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‘Inside Lester’ charms audiences at the Porthole Theater

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By Andrea Papagianis, Photos by Madison May

Lester Pelham, the mild-mannered writer behind television’s leading private eye, Tough Molloy, took center stage three nights last week as the South Orange County School of the Arts presented the comedic play, “Inside Lester.”

Played by Jason Bright, Lester has the chance to live out his character’s life in Fred Carmichael’s comedic play as he inadvertently swallows a stolen diamond and sends the cast on fast-paced farce.

Sixty years after first being performed, in 1954, at Carmichael’s Dorset Playhouse in Vermont, “Inside Lester” highlighted student comedy acts, with colorful backdrops, at the Dana Hills High School Porthole Theatre from Thursday, March 27 through Saturday, March 29.

As amateur thieves seek to recapture the diamond, Lester gets his chance to play Tough Molloy in this boisterous comedy. Cast members included: Jared Bass, Kelsey Bragulla, Jessica Geiger, Wei Gordon, Conner Kupferberg, Melissa Nichols, Samantha Tovey and Chris Tusan.

SOCSA keeps the performances coming as the classic musical, “A Chorus Line,” hits the Porthole stage for the first time in school history.

The musical, running from Wednesday, April 23 through Saturday, April 26, provides a glimpse into the world of Broadway auditions. All shows start at 7 p.m. with one matinee April 26 beginning at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors, or $15 for adults. Visit for more.

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