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Mothers, daughters and best friend will recognize themselves in "Harps and Harmonicas," which will be staged Tuesday through September 3 at Mountian Playhouse in Jennerstown. Starring in the comedy are (left to right) Diane J. Findlay, Lilah Fisher Wise and Jennifer Blood. Submitted Photo/The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, PA



If a movie version of “Harps and Harmonicas” were produced, it would be called a chick flick.

But before it ever hits the big screen, the play will have its world premiere at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown.

The coming-of-age comedy by playwright Linda Escalera Baggs won the 2005 Mountain Playhouse International Comedy Playwriting Contest. As the contest sponsor, the playhouse retained the right to produce the world premiere.

The story involves 30-something Kate, played by Pittsburgh native Lilah Fisher Wise. Her recently widowed mother, Cynthia, is played by Diane J. Findlay. Kate’s best friend, Maddie, is portrayed by Jennifer Blood.

When Kate inherits a large concert harp, Maddie offers to accompany Cynthia on a driving trip to deliver the harp to Kate’s Chicago home. Worlds collide as they take an enlightening road trip. Over the course of several nights, the women drift into conversations about the secrets of life, past loves, indiscretions, sexy lingerie and hidden tattoos.

Findlay, an experienced film and Broadway actress, is excited about her Mountain Playhouse debut.

“I can’t believe I have never heard of this place before,” she said. “Now that I’m here, I have discovered that I know many of the performers in this family of actors who have worked in New York. I’m thrilled to be here.”

Husbands and significant others are played by Nick Ruggeri as Phillip and Justin Buchs as Stanley.

In keeping with part of the storyline, the theater has arranged for an airbrush tattoo artist to apply temporary tattoos on opening night.

The opening night audience also is invited to meet Baggs, director Chan Harris and the entire cast and crew at a party following the performance. The party includes complementary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

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