Shelby Clindaniel

Shelby Clindaniel

Canterbury Summer Theatre's latest production "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" will have you laughing throughout the entire performance and walking, or dancing, out the door with a smile on your face.

The six-person musical featuring the songs of Neil Sedaka, and directed by Ray Scott Crawford, is set in 1960 at Esther's Paradise Resort, located in the Catskills.

Marge (played by Allison Day) is abandoned on her wedding day, and is left with a planned honeymoon trip for two. Her best friend, Lois (Rebecca Hayes), takes it upon herself to join Marge at Esther's Paradise Resort for the best honeymoon ever.

While at the resort, Marge crushes on headliner Del Delmonico (Brian Charles), and quickly forgets about her long-lost fiancé. Lois gets her 15 minutes of fame, which eventually turns into something greater.

Gabe (Jake Stempel), the handyman, finds unexpected love, as well as Harvey (Ron Popp), the resort's comedian, and Esther (Sarah Wisterman), the owner of the resort.

Stempel makes his character, Gabe, absolutely hysterical, and had me wiping tears off my face from laughing so hard. Popp also had me, as well as the rest of the audience, cracking up. These two can make small characters into some of the greatest.

All six of the cast members have wonderful singing voices; Hayes and Day sound as if they could sing in Disney princess movies.

"Where the Boys Are" was my favorite song, and Hayes and Day's harmonies sound perfect together.

The Act 1 finale trio of Stempel, Day and Hayes was flawless.

The costumes looked the era; Lauren Rogers and Stephanie Anderson did a great job with those. The choreography "behind the curtain," while the other actors were performing, was an added bonus to the audience. The lighting enhanced the special effects, and made scene transitions simple to follow.

Overall, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" was one of the best performances I have ever seen. The acting and singing were both phenomenal, and I suggest seeing it. The show runs through July 3.

For more information, visit www.festivalplayersguild.org or call the Mainstreet Theatre box office at 219-874-4269.

Shelby Clindaniel is a communication major and sociology and organizational leadership minor at Purdue University North Central. She can be reached at shelbyclindaniel@hotmail.com.

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