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Hingham's Derby Street to host gala for new Paragon Park musical

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  May 25, 2012 04:34 PM

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Hingham’s Derby Street Shoppes will host a gala event June 10 for the Company Theatre’s “Paragon Park – The Musical,” with the hope of raising funds to supplement the theater’s budget.

The musical, which is scheduled to debut in late July, has been a long time coming for those involved, including playwright team Zoe Bradford and Michael Hammond, with songs by composer Adam Brooks.

Bradford initially came up with the idea of a musical about the Hull amusement park as a joke, yet when she started talking about it with her partners at the Company Theatre, which she helps run in Norwell, the idea started morphing into reality.

“As soon as we started researching, the rich and sordid history is so fantastic and delicious in his history of being about the politics and the characters that were running Hull during the last century were fascinating people. We couldn’t get enough. We did research for a year and a half and had so much material it was hard to decide what the show would be about,” Bradford said.

The play’s story soon evolved into a fictitious love story, where an Italian Immigrant and gondolier falls in love with a proper Bostonian woman. All this is set against the backdrop of the early 19th century, when the park began.

The story also travels through time, picking up threads from the '20s and the '60s, a period that designed to tug on the heartstrings of an older generation of park-goers, Bradford said.

“People have so many stories. Many, many people attended as a rite of passage and it’s a great mentality. I think this event will be special,” she said.

According to Bradford, the work involved in putting the show together – from writing the script and creating the music, to designing and constructing the set, copyright costs, and designing the costumes – has been extensive.

With those costs in mind, organizers hope to raise $20,000-$50,000 at the gala in Hingham, which will not only elevate the excitement for the musical, but also help support the theater's finances.

“[The show will go on] regardless, but if the gala is able to raise a good $50,000, which would be a beautiful thing, then the lights and sound can be upgraded for Company Theatre in general,” Bradford said. “We’re a teaching theater, we have a big internship program, and it’s important for us to keep our equipment state of the art for the kids to learn and progress.”

The event will include cocktails and a silent auction as well as dinner, a live auction, and entertainment by New Band. There will also be a sneak preview of the musical.

Tickets are $75 an individual, $125 for couples, and $600 for a table of 10.

All of this will take start at 5 p.m. on June 10 at Hidden Pond at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, in a tent under the stars – a fitting celebration for an amusement park memory. To RSVP, call 781-871-2787.

For more information on the play itself, check the Company Theatre’s website.

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