-

A Christmas Story, the Musical

Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,

 based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.