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Mt. Pleasant teen to take the Palace stage in 'Pinocchio'

| Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, 7:27 p.m.
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Renata Marino of Greensburg, as the Blue Fairy, and John Noble of Greensburg, as Geppetto, look on as the Ringleader, played by Benjamin Pimental, 15, of Mt. Pleasant, tries to convince Pinocchio, Anthony Marino of Greensburg, to be a bad boy, during rehearsal for Stage Right's “My Son Pinocchio: Gepetto’s Musical Tale,” which runs Friday through Sunday Sept. 22, 2013, at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.

Mt. Pleasant Area High School junior Ben Pimental is making his way through the local acting circuits and will take the stage in his first professional show with Stage Right in Greensburg.

The 15-year-old will take on the role of ringleader in two performances of the show “My Son Pinocchio: Gepetto's Musical Tale,” which will be presented Friday through Sunday at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.

Pimental is a student with Stage Right, taking advanced acting and musical theater workshop.

He played the role of Anthony in Stage Right's production of “Sweeney Todd” over the summer, but this is his first professional show with Stage Right.

“I recently started taking classes at Stage Right and they approached me about auditioning for the show,” said Pimental. “I like that this is the first professional show that I get to do with a group of my friends.”

Pinochio Director Tony Marino said that although Pimental is fairly new to Stage Right, “we recognized right away he should be here. He's a tremendously talented kid who wants to do this forever. One of the things our school for the performing Arts does is help kids like Ben achieve their dreams.”

But the show hasn't been without challenges for Pimental, who recently suffered a head injury and has had to work around the side effects from it.

Marino commented on Pimental's work ethic and said there are big things for him in the future.

“He's already the epitome of the show must go on — like his mom has remarked — the concussion seems to disappear when rehearsal starts,” he said.

Pimental will be the Ringleader in the Friday and Saturday productions and will take part in the ensemble, as well.

“I enjoy playing an antagonistic role for a change,” he said.

Marino added that Pimental is perfect for the part, which is a very physical role, because of his athleticism.

The show is a musical retelling of the classic Disney movie “Pinocchio,” featuring music from the movie as well as a score by Stephen Schwartz.

Marino said he's always searching for new titles, ones that are family oriented and good for Stage Right audiences.

Performances are slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $22 for adults on the floor and loge and $18 in the balcony. Student prices are $18 on the floor or loge and $15 in the balcony.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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