Bells Are Ringing
March 26, 27, April 2, 3, 4, 16, 17, 18, 2004

Click to see show poster.
Jeff MossRob Adams
Chorus, Charles, Joey, Nightclub SingerPaul Bonnici
Dr. KitchellJohn Bracali
SueBeth Breiner
SandorMark Breiner
Chorus, " BAR" singer, Michelle, "Midas Touch" Singer/DancerCheryl Burke
Chorus, Carl, Another ActorTodd Carpien
Larry Hastings, ChorusBandon Fogel
Gwynne, Chorus, "Midas Touch" Singer/DancerSuzy Gunkle
Inspector Barnes, LudwigRalph Montesano
Chorus, GrimaldiVicki Montesano
Chorus, FrancisPaul Pistone
Chorus, Olga, "BAR" singer, "Midas Touch" Singer/DancerCarolyn Shemwell
Chorus, Carol, "BAR" singer, "Midas Touch" Singer/DancerLori Sivick
Ella PettersonAnn Marie Squerrini
Chorus, Announcer, Mob Man, EmceeAl Squerrini
Paul Arnold, ChorusAbe Traven
Chorus, Mrs. MalletBecky Trollinger
ChorusDeena Thompson
Chorus, Blake BartonAndy White
Production Staff
DirectorChip Rohrbach
Musical DirectorScott Miller
ChoreographerCon Gallagher
Stage ManagerTerri Yankus
Lighting DesignerTom Steigerwalt
Costumer & Set ConstructorDrew Howard
Assistent to Mr. GallagherCheryl Burke

Cast Photos
Click on any image for a larger version, if available.


'Bells Are Ringing' a ringing success at Pennsylvania Playhouse

Special to The Morning Call
Bells are ringing at the Pennsylvania Playhouse, where good-hearted Ella Petersen (Anne Marie Squerrini), an employee of the Susanswerphone answering service in Manhattan, just can't help get overly involved in clients' lives, to the frustration of her employer (and cousin), Sue.

What would Olga the opera singer do without Ella's recipe for a mustard plaster? Or the frustrated mom do without ''Santa Claus'' to help keep her little boy on the right track?

The audience soon finds out in the playhouse production of ''Bells are Ringing,'' written by the legendary team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green and filled with eccentric characters and unlikely romance.

The production has some nice touches, particularly Drew Howard's innovative set design. The center backdrop includes musicians Scott Miller on piano, John Gackenbach on drums and Steven Wright on bass. This is right in tune with the story's setting in the era of nightclubs and big bands.

Images flashed on screens on both sides of the stage allow for quick changes in scenery. The only other major set elements — a checkerboard floor and some office chairs — cleverly evoke the 1950s obsession for office gray. Vintage dresses lend authenticity.

The stage direction by director Chip Rohrbach and the dance numbers by Con Gallagher are precise, snappy, and keep the story line moving.Although this musical didn't produce a slew of hits, people will enjoy hearing a few standards — ''The Party's Over,'' ''The Midas Touch'' and the poignant ''Just in Time.''

Showing off their fine voices were Squerrini and Mark Breiner, who plays Sandor, a racketeer who, under the guise of a music publisher, romances Sue into letting him set up shop at Susanswerphone.

If you're a fan of whacky '50s musicals and understand the constraints of community theater, you'll enjoy this show. ''Bells are Ringing,'' 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, through April 18 (no performance April 9-11), Pennsylvania Playhouse, Illick's Mill Road, Bethlehem. Tickets: $18; $15, seniors and students; $18, all seats Saturday. 610-865-6665.

Marguerite Smolen is a freelance writer.

Jodi Duckett, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Copyright © 2004, The Morning Call

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