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Times News Coverage for NL Little Theatre's "Get Smart"
November 13, 2014

Northern Lehigh Little Theatre's production of the classic spy spoof Get Smart opens on Friday, November 14th and runs through Sunday, November 16th. To publicize the event, Terry Ahner of The Times News was kind enough to run an extensive article on the show and the behind-the-scenes journey of bringing the beloved comedy to the high school stage. The full text of the article is reprinted below.

Northern Lehigh Little Theatre presents Get Smart

Thursday, November 13, 2014


It promises to mimic a comedy television series that satirizes the secret agent genre.

Audience members can expect that, and a whole lot more, when the Northern Lehigh Little Theatre presents its fall play, "Get Smart."

Show dates are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the high school auditorium. Open admission seating, $7, will be available at the door.

Created as a television series in 1965 by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, the show centers on Maxwell Smart, a novice agent of the secret organization CONTROL, who is often out of his depth, but never out of options, while he attempts to thwart the schemes of the evil spy group KAOS.

Assigned to assist the bumbling Smart is competent female Agent 99 as they race to protect Scandinavian Princess Ingrid, a beautiful young socialite suspected to be the next target in a series of mysterious kidnappings.

Andrew Kern, assistant director, said he and director Nick Sander are both big fans of Brooks' films.

Kern said the two also enjoyed the original "Get Smart" television series starring Don Adams and Barbara Feldon, as well as films in the spy genre.

"Along with the hopeful name recognition from the more recent 2008 'Get Smart' feature film starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, we felt the script had a very quirky, broad style of humor that would appeal to a high school audience," Kern said. "The show has a large cast of colorful characters, which provided a wide diversity of roles, as well as the ability to accommodate our growing number of theater students."

Kern said, "The spy spoof also gave Mr. Stephen Shuey and his talented art crew the challenge of designing and building a variety of unique gadgets, including a giant laser and Maxwell Smart's iconic shoe-phone (although this particular device quickly loses its relevance in the age of smartphones)."

Get Smart stars Jacob Heintzelman as Agent Maxwell Smart, and Alexis Middaugh as his new partner, Agent 99. Aiding Smart and 99 in their mission are fellow CONTROL agents Robert McIntyre as The Chief; Kasey Wayda as Miss Finch; Sophia Williams as Hodgkins; Tyler Hoffman as Agent 44; and Nick Roth as Agent 13.

Plotting to take over the world are the evil agents of KAOS, including Michael McKinney as Mr. Big; Jacob Bachman as henchman Garth; and the Wong triplets played by Paige Hemingway, Kira Rex and Amelita Pjetrovic. Rounding out the principal cast are Victoria Lear as Princess Ingrid; Emily Bevans as Professor Zalinka; and James Yoder as Professor Dante.

Kern said the students have really enjoyed the "cartoonish and slapstick tone of this show."

"There is no room for subtlety in Get Smart … it's all about bright, loud characters caught up in fantastic, over-the-top situations," he said. "We think the silly subject matter has helped to keep it light and fun for our students throughout our rehearsal schedule.

"Our goal is always to produce the most entertaining and enjoyable performance for our audience, while simultaneously providing an educational experience for our students," he said. "We've seen some of our upperclassmen mature into fine young adults throughout their time in the theater, and we see great potential in our younger cast and crew."

Kern said this spring will mark the 45th anniversary of Northern Lehigh Little Theatre's musical productions with "The Wedding Singer" in March.

"Our entire production staff is well aware of how incredible a milestone this is, and with every show we produce, we hope to honor the awesome theater tradition that exists at Northern Lehigh High School."