Title

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.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Life as a Beast


   This weekend is the final round for HART's Beauty and the Beast, so you just have a few more chances to catch that excellent production, which features the talented Levi Kelley in one of the title roles - the half of it that requires wearing an original, fierce mask.
   You can read an excellent article about Levi right here - here's an excerpt:
------------------
 It's not the kind of summer job most people would go for - ridiculously long hours running around, growling, singing and sweating in a hot and heavy furry costume with a mask and makeup that takes hours to apply and remove.
But when HART in the Park decided to take on the massive Disney production of the beloved musical "Beauty and the Beast," young theater veteran Levi Kelley, 23, who has been in such former HART in the Park productions as "Hairspray" and last year's "Wizard of Oz" as The Cowardly Lion, jumped at the chance.
"I've wanted to do it ever since I saw Ryan Hardiman in 2005," Kelley said. "It's a dream role like The Cowardly Lion was a dream role, but this is the ultimate dream role. I have been blessed with so many great roles, and I didn't think at first that I could do it, but Ryan has been so supportive of me and those are huge shoes to fill. I don't care what anyone else thinks just what Ryan Hardiman thinks as I have taken on this role. I'm transforming my personality into something animalistic, and just getting that stance down, my body hurts at the end of every night, and my hands are cramped from keeping them tense and clawlike."
With two big thumbs up from Hardiman, and from the rest of the theater community in Huntington, Kelley and the cast of "Beauty and the Beast" take to the stage for an upcoming final weekend that includes an unprecedented four nights of shows at Ritter Park Amphitheater.
The weekend festivities kick off Thursday, June 29, with a special early "Beauty and the Beast"-only performance that will start at 7 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m.
There will be no children's or adult pre-show for the June 29 performance. At intermission, the Choose Joy Players will serve lemonade to guests, host a "Moana" Princess Parade across the stage and play Beauty and the Beast trivia with the crowd. Because of the earlier time, this performance Beauty and the Beast offers an opportunity for families with small children to see this "tale as old as time" and still get the kids in bed at a somewhat reasonable time.
Rolling Friday through Sunday, June 30 through July 2, will be three full nights of performances as gates open at 7 p.m. for picnics with the children's Disney-themed pre-show at 7:30 p.m., the community pre-show entertainment at 8 p.m., and the main show at 8:30 p.m.


Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and children, with group rates also available. Tickets can be purchased at www.GHPRD.org, by calling 304-696-5954 or at the gate the night of the show. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"Disney's Beauty and the Beast"


   You can read a terrific in-depth feature about the musical Beauty and the Beast right here. It was written by my pal Dave Lavender for the Herald-Dispatch.

   Here's an excerpt:

-------------


Cue the lightning bugs and the orchestra because HART in the Park and The Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District are ready for a second magical weekend of their summer theater run of "Beauty and The Beast" between the Ritter Park Amphitheater pines.
Armed with an all-star cast, special effects and a castle fit for any Belle and her beastly prince, "Beauty and the Beast" is set for a three-night regular run complete with the 90-minute-long show that stars Megan Creasy as Belle and Levi Kelley as The Beast as well as Bethany Himes as Madame De La Grande Bouche, Tamara Meadows as Mrs. Potts, Michael Board as Cogsworth, Rileigh Smirl as Babette, Christian Garnes as Chip, Owen Reynolds as Lumiere, Eric Wilson as Gaston and Cyndi Wilson, Laura Melvin and Ashley Plybon as The Silly Girls.
Huntington Outdoor Theater's 2005 production was the top grossing show of HOT's 20-year-run, the Marshall Artists Series filled the Keith-Albee for a Broadway tour that came to town two years ago, and last year's Paramount Players' production of the Disney classic was also its highest grossing show ever in the building, according to PAC director Norma Meek.
Add to the fact that HART in the Park's production comes on the heel of a resurgence of interest thanks to a February-released live action film, and you see why the show's producers have high hopes for record crowds to help establish the summer theater company.
Based on the classic 1991 Disney film, "Beauty and the Beast" tells the enchanting tale as old as time full of adventure, magic and timeless romance featuring all the songs you love, such as "Be Our Guest," "Belle," "Beauty and the Beast" and more.

"I hear a lot of people ask is this a kids show or an adult story, and well it is both," Smirl said. "The kids are drawn to the characters, and especially to Belle, but the story you are telling is an adult story about how you should look for inner beauty and how outward beauty is fleeting. It is also telling you about forgiveness, and kids don't need that lesson as much as adults. Throw a love story in there too, and that is the kind of show that appeals to all levels."
-------------
 Disney's Beauty and the Beast - HART presents the musical on June 24, 25, 30, July 1 and 2 at 8:30 p.m. Gates open for picnicking at 7p.m. Children's Preshow at 7:30 p.m. Beauty and the Beast begins at 8:30 p.m. There will also be a special performance of Beauty and the Beast only on June 29 at 7 p.m. It will be presented at the Ritter Park Amphitheater in Huntington. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children and senior citizens. Group rates are available.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

On Stage This Weekend

   On stage this weekend, there are lots of terrific shows to see!

   Here's the rundown:

- Disney's Beauty and the Beast - HART presents the musical on June 23, 24, 25, 30, July 1 and 2 at 8:30 p.m. Gates open for picnicking at 7p.m. Children's Preshow at 7:30 p.m. Beauty and the Beast begins at 8:30 p.m. There will also be a special performance of Beauty and the Beast only on June 29 at 7 p.m. It will be presented at the Ritter Park Amphitheater at 1310 8th Avenue in Huntington. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children and senior citizens. Group rates are available.

- American Nero - CYAC presents the original rock opera by Mark Scarpelli, Christopher Vincent and Dan Kehde on June 23 and 24 at 8 p.m. at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater at 123 Summers Street in Charleston. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens.

- The Bridges of Madison County - The Charleston Light Opera Guild present the musical on June 23 at 8 p.m., June 24 at 5 p.m., and June 25 at 3 p.m. at the Charleston Light Opera Guild Theatre on Tennessee Avenue in Charleston. All tickets $20. 

- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - The Alban Arts and Conference Center presents the play by Tennessee Williams on  June 23 and 24 at 8 p.m. at Tamarack in Beckley, W.Va. Tickets are $48 each (which includes dinner).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
- Cabaret - Hipp Stage Productions presents the musical on June 24 and 30 at 8 p.m. and June 25 and July 1 and 2 at 2 p.m. at the Peoples Bank Theatre at 222 Putnam Street in Marietta, Ohio. All tickets are $20.

- Madagascar - Jenny Wiley Theatre presents the musical June 23, 24, 27, 28, 29 and 30 at 8:15 p.m. at the Jenny Wiley Ampitheatre in Prestonsburg, Ky. Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for youth.

   So go see a show!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Auditions for "Elf, Jr: - and Junior Theatre Festival


   First Stage Theatre Company in Huntington will hold auditions on Saturday, June 24 for the musical Elf, Jr and for those young actors who plan to travel to the Junior Theatre Festival in 2018.
   The auditions will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  
   Location for the Meeting and Auditions: 
Pea Ridge United Methodist Church
5747 East Pea Ridge Road
Huntington, WV 25705 
   Please prepare 32-64 bars or 1-2 minutes of a musical theater song (NOT a pop song). An accompanist and CD player will be available. You may bring sheet music or a karaoke track…. please no a cappella auditions. Actors should be prepared to learn a short dance. 
   To audition for Elf, JR. ONLY - actors must be at least in the FIRST grade in the fall of 2018.
   To audition for Elf, JR AND to attend the Junior Theatre Festival - actors must be 10 years old by January 1, 2018, and have performed or worked tech for at least one First Stage production previously. 
   Rehearsals will begin in September. The Junior Theatre Festival will be one long weekend in January in Atlanta.
   Festival Dates: January 12 to 14, 2018
   Elf JR. will be staged November 30 to December 3, 2017.
   First Stage Theatre Company has been accepted to the Junior Theatre Festival (JTF) again this coming winter to perform and learn from professionals in the field of musical theatre. The full cast and those attending JTF 2018 will perform the full-length play in December 2017. 
   JTF 2018 is an awesome weekend-long experience for kids to learn and perform with over 4,500 peers from across the country. Sponsored by iTheatrics, MTI, Disney, and Playbill. The event allows for showcasing a 15 minute show selection, workshop classes, guest speakers and performances. More information will be available at the audition.

Friday, June 16, 2017

On Stage This Weekend

   Summer theatre kicks into high gear this weekend, with four great shows taking local stages. 

   Here's the rundown:

- Disney's Beauty and the Beast - HART presents the musical on June 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, July 1 and 2 at 8:30 p.m. Gates open for picnicking at 7p.m. Children's Preshow at 7:30 p.m. Beauty and the Beast begins at 8:30 p.m. It will be presented at the Ritter Park Amphitheater at 1310 8th Avenue in Huntington. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children and senior citizens. Group rates are available.

- American Nero - CYAC presents the original rock opera by Mark Scarpelli, Christopher Vincent and Dan Kehde on June 16, 22, 23 and 24 at 8 p.m. and June 17 and 18 at 2 p.m. at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater at 123 Summers Street in Charleston. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens.

- The Bridges of Madison County - The Charleston Light Opera Guild present the musical on June 16 and 23 at 8 p.m., June 17 and 24 at 5 p.m., and June 18 and 25 at 3 p.m. at the Charleston Light Opera Guild Theatre on Tennessee Avenue in Charleston. All tickets $20.

Hairspray - The Aracoma Story presents the musical comedy on June 16, 17 and 18 at 8:30 p.m. at the Liz Spurlock Amphitheater at Chief Logan State Park in Logan, W.Va. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and senior citizens, and $6 for children under 10.

   It's a great lineup! Go see a show!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

This Weekend: "Beauty and the Beast"


   This weekend kicks off the summer run for HART's Beauty and the Beast, based on the classic Disney animated film.
   You can see some photos of the production by the Herald-Dispatch's Toril Lavender in this photo gallery, and you can get a preview in this story in the Herald-Dispatch.
   Here's an excerpt: 
The cast was picked in January, they've been rehearsing since February, and now the actors and actresses of Beauty and the Beast are ready to start the outdoor theater party right here in the hills of Huntington.
Cue the lightning bugs and the orchestra because HART (Huntington Area Regional Theatre) in the Park and The Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District are kicking off the third season together of live, summer theater with a three-weekend run of the Disney favorite Beauty and the Beast, set for Friday through Sunday, June 16-18, June 23-25 and June 30-July 2 at the Ritter Park Amphitheater.
Gates open at 7 p.m. for picnics with the children's pre-show at 7:30 p.m., the community pre-show entertainment at 8 p.m., and the main show at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15, and $12 for seniors and children, with group rates available. Tickets can be purchased now at www.GHPRD.org or by calling 304-696-5954 or at the gate the night of the show.
Based on the classic 1991 Disney film, Beauty and the Beast tells the enchanting tale as old as time full of adventure, magic and timeless romance featuring songs such as "Be Our Guest," "Belle," "Beauty and the Beast" and more.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

First Stage Offers Two Scholarships

   As the school year ends, it's time for First Stage Theatre to roll out its annual scholarships!

   The organization offers two $1000 to former First Stage actors and tech crew who are planning to study (or are presently studying) performing arts! Here's the info:

   The First Stage Theatre Company is now accepting applications for two $1000 scholarships: the Jim Stone Memorial Scholarship and the Leslie McElroy Memorial Scholarship. 

     First Stage sponsors the scholarships to honor the memory of two dear friends: Jim Stone, a longtime supporter of the arts and mentor to local children in the performing arts; and Leslie McElroy, who was a great supporter of community theatre as a producer, actor and board member of First Stage.    

     Each scholarship awards $1000 to a new or current full-time student who is studying dramatic or performing arts at a college, university or certified school of the performing arts. 

     The deadline for entries is Friday, July 7, 2017. The Stone Scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic merit, the McElroy Scholarship on the basis of financial need. Applicants may apply for both scholarships (and are urged to do so).

     Applicants must have been involved with at least one First Stage Theatre Company show, either on-stage (as a performer) or off-stage (as a member of the tech crew). 

     Applicants must send: a list of the shows they’ve been in; a list of school-related extra-curricular activities; a list of civic or public service activities; a copy of an official school document showing the individual's most recent grade-point average; identification of the college the individual is attending or will attend; and a brief statement (250 words or less) on why the applicant is interested in studying dramatic or performing arts.

    Applications should be sent to First Stage Scholarships, P.O. Box 4, Huntington, WV 25706-0004. 


   Complete application information and forms are available at the First Stage Theatre website at www.firststagetheatre.org.