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'The Porch' to open Majestic Theater's latest season

WEST SPRINGFIELD "The Porch," a gentle comedy that looks at a close-knit group of friends, launches the Theater Project's 12th season in residence at Majestic Theater when it opens on Sept. 10. Author Jack Neary will also direct the show. His previous works include "First Night" and "Jerry Finnegan's Sister," which were both popular hits at the Majestic. The play follows a group of five friends who are about to revive an annual Labor Day party tradition, which ended five years earlier when the husband of the hostess died. The support and well-intentioned help they provide are the backbone of the story, as the audience sees what the characters enjoy in one another, as well as the things that drive them crazy. Described as "everything theatre should be endearing, drop-dead funny, heartbreaking and in the end, triumphant," "The Porch" runs through Oct. 18. The cast of the show includes Ellen Colton and Cheryl McMahon, who are joined by Theater Project veterans Barbara McEwen, Stuart Gamble and J.T. Waite. Theater Project Founder Danny Eaton is producing director. Rachel Putnam will serve as stage manager, lighting designer is Dan Rist and Scott McArthur is sound designer. Emily Dunn is costume designer. The remainder of the 12th season at the Majestic is as follows: "Piecemeal The Frankenstein Musical" (Oct. 29 - Dec. 6), "Almost, Maine" (Jan. 7 Feb. 14), "A Man For All Seasons" (Feb. 25 - April 3) and "The Fantasticks" (April 15 - May 23). "I like the balance of this season," Eaton stated. "There's a nice mix of content and genre here. 'The Porch,' 'Almost, Maine' and 'The Fantasticks' are three very warm-hearted shows that connect to the audience in a very human way. 'Piecemeal' caught my eye because it's such an original and clever re-telling of the Frankenstein saga with great music and lyrics, and 'A Man For All Seasons' is all about the courage it takes to stand up for who you are. It's an interesting living and breathing look at history, and I'd been wanting to produce that show for a long time." Tickets for all shows as well as "The Porch" will be available Sept. 1 by visiting or calling the Majestic Theater Box Office at 747-7797 during its hours of operation (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.). Ticket prices have been held at last year's rate of $19 - $25 per seat.

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