“The Burnt Part Boys,” Indiana Premiere at the Towle Theater

Towle-Burnt-Part-Boys-01The Towle Theater continues its 12th season with the musical The Burnt Part Boys with generous support from their 2015 Season Sponsor Accucraft Imaging. This musical is under the direction of Jeff Casey, Managing Director of the Towle Theater. Musical Direction is by Lisa Kristina.

Locally named The Burnt Part, the Pickaway Coal Company's South Mountain closed down after an accident in 1952 that resulted in the death of four miners, three of which left behind children. Ten years later, Jake Twitchell is an employee of that same company, doing the same job that took his own father's life. Much to the dismay of his movie buff, younger brother Pete, the Pickaway Coal Company is going to begin re-mining The Burnt Part and send down both Jake and Jake's friend, Chet, whose father also died in the South Mountain accident. Inspired by his silver screen heroes, Pete sets out for The Burnt Part with his saw-playing-best-friend Dusty, a pack full of dynamite, and plans to render it useless. With Jake and Chet in hot pursuit, Pete and Dusty are in need of a guide and find a perfect Sacajawea in the young runaway Frances, who also lost her father in the accident. Dangerous and heart-warming discoveries comprise every theatrical layer of the adventure on the road to the mine.

The set requirements for this show posed a challenge to the staff. How do you make it appear that they are traversing a mountain and a mine with limited stage space? Jeff Casey and Kevin Bellamy were up to that challenge. They have constructed modular moving platforms of different heights and creatively used crates and benches to represent other set elements. “It forces you to think outside the box and be very clever with the tools you have” says director, Jeff Casey.

Over the past few years, the Towle has been known for producing small cast musicals. For this show, the cast requirements were a bit unusual calling for eight men and one female. The Towle is very fortunate to have a cast of singers/actors with equally powerful voices that blend beautifully. The music is a combination of contemporary and folk music with very tight harmonies. The cast is accompanied by violin, viola, upright bass, guitar/banjo, percussion and piano.

Towle-Burnt-Part-Boys-02The Towle welcomes back Harry Ogrentz (Chicago, IL), Chloe Jancosek (Munster), Ian Rigg (Orland Park, IL), and Kevin Bellamy (Hammond). Audiences may remember Ian from Play Dates and Harry & Chloe from the Towle Youth Theater Ensemble’s Do Black Patent Leather Shows Really Reflect Up?. Newcomers Quinn Rigg (Orland Park, IL), Clint Boylan (Chicago), Matthew Provencal (Chicago), Dan Brennan (Lisle, IL) and Brian Rigg (Orland Park, IL) complete the cast.

Performances for The Burnt Part Boys are July 10-12, 17-19 & 23-26. Thursday through Saturday the production will begin at 8pm and on Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are only $17. Every Friday performance is an Educator Appreciation Night with buy-one-get-one free tickets to all educators with a school ID. Thursday, July 23rd is Industry Night; anyone who provides proof of their work in a theater production will receive a buy-one-get-one free ticket. Reservations required for all promotional discounts. Children under six years of age are not permitted in the theater.

The Towle Theater is located in historic downtown Hammond at 5205 Hohman Avenue. Free, well-lit, secured parking is available off of Fayette Street only steps away from our back entrance or in the parking lot directly across the street from the theater on Hohman Avenue. For more information on purchasing tickets, visit www.towletheater.org or call the box office at 219-937-8780.