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Tri-State Theater

Let's discuss upcoming shows, secrets behind the scenes, things you never knew about the theater and why live theater is so darn entertaining.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Post #3000!

   It's one of those milestones that only I care about - but I wanted to make note of this post, since it's number 3,000!

   The Tri-State Theatre Blog got its start almost 10 years ago (!!!) when Herald-Dispatch reporter Dave Lavender called to see if I knew anyone who'd like to write a theatre blog for Huntington's newspaper. I replied, "You mean someone besides me?"

   I jumped at the chance, because I'd been wanting to try my hand at blogging - and I'm a big supporter of Huntington's Community Theatre groups (and there are many), and I thought it was a good way to help get out the word about local shows.

   It's been fun, and the response by readers has been gratifying. I hope to keep going for at least a few more years - as always, send along any photos or information about local theatre shows, upcoming auditions or anything else you'd like to see in this space (it's here to support the community, after all).

   You can send info in by the comment link below or email it to me at TheMinskers@aol.com.

   I wanted to express my thanks to: editor Andrea Copley-Smith, who tolerates me, watches over my ramblings and makes sure this blog stays on target; to my lovely wife, Jeanette, for her advice and support - and for putting up with my efforts to keep up with (and write about) theatre; and to you, our gentle readers, for following along and supporting theatre in the area.

   (So let's see... 3,000 posts in 10 years... that works out to about 300 posts a year... or a total of about 1,200,000 words written! Yikes!)

    Enough reminiscing - on to the next post!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Still Buffering" with Lin-Manuel Miranda



   It's always great to see hometown stars enjoying great success - and that's just what's happening with the three Smirl sisters!
   Dr. Sydnee Smirl McElroy, Teylor Smirl and Rileigh Smirl are sisters who have grown up acting and working in community theatre shows in Huntington, and now they have their own podcast - Still Buffering, a very funny show that's all about being a teenager. 
   The show centers around discussions of what being a teen was like for Sydnee and Teylor - and what it's like now for Rileigh. The show's catch phrase is "I am a teenager... and I was too."  
   In their latest edition (which you can find right here) they're joined on the show by the Tony-winning creator of "Hamilton," Lin-Manuel Miranda - and he's a fan of their podcast! How awesome is that? 
   It's always a great show - check it out!




Tuesday, June 28, 2016

On Stage Next Weekend: "Elf the Musical, Jr."


   Cool off from the summer heat next weekend as ARTS Resources for the Tri-State presents the ARTS Summer Theatre Camp production of Elf the Musical, Jr. 

   The show will be presented on July 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. in the Renaissance Ballroom at 900 8th Street in Huntington. 

   Young actors will perform the show that tells the story of Buddy the Elf who discovers he is human and leaves the North Pole to find his human father in New York City. 

   Admission is $5. The show is rated G and is great entertainment for the entire family, so put on your Christmas stockings and add some sparklejollytwinklejingley to your step and see Elf the Musical, Jr

   Where else can you find Christmas in July?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

On Stage This Weekend

    As always in June, it's a busy weekend of terrific shows. Here are the ones to catch:

- The Wizard of Oz - HART in the Park presents the musical based on the film at the Ritter Park Amphitheater in Huntington on June 25 and 26 at 8:30 p.m. Gates open at 7 p.m., Children's Preshow at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children and senior citizens.

- The Wiz - the Charleston Light Opera Guild presents the musical based on “The Wizard of Oz” on June 25 at 7:30 p.m. and June 26 at 2 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre at One Civic Center Drive. Tickets are $25 each - reserved seating. 

- Disney's Beauty and the Beast - The Aracoma Story presents the musical at Chief Logan State Park in Logan, WV on June 25 and 26 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, and $5 for children. 

- School Girl Zombies from Hell High - Contemporary Youth Arts Company (CYAC) presents the original musical with music by Mark Scarpelli, book and lyrics by Dan Kehde. It will be presented at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater at 123 Summers Street in Charleston on June 25 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens.

- Mary Poppins - Jenny Wiley Theatre presents the beloved musical on June 25 at 8:15 p.m. at the Jenny Wiley Amphitheatre in Prestonsburg, Ky. Tickets are $30 / $18 / $13.

   So get out there and enjoy some theatre!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Review of "The Wizard of Oz"


   Travel and work have kept me on the road in June, so I haven’t been able to catch the HART in the Park production of the classic musical The Wizard of Oz, which wraps up this weekend at Huntington’s Ritter Park.

   But my pal Kate Woestman Morris posted a review of the show recently on Facebook, and with her kind permission, here are her thoughts:

   I don't know anyone in the cast, so I feel like this is objective. My family thoroughly enjoyed HART's production of The Wizard of Oz in Ritter Park. 

   The singing, dancing and storytelling were lovely. I believed in everyone down to the tiniest Munchkin, and everyone seemed to be having as good a time on stage as we were having off. 

   The entire cast was solid. They all seemed to commit to their characters in voice and body. Some of the Munchkins were surprisingly commanding and impressive for such young performers. 

   I thought the gentleman playing the Cowardly Lion was the cat's pajamas and my 3-year-old took a particular liking to the Scarecrow. Afterward, the actor gave her a handful of the straw from his costume and he might as well have reached up and pulled down the full moon. 

    I have to admit that I was a little hesitant about the 8:30 p.m. start time and the $12 ticket for a child I wasn't sure was going to make it through - but when I asked her what her favorite part was she got this beautiful look on her face and said, "The part when Dorothy made it back home." 


   Right then I knew it was worth every penny. Thank you, cast and crew for a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

One More Weekend for "The Wizard of Oz"

   This weekend you can catch the last three shows for the HART in the Park production of the classic musical, The Wizard of Oz, at the Ritter Park Amphitheater.
   Gates open at 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The children's pre-show is set for 7:30 p.m. "Oz" begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $12 for seniors and kids 12 and under. 
   My pal Dave Lavender posted a story in today's Herald-Dispatch, which you can read right here. Here's an excerpt:
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    The Wizard of Oz stars Sarah Hayes Navy as Dorothy, Drew Navy as the Scarecrow, Lee Dean as the Tin Man, Levi Kelley as the Cowardly Lion, Tamara Meadows as Glinda, and Denise Comeau as the Wicked Witch.
   The Navys said they were excited to put on their first show together as a couple and as a part of the bigger family of community actors performing for families in the region.
   "It is definitely a huge thing for the community inside the theater and outside the theater because we have a lot of families involved," Navy said. "A lot of family members either become a part of the cast or help out doing part of the sets or costuming or lights, or whatever type of volunteering it takes to make this thing happen. But yeah it is such a positive thing for Huntington to have such a huge production and something we can all be proud of."

Friday, June 17, 2016

On Stage This Weekend

   Taking local stages this weekend are - well, lots of shows, as the summer heats up!

   Here's the rundown:

- The Wizard of Oz - HART in the Park presents the musical based on the film at the Ritter Park Amphitheater in Huntington on June 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26 at 8:30 p.m. Gates open at 7 p.m., Children's Preshow at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children and senior citizens.

- The Wiz - the Charleston Light Opera Guild presents the musical based on “The Wizard of Oz” on June 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and June 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre at One Civic Center Drive. Tickets are $25 each - reserved seating. 

- Disney's Beauty and the Beast - The Aracoma Story presents the musical at Chief Logan State Park in Logan, WV on June 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25 and 26 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, and $5 for children. 

- The Little Theatre's Production of Hamlet - Kanawha Players presents the play by Jean Battlo at the Labelle Theatre at 311 D Street in South Charleston, WV, on June 17. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens.

- School Girl Zombies from Hell High - Contemporary Youth Arts Company (CYAC) presents the original musical with music by Mark Scarpelli, book and lyrics by Dan Kehde. It will be presented at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater at 123 Summers Street in Charleston on June 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. and June 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens.

- Mary Poppins - Jenny Wiley Theatre presents the beloved musical on June 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at 8:15 p.m. at the Jenny Wiley Amphitheatre in Prestonsburg, Ky. Tickets are $30 / $18 / $13.

   So get out there and enjoy some community theatre!