Port Summer Show celebrates 46 years with ‘On the Town’

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Port Summer Show returns with a production of 'On the Town.' (Photo courtesy of Jesse Vincent)

Port Summer Show returns for its 46th year with a production of “On the Town,” a musical centered around three sailors finding love on a brief 24-hour leave in New York City. 

Port Washington students from grades 7-12 bring the production to life as members of the cast, crew and about 80 percent of the orchestra. They are guided by professional directors and choreographers. 

Jason Summers serves as the director and is celebrating 16 years with the program this summer. 

He is the artistic director of the Westchester’s Sandbox Theatre and has worked as a director, choreographer, teacher and performer throughout New York and the greater metropolitan region. 

“On the Town,” which features a musical score by Leonard Bernstein, was chosen as the production because of the strong musical talent recognized in this year’s cast.  

Students participating in the show typically stay involved until they graduate from high school and some even come back to help out in the summers during college. 

This year Schreiber High School graduate Emma Goldman returned from her first year of college to serve as the assistant director of the show. She is one of the many students who participate in Port Summer Show after continuing to pursue theater in college. 

Port Summer Show began in 1972 when Port resident Kathe O’Connor wanted to do something about the lack of creative activities during the summers in Port Washington. She happened to voice her sentiment to Pam Meadows, a professional director and performer, who repeated it to her husband, Ron Meadows, a successful producer. 

And just like that, Port Summer Show kicked off its first season with a production of “Anything Goes” at the John Philip Sousa Bandshell. 

Last year’s performance was “Curtains,” and other past productions were “All Shook Up”, “Sweet Charity” and “Shrek.” 

This year’s performances are Aug. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. at Schreiber High School’s auditorium with a Sunday matinee on Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for children 12 and under. 

Veterans and their spouses are invited to attend Saturday night’s performance for free, with the ticket cost underwritten by the Peter and Jeri Dejana Family Foundation. A special “Armed Forces Medley” will be performed to honor members of the Armed Forces in attendance, who will also be presented with commemorative pins. 

Ticket proceeds will be used to fund future Port Summer Show productions.

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