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Emmy winner Loretta Swit opens Totem Pole season

FAYETTEVILLE - Emmy Award-winning actress and star of "M*A*S*H," Loretta Swit will star in the opening show of Totem Pole Playhouse's 66th summer season.

"Six Dance" will open May 27 and run through June 12.  Swit, well known for playing Margaret Houlihan on the famous military series, will star in "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," opposite six-time Los Angeles Ovation Award winner, David Engel, a veteran of multiple Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

The comedy revolves around a formidable retired woman living in St. Petersburg, Florida, who hires a much younger, acerbic dance instructor to give her dance lessons - one per week for six weeks.

What begins as an antagonistic relationship blossoms into a beautiful friendship as these two people from very different backgrounds reveal their secrets, fears, and joys while dancing the Tango, Waltz, Swing, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, and contemporary dance.

Nationally acclaimed director, Michael Bloom, who ran the Tony Award-winning Cleveland Playhouse for 10 years, will direct the production.

The show is sponsored by M & T Bank and Ludwick Eye Center.

Shows through the rest of the season include:

  • "Forever Plaid," one of the most successful musicals in Totem Pole's history, will return June 17 to July 3. The show follows the story of the Four Plaids, a four-part close harmony singing group in the tradition of the Four Freshmen, the Four Lads, the Four Aces and the Hi-Lo's.
  • "One Slight Hitch," starring Betsy Randle, who played mom Amy Matthews on the long-running 90s sitcom "Boy Meets World," will be open July 8 to July 24. The Lewis Black-written comedy depicts an oldest daughter's backyard wedding to a straight-lace, conservative man as it is interrupted by her recent, long-time free-spirited college boyfriend. 
  • "A Funny Things Happened on the Way to the Forum," starring Totem Pole Producing Artistic Director Rowan Joseph, will close out the season, July 29 to Aug. 14. A non-stop laugh-fest, “Forum” is a joyous musical romp through Ancient Rome filled with desperate lovers, scheming neighbors, a bevy of beautiful courtesans, and secrets behind every toga.

In addition, "Lovesick Blues," the world premiere special tribute concert starring Robbie Limon as Hank Williams Sr. and Denise Patton as Patsy Cline, which played to a full house last season, will return for a special "One Week Only" encore performance, May 17-22. Ticket buyers are strongly encouraged not to wait, as more than 1,000 tickets have already been sold.

Totem Pole offers subscription packages for tickets, and some special offers. For more information, go to, or call the box office at 717-352-2164, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.