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Published: Thursday, 6/3/2010

Rep has old-fashioned fun with 'Victor/Victoria'


For its season finale, the Toledo Repertoire Theatre has chosen a really big show … literally.

Victor/Victoria opens tomorrow, but it will be in the Mainstage Theatre at Owens Community College's Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

The demands of the play exceed the stage capacity in the Rep's 10th Street theater, according to director James M. Norman.

"We've got a two-story set, and we've been running up and down its stairs for two weeks now," he said in a telephone interview last week.

Norman said he's particularly excited about the production, and not simply because it's the regional premiere of the show, which is based on the 1982 movie starring Julie Andrews (which itself was based on the 1933 German film Viktor und Viktoria).

"It's just such a delightful show with fantastic music by Henry Mancini - we have a 14-piece live orchestra accompanying us - and it has a funny plot with a love story at the heart of it. It's just old-time musical comedy."

Set in Paris in the 1930s, the story revolves around a struggling singer, Victoria Grant, who is taken under the wing of Toddy, the resident performer at Chez Lui, a nightclub owned by Henri Labisse. Victoria isn't quite star material, until Toddy conceives of the notion to have her pretend to be a man pretending to be a female impersonator. Her new persona, "Count Victor Grazinski," becomes the toast of Paris.

Lindsey Denham as Norma Cassidy and Zach Lahey as King Marchan. Lindsey Denham as Norma Cassidy and Zach Lahey as King Marchan.

It isn't long before a Chicago nightclub owner (and gangster), King Marchan, shows up and falls for "Victor." Marchan is sure Victor is a woman and is determined to prove it, much to the amusement of his brassy girlfriend, Norma, and bodyguard, Squash.

For the Rep's production, Ann Steck plays the title character(s). "She really hasn't done much theater in the area, but she walked into the auditions and just wowed us," Norman said.

Zach Lahey, a veteran of many Rep productions, including the lead role of Jerry in The Fully Monty, plays King Marchan. David James is Toddy, Tim Keogh is Labisse, Lindsey Denham plays Norma, and Matt Richardson (Gaston in many area productions of Beauty and the Beast) is Squash.

The cast also includes Megan Beckett, Deb J. Brescol, Elizabeth Cottle, Carolyn Cupp, Ashley Gibel, Steve Grudzien, Wesley Grudzien, Bridget Harrington, Bronwyn Rose Hazard, Scott Heuerman, Eric Hillenbrand, Lucas Horstman, J. Judson Lohman, Daniel Partin, Bill Perry, Brian Rodabaugh, Paul Sepada, Amy Spaulding-Heuring, Sara Swisher, Ken Wieland, Stephen E. Woolley, Kathryn Zarecki, and Ryan Zarecki.

Josh Glover is the musical director and orchestra conductor, and the choreographer is Brian Rodabaugh.

"Victor/Victoria" is scheduled at 8 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, and June 11 and 12, with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. June 13 in the Owens Community College Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, 30335 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $10 for students 13 and older, and $5 for youngsters 12 and younger. Information: 419-243-9277.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6130.

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