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Bristol Riverside Theatre Celebrates Closer Than Ever

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Bristol Riverside TheatreBristol Riverside Theatre concludes its 2009-2010 season with the musical Closer Than Ever, with music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr. Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the premiere of this revue, the production will feature original cast members Sally Mayes and Lynne Wintersteller, joined by George Dvorsky and Sal Viviano. Lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. directs the production which introduces new materials and updated lyrics for a contemporary sensibility.

Closer Than Ever is a theatrical revue filled with wise, witty and heartfelt songs reflecting on marriage, parenting, children and lasting friendships. What links the songs, which deal with open-minded marriages and sensible divorces, regrets and second thoughts, "breaking apart and breaking away" and, of course, relationships, is the impression of ever-changing choices, sad surprises and out of the blue joys.

The musical won the Outer Critics Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical and Best Score, and a Drama Desk Award for Maltby, Shire and Wintersteller.

Maltby shares, “It's particularly wonderful to return to the material twenty years later and find that the songs seem like they were written today, and are still speaking to audiences' hearts.”

Maltby and Shire have collaborated on the Broadway production of Baby, which won seven Tony nominations; Big, which received one Tony nomination, and the off-Broadway production of Starting Here Starting Now, which received a Grammy nomination.

Bristol Riverside TheatreCloser Than Ever’s opening song “Doors” is a fitting introduction as a literal set of doors serves as the set for the ever-changing and entertaining array of songs and moods. Maltby’s clever lyrics are Shire’s catchy heartfelt tunes are beautifully sung and acted by a talents quartet of seasoned stage actors.

Sally Mayes sings of how she wants a lover, a husband, a partner -- anything but a friend. Mayes is also Miss Byrd, the proper office gal with secret passionate lunch hours.

Lynne Wintersteller represents the woman who looks as though she has got it all. She is smart, classy yet incomplete. She sings about "a life alone,” the patterns of her life and longings, yet she is “not complaining.”

Sal Viviano is both sweet, sexy and his character is at times comically a bit unsure of himself. He is indeed "One of the Good Guys" with sensible drives, while he denies the lives he could have led.”

George Dvorsky portrays a lovable big lug with a warm, mellow voice that lands the heartbreaking “If I Sing” dedicated to all the wonderful dads in the universe.

Closer Than Ever plays at the Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bristol PA through May 23.

For tickets & more information: call 215.785.0100 or visit www.BRTstage.org.

PHOTOS: 

RIGHT: (Left to Right) Lynne Wintersteller, Sally Mayes, Sal Viviano, and George Dvorsky

LEFT: (Left to Right) Sal Viviano, Sally Mayes, Lynne Wintersteller, and George Dvorsky

Photo Credit: Chris McMullen