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'TENDER TRAP' IS ST. JOHN ATTRACTION

July 26, 2002 – After rehearsing "The Tender Trap" for eight weeks, The Epiphany Theater Company's director, Frank Bartolucci, confidently signals stage manager Deanna Somerville to "fade music … stage lights up … cue actors!"
And it's on with the show.
The Epiphany production of the 1950s Broadway comedy hit opened for an eight-night run Thursday at The Marketplace in Cruz Bay. Curtain time is 8 p.m., with 2 1/2 hours of entertainment including two 10-minute intermissions.
Performances continue Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then again on Aug. 2, 3, 4 and 5. Admission is $10 at the door.
"The Tender Trap," written by Max Shulman and Robert Paul Smith, was popularized by a film adaptation released in 1955 staring Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds.
Set in an upscale New York City apartment in the '50s, the play revolves around a newly arrived Midwestern bachelor named Charlie (played in the Epiphany production by Jonathan Durham) visiting family man and best friend Joe (Michael Beason) and a bevy of sophisticated city gals including one determined to marry soon, Poppy (Liza Mostsinsker). The other characters are Jessica (Cynthia Smith), Sylvia (Lisa Duncan), Earl (Paul Devine), Julie (Dion Corsilia) and Sol (Tommy Ferrell).
The behind-the-scenes crew in addition to Bartolucci and Somerville includes props master Thomas Theleman, lighting and sound designer Greg Arimura, master carpenter Kenny Rawlins, backdrop artist Deborah Willard, props procurer Tahra Richardson, women's makeup/hair artist Dora McKinney, bookkeeper Barbara Footer and set construction/painting assistants Carol Creel and Tim Jackson.
This is the second production for Epiphany, both with Beason as actor/producer and Bartolucci as director. "We're all volunteers," Beason notes. "Nobody gets paid. We do it purely for the love of theater." He makes a point of giving "a lot of credit to The Marketplace, because they have made this space available to us free of charge and have put up with all our nonsense. They even donated the materials used to build the stage."
On the evening of the dress rehearsal, Bartolucci is upbeat and already looking forward to future Epiphany productions. "We're gonna keep it going and do another one," he says. "This really is community theater as it should be. You find all your talent locally. It's an act of love."
Volunteers interested in getting involved in future Epiphany productions are encouraged to call Bartolucci at 774-1484 or Beason at 776-6744.

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