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The Richmond Hill Players continue their 2024 season with the comedy-drama “84 Charing Cross Road,” adapted by James Roose-Evans from the book by Helene Hanffsays a press release.

Frank and Helene: Mischa Hooker and Jackie Skiles in “84 Charing Cross Road.” (Richmond Hill Players)Frank and Helene: Mischa Hooker and Jackie Skiles in “84 Charing Cross Road.” (Richmond Hill Players)

Frank and Helene: Mischa Hooker and Jackie Skiles in “84 Charing Cross Road.” (Richmond Hill Players)

The show will be performed Thursdays through Sundays, July 11-21, at the Barn Theatre in Geneseo. Directed by Jennifer Kingry of Geneseo.

“84 Charing Cross Road” is a story of transatlantic friendship and is based on the true story of the remarkable relationship that developed between a cheeky American writer and a distinguished English bookseller.

Shortly after World War II, English books were not only hard to find in the United States, they were also unaffordable, especially for a struggling playwright living in New York. A magazine ad prompted her first letter, an endearingly blunt request with a five-dollar bill attached. The friendship that developed almost instantly between Helene Hanff in her New York brownstone and Frank Doel in his London used bookshop also included his colleagues in the bookshop.

Their exuberant camaraderie disarmed the British, but their kindness sparked a familial devotion in their own hearts. For 20 years, letters and books flew back and forth across the pond as a stirring story of friendship and kindness unfolded.

The cast includes Jackie Skiles, Susan Hopton, Jackie Patterson, John Simosky and Rolan Swanson (Geneseo); Mischa Hooker (Rock Island); Elissa Dynes (Kewanee); Mime Sweetser (Lyndon); and Jim Strauss (Davenport).

The staff includes stage manager Terri Nelson (Lynn Center), costume designer Suzanne Rakestraw, crew member Janet VanderSchaaf, lighting and sound designer/operator Jennifer Kingry, set builder Mike Skiles (all Geneseo), set builder Jim Driscoll (Davenport) and set builder Jim Skiles (Colona).

Susan Hopton, Elissa Dynes, Mischa Hooker and John Simosky appear in a Christmas party scene in Charing Cross Road 1984. (Richmond Hill Players)Susan Hopton, Elissa Dynes, Mischa Hooker and John Simosky appear in a Christmas party scene in Charing Cross Road 1984. (Richmond Hill Players)

Susan Hopton, Elissa Dynes, Mischa Hooker and John Simosky appear in a Christmas party scene in Charing Cross Road 1984. (Richmond Hill Players)

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. Sundays have matinees at 3 p.m., doors open at 2 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the Richmond Hill Box Office at 309-944-2244 or here.

Late entry is not permitted. No one will be allowed into the theater after the performance has begun. Admission to all performances is $12.

There will be a performance with audio description on Friday, July 12. Richmond Hill also offers assistive listening devices (ALDs), which can be requested at the time of reservation.

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