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ELT FOR ALL SEASONS continued from page 9

[[image - black & white photograph of two male and two female actors]]
Daniel David, Valerie Depena, P.J. Wilson, Anne Russell in Very Warm For May  (1985)

shows that have gone elsewhere after our production," recalls George. Canterbury Tales went to B'way; Of Thee I Sing and Three to One (a combination of three revues - One For The Money, Two For The Show and Three To Make Ready) moved to Off-Broadway; Summer Brave (a rewrite of Picnic) went to summer stock; and The Miracle Worker went to a regional heater in New Jersey and won many awards.

ELT produce he only American production of Cole Porter's London musical, Nymph Errant, the first revival of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's Very Warm For May and a rare revival of Lady In The Dark (no longer available for Off-Broadway production).  This season, ELT is producing the first revival of Rodgers and Hart's delightful musical, Too Many Girls (March 12 through April 5).

The current season is a special occasion for this ambitious project.  ELT's General Manager Janice Sager explains what's happening: "George has negotiated a new lease that will insure us of a home for the next 15 years, and we've taken a bank loan for $350,000.  We're doing a half-million dollar renovation n the theatre - putting in air-conditioning and adding 111 seats in the balcony, increasing our capacity to 380 seats.  Now that we have air conditioning, we'll be able to rent our theatre to other companies in the summer." 

"When I came to ELT in 1967," George states, "the annual budget was $20,000.  Now, it's a half million.  We get some financial help from the Actors' Equity Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, Rogers and Hammerstein Foundation and some corporate money.  That accounts for one-fourth of our total budget.  The other three quarters comes from our subscription audience and our single ticket donations. (A season's subscription for eight shows is $85.  You may also be a sponsor for $100, a patron for $125 and a benefactor for $150.  All these are tax deductible)  Adds George: "We're looking for $50,000 to help us finish paying for our new balcony.  If some angel out there is interested, we'll name the balcony after him or her."

There are countless cases of performers who appeared in an ELT show and went directly into something big because of their performance.  Tom Wopat appeared there in Oklahoma! and went directly in the TV goldmine, "The Dukes of Hazzard." Georgia Engel was in ELT's Lend an Ear which landed her the role of Georgette on the "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."  These occasions are always memorable.  George recalls the case of actor Michael McCarty.  "He was playing a lead role in our production of Fiorello! After one week of playing in the show, he was offered the lead in a new Broadway musical because of his performance at ELT.  At his last appearance, during he curtain call, a cast member announced to the audience: 'I have something to say about ELT.  We're here to get some work, and I'm pleased to announce that an actor in our cast is leaving us to star in a new Broadway musical.  We're all wishing him well.'  Michael stepped forward, and the audience gave him a standing ovation.  That's what ELT is all about."

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