The Robber Bridegroom at ABET

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Up next at the All Beaches Experimental Theatre is The Robber Bridegroom, opening on Jan. 25, and in production through Feb. 10.

The Robber Bridegroom is a musical with book and lyrics by Alfred Uhry and music by Robert Waldman. The story is based on the 1942 novella by Eudora Welty of the same name.

“It’s a southern folktale that’s described as a raucous hootenanny,” said Bradley Akers, who is directing ABET’s production. “The show is like a southern block party.”

The Robber Bridegroom is a Robin Hood tale featuring Jamie Lockhart, a dangerous, handsome, backwoods rogue who’s a gentleman by day and bandit by night. When he falls for the beautiful daughter of a wealthy planter, his world and code of ethics are turned upside down.

The Robber Bridegroom, which ran on Broadway in 1975-1976, features one of the only genuine bluegrass scores ever heard in a Broadway musical. The ABET creative team includes musical direction by Anthony Felton and choreography by Amanda Baillie.

“The music is why I wanted to do the show,” Akers said. “It’s one of the most interesting musical scores I have ever heard, and you don’t have to be a country music aficionado to fall in love with the score.”

Akers assembled a 10-member ensemble cast featuring several seasoned performers who are making their debut performance at ABET. The cast includes Brian Matthews, Shauna Clark, Sadie Akers, Brandon Hines, Ilana Gould, Leighton Baruch, Austin Kelley, Carly Barnes, Reed Marie Grubbs, and Jacquette Jantzen.

“This cast is such a fun group and working very hard to create a memorable experience for the audience,” Akers said. “The Robber Bridegroom is a gem of a piece and not something that you get to experience very often.”

Performances are offered Jan. 25, 26, Feb. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Advanced online tickets are $24, $12 under 18. Tickets at the door are $25, $15 under 18. The house opens 30 minutes before curtain.

For tickets, visit http://www.abettheatre.com or call (904) 249-7177. ABET is located at 544 Atlantic Blvd. in Neptune Beach.