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Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? March 14 – 17 at NWFSC

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


front (l-r) Jennifer Rowland, Zachary Phillips, Tyler Corbin, George Frye, Mallory Olds, Cierra Robbeloth; Back (l-r) Sarah Hawn, Laura Hernandez, Anne Saxer, Ron Altman, Maddie Ostrowski, Albert Sousa
front (l-r) Jennifer Rowland, Zachary Phillips, Tyler Corbin, George Frye, Mallory Olds, Cierra Robbeloth; Back (l-r) Sarah Hawn, Laura Hernandez, Anne Saxer, Ron Altman, Maddie Ostrowski, Albert Sousa

3/5/2012 - *The Friday, March 16 performance is sold out. Buy tickets now for Saturday's performance!*

Northwest Florida State College will present the delightful musical, "Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?" on Wednesday, March 14 through Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sprint Theater of the Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center in Niceville. The show captures the comedy, music, and tenderness of growing up in Catholic school in the 1950's and 60's. Heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny, the play follows a loveable gang of kids as they travel through that special place that was Catholic School.

"This fun, coming-of-age musical follows eight students from the start of elementary school through the senior prom and beyond," noted show director Clint Mahle. "The comedy covers everything from first confession to puppy love, patron saints, sex education classes, and the importance of wearing panties under the school uniform's plaid pleated skirt so the shoes wouldn't reflect up." Mahle noted that due to certain "slightly saucy language" and thematic material, the show may be considered a PG-13 rated show.

"We're thrilled to present this comedy and to showcase our great theater students and community actors," said Mahle, who noted the show normally breaks attendance records wherever it plays. "Gleeful audiences flocked to see this show in Chicago, where it became that city's longest running show, and in Philadelphia, where it broke attendance records during its two runs, and in cities across the country over the years."

The play begins as the main character, Eddie Ryan, played by Albert Sousa of Fort Walton Beach, returns to his alma mater to search for his "first love." His memories become the focus of the play and the audience is taken back to certain events like the first day of school, going to confession for the first time, and the senior prom. Ryan eventually decides to stop questioning his faith and rejoins the church as a teacher at his old Catholic high school.

"I was first involved with this play in 1988. What has amazed me about this production is that I remember the songs. This show touched me on a universal level. Since I am not Catholic, I can only say that the problems kids face growing up are similar everywhere. Watching it through Catholic eyes is very funny and has been very memorable," said Mahle.

The talented cast of 12 local actors who will sing and dance their way from first confession to first date, all under the watchful eyes of Father O'Reilly and the good Sisters, include: Niceville: Sister Lee played by Laura Hernandez, Father O’Reilly by Ron Altman, Virginia Lear by Mallory Olds, Mike Depki by Tyler Corbin, Nancy Ralansky by Jennifer Rowland, and Louie Schlang by Zachary Phillips; Fort Walton Beach: Eddie Ryan played by Albert Sousa, Becky Bakowski by Sarah Hawn, and Mary Kenny by Cierra Robbeloth; Mary Esther: Sister Monica Marie by Maddie Ostrowski, Sister Helen by Anne Saxer, Pensacola: Felix Lindor by George Frye.

The Sprint Theater is the smaller of two theater spaces at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center. "This comedy really lends itself best to the more intimate space in the Sprint Theater, rather than our huge mainstage, but seating is limited to 169 per night," said Dr. Cliff Herron, Executive director of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center.

Advance ticket purchase is recommended, but the Box office will also be open starting at 6:00 p.m. each night of the show for at-the-door ticket sales. Tickets are on sale for $20 adults and $15 for youth ages 18 and younger. Purchase tickets online at or by phone at (850) 729-6000. The box office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. each night of the show. The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is located at 100 College Boulevard on the college's Niceville campus. There is a $2 per ticket box office processing fee.

"Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?", is based on the book by John R. Powers, with music and lyrics by James Quinn and Alaric Jans.