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Preview Cabaret kicks off 11th season of Festival 56

Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 3:29 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, June 9, 2014 3:48 p.m. CST

PRINCETON — Festival 56 will kick off its 11th season with a Preview Cabaret at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Grace Performing Arts Center, 316 S. Main St. in Princeton.

This special evening of entertainment showcases the talents of the newly arrived professional cast for the summer season. The Preview Cabaret will feature selections from the upcoming musicals (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Oliver!” and “Into the Woods”) as well as other cabaret songs.

Among those performing in the Preview Cabaret will be Sarah Smith, who returns to Festival 56 for a fourth season (lead roles in “Spelling Bee” and “Into the Woods”) before going on the national tour of “Mamma Mia” this fall.

Other returning Festival 56 favorites in the cabaret line-up will be Matt Scott, who played the lead in “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” this past fall; Marissa Martinez, who will be reprising her title role in this season’s “Sylvia” (originally produced by the festival in 2006); Bob Colonna, the father in the “Heiress” last season; and Tom Rusterholz, the lead in the “Full Monty” last year. Jimmy Calitri, popular Festival 56 returning director (“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” last year), will emcee the show.

Tickets for Saturday’s Preview Cabaret, a full evening of musical entertainment, are $26 (free to season subscribers). Late Night Cabarets (Fridays at 10 p.m.) start June 20. Tickets for these more informal late-night shows are $8 in advance; $10 at the door.

The Festival 56 Box Office is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and an hour before each performance.

For more information about the 2014 Festival 56 season of dramas, musicals and cabarets, call 815-879-5656 or visit www.festival56.com.

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