Emmy Winner Designs Pete ‘n’ Keely Sets

By Beacon Staff

Alpine Theatre Project’s second summer musical delivers a time warp back to the music of the ‘50s and ‘60s. But Pete ‘n’ Keely, known for its sassy costumes and spunky music, delivers one more punch with sets designed by Bob Phillips, winner of two Emmys for his art direction of Sesame Street.

Phillips served as the Art Director for the popular muppet mania program for 20 years. In addition to his two Emmys, he was nominated five additional times for his scenic designs for the show. He is also the resident scenic designer for the Orlando Shakespeare Festival.

In a tribute to television duos of the time like Sonny & Cher, the musical transports the audience back to 1968 for a live broadcast reuniting Pete Bartel and Keely Stevens, known as “America’s Swingin’ Sweethearts.” However, the pair have not spoken since their big divorce five years earlier, and their song-filled waltz down memory lane rides through the rollercoaster of their lives.

The music trips through pop, jazz, and lounge-cool with favorites like Sonny Burke’s Black Coffee and Fever popularized as Peggy Lee’s signature song.

To play the roles of Pete and Keely, Alpine Theatre Project imported David Naughton and Elizabeth Ward Land. Naughton starred in the “Be A Pepper” ad campaigns for Dr. Pepper in the late 70’s as well as the Academy Award winning horror film An American Werewolf in London. Skiers may recognized Naughton from the vintage 1980s ski comedy Hot Dog…The Movie, in which a group of misfit freestylers take on arrogant European champions. Land recently performed in the Broadway productions of The Scarlet Pimpernel, City of Angels, Passion, and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. She was also chosen as Barbra Streisand’s stand-in for her 2006 concert tour.

Pete ‘n’ Keely runs August 5 – 17 at the O’Shaughnessy Cultural Arts Center at 1 Central Avenue in Whitefish. Shows run Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. For tickets, visit www.alpinetheatreproject.org or call 862-SHOW (7469).