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'Do I Hear a Waltz?'

For the first musical of its 2008 season Camelot Theatre Company will stage "Do I Hear a Waltz?" Based on the Arthur Laurents play, "The Time of the Cuckoo," it was also the basis of the movie "Summertime," which starred Katherine Hepburn and Rossanno Brazzi.

"Do I Hear a Waltz?" with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, won three Tony Awards. It is the only musical on which Rodgers and Sondheim collaborated.

Laurents is well known for his books for the Tony Award-winning musicals "West Side Story" and "Gypsy" and the films "The Snake Pit," "Anastasia" and "Bonjour Tristesse."

"Do I Hear a Waltz?" follows Leona Samish, an unmarried American secretary "of a certain age," as she embarks on a summer vacation to Venice. Under the spell of that enchanted city she falls in love.

The gentleman is an attractive, middle-aged shopkeeper who informs her that he is a family man in a loveless marriage and unable to divorce because of Italian law.

Leona realizes that such a relationship has no future. But could it provide her with romance, however briefly? Might that be better than never having loved at all?

Camelot's artistic director Livia Genise directs and also appears as the owner of the Pensione Fioria in Venice, with Camelot veterans Audrey Flint choreographing and assistant directing and musical direction by Karl Iverson.

Genise is a former Broadway actress and singer and has been involved in many Camelot productions. She directed "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Woody Guthrie's American Song" and "Man of La Mancha" and played Laura Keene in "Sockdology," Maria Callas in "Master Class," The Witch in "Into the Woods" and Julie London in "Spotlight on Julie London."

Flint has been a choreographer, actor, director and dance teacher from San Francisco to New York to London. Currently the head of the dance program at Willow Wind, Flint has choreographed "Oliver," "Annie," "Carnival," "1940s Radio Hour" and "Man of La Mancha" at Camelot.

Now in his ninth Camelot production between the orchestra pit and on stage, Iverson debuted four years ago as the shy accompanist in "Master Class." Other Camelot credits include "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Zorba," "Camelot," and "1940's Radio Hour" as well as music director of "Man of La Mancha" and "Meet Me in St. Louis.

"Waltz" stars veteran Camelot performers Reneé Hewitt as Leona Samish and Bob Miner as Renato Di Rossi. Hewitt hails from the Bay Area and was last seen as Aldonza in Camelot's "Man of La Mancha." Other performances at Camelot include Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker," Lotty in "Enchanted April" and Guenevere in "Camelot." Miner appeared as Harmonica Bob on television in Texas for four years.

Leading roles in theater include "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Man of La Mancha," "Pump Boys and Dinettes." At Camelot, he appeared in "A Little Night Music" and "1776" and "Guys on Ice" at the Cabaret.

Also appearing in "Waltz" are Terri Ann Henri and Mark B. Ropers as Jennifer and Eddie Yeager, Janeen Hilbrink and Daniel Stephens as Mrs. and Mr. McIlhenny, Rose Passione as Giovanna, Brandon Manley as Alfredo, Christopher Horton as Vito Di Rossi and Kristen Newman as Mrs. Haslam. Lucas Gandy and Christopher Rakestraw share the role of Mauro, the Italian street urchin and guide.

The production team for "Do I Hear a Waltz" includes Camelot's resident designers costumer Emily Ehrlich Inget; set designer, properties master and master carpenter Don Zastoupil; lighting designer Bart Grady; and sound design is by Brian O'Connor. Stage management is by Taja Watkins; assistant stage manager is Brandon Manley.

"Do I Hear a Waltz?" opens at 8 p.m. Friday, March 14 and runs at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through April 13. There is a pay what you can performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 19.

Tickets are $21 general admission and $19 for students and seniors. Student rush tickets of $10 will be available five minutes before show time subject to availability. Reserved seating is available for an additional $2.

Tickets may be purchased at the box office, online at www.CamelotTheatre.org or by calling 535-5250. Box office hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and one hour before performances.

Reneé Hewitt and Bob Miner in a scene from Camelot Theatre Company's production of 'Do I Hear a Waltz?' Photo by Steve Sutfin - Photo by Steve Sutfin