Halted during pandemic, live theater returns

CARL RUSSO/staff photo Les Tarmy, of Nahant, left, as Father Tim Farley and Jonathan Touchette, of Lowell, as Mark Dolson.The Pentucket Players will present the comedy-drama “Mass Appeal” in the City Hall auditorium April 30, May 1 and May 2. Written by Bill C. Davis, who died in February, this is the first live, fully staged production by the Players since the pandemic began. 

HAVERHILL — It's time to start lowering the curtain on COVID-19, while raising the curtain on live theater productions.

In the first live, fully staged production by the Pentucket Players acting group since the pandemic began, the comedy-drama “Mass Appeal” will be presented in the City Hall auditorium Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The presentation comes as Massachusetts eases COVID-19 restrictions. Members of the live audience will be required, however, to socially distance and wear masks.

In "Mass Appeal,'' Father Tim Farley, a priest and lover of the good things in life, is living a comfortable life as leader of a prosperous Catholic congregation. Without realizing it, he has resorted to flattering his parishioners and entertaining them with sermons that avoid any disturbing issues in order to protect his trips abroad and the generous supply of fine wines that grace his table — and his desk drawer.

Farley's world is disrupted by the arrival of Mark Dolson, a brash young seminarian whom Farley reluctantly agrees to take under his wing.

The show is directed by John Buzzell of Haverhill and features actor Les Tarmy in the role of Farley and Ben Fuller as Dolson. Jonathan Touchette will also appear as Dolson in alternating performances.

Besides being shown to a live audience, the production will also be available for streaming.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.pentucketplayers.org. All seats are reserved and seating is limited.

"Mass Appeal'' was written by Bill C. Davis, who died in February.

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