Allenberry has been a Boiling Springs fixture since 1949, but a theatrical show hasn’t been staged at its playhouse since 2015 when the property was put for sale.
That changed Friday night when the lights came back up at Allenberry Playhouse.
“Shrek the Musical” brings with it a new era of theatrical entertainment at Allenberry Playhouse. The playhouse, as well as the rest of the resort, underwent renovation after the property was purchased by a group of community members. Mike Kennedy, Molly Hoffman and Jim Hoffman manage the resort and oversaw the renovation, and they hired Keystone Theatrics as its production company for the playhouse.
Keystone Theatrics is run by Dustin LeBlanc, former artistic director at Carlisle Theatre Company.
“They’ve done beautiful renovation work on the entire property, including the playhouse, and now we’re ready to open for a new season at Allenberry,” LeBlanc said.
For LeBlanc, a native of Boiling Springs, working at Allenberry is a dream come true.
“Boiling Springs is my hometown, and it’s a dream come true to bring Allenberry back to life on a landmark property,” he said.
According to LeBlanc, the new owners also renovated the restaurants and lodging, many of which have already opened.
In addition to theatrical productions, the playhouse will also be used for events such as concerts, speakers and comedians.
“It’s a facility that can house a variety of programming and entertainment,” LeBlanc said.
He said he has heard nothing but good reviews from people who have stayed in the renovated cottages and lodges (Pine Lodge, Stone Lodge and Meadow Lodge) and who have dined in the Stone Lodge Tavern. People also seem to be impressed with changes at the original mansion house, he said.
“The entire property needed upgrading, and they have basically renovated every building (on the property),” he said. “They really kept the tone of Allenberry but modernized it — made it nice and really fresh, given it a rustic feel with a modern kind of look.”
LeBlanc said openings are right around the corner for the main restaurant, the Barn, with outdoor seating overlooking the Yellow Breeches, and the Spa at Allenberry, which will be operated in Meadow Lodge by Changes, a local spa.
LeBlanc is certain that visitors will be equally impressed with Allenberry’s production of “Shrek the Musical.”
“We wanted to do a show that would set the tone for what people could expect at Allenberry,” he said. “With ‘Shrek,’ it’s a huge show with a colorful set, colorful costumes and great lighting. There are over 150 costumes for 23 actors.
“We wanted a show that would show off the changes at Allenberry, and ‘Shrek’ will be a great show to do that.”
LeBlanc said “Shrek the Musical” is something families can enjoy together.
“It’s not a kids’ show,” he said. “It’s a musical appropriate for all ages.”
And while children will certainly be entertained, adults will appreciate the play’s humor and storyline, he said.
“It’s such a fun show,” LeBlanc said. “You can’t leave without smiling. The show is about storytelling. The season is about storytelling. We want to create memories and new stories about Allenberry.”
“Shrek the Musical” will run through Sunday, as well as from July 14-16 and July 20-22. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 717-462-4401, or by ordering online at www.allenberry.com or www.keystonetheatrics.com.
LeBlanc said the current season lineup will run through June 2018 and feature six main stage shows and three family series shows. The last production of the season will open Mother’s Day weekend.