Friends of James Tolin Host Annual Theater Benefit, "What the Butler Saw," at Kelsey Theatre June 20-22


The James Tolin Memorial Fund hosts its sixth annual AIDS theater benefit with "What the Butler Saw," coming to MCCC's Kelsey Theatre. Presented in loving memory of James Tolin, a local actor who died of AIDS in 2003, special performances of this frisky farce will be held on Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets for these performances are $35 and include a "Mad Tea Party" with live British Invasion music, tea, scones and finger sandwiches, as well as a silent auction before the show starting at 7 p.m. The final show on Sunday, June 22 at 2 p.m. is offered at the regular ticket price of $16 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students. Kelsey Theatre is located on Mercer's West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Set in swinging 1960s London with nary a butler in sight, "What the Butler Saw" is an outrageous farce replete with mistaken identities, cross-dressing, and plenty of other shenanigans. Penned by British playwright Joe Orten, the show is set in a private psychiatric clinic. The head psychiatrist, Dr. Prentiss, is interviewing a new secretary, Miss Barclay, when he is interrupted by the arrival of his wife, who claims she has been assaulted by a bellboy at the local hotel. Nick, the bellboy, tells a different version of events as he appears with Mrs. Prentiss' dress, apparently removed during the "assault." He is followed by Dr. Rance, a loony government inspector of psychiatric facilities, and Sergeant Match, a befuddled policeman assigned to investigate a possible escape at the asylum. The audience is in for a wild ride as events continue to spiral out of control.

The cast features Doug Edelson as Dr. Prentice, Melanie Britten as Geraldine Barclay, Janet Quartarone as Mrs. Prentice, Josiah DeAndrea as Nicholas Beckett, John Maurer as Dr. Rance, and Damien Gaeta as Sergeant Match. The show is directed by Brian Bara.

Proceeds from "What the Butler Saw" will be donated to the MCCC James Tolin Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Open Arms Foundation, a Hillsborough support group, and Graffiti Productions, an educational Performing and Visual Arts project for young people. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Note: This show is not recommended for young children.
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