The Ansonia Theatre will open its newest show, “Blood Brothers,” next weekend.
“Did you hear the story of the Johnstone twins? As like each other as two new pins,” the first act begins. “Of one womb born, on the self same day, how one was kept and one given away?”
Gina Clarke plays Mrs. Johnstone, a cleaning lady who has several children when her husband leaves her while she is pregnant. Mrs. Johnstone finds out she is pregnant with twins, and realizes she can’t afford to keep both, but her employer, Mrs. Lyons (played by Terra Medlock) asks her to give her one of the babies as she is unable to have one.
Mrs. Johnstone has twin boys, and they grow up separately, only meeting each other when they are 7 years old. Even then, they have no idea they are related. They become best friends and decide to become “blood brothers.”
Director Tommy Wooten said he was excited about the play last year when the theatre announced its season’s schedule.
“It is a tragedy, but it is joyous,” Wooten told the Anson Record at the time. “I first saw it when I was 19 in New York. It was one of the first Broadway shows I saw. I saw it four times in one week. I could not believe it. It shook me to my core. It’s one of those ones that will stick to you for the rest of your life.”
Wooten said the audience knows the show is a tragedy from the start and can focus on the story.
“Even though the show is a tragedy, it’s really light and fun for most of it,” he said. “The show starts out at the end, so you know going in what happens. It starts out by telling you this is sort of like a Romeo and Juliet type deal; what happened, now let’s go back and look and see what happened and judge for yourself.”
Tyler Baucom and Jake Sessions play the twin brothers, Mickey and Eddie. Savannah Tarlton plays Linda and Wooten is the narrator. Steve Lear, Mark Traywick, Connie Thomas, Lauren Sellers, Steve Adams, Glenn Caulder, Paige Mercer, Tabitha Thomas, Mike Railton, Donnie Lewis, Ann Crescitelli, Kianna Ellerbee and Akela Martin also join the cast.
“Blood Brothers” will show at the Ansonia Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18 and at 3 p.m. Feb. 19. It will also show at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25 and at 3 p.m. Feb. 26.
For more information, call the Anson County Arts Council at 704-694-4950 or visit ansoniatheatre.com.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.