For the first time, the Mercyhurst Dance Department and the Mercyhurst Symphony Orchestra join collaborative forces to present the comedic ballet La Fille Mal Gardée, May 3-5, at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.
The performances will run 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4, through 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5. A special preview concert will be held Friday, May 3, at 4:30 p.m., with balcony seating only.
Premiered in 1879, La Fille Mal Gardée returns to Erie following a 19-year hiatus.
Featuring choreography by esteemed choreographer Bruce Marks, the ballet is one of the highlights of Mercyhurst’s Freedom Season.
Translated in English to mean “The Poorly Guarded Girl,” the story of this ballet revolves around a lovesick young lady, Lise, who is challenged by an arranged marriage to the rich but dimwitted, Alain. Lise’s mother, the Widow, tries her hardest to invoke this plan.
This three-act comedic ballet offers laughs for families of all sorts while maintaining its dedication to the freedom of choice.
Funding by ArtsErie supports this quality production staged by Samantha Dunster of the Hartt School in Connecticut. R. Scott Tomlinson will conduct the Mercyhurst Symphony Orchestra.
This quality production, staged by Samantha Dunster of the Hartt School in Connecticut, is funded and supported by ArtsErie. Dunster took up residence during February and March to work with the Mercyhurst Dancers. R. Scott Tomlinson will conduct the Mercyhurst Symphony Orchestra in accompanying the ballet.
Cuban-trained and internationally acclaimed guest artist Eddie Tovar will perform the leading male role, Colas. Returning to Mercyhurst, courtesy of the Louisville Ballet, is alum Justin Michael Hogan (’09) to perform the role of Alain. Ashley Cook and Emily McAveney will share the leading role of Lise, while the role of the Widow Simone, usually played by a man, is a superb vehicle for the talents of William McNeil.
“All of us have been laughing hysterically at Will’s antics,” said Tauna Hunter, dance department chairwoman and artistic director. “This is simply one of the funniest ballets ever created, and the entire cast is having a ball with it. I’m sure the audience will laugh right along with us.”
The Mercyhurst Dance faculty is working with a cast of 50 dancers for this performance, which will feature new costumes and sets courtesy of Orlando Ballet.
Following the Saturday and Sunday matinee performances, The Mercyhurst Dancers will host a “Talk Back,” where audience members will have an opportunity to discuss and ask questions about the production.
Ticket prices are $15.50 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and students, $7.50 for President’s Cardholders, $5 for youth 12 and under and $3.50 for Mercyhurst students who present their ID. Tickets for the preview concert are $5.
All tickets are available by calling the box office at 814-824-3000 or by visiting