press release

Summer of Love Starring Michele Lee to Open at the Ogunquit Playhouse June 22!

For Immediate Release:
June 16, 2011

Be prepared for a head on collision between cultures when a conservative bride runs away from the altar and runs into a VW Bus full of hippies from Haight-Ashbury, in the East Coast premiere of Summer of Love, on stage June 22 to July 16 at the Ogunquit Playhouse. With a little help from the hippies and dropouts of San Francisco, she comes to realize she has to make her own kind of music! This new musical by Roger Bean showcases the powerful music of the late 1960s by some of the most influential artists of the love generation including The Mamas and the Papas, Donovan, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane, with songs that include: “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Get Together,” “Piece of My Heart,” “White Rabbit,” “Spinning Wheel,” “Happy Together” and many more! Take a trip down memory lane, remember your glory days and most of all enjoy the music! You'll love this flower-power, feel-good musical experience!

Michele Lee will star in the role of Mama, the earth mother of the Golden Gate Park band of hippies, in the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Summer of Love. Michelle Lee starred on Broadway, in feature and television films, as well as recorded and performed with legends of the entertainment industry. She is known worldwide for her Emmy-nominated role as Karen Mackenzie in the landmark CBS drama Knots Landing; the fifth longest running series in American television history. She achieved national recognition at the age of 17 as Rosemary in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which she later repeated on screenIn 1970 she played opposite Dean Jones and Buddy Hackett in Disney’s classic The Love Bug. Ms. Lee has starred in and produced numerous films for television including CBS’s Emmy-nominated Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story. In 1996 Michele became the first woman to produce, direct, write, and star in an Event Presentation movie with Color Me Perfect for the Lifetime Television Network. She was last seen in Universal Studio’s Along Came Pollyopposite Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. As a musical performer Stephen Holden of The New York Times says it best, “Once she’s on the stage, it isn’t enough to seduce or enlighten; the only goal worth pursuing is total conquest.” Additionally, Ms. Lee won Tony nominations for her performances in the Broadway musical Seesaw and The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.  Ms. Lee has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Summer of Love is helmed by author Roger Bean who also created and directed the long-running off-Broadway hit The Marvelous Wonderettes, as well as the holiday sequel Winter Wonderettes. Other musicals created by Mr. Bean include the cross-dressing ‘40s musical The Andrews Brothers and Route 66. Mr. Bean also created the long-running Los Angeles hit Life Could Be A Dream, which received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, the LA Weekly Theatre Award and the Backstage Garland Award for Best/Outstanding Musical of 2010.

Choreographer for Summer of Love is Lee Martino, whose recent credits include, Kiss Me Kate, with the Reprise Theatre Company, the West Coast Premiere of Summer Of Love at Musical Theatre West, Jenny Craig’s national TV commercial featuring Jason Alexander, NBC’s “Shall We Dance on Icefeaturing Broadway dancers and Olympic Ice Dance teams and Rita Moreno’s show “Life Without Makeup” in development at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Lee has won four Los Angeles Ovation Awards, including this year’s for Carousel, three Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards and several BackStage Garland Awards.

Joining the Ogunquit Playhouse is set designer, Michael Carnahan whose works include both the west coast premiere and the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Summer of Love. Among his many credits, he just received a Tony Award nomination for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson as part of the production design team and is currently represented on Broadway in The Importance of Being Ernest.

Bobby Pearce joins the production as Costume Designer for Summer of Love. He was nominated for a Tony Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Broadway’s Taboo.  Design highlights include The Marvelous Wonderettes, Liza Minnelli on “Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration” and “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” In addition, Mr. Pearce has designed costumes for many celebrities including: Bebe Neuwirth, Faith Prince, Larry Gatlin, Madeline Kahn, Elizabeth Ashley, Cyd Charisse, Glenn Close, Leslie Uggams and Gwen Verdon.

In addition to the fabulous music of the sixties, Summer of Love will feature video projections. Ogunquit Playhouse has hired Jeffrey Cady, production designer of SenovvA, the multi-media company for the Broadway production of American Idiot and the Academy Awards, to produce the video elements of the show.

The Ogunquit Playhouse season continues when the Broadway classic, The Music Man marches into town July 20 to August 20; the all singing, all dancing, feel-good musical comedy Legally Blonde the Musical, is on stage August 24 through September 17 with our heroine Elle, her Chihuahua, Bruiser and the bull-dog-toting-hairdresser Paulette, played by none other than Emmy-Award-winning, Playhouse favorite Sally Struthers; then the fall ushers in one of the most stunning Broadway blockbusters of all time, Miss Saigon, an epic love story that will touch your heart and haunt your memory, on stage September 21 through October 23.