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Act 1 opens its Second Stage Season with Dames at Sea

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski Oct 11, 2018
Dames at Sea - Act 1 DeSales University

Act 1 DeSales University Theatre presents the first musical production of its 49th season: “Dames at Sea.”

This mapcap musical parody will run October 11 to October 21, 2018 in the Schubert Theatre of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, Center Valley, PA.

Chosen as Best Musical of the Year by Time, Newsweek, and the Outer Critics Circle, “Dames at Sea” is an hilarious spoof of the Hollywood musicals of the 1930s. It’s big-time New York, and little Ruby from Hometown, U.S.A. with “nothing but tap shoes in her suitcase and a prayer in her heart,” has come to make it big on Broadway. To her dismay, she learns that the leading lady is threatening to walk and the theatre is scheduled for demolition. Then, out of the blue, she meets Dick, a sailor who also has ambitions as a songwriter. Ruby starts in the chorus, and by the end of the day, in true Hollywood fashion, Ruby becomes a star on the deck of a battleship (which just happens to be passing by). Filled with rollicking tap dancing, joyful music, and a boatload of laughs, this madcap musical parody proves the adage that “the show must go on.”

“‘Dames’ is musical pastiche – a vintage valentine to those dancing, romancing movie musicals where the naïve dreamer finds herself living a dream come true,” says performing arts division head and producing artistic director John Bell. “And the score is terrific, including the heartbreaking “Raining in My Heart.”

Performing arts theatre faculty member Wayne S. Turney directs the production.   “I'm having a whale of a time acquainting this talented bunch of millennials with the myriad innocent joys of 30s' movie musicals.  The look of discovery when they see Dick Powell, or Eleanor Powell, or Jean Harlow, or Ruby Keeler is priceless.  Their cynical world needs a dose of the precious innocence and idealism of that bygone era.  Dames may just be the antidote our troubled age needs."  Says Turney. “   

In keeping with the tradition of having exceptional students design our fall second stage productions, “Dames at Sea” is brought to life by scenic designer Christopher Clark ’19, and lighting designer Kaia Merrell ’20.  The costume design will be created by Samantha Southard, the division’s costume shop manager and the sound design will be created by William Neal, the division’s resident sound designer. 

The production opens on Thursday, October 11 and runs to Saturday, October 13 at 8 PM. There is a Sunday matinee on October 14 at 2 PM after which a “talk back” with the director and cast is scheduled. Show times for the second week are Wednesday, October 17 to Saturday, October 20 at 8 PM and there are 2PM matinees on Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21. The production takes place in the Schubert Theatre of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts. 

In an effort to improve accessibility for all patrons, the Saturday, October 20 2:00 PM performance will feature Audio Descriptions for patrons who are blind or visually impaired. During Audio Described performances, all action and physical appearances are described live through a headset. Tickets are half price for patrons using these special services on this date. Please call box office manager Catherine Logan at 610-282-3654, ext. 1 for more information.

Ticket prices are $29 for adults and $27 for students and seniors on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and $30 for adults and $28 for students and seniors on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Group discounts are available for all performances. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda Center box office at 610-282-3192 or by visiting the web site at

The Labuda Center is fully accessible and equipped with a listening enhancement system. Special seating is available for our patrons using wheelchairs or requiring other assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.

For more information call the Labuda Box Office at Ext. 1276