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Grandstreet Theatre alumna come back "home" for nostalgic musical

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Posted at 1:49 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 10:44:24-04

HELENA — Grandstreet Theatre in Helena opened the show The Marvelous Wonderettes on July 27 and the show features Grandstreet Theatre School alumna as the four leading ladies.

"I grew up here in Grandstreet, and I've been doing shows since I was in 3rd grade, and so to come back here and do such a beautiful show with such a wonderful cast and crew has been so refreshing after the couple of years we've had," said Savannah Smith who will star as Cindy Lou.

The four leading ladies say the journey back home is often the sweetest and most meaningful.

"I think I didn't know how much it meant to me as a kid because it was the only theater right known. But now that I've gone away and done stuff with other theaters, there's not a community, like Grandstreet and that's such a great thing because it is such a community,” said Elsie Harrington who will be playing Susie.

The whole cast is female, and so is the production crew.

The music of the '50s and '60s, like hit songs Mr. Sandman and Stupid Cupid, brings nostalgia to Hill Park.

"I'm a big fan of the 50s and 60s music, so the music was like this other huge bonus, and it's just it's a nice feeling of returning home and being able to do something extraordinary," said Natalie Renk who will act as Betty Jean.

The musical brings the young and more mature together.

"This show it's fun for all kinds of ages. I think kids will enjoy it. It's all music, all the way through. Older folks will recognize a lot of the songs. Younger folks recognize a lot of the songs. So yeah, no matter who you are, I think, it has something that appeals to everyone," said Tabitha Southworth, who willstar as Missy.

For Director Amy Schendel, directing the four leads when they were little to now brings the full production circle.

"To work with four young ladies who are all grown up now is so cool. I know that Grandstreet, in a way, has raised them, this whole community has. So what's special to see how far they've come and what they're doing," said Schendel.

Schendel says this show was the perfect performance for the outdoor theater.

“This is one of those shows that would work well outdoors. We're just in this gorgeous community in this gorgeous area, and so to get to enjoy this in the summertime and, you know, bring your family and sit on a blanket or sit on some lawn chairs and enjoy a show. It's just the perfect summer evening activity,” said Schendel.

The Marvelous Wonderettes will be performed at Hill Park every evening except Mondays until August 13, you can find tickets on Grandstreet’s website.

*08/01/2022: Editors note: this story was updated to correct a misspelling of an actor's name.