HIP. HIP, HOORAY FOR "GOOD NEWS!"

BONNIE GOLDBERG

Give a cheer for Tait College's football team and its hunky captain and all-around wunderkind Tom Marlowe who knows how to put his players on the winning line for touchdowns. The big game against rival Colton is in the offing and the path down the gridiron to victory rests solely on Tom's well padded shoulders. If Tom can't play, because he is failing an astronomy course, all hopes of success will be sidelined and turn good news into bad.

Get caught up in the routing section on the bleachers as the cheerleaders shake their pom-poms for this Roaring Twenties musical "Good News!" by Ray Henderson, B. G. DeSylva and Lew Brown for music and lyrics and Laurence Schwab, Frank Mandel and B. G. DeSylva for book. Bring your enthusiastic shouts of encouragement to the Goodspeed Musicals by Saturday, June 22 for some high-spirited and high kicking fun.

Ross Lekites is the dedicated young hero Tom who is stopped in his tracks by his failing grade. To the rescue comes the studious, perky and secretly in love tutor Connie Lane, captured by a sweet Chelsea Morgan Stock. Together they work diligently to make sure Tom is eligible to lead his team down the field.

Tom passes the test, only to do everything in his power to lose. What happened to our fearless leader? Why is he suddenly letting Colton forge ahead? His almost fiancee Pat, a determined and focused Lindsay O'Neil, is dismayed and his coach Bill, a blustery Mark Zimmerman and assistant coach Pooch, the amicable Max Perlman, are mystified.

Meanwhile the playing field is crowded as Tessa Faye's fiery Babe is running away from the clutches of her ex-, Beef, an old-fashioned guy Myles J. McHale, and toward her new conquest Bobby, a happy-to-be on the benches Barry Shafrin. A long-ago romance between the coach and the head of the astronomy department, Professor Kenyon, a stars-in-her-eyes Beth Glover, provides another amorous spin in the heavens.

"Good News! " is packed with songs that you'll recognize and enjoy, like "Lucky in Love," "You're the Cream in My Coffee," "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries" and "You Belong to Me." Vince Pesce is responsible for directing and choreographing this sunny-side-up musical, stuffed with great numbers like the whirling dervishes dance routine of "The Varsity Drag."

For tickets ($27 and up), call Goodspeed Musicals, 6 Main Street, East Haddam at 860-873-8668 or online at www.goodspeed.org. Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (and selected 2 p.m.), Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. (and selected 6:30 p.m.).

Wave your banners high, swing your pom-poms with gusto and cheer on the Tait varsity football team as they give it the old college try. Rah! Rah! Sis Boom Bah!

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