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‘I Do 3/8 I Do 3/8’ Enough Already For Actors Playing Same Roles For Two Decades

September 16, 1992

CHANHASSEN, Minn. (AP) _ David Anders and Susan Goeppinger, who are married in real life, have been singing wedding vows on stage almost nightly for more than two decades in the two-character musical ″I Do 3/8 I Do 3/8″

But after a run believed to be the longest in American history for any original-cast play, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres has decided to bring down the curtain for the last time on ″I Do 3/8 I Do 3/8″ next June.

Audiences have declined in recent years, and Chanhassen artistic director Michael Brindisi said closing the show will allow it to go out as the theater celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The musical, which opened with Anders and Goeppinger on Feb. 18, 1971, has already set the record for longest-running original-cast play on the American stage, theater spokeswoman Kris Howland said Wednesday.

Although history books only list records for Broadway and off-Broadway productions, not dinner theater shows, librarian Pamela Jordan of the Yale School of Drama said she believes Howland is right.

″As far as I know, it should be″ the longest running play in America with the original cast, Jordan said by phone from New Haven, Conn. ″By lack of evidence, I’m pretty sure that it is.″

Over the years, the lives of its stars have come to mirror those of Michael and Agnes, the characters whose 50-year marriage is depicted in the Tom Jones- Harvey Schmidt adaptation of Jan de Hartog’s play ″The Four Poster.″

Anders, 55, and Goeppinger, 50, met at Chanhassen in 1970 when both were acting in ″How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.″ They married in 1972, not long after the 500th performance of ″I Do 3/8 I Do 3/8″

Like Agnes and Michael, they raised two children: Kristian, 18, and Erin, 15.

The only time out the couple had from the play was for annual vacations and during Goeppinger’s pregnancies.

When ″I Do 3/8 I Do 3/8″ closes it will be replaced by ″Fiddler on the Roof,″ in which Anders and Goeppinger will also star.

They’ll play the married couple Tevye and Golde.

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