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Playhouse pokes fun at political fuss

Singers and actors including the apprentice corps perform the finale at Flat Rock Playhouse. Singers and actors including the apprentice corps perform the finale at Flat Rock Playhouse.

FLAT ROCK — The Flat Rock Playhouse actors poked fun at the politics swirling around the theater Monday night during the annual Dark Night Revue fundraiser.

Playing John Adams, Scott Cote bellowed his grievance that "Congress" had made charges against the Playhouse including "mismanagement, new theaters in Myrtle Beach, high employee salaries, and then they requested funding, misled the press, kicked out George Wilkins, deported Billy Munoz and forced Scott Treadway to release his tax returns, and still this Congress won't grant any of my proposals on this new tourism initiative, or grant even so much as the courtesy of open debate."
The ensemble, responds by singing, from "1776," "Sit down, John, sit down, John, for God's sake, John, sit down."
It was all part of the fun, with a little spice, on a night that also included a poignant tribute to longtime costume designer Bridget Bartlett, who died last September, and remembrances of Playhouse veterans who have spent decades at the theater that began 60 years ago on the great flat rock in a circus tent and later moved into the barnlike relic it still uses today.
Ralph Redpath, who first performed in 1971, and Barbara Bradshaw, who joined the summer cast in 1976, recalled the hard seats and sweltering heat. Because there was no air conditioning, the doors were left open. Because the doors were left open, Robroy Farquhar's cats came looking for him. "What better place to find him but right on stage in the middle of a scene," Bradshaw said.
The open doors let in bugs, which in turn attracted bats, which would swoop past an actor's head, causing him to jump in the middle of a critical dramatic scene. During matinees, the cast and audience endured camp buses rumbling by on Little River Road, their young charges merrily singing "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."
Producing artistic director Vincent Marini announced an ambitious schedule for 2013 that includes the blockbuster musical "Les Miserables," "Evita," "The Odd Couple," starring Scott Treadway; "Cash on Delivery," "Lost Highway," the Hank Williams tribute; "The Three Musketeers," "A Christmas Story," with all Playhouse alumni, and, at the Playhouse Downtown, a three-week run of "Cats." In all the theater has scheduled 13 shows and 10 Music on the Rock acts, including tributes to Creedence Clearwater Revival, Willie Nelson, Whitney Houston, Motown, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton and Peter, Paul and Mary.