Small town Maine. Like Madison Maine. Small yes, but thanks to the longest-running summer theater in the nation, Madison is on the map.

This summer is the 60th anniversary of Betty White and Allen Ludden performing in ‘Critics Choice.’ During that summer they fell in love while they performed in that play, at Lakewood Theater in Madison.

They were married the following year.

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Fast forward from 1962 to 2022, and ‘Critics Choice’ will open the summer theater season in Madison tomorrow night, June 23.

Betty White passed away at the end of the year last year, just days before her 100th birthday. And since she was so involved with animals, that love of animals was turned into fundraisers all over the country benefiting animals.

And this summer is no different, with the theater donating $1 from each ticket sold to the Somerset Humane Society.

Brian To, Getty Images/releon 8211, ThinkStock
Brian To, Getty Images/releon 8211, ThinkStock

Over the years Betty White and Allen Ludden are not the only names you know from away to perform in Madison.

John Travolta has been there. Vincent Price.  Humphrey Bogart. And who knows who else, present and future?

Back to Betty White and Allen Ludden. During that summer every morning when he greeted Betty it was never ‘Good Morning.’ It was always ‘Will You Marry Me.’ Every morning. All summer long.

When you attend summer theater in Madison this year, get there a couple of minutes early so you can still quietly in this historic theater before the play starts. And think of the number of Hollywood stars that appeared not far from where you are seated.

And be Maine proud of the way Betty White lived her wonderful life, with her wonderful love story that began right there, in Madison.

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