TENNESSEE, USA! RETURNS FOR 45TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 8:01 pm
TENNESSEE, USA! the big patriotic historical musical hit which launched the Cumberland County Playhouse 45 years ago, and ran 13 seasons, is back at the Crossville theater for its 45th anniversary summer, June 17 to August 28 in rotating rep with HELLO, DOLLY!, DUCK HUNTER SHOOTS ANGEL, TINYARD HILL and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Schedule is online at www.ccplayhouse.com. The Playhouse’s 45th Anniversary Sponsor is Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates of Pennsylvania, recently named one of America’s Top 100 Architectural Firms.
The show stars a cast of 100, featuring the CCP professional company plus guest star Carl “Butch” Sutton of Pulaski, TN, where he served as Founding Director of the Giles Heritage Theater for a decade. Sutton grew up in Crossville, appeared in hundreds of TUSA performances, and is re-creating the role of “Henry Willoby”. Crossville’s Patty Payne, who starred as “June” for twelve seasons in the theaters’ production of SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN, returns as Evelyn Willoby. These roles were originally played by late CCP founders Bob Stewart and Joanne Harrison Stone.
The guitar-pickin’ role of Johnny Timberlake, “the Lord’s Caretaker” of wilderness Tennessee—a role inspired by an actual early explorer who befriended the Cherokee– was originated in ‘65 by future Broadway/Hollywood star Bob Gunton (Peron in “EVITA”, Warden in SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION). It’s now played by Cumberland County’s Daniel Black, a star and director of SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN. A CCHS grad and Playhouse high school volunteer, Black is a resident CCP professional, with many leading roles, including DUCK HUNTER SHOOTS ANGEL, the wild comedy just “held over” through July 30. Michael Ruff, another DUCK HUNTER star, plays the role of “Rip”, originated by CCP producer Jim Crabtree in ’65 at age 20.
Special “sing-along” performances of TUSA will be part of the July 15-17 45th Anniversary Reunion, with all 1000 TUSA alumni and their families invited. On July 15 events will include dutch treat “Dinner on the Grounds”, between the 2:30 and 7:30 singalong shows, catered by TUSA alum Bill Sanders of Lefty’s Barbecue near Fairfield Glade. A “Rededication of the Playhouse” will take place at 6:30 pm, honoring the theater’s many “Founding Families”.
Discount tickets are offered for selected performances, with prices starting at $7 and $13 for kids and adults. Visit us online at www.ccplayhouse.com or call 931.484.5000 for more details and to purchase tickets. Don’t delay, call today!