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Musical features historical look at city

Tickets go on sale next week for "This Town is America," an original two-act musical about Ironton’s history.

Tuesday, October 05, 1999

Tickets go on sale next week for "This Town is America," an original two-act musical about Ironton’s history.

Produced by Ohio University Southern Campus in coordination with the Sesquicentennial Committee, the play will be performed in the auditorium at Ironton High School the weekend of Nov. 12-14, said Jeff Handley, director.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets will be available beginning Monday at OUSC, Ironton High School, or through many local businesses and from cast members, Handley said.

General admission tickets are $5, and reserved seats are $10.

"We hope the auditorium is sold out," Handley said. "But you never know, we just hope people buy the tickets."

"This Town is America" will chronicle Ironton’s past from the city’s birth up to the present. Not only will the play’s theme focus on the area, but it also will involve the community.

More than 50 area residents will participate in the acting of the play, and even more will help backstage, Handley said.

"We have about 150 people working on this project," he said. "It really is a community project and we hope to see everyone come out and see the show."

The cast of "This Town is America" includes Frank McCown as the grandfather; Andrew Cronacher as the grandson; Mark Near as John Campbell; John Curtis as Dr. Briggs; Richard Walton as Mr. Walton; Tom Douglas as Mr. Willard; David Wise as Mr. Peters; Chris Laber as Mr. Hamilton; Tyler Hester as Mr. Kelly; Missy Fields as Mrs. Campbell; Ruth Langer as Mrs. Briggs; Ruth Stephenson as Mrs. Walton; Olivia Jones as Mrs. Willard; Carole Goldcamp as Mrs. Peters; Maggie Fannin as Mrs. Hamilton; Jacquelyn Cassidy as Mrs. Kelly; Paul Houston as Dr. Rankin; Hugh D. Scott as Mr. Cummings; Annette Scott as Mrs. Cummings; Robert Pleasant as James Jackson; Brock Smith, Angelina Pleasant, Warren Brown, Ciara Taylor, Whitney Medcalf, Edi King, Jason Taylor, Susan Taylor, Darnell Brydie, Mandi Boykin, Jason Taylor II, Marla Seward, Ruby Hill, Dakota Taylor and Nicole Carter as the escort party; Jeff Handley as Henry Hunter; Sara Beth Fritz as Roxie; T.J. Parnell as Jimmie Davies; Dave Saunders as Charlie; Warren Brown as Sam; Alisa Philabaun, Becky Harvey, Katie Huff, Olivia Jones, Randa Collins and Taylor Waldo as the girl singers; Renee Hill, Lindsay Anderson, Kayla Brown, Patty Freeman, Steve Milleson, Patrick Milleson, Tyler Hester and Tom Douglas as the "All That Jazz" chorus; J.B. Miller as the radio voice; Steve Kingery as Col. Lambert; Mary Francis Near as the mother; Chris Laber as the father; Randa Collins, T.J. Parnell, Matt Withrow and Taylor Waldo as neighbors; and Abbey Kleinman, Kim Bowles and Mary Louise George as the trio of girls.

The play is directed and written by Jeff Handley. Kathy Price is the vocal director and Patty Freeman is in charge of choreography.

An orchestra of eight musicians will provide the musical accompaniment.

Costumes will be supplied by Scott’s Costume Company in Canton. Scenic drops will be provided by Tobin Lake Scenic Studio in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The actors and actresses practice every Monday and Tuesday evening from 7-9 p.m., and the lengthy rehearsal sessions are very well attended, Handley said.

"Everybody is very enthusiastic about the production," he said. "Practices are going well, but we’re still in the general stages. At this time, we are continuing to learn the lines and work on the songs."