August 7, 2019 by Roy Harris
After a run of classic hits like “Sweet Charity,” “Cabaret” and “Annie,” Hingham Civic Music Theatre on Aug. 23 and 24 will treat audiences to the premier of “The Annulment,” by talented South Shore playwright and composer Sheila C. Kelleher.
Kelleher’s song-filled production follows three young couples as they struggle to keep their relationships healthy, while maintaining the hectic pace of child-rearing. In the lead roles as Celia and Tony, “The Annulment” stars Norwell’s Charlie McKitrick and Quincy’s Carole Shannon, who was last seen by HCMT audiences as Belle in 2016’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
The new musical, described as “a comedy with poignant moments,” follows a devout Catholic couple considering the annulment of their 18-year marriage, and looks at their interaction with two pairs of married friends. Sabrina and Jeff, who married his first girlfriend, don’t understand what marital difficulty is all about. They are played by Plymouth’s Deanna Lohnes and Weymouth’s Brian Hurley. Meanwhile, the third, freewheeling twosome of Nadine and Dave is played by Brockton’s Paulie Devlin and Yarmouthport’s James Swindler. Whitman’s Stephen Doherty is the three couples’ golf-playing neighbor.
“The Annulment’s” music director is John Ferguson, with Cat Umano choreographing. Pat Sherman is producing, with Nathan Fogg serving as set designer, and Elise Thomas as stage manager.
Among the brand new songs are Celia’s ballads “When I Used to Sing” and “What We Missed,” and Tony’s “I’m Doing Everything Right.” There’s also a comic back-and-forth number, “Religious Misdirection,” between Celia and her priest.
Kelleher, who is also directing the production, lives in Plymouth and currently is president of Plymouth Community Theatre. She has acted in numerous South Shore productions over the years, and is a particular fan of Hingham Civic’s shows. She also holds a master’s degree in Theatre Education from Emerson College.
“The Annulment” plays at HCMT’s Sanborn Auditorium home in Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central St. Tickets are $25, and $20 for seniors and teens, with seats priced at $18 each for groups of 10. Tickets and information are available at http://hcmtannulment.bpt.me, or by calling 781-749-3400.