A new theater company, Well Played Productions, will stage its premier production, a musical revue of Maltby and Shire's "Closer Than Ever," at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Broadstreet Playhouse, 200 Broad St., Leetsdale.
The playhouse formerly was the Leetsdale United Presbyterian Church.
Well Played Productions was launched recently by two of its main actors, husband-and-wife team Jonathan Surmacz and Elizabeth Matthews, who have lived and worked in New York City and had moved to the Sewickley/Leetsdale area 10 years ago.
Mr. Surmacz works at Point Park University, where he is production manager for the Dance Department.
"There is so much talent out here," Ms. Matthews said, "that we thought it would be an amazing place to start a theater company."
After spending time raising a family here and being involved with other local productions, Ms. Matthews said she and her husband met the right people and found a great space to stage the show -- a former church that is not being used.
"Everything kind of fell right into place," she said.
"Closer Than Ever" is just as close to Ms. Matthews' heart. She said she has wanted to perform it since she was in high school.
"I picked this revue and we've been waiting and waiting for the rights," she said. "I really thought it would resonate with the kind of people that we are trying to attract. It's about people who are raising kids, dealing with relationships, and taking care of their parents."
Although the revue was written in the 1980s, Ms. Matthews said, "It's not dated at all. It's actually extremely relevant. As a teenager, I got it, and now in my 30s, I really think it's wonderful. It's a great show with wonderful songs."
Ms. Matthews said Well Played Productions will be great for the community.
"I feel that people here are very supportive of the arts," she said. "Even the kids are knowledgeable about the arts."
"Closer Than Ever" may be the premier production, but Ms. Matthews aspires to start a "real season" next year.
"We have been waiting for this opportunity to happen," she said. "It's always been our dream, and now we hope to see it come to fruition."
The production also stars Leah Hillgrove and Danny Siford.
Tickets can be reserved for a suggested donation of $15. Information: 412-259-8625, or email@example.com.
Shellie Petri Budzeak, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.