Cultural Park hits with romance, music and laughter

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By Michael Moran
First, a tale of love and life. Same Time, Next Year follows a love affair between two people, Doris and George, married to others, who rendezvous once a year in Northern California. Twenty-five years of manners and morals are hilariously and touchingly played out by the lovers in this romantic comedy by Bernard Slade.
One of the most popular romantic comedies of the century, Same Time, Next Year ran four years on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for lead actress Ellen Burstyn, who later recreated her role in the successful motion picture. It remains one of the world’s most widely produced plays. Same Time Next Year will be on stage Feb. 7 through Feb. 16.
Neil Diamond, the legendary icon, is now entering his fifth decade of music. His songs are about love and friendship, loneliness and joy, freedom and sorrow. It is the purity of his message that has allowed him to last for so long.
So how do you top perfection? Impossible! With the unsurpassed talents of Neil Diamond, one can only hope to come close. That is the remarkable talent of Neil Zirconia. He has expertly captured the essence and the passion of Neil Diamond, with all of the movements, expression, style and music that has made Neil Diamond the greatest entertainer of our time. Get your tickets for this concert soon as we proudly welcome back Neil Zirconia for four performances on Feb. 21, 22 and 23.

Also in February, CPT welcomes the smash hit musical, Urinetown. After its fringe festival debut, the musical ran Off-Broadway from May 6 until June 25, 2001. The show then opened on Broadway Sept. 20, 2001, until Jan. 18, 2004, running for 965 shows plus 25 previews. The show was nominated for nine Tony Awards, bringing home three statues while on its Broadway run.
Truthfully, I have to tell you, Urinetown, I hated the title, and I avoided the musical for years because I thought it was some crude artistic expression show. Then I saw it and believe that it is the best U.S. farce written in the modern time.
Like me, I hope the community will also get past the title and come and enjoy a very funny and poignant show. With everything going on in the country today, it takes a hard, but funny, look at the characters we create in our lives.
The musical takes place in the future where, because of a 20-year drought, there are no private toilets, and all the public toilets are pay toilets, owned by one mega-corporation, the Urine Good Company. If the poor decide to not follow the strict laws prohibiting free urination, they will be sent to “Urinetown.”
The production is known for being fast-paced and very funny. It tests all the stereotypes we see in most musicals and pushes them beyond what we know.
Urinetown – The Musical opens Friday, Feb. 28 and runs through March 8.
Cultural Park is located at 528 Cultural Park Blvd. in Cape Coral. For info and ticket orders, call 239-772-5862 or go to www.culturalparktheater.com.
Michael Moran is executive director of Cultural Park Theater

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