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Crystal Theatre Kicks Off 30th Season With South Norwalk Historical Musical

From the 2012 production of “Whistleville – South Norwalk, 1907.” See the 30th anniversary production this weekend at the Crystal Theatre
From the 2012 production of “Whistleville – South Norwalk, 1907.” See the 30th anniversary production this weekend at the Crystal Theatre Photo Credit: Mariner Pezza

NORWALK, Conn. --  Crystal Theatre kicks off its 30th anniversary season this weekend with the historical musical, “Whistleville-South Norwalk, 1907."

Performances will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. at Crystal Theatre at Ben Franklin Center, 66 Bayview Ave. in Norwalk. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students, and are available at www.crystaltheatre.org or by calling (203) 847-4850.

“Whistleville-South Norwalk, 1907” was written by local playwright Cheryl E. Kemény and is directed by Norwalk native Samantha Kulish-Fargione, with choreography by Norwalk’s Dance Dimensions owner Char Fromentin, and musical direction by the author. This musical is the third installment in Cheryl E. Kemény’s “Ellis Island Trilogy.” Combining original music with well-known public domain music of the era, this Crystal Theatre show takes you back in time and reminds everyone that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

It is 1907 and Norwalk and South Norwalk are still individual towns, separated by jealousies and resentments which come to a head in a competition between the Norwalk Singing Club and the South Norwalk Singing Society. Enter Irish immigrant, Kate O’Reilly and her friend Zsuzsi who have just witnessed the murder of Kate’s husband, Timothy. They must now hide out from his murderer, Doyle Callaghan, a NYC underworld boss. They travel to South Norwalk where Zsuzsi’s Hungarian family lives.

Setting up a hat shop, Kate becomes embroiled in the intrigues of the competing local choruses who use her as bait in order to secure the services of local Italian super-tenor Aldo Salvatore. Romance, comedy, secrets and murder combine in this tale that reveals the lives of Whistleville’s (the Bouton Street-Lexington Avenue area of South Norwalk) Italian and Hungarian immigrant inhabitants as well as those of the uptown Norwalk establishment.

Performed by a talented cast of high school and adult actors and featuring Crystal Theatre’s graduating senior class: Norwalk’s Zachary Anderson, Katie Arpino, T.J. Boyrer, Alex Capogrosso, Catherine Colmenares, Julia Forschino, Zariya Paige and Wilton’s Riley Sexton.

Crystal Theatre is a not-for-profit performing arts school that has trained thousands of students ages 4 to 21 in musical performance techniques since 1987. Crystal Theatre has produced hundreds of shows for performers at all levels, from students to professionals.

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