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Kent State's Porthouse Theatre Announces Razzle Dazzle 2011 Summer Season

Posted Jan. 12, 2011

Porthouse Theatre, Kent State University’s outdoor summer theatre located on the grounds of Blossom Music Center, announces a razzle dazzle season for 2011. The professional theatre, celebrating its 43rd year, opens the season with the Broadway sensation “Chicago,” with book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Fred Ebb. It’s based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins. 

Terri Kent in Hello Dolly!The show will be directed by Porthouse Theatre’s Artistic Director Terri Kent. Kent is a professor of theatre at Kent State and also serves as director of the musical theatre program for the university’s School of Theatre and Dance. “Chicago” will run June 16 - 18, June 21 - 25, June 28 - 30 and July 1 and 2 at 8 p.m.; and June 19 and 26 at 2 p.m.

The second production of the season is “The Sunshine Boys” by Neil Simon. The show will be directed by Rohn Thomas, who won Best Comedy of 2010 for his “perfectly balanced” direction of “The Foreigner” last summer, according to local theatre critic Bob Abelman. “The Sunshine Boys” will run July 7- 9, July 12 - 16 and July 19 - 23 at 8 p.m.; and July 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.

The Porthouse Theatre season closes with the iconic musical “Hello, Dolly!” Featuring music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Michael Stewart, the show will be directed by returning guest artist Victoria Bussert. A nationally acclaimed director, Bussert has been involved in directing and acting in international tours, and in Broadway and off-Broadway productions. She serves as the resident director for Cleveland’s Great Lakes Theater Festival and as the head of the musical theatre program at Baldwin-Wallace College.  “Hello Dolly!” will run July 28 - 30, Aug. 2 - 6 and Aug. 9 - 14 at 8 p.m.; and July 31, Aug. 7 and Aug. 14 at 2 p.m.

One of the highlights of the season will be Kent’s return to stage after a 13-year hiatus, as she alters roles and steps into the part of Dolly Levy. Choreography will be by veteran choreographer John Crawford, dean of Kent State’s College of the Arts.  Crawford’s work for last season’s “Bye Bye Birdie” garnered him the city’s “Best Choreography of a Musical” award by Abelman.

Subscriptions are currently on sale. Prices for Tuesday through Friday evening performances are $60 for adults and $51 for seniors; Saturday nights are $66 for adults and seniors; and Sunday matinees are $57 for adults and $51 for seniors. Gift subscriptions are also available. The box office accepts personal checks, Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Special rates are available for students and groups of 20 or more.

Single ticket prices, ranging from $25 - $33 for adults and seniors and $17 - $20 for students, will go on sale after May 25.The box office is located in the Music and Speech Center on the corner of Main Street and Horning Drive on the Kent State campus.  For more information, call 330-672-3884 or visit

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Editors:  Digital images of all shows are available by contacting Effie Tsengas.

Photo Caption:
Porthouse Theatre Artistic Director Terri Kent stars as Dolly Levy in “Hello Dolly!” which runs July 28 – Aug. 14.

Media Contacts:
Effie Tsengas,, 330-283-2713
Bob Burford,, 330-672-8516