Gloucester Stage Company is turning back time to the era of the speakeasy in a special benefit for the local theater company.
Gloucester Stage, which calls the Gorton Theatre at 267 East Main St. home — will be transformed into "Club 267" for two shows on April 14 and 15. Tickets are now available.
A local vocal group called Share the Music is revving up for the party by rehearsing songs from that era and finding appropriate 1920s attire for the event, and those attending are also encouraged to dress for the era if they desire.
The nearly 30 singers will perform the music of Porter, Gershwin, Kern, Rogers & Hart and more, while the lobby will be decorated like a speakeasy and a pianist will play 1920s tunes for everyone to sing along during the break between acts.
Bea Waring, the president of Gloucester Stage's Board of Directors, sings with Share the Music and said its members have all been working to make this a most entertaining show.
She explained that the stage will be set up as a speakeasy complete with a bar and a door with peep hole, mimicking the era of Prohibition. It was also an era of entertainment when radio was king, in a time before television.
"We will make this a fun and humorous event," said Waring.
Share the Music singers joke that "Anything Goes" for this show, referring to one of the songs they will sing.
Other tunes on the program include "Ain't She Sweet," "Ma, He's Making Eyes at Me," "Birth of the Blues," "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Puttin' On the Ritz," "Charleston" and "It Had to Be You."
The musical revue will come to life on stage under the direction of Wendy Betts of Rockport.
"This show has been a blast to put together, and working with Gloucester Stage is taking it to another level," said Jackie Gravell, a member of Share the Music. "We all have been researching the era and it's really going to be exciting. It's the kind of event that gives people a chance to take out one of those old-time dresses or sing along. Plus there will be a few surprises here and there."
This is one of two special spring benefits.
Tickets are also now available for the spring gala and performance of "The Women of Spoon River" starring Lee Meriwether, which will run for three days from June 2 to 4.
Meriwether co-starred opposite Buddy Ebsen for eight years as Betty in the CBS series "Barnaby Jones." She was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy.
"The Spoon River Anthology" was first published in 1915 by Edgar Lee Masters who wrote a collection of epitaph poems describing the lives of the inhabitants of the fictional small town of Spoon River. The collection includes 212 characters providing accounts of their lives, losses and deaths. In 1962, Charles Aidman adapted "The Spoon River Anthology" for the stage.
The 2012 Spring Gala kicks off the summer season on June 1 with a dinner dance at Bass Rocks Golf Club, in Gloucester, with special guests, the Miss Americas of 1948, 1955, and 1981 — Waring, then known as Bebe Shopp, Meriwether and Susan Powell.
All three Miss Americas will perform at the gala when they will sing "Miss America Sisters," a song written for the pageant by the composer Bernie Wayne who wrote "There She Is, Miss America."
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3451, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who: The 28-member Share The Music group will perform songs of the 1920s in a musical revue set in a speakeasy bar.
What: "Songs of the Roaring Twenties!," a benefit for Gloucester Stage Company.
Where: Gloucester Stage at 267 East Main St.
When: Saturday, April 14, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m.
How much: $25. For tickets, now on sale, call 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.org.