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'Sugar Babies' brings vaudeville to Show Palace

Just as springtime flowers bring thoughts of lighthearted love, the Show Palace Dinner Theatre opens Sugar Babies, the irreverent, bawdy paean to the saucier side of romance.

Filled with big dance numbers, glamorous costumes, slightly off-color jokes, torch songs (Don't Blame Me), suggestive scenes, traditional comic characters, low-comedy sketches and sassy routines, Sugar Babies is an idealized version of those uniquely American art forms, vaudeville and burlesque.

Created in 1979 to showcase the talents of screen star Mickey Rooney and dancer-singer Ann Miller, the show had a long run on Broadway, followed by almost 3 1/2 years on tour.

The Show Palace opens its third production of the show on April 18 for a seven-week run. It broke the attendance record on its first Show Palace run in 1998, then more than doubled its audience when it returned in February 2005.

"This show is likely to be the biggest hit of the 2008 summer season," said Susan Haldeman, the new company manager at the Show Palace.

Pre-opening ticket sales have been brisk, said Nick Sessa, co-owner of the theater.

Starring are Show Palace favorites Matthew McGee (Greater Tuna, The Odd Couple) as Top Banana and Katie Kerwin (The Full Monty; Reno in Anything Goes) as Prima Donna.

Ms. Kerwin will create the illusion of Ms. Miller as she sings, taps and jokes with the rest of the 15-member cast.

Playing Second Banana is Tyler Fish (Cosmo in Singin' in the Rain), with Erin Romero (Nellie in South Pacific) as the Soubrette.

Straight Man is W.C. Green (Victor/Victoria, South Pacific), and Character Man is Troy LaFon (Juror in Chicago). The Eccentric Comedian is Rick Kistner (Victoria,

South Pacific).

They're backed by dancers Stephanie Deal, Maria DeSimone, Regina Fernandez, Lindsey Personett, Michael Castillo, Benjamin Simpson, Aaron Wooten and Andi Sperduti.

This show is also Ms. Sperduti's directorial debut at the Show Palace. She has played Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain, among many roles, and choreographed several others, including The Full Monty, Mame, Cabaret and Victoria.

>>if you go

A tribute

to burlesque

What: The musical Sugar Babies

Where: Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson.

When: Matinees and evenings, April 18-May 25.

Tickets: Dinner and show, $44; show only, $32.95; ages 12 and younger, $26.45 and $21.45, all plus tax and tip. Call (727) 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll-free elsewhere at 1-888-655-7469.

'Sugar Babies' brings vaudeville to Show Palace 04/10/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 10, 2008 7:27pm]

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