We should consider ourselves lucky that, despite the less-than-ideal weather we’ve had so far this summer, there are still a few brave theater troupes daring to offer outdoor productions.
One of these intrepid ensembles is the Belfast Maskers, who for the third year in a row will stage a large, 10-day-long production on the Belfast Waterfront, beginning July 24.
This year’s show — “Oliver!” — is the biggest summer production the Maskers have yet undertaken. Where 2007’s well-received musical version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” featured more than 20 cast members, and last year’s production of “Carousel” incorporated many age groups and new members of the Maskers community, “Oliver” brings in more than 60 actors, singers and dancers from across the midcoast region.
Charles Dickens’ classic tale of poverty and redemption in Victorian London will be staged in Belfast’s Steamboat Landing Park, utilizing the natural landscape to tell the story. Expect choruses of orphans, pickpockets and ordinary Londoners, all members of the local community. Bring a blanket or folding chairs — as well as some bug spray and cold drinks.
Director Aynne Ames, helming her third Maskers summer show, has called on a variety of local organizations to help defray costs of the production. The Maskers have also donated 100 tickets to Hospice of Waldo County, TallPines, Harbor Hill, Literacy Volunteers, Rotary, and Waldo County Community Action Program to distribute to those otherwise unable to afford tickets.
The show starts at 7 p.m., and it will be presented from July 24 through Aug. 2, with two rain dates on Aug. 3 and 4. Tickets are $20, $10 for teens and $5 for kids 12 and under, and are available at the Fertile Mind Bookshop on Main Street in downtown Belfast. For more information, visit www.belfastmaskerstheater.com.