The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a pre-show ceremony sponsored by KeyBank, including ribbon-cutting and a birthday cake on stage, after the show "Inherit the Wind."
The celebration will begin Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. at NRTG's home, the Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek Road, Tonawanda.
"Inherit the Wind," one of the most outstanding dramas of our time, was written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. It is an historic accounting of the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925, a famous trial that still divides Americans today due to the trial's outcome. A teacher was tried in court for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution, instead of teaching the Biblical account in the Book of Genesis. A brilliantly written script leads you on a back and forth debate that will keep you spellbound.
The drama is directed by Fran Newton, produced by Alaina Kulikowski and stage manager Gretchen Beach, all of Grand Island.
Celebrating NRTG's 90th anniversary are Paul Bene from Niagara Falls, a lifetime member of NRTG, starring as Matthew Harrison Brady. During his NRTG tenure, Bene has directed, acted, served on the board of directors as vice president, recently played Benjamin Franklin in season opener of "1776" and stars as Tevye in "Fiddler" for NRTG. He owns House of Fantasy Comic Books & Games in Niagara Falls.
Stephen Jakiel from Buffalo stars as Henry Drummond. He chairs the English Department at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and has directed and acted for the company with his role as King Arthur in "Camelot" being a favorite.
Michael Breen from Buffalo stars as E.K. Hornbeck and is directing NRTG's upcoming production of "Godspell." He was recently seen in "The Crucible" and as Herbie in "Gypsy" and directs for area high schools.
Andrew Polino from East Amherst stars as Cates and was recently seen as Richard Henry Lee in NRTG's "1776" and as Yonkers in "Gypsy."
Maria Nicole from Niagara Falls stars as Rachel and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater performance from Niagara University.
An opening night reception including refreshments and a "Meet the Cast and Crew" will be held immediately following the opening night performance. Other performances, the cast and crew may be greeting patrons after each show.
Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Feb. 17.
All tickets are available by calling ahead and picking up tickets at the box office or purchasing tickets at the box office the day of the performance.