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History of the TCPR

Our community theatre in Port Richmond started out simply as a fundraiser for the local parish, Nativity B.V.M. The Social Committee decided to try to produce a musical for presentation in the spring of 1984. It was decided that the first production would be MAME. Actors and actresses were found in the choir or they were members of the Social Committee or sometimes just friends of friends! This ragtag group rehearsed and rehearsed and lo and behold they had a success. Everyone involved decided they should try again the next year. In 1985, the group, now calling themselves THE NATIVITY THEATRE COMPANY, produced ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, the musical retelling of the story of The Princess and The Pea. In 1986, the group wanted to incorporate more children into their productions and presented the classic musical OLIVER with both girls and boys from the parish school taking the part of the orphans. Their rendition of the song, FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD, from that production still ranks as one of the highlights of this company. After OLIVER, the Company decided to expand and produce a non-musical show in the fall as well as the usual Spring Musical. The first non-musical was the chestnut ARSENIC AND OLD LACE performed in the autumn of 1986, followed in the spring of 1987 with the Company's most successful show to that date, THE MUSIC MAN. The huge success of that production buoyed the group and paved the way for more ambitious productions. The next season they produced the neo-classic French farce, THE IMAGINARY INVALID, by Moliere. This production featured a cast entirely made up of school aged children! Some of these children have gone on to appear as adults in present productions. In the spring of 1988, Rodgers and Hammerstein's timeless SOUTH PACIFIC was produced followed in the fall with the company's salute to The Sisters of St. Joseph who were leaving the parish. The very funny SEVEN NUNS AT LAS VEGAS was performed in the fall of 1988. 1989 brought on the Company's most ambitious production to date, THE MAN OF LA MANCHA.

Following the enormous success, both financially and artistically, it was becoming obvious that the Company was outgrowing the confines of Nativity Parish. After the delightful Christmas spectacle, THE STINGIEST MAN IN TOWN, the Company decided to leave Nativity and reform on their own as a legitimate Community Theatre. After a year and a half layoff to regroup, the now named THEATRE COMPANY OF PORT RICHMOND bounced back on the scene in the Fall of 1991 with GODSPELL with the cast moving from location to location just to find a place to rehearse! Now firmly entrenched at The Lithuanian Music Hall, the Company set out to produce their first large cast musical under their new name. ANNIE was performed in the spring of 1992 and was very successful. The Company then settled in to their format of two shows a year. In the fall of 1992, DRACULA was produced followed in the spring of 1993 with THE PAJAMA GAME. The 1993-1994 season featured Neil Simon's CALIFORNIA SUITE followed by the Company's tenth anniversary production of LIL' ABNER. In 1994-1995, the season highlighted THE FOREIGNER and Cole Porter's KISS ME, KATE! Following seasons brought such fabulous productions such as MISTER ROBERTS, OKLAHOMA, Agatha Christie's THE MOUSETRAP, GYPSY, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, GUYS AND DOLLS, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and THE MOUSE THAT ROARED. In the spring of 2000, the Company saluted the new Millennium with the timeless classic, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, which broke all box office records to date! The Company completed their 17th season with Neil Simon's THE ODD COUPLE and the wonderful musical MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS.  Then the Company decided to put on SOUTH PACIFIC again, followed by productions of MY FAIR LADY, RUMORS, DAMN YANKEES!, and ROOM SERVICE.  Other shows that were well received was OLIVER!, NOISES OFF, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN and the MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER.

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