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Music Mountain Theatre YouTube series comes to life

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Music Mountain Theatre presents a stage adaptation of its YouTube series, created during the pandemic.

“Murder at Cheltenham Manor, The Play” will premiere June 11 and run for nine performances ending June 27, at the theater, located at 1483 Route 179, Lambertville, N.J., and streaming online.

Last spring while in quarantine, Louis Palena, one of the Artistic Directors at Music Mountain Theatre in Lambertville, N.J., came up with the idea to write a murder mystery as a means to keep theater alive.

After gathering some willing MMT regulars, the process began. It was written episodically and aired on the Music Mountain Theatre YouTube channel.

Since it was happening during lockdown, Palena enlisted the help of his good friend Damian Bartolacci to do the film editing and play the Inspector.

Each week the cast would be sent the script and asked to have their self-taped footage ready for editing by Thursday of the same week. The cast would also pick up or receive costumes or prop pieces needed to maintain continuity in the story.


There was also extra fun for the viewers in the form of a vote that was taken at the end of each episode. The winning vote was written into the episode for the following week.

While the story remains basically the same as the series, many changes were needed to make this stage adaptation possible. The latest incarnation of the mystery will still have audience participation as they will get to choose the murderer at each performance.

It has been an interesting journey for this new original piece of theater. Music Mountain Theatre invites you along on the journey.

MMT is following state guidelines and patrons who are fully vaccinated are now permitted in the theater without a mask. CDC strongly advises non-vaccinated individuals to continue to wear masks.

Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For information on the theater’s safety protocols, or to purchase a ticket, visit musicmountaintheatre.org or call 609-397-3337.


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