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Girls just wanna have (dreams, respect, love) fun in Engeman Theater’s Mystic Pizza

Village by: Chrissy Ruggeri, September 27, 2022

Mystic Pizza at the Engeman Theater. Left to right: Emily Rose Lyons (Daisy), Brooke Sterling (Kat), Michelle Beth Herman (JoJo). Photo courtesy of the Engeman Theater.

Mystic Pizza at the John W. Engeman Theater is the perfect moment to grab a girlfriend (or guyfriend, or mother, or coworker, or anyone, really) and lose yourselves in the coming of age rom-dram-com involving three young women searching for their purpose while navigating the complications of finding (and accepting) love in a small town.

Based on the classic 1988 movie starring America’s sweetheart Julia Roberts, Mystic Pizza charts the lives of three charismatic waitresses in the harbor community of Mystic, Connecticut. It features some of the best pop songs of the ’80s and ’90s, such as Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love,” and Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.” If you were of age in the ’80s, you’ll know every song in the show and the vocals among the performers do not disappoint.

Emily Rose Lyons plays Daisy, the tough and fiery older sister who realizes that her worth extends far beyond her looks – and pool game – by the end of the show. Kat, played by Brooke Sterling, is an innocent, aspiring astronaut and student at Yale who shows her naivete when it comes to men, love, and knowing when it’s simply too good to be true. Michelle Beth Herman, a Commack native, plays JoJo, an ambitious young woman who wants to realize her dreams and choose her own best timing for love and marriage. Together, the powerful trio steals the show, presenting an unbreakable sisterhood that mistakes and mishaps could never dissolve.

Northport’s theater is the perfect setting for a show about small town living, where longtime friends and neighbors gather at the docks, pizza place and local pub. The three female characters, who all work as waitresses at Mystic Pizza, experience the highs and lows of the northeast seasons in a harbor town. Their boss, Leona, struggles with making ends meet, especially during the quiet and cold winter months.

While most small town stories involve characters who want to get out, looking for something bigger and better, the stars of Mystic Pizza want to create a better life right where they are, with the people they’ve grown to love. As the opening song (“Small Town” by John Mellencamp) states, “I can be myself here in this small town, and people let me be just what I want to be.”

When you go to see Mystic Pizza, lean into it, all the way. Get to the lobby bar a little early (they open an hour before showtime), order a drink (they make an excellent margarita) and get back in touch with your 1980s persona because the music – and those high socks – will leave you smiling from ear to ear.

Mystic Pizza will play the following performance schedule until October 30: Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Some Wednesday and Sunday evenings are available. Tickets are $85 for Saturday evenings and $80 for all other performances and may be purchased by calling 631-261-2900, going online at www.engemantheater.com, or by visiting the Engeman Theater Box Office at 250 Main Street, Northport.

The cast of Mystic Pizza, now playing at the Engeman Theater. Photo courtesy of the Engeman Theater.