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, February 28, 2007

How About That?

Hey, I achieved a goal this month - I managed at least one post a day every day this month! (Granted, February is a short month.) Let's see if I can duplicate that in March.

And as always, thank you for reading!

"Menopause" Sells Out

According to a story in today's Herald-Dispatch, tickets for "Menopause the Musical" are disappearing like a hot flash (sorry), with some shows already sold out. Thankfully, there are lots of performances this week - but you might want to reserve those tickets now.

You can read more about it here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Theatre News

Lots of theatre news in today's Herald-Dispatch (which is always good).

You can read about tickets going on sale for First Stage Theatre's "Cats" here.

You can see photos from Ironton High School's upcoming production of "Grease" here.

And you can get a preview of the weekend's offerings from the Marshall University Opera Theatre here.

How's that for one stop shopping?

On Stage Tonight - "Menopause the Musical"

The (almost) week-long run of "Menopause the Musical" begins tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on the campus of Marshall University. Here's what you can expect, according to press information:

Inspired by a hot flash and a bottle of wine, "Menopause the Musical" is the little revue that has set the world on fire. Since 2001, the hilarious and heartwarming musical has entertained men and women from coast-to-coast and around the world.

In the hit musical, four women with seemingly nothing in common but a black lace bra meet by chance in Bloomingdale's department store and soon find out lingerie isn't the only thing they share.

Audiences will laugh and cheer along with a joyful parody of 25 re-lyricized baby boomer hits including "I Heard It Thru the Grapevine You No Longer See 39" and the disco favorite "Stayin' Awake! Stayin' Awake."

So whether you are on the brink of, in the middle of, or are a survivor of, you will relate to this side-splitting musical that is a salute to women everywhere experiencing The Change.

You'll have plenty of chances to see it - here's the schedule:
Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, Feb. 27-March 3, 2007 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007 at 2:00pm Matinee
Saturday, March 3, 2007 at 2:00pm Matinee
Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 3:00pm Matinee

I hope to get a chance to see it later this week, and I'll post a review - if someone out there sees it, send us a comment (or email me at TheMinskers@aol.com).

Monday, February 26, 2007

Broadway at the Oscars

Congratulations to Jennifer Hudson, who may not have won on American Idol, but she won a bigger prize, taking the Best Supporting Actress Oscar last night. Great, too, that she gave thanks (onstage) and proper credit (backstage) to Jennifer Holiday, who originated the role in "Dreamgirls" on Broadway, and has had a tough time since leaving the show many years ago - though she's doing much better now, according to a recent story on CBS-TV.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Grease: You're the One (etc.)

In case you were watching the Oscars and missed tonight's episode of "Grease: You're the One That I Want," Derek Keeling from Scott Depot finished in the top three, so he didn't face the dreaded "sing-off." That also means he's safe for another week, because this week's episode was a "ladies only" event, with only the "Sandy" wanna-bes performing - so the four guys left will hang around another week. Next Sunday's show, then, will be a "gents only" elimination round, so save your votes until then!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Coming Up On Stage In March

In the next month (including the last two days of February) the floodgates open and we get the chance to see several shows on local stages.

First up, it’s a week of “Menopause: The Musical,” which will be presented at Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center. Part of the Marshall Artist’s Series, this show takes a funny look at... well, you know. Shows start Tuesday, Feb. 27, and run through Sunday, March 4, including some afternoon performances. Check the local listings.

For more top-notch entertainment, be sure to see Marshall’s Opera Theatre as it presents “Fair Galatea” and “Dido and Aeneas” Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3 at the Smith Recital Hall. Tickets are $10, $7 for seniors and free to students age 17 and under.

In Ashland, the Backstage Players will present he incredibly popular “High School Musical” March 8 - 10 at the Paramount Arts Center.

Then, the show that’s going to amaze, impress and delight you - “Cats” will be presented by First Stage Theatre at Huntington’s City Hall on March 15, 16, 18, 22, 23, 24 and 25. I've seen some of the show in rehearsal and it looks great already! There's a good reason why "Cats" held the record for most performances on Broadway.

It’s a busy month, so mark those calendars and start saving up!

Friday, February 23, 2007

This Weekend On Stage

You have one more chance to catch “I Hate Hamlet” at Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center. Showtime Saturday is at 8:00 p.m., and tickets are $12, $10 for seniors and $7 for ages 17 and under.

Check in here tomorrow and I'll have a preview of what shows you can expect in March. Some awesome stuff on the way, theatre fans!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

“I Hate Hamlet” - The Review

Comedy comes in all shapes and sizes - lowbrow, slapstick, wry, witty, punnish - you name it. Most comedy in the U.S. can be defined as “broad” - meaning it appeals to most people. Every now and then you run into a comedy that dares to be intelligent - and that’s what you’re in for when you see “I Hate Hamlet,” which is on this stage this week, presented by the Marshall University Department of Theatre.

The show centers around a young TV actor named Andrew who’s been offered a role playing Hamlet in New York’s Shakespeare in the Park. By no small coincidence, he’s also just rented the apartment that once belonged to the great Shakespearean actor, John Barrymore. Of course, as the title tells us, he hates the play. The problem is, his girlfriend, Deidre, his realtor, Felicia, and his agent, Lillian, all want him to take the role.

Since Felicia is psychic, they decide to hold a seance to try to contact Barrymore. (Note that the three women represent the Witches at the beginning of Macbeth - the Crone, the Matron and the Maiden. Just one of many “Shakespearean Easter Eggs” for the observant.)

Thankfully, the seance succeeds (sort of) and Barrymore arrives to coach the young actor, passing along some valuable acting tips - and more than a few life lessons, as well.

This is a “small” show, with only six cast members - but they’re all “choice” performers - among the best in MU’s Department of Theatre.

Nick Reynolds plays Andrew, and demonstrates why he’s one of the best comedic actors around. Nick’s done a lot of great work over the years, and this show is just the latest in a long line of excellent performances.

Travis Caffrey plays what may be the toughest role in the show, John Barrymore. To fill the shoes of a larger-than-life actor and do so convincingly - all while wearing tights - is no easy task, and he delivers a great performance.

Karah Merkins plays Andrew’s love interest, Deirdre, and turns in a wonderful performance - she’s funny, adorable, sexy and quirky throughout - a terrific character and a wonderful job by Karah.

Samantha Elkins pays Felicia the real estate agent who sets Andrew up in the apartment, and she’s a delight - she’s very funny, and her New Yawk accent is terrific!

Mary Williams plays the character role of Lillian, Andrew’s "Mother Hen" agent. Her accent is excellent, and she provides one of the most touching scenes in the show, as she reminisces on her own encounter with celebrity.

Last (but certainly not least) is Jeremy Plyburn as Gary, the quintessential Hollywood producer who tries to lure Andrew back to Hollywood. Jeremy is hilarious in this part, representing the ugly underbelly of the industry. (His idea for a TV show is a scream.) This is Jeremy’s stage debut with MU - I expect to see lots more great performances from him.

The other stars of the show are the set and the effects. As always with Marshall’s productions, the set is amazing - a towering apartment that harkens back to the glory days of the theatre. (The fireplace seems a little impractical, but that’s a minor quibble.) The special effects are somewhat understated, but all the more magical for it. Barrymore’s entrance, for example, is perfect.

Oh, and did I mention that there's an awesome sword fight in there? I love a show with action and comedy!

Excellent work by the cast, the production team and the directing staff - with a special “well done, old man” to director John Colclough, who’s racked up an impressive run of outstanding shows in his near-decade with MU. This is another great one to add to the list.

When you attend a show at Marshall, you know you’re in for a special evening, and “I Hate Hamlet” continues the tradition with a show that’s intelligent, clever and quite funny. You’ll enjoy it, even if you’re not a fan of the classics.

On Stage Tonight - "I Hate Hamlet"

I got to see "I Hate Hamlet" last night with my pals Mark and Clint and enjoyed it tremendously. I'll have a full review later today, but here's a reminder to see it tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Marshall's Joan C. Edwards Playhouse.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

On Stage Tonight - "I Hate Hamlet"

"I Hate Hamlet" takes the stage tonight, and has a lot of fun with Shakespeare and a famous star along the way.

If you'd like to know more about the show, which takes the stage tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse at Marshall University, my pal Justin McElroy wrote up a story for today's paper - you can read it here.

The H-D also has a photo gallery - you'll find the link here. The photo here is a sample from the gallery, with photos by Mark Webb.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

On Stage This Week - "I Hate Hamlet"

Starting tomorrow is yet another in a series of excellent productions from Marshall's Department of Theatre. For several years now, MU has presented a Shakespeare play as part of each season (and if you've missed them, you've missed some great shows).

This year they're taking a break - but still keeping the Bard in the mix - by tackling "I Hate Hamlet" by Paul Rudnick. Here's the description: "A young and successful television actor relocates to New York, where he rents a marvelous, gothic apartment. With his television career in limbo, the actor is offered the opportunity to play Hamlet onstage, but there's one problem: He hates "Hamlet." His dilemma deepens with the entrance of John Barrymore's ghost, who arrives intoxicated and in full costume to the apartment that once was his. Critically acclaimed 1991 Tony nominee."

The show runs February 21-24 with shows starting at 8:00 p.m. I'll be there, and I urge you to go forth and do likewise!

Reviews by Mark

My pal Mark Hayes (no stranger to the local stage) is an avid fan of the theatre, and he sent along these reviews from shows he saw over the weekend. With his kind permission, I'm sharing his comments here:

<< Saturday night, we saw "The Three Phantoms" in Charleston at the Clay Center with the WV Symphony Orchestra. Absolutely amazing! Ron Bohmer, Cris Groenendaal and Craig Schulman, who have all played the Phantom on Broadway, were incredible. My wife kept telling me that she recognized Craig Schulman and then, when Grant Cooper noted that Schulman had performed more times on Broadway as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" than any other performer (over 2000!), she remembered that he was the USA's "Valjean" representative at the end of the 10th Anniversary PBS special. He sang "Bring Him Home," and you could have heard a pin drop in the place (that was relatively full for a nice change). They all sang songs from the shows they've been in over the years - "Guys and Dolls," "Jekyll and Hyde," "Sweeney Todd," "Fiddler," etc., but then joined together to sing "Music of the Night." Just incredible - all three were performers that had made that rare step up from having great voices to having "instruments." Great, great evening. We ended up meeting Schulman and Bohmer and, as a result, remaining in the lobby until all of the performance crowd left.

Sunday we made what's become a once a month trip to Columbus for the Broadway Series. This time, it was "All Shook Up," a show that clearly stole its premise from "Mamma Mia" since its a story woven around the music of an icon - this time, Elvis. It's a lot funnier than "Mamma Mia," and had several 'hysterical, laugh out loud, wipe tears from your eyes' moments. It "starred" Susan Anton, who did an admirable job as the museum curator, but was overshadowed by the 'stars' - Jenny Fellner as 'Natalie' and Joe Mandragona as 'Chad'. Mandragona, especially, was terrific as the James Dean-esque character who comes into a "square little town in the middle of a square state" and proceeds to shake up the boredom of the locals. There were a few adult situation moments, but for the most part, it's good "PG" fun and the music was terrific.

By the way, Columbus' Broadway Series is a terrific way to see quality shows that we'll never get locally. We've seen "12 Angry Men" with Richard Thomas, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (with Tom Hewitt) and "All Shook Up," and will be going up to see "Light in the Piazza," "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" and (the reason we got the season tickets), "Wicked" in June. It's only 2 1/2 hours from Huntington and it's a lot of fun to spend an afternoon in Columbus to see a show and eat a nice lunch or dinner. Well worth the effort! >>

The Times They Are A-Changin'

OK, a terrible title to this entry, but we're just a week away from the avalanche that is "Menopause: The Musical," which will be presented many times, so you have no excuse for missing it.

I'll have more about it in the week ahead, but for now, here's the press release sent out by the Marshall Artists Series:

Menopause the Musical: A Celebration of Women and The Change!

The Marshall Artists Series and Cabell Huntington Hospital’s Women & Children’s Services are delighted to bring eight performances of the hilarious and heartwarming hit, Menopause the Musical, to the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center! Evening performances are February 27-March 3 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be three matinee performances February 28 and March 3 at 2 p.m. and March 4 at 3 p.m.

In the hit musical, four women with seemingly nothing in common but a black lace bra meet in a Bloomingdale’s department store and soon find out lingerie isn’t the only thing they share.

Since 2001, this slide-splitting musical has entertained audiences from coast-to-coast and around the world. Patrons will laugh and cheer along with a joyful parody of 25 re-lyricized baby boomer hits including “I Heard It Thru the Grapevine You No Longer See 39” “Puff, My God I’m Draggin” and the disco favorite “Stayin’ Awake! Stayin’ Awake!”

Huntington native Joanne Cummings Grant is the national director of production for the musical. She will return home for the Huntington debut. Grant is a Marshall University alumna. She served as promotions and acting director at the Huntington Civic Center from 1980-1982. Currently, Grant is responsible for booking and putting together cast and crew for the musical in six countries and fifteen cities.

A dinner theatre option is available before the March 3 evening show and a brunch prior to the March 4 matinee. The meals will begin two hours before show time. Tickets for the pre-show meals are $20 per person. Seating availability is limited. Patrons should call the Marshall Artists Series at (304) 696-3326 for reservations.

Tickets for the shows are available now. Tickets are $39. Groups of 20 or more people will receive a $5 discount off each individual ticket. Tickets may be purchased through the Marshall Artists Series Box Office, located in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center. The box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. Phone orders may be taken from the box office for patrons calling (304) 696-6656. All major credit cards are accepted.

Tickets for all shows may also be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling (304) 523-5757 in Huntington or (304) 342-5757 in Charleston. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com. Patrons can pick up tickets at any Ticketmaster outlet, including select Kroger stores.

This show is sponsored by Cabell Huntington’s Women & Children’s Services, WSAZ, the Herald Dispatch, Clear Channel Communications, and the Marshall Artists Series.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

"Grease: YTOTIW"

I agree with Angela's post on the "Stay Tuned" blog (the link is over there on the right of this page) - tonight, on "Grease: You're the One That I Want," Derek Keeling really needs your vote. He missed on a note or two at the beginning of his performance, although the rest of it was excellent. He certainly wasn't the worst performer of the night, but for the first time, he wasn't the best, either. Still, I'd be shocked if he gets voted out - you might want to drop by www.nbc.com and throw a vote his way, just to be sure.

By the way, as we get down to the Final Five on the show, you can see why auditions can be difficult to judge - the top performers change week to week! So from a director's view, sometimes you just have to try to guess which performer will do the best job.


I got to catch the final show of “Godspell” Saturday night at the First United Methodist Church in Huntington, and it was a lot of fun. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a free-spirited presentation of the book of Matthew (in other words, it’s basically the hippie version) - but the songs and dialogue are very true to the familiar Bible stories.

Through parables and songs, the teachings of Jesus unfold. It’s the ideal show for a community group to perform, because it requires very little in the way of sets, props or costumes - but you do need about a dozen talented performers.

They had that more than covered, as the show featured quite a few experienced actors, including Sam Yates as Jesus. For such a young guy - he’s a senior in High School - Sam has appeared in quite a few shows, and he just keeps getting better with each performance. He did a great job in this show, and his strong voice added a lot to the performance.

As Judas (and John the Baptist), Michael Niday provided the counterpoint to Jesus, and did so with lots of authority. The roles of the disciples were played by actors with a variety of experience: theatre veterans Jane Morse, Loretta Hetzer, Leann Haines and Ashleigh Bills (who also provided the choreography); the relatively-new-to-the-stage-but-quite-talented Stephen Vance, Kathy Morris and Jeanette Bills; and the young and talented performers Zach Davis, Alyssa Morris and Sara Morris. Kudos to all for a great job!

There are lots of reasons to like “Godspell” - I think I enjoy it for its energy, for its great songs and for the way it captures the timeless message of peace and love.

Of course, lots of credit also goes to the Music Director, Eddie Harbert, and fellow accompanist Rachel Noe, and a special tip o’ the hat to veteran director (and all around great guy) Jerry Morse, who made it all happen.

If you missed this one, you not only missed a fun show - you missed a great meal before it! Mark your calendars for next year - you’ll be glad you did!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Two Dinners - Two Shows

Tonight you have two chances to get a dinner and a show. It's the last performance for "Godspell" (as mentioned in previous posts), and you can also enjoy "A Salute to the USO" tonight at the Renaissance Center (the old Huntington High School).

The music will be provided by The Carl Toler Quartet plus two. Carl is a 20-year veteran of the Air Force where he performed with the world famous "Airmen of Note." Should be a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, I share this news too late for you to sign up for the dinner at the Renaissance, but you can get tickets to the show, which starts at 7:00p.m., for only $15.00 at the door. For those who already signed up for dinner, the meal is served at 5:30p.m.

Now if the weather will just cooperate...

Friday, February 16, 2007

The "Godspell" cast

Time is running out to catch "Godspell" - tomorrow's show is the last!

And thanks to my pal Stephen Vance, here's the cast and directors list:

Sam Yates - Jesus
Michael Niday - John the Baptist/Judas Iscariot

Disciples - Jane Morse, Loretta Hetzer, Jeanette Bills, Ashleigh Bills, Kathy Morris, Sara Morris, Alyssa Morris, Leann Haines, Zach Davis, Stephen Vance

Director - Jerry Morse
Musical Director - Eddie Harbert
Pianist - Rachel Noe

Miss it not!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Godspell" Photos

You can see some colorful photos from "Godspell" on the Herald-Dispatch's photogalleries page right here.

The show continues tonight (go here to learn more about it). Like I keep saying: highly recommended!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On Stage Tonight - "Godspell"

As far as I know, possible inclement weather isn't going to stop tonight's performance of the folk rock musical “Godspell” at Huntington's First United Methodist Church. The show is based on Matthew’s gospel, and you get dinner with the show - the meal is served at 6:30 p.m. The shows will continue every evening through Saturday, Feb. 17, at the church at 1124 5th Avenue.

Tickets cost $20 for adults and $8 for children younger than 12. Tickets for the show only are $5. Baby-sitting is available for all shows, if requested in advance. Reservations are required by calling (304) 522-0357 or (740) 867-8576.

"Godspell" has been a favorite of mine for a long time, so I'm looking forward to seeing it - and so should you!

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's the day set aside to sell flowers and cards - uh, I mean, for all of us to tell our loved ones how we feel about them! Yeah, that's it.

So give a card, hand out a posey, or just pick up the phone and call a loved one - you'll be glad you did.

And to you, dear reader, who makes this blog possible just by reading - Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On Stage This Week - "Godspell"

If you're looking for something to do on Valentine's Day, the First United Methodist Church has the perfect solution - a dinner and a show!

The church will present the folk rock musical “Godspell,” which is based on Matthew’s gospel, beginning Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 6:30 p.m.. The shows will continue every evening through Saturday, Feb. 17, at the church at 1124 5th Avenue in Huntington.

And it's for a good cause - the money raised will help build a new playground at Ebenezer Community Outreach.

The menu includes a choice of prime rib au jus or glazed cornish hen, plus baked potato, tossed salad, green peas with pearl onions, dilly rolls, chocolate pie and Valentine delights. (I'm getting hungry just typing the words!)

Tickets cost $20 for adults and $8 for children younger than 12. Tickets for the show only are $5. Baby-sitting is available for all shows, if requested in advance. Reservations are required by calling (304) 522-0357 or (740) 867-8576.

Like I said before - highly recommended!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Best Broadway Soundtrack

Hey, the Grammys were on last night - who knew? - and handed out an award for the Best Musical Show Album (in other words, the best Broadway cast recording). The winner was "Jersey Boys." The runner-ups: "The Color Purple," "The Drowsy Chaperone," "The Pajama Game" and "Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"Grease" Recap

Congrats to Derek Keeling for not only doing well in the voting, but turning in a strong performance in a song-and-dance number in tonight's show. He was picked at the end of the show as the favorite of two of the four judges - one of whom was someone who knows a little bit about the theatre - Andrew Lloyd Webber! Impressive!

I can't say I'm crazy about the elimination method the show uses. The bottom four vote-getters (two males and two females) have a "sing-off" where they take turns singing lines from a song - then the judges decide which male and female to send home. Uh, why bother having people vote if you're just going to overturn their choice? One assumes this is to keep the audience from sending home the wrong person - or perhaps it's an attempt to make the show different from "America Idol" - but it seems to defeat the purpose of having a vote.

Live Again Tonight - Grease: YTOTIW

Back again after reruns last week (because of the Super Bowl), we get a chance tonight to see how Scott Depot native Derek Keeling did with the audience votes in the reality TV show, "Grease: You're The One That I Want." You can read about it on the H-D website at www.herald-dispatch.com, and there's a link in the story that takes you to NBC's website, where you can see video from the show.

Isn't the Internet great?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

High School Musical - Getting Started

So as recently posted, First Stage has announced plans to stage "High School Musical" in the Fall of 2007, and I've been asked to direct the show.

I've just received the perusal script, and as expected, they've made some minor changes in the show to adapt it for the stage - but the changes take nothing away from the story. It still includes the same songs, with a few added to round things out. It also expands the roles of many of the supporting characters - always a good thing - and adds at least one new character to help hold the story together.

So the first job is to establish a team. So far, I've signed up three of the area's best. Mark Smith, one of the area's most talented musicians, has agreed to be the Music Director and Orchestra Leader (if you've seen a local theatre performance with live music, chances are good that he was playing in it and probably leading the orchestra at the same time). Jack Welch, the master of the circular saw, has agreed to head up the Set Construction team. And for the job of Producer, I've managed to track down the woman who is, in my humble opinion, simply the best Producer ever - my wife, Jeanette. I know, you think I'm prejudiced - but she really is great at managing the zillion-and-one details of putting on a show.

We still need to sign up a Choreographer. I've offered the job to a certain someone who is great at it, but haven't heard back yet. Once that's settled, the planning can begin.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Music Man Cast List

Congrats to the cast of the 5th Avenue Theatre Company's upcoming production of "The Music Man," which will be presented at Huntington's City Hall auditorium from April 20 - 29.

The cast includes:
Harold Hill – Bil Neal
Marion Paroo – Nancy Jackson
Charlie Cowell – Dylan Clark
Constable Locke – Allen Stern
Mrs. Paroo – Karen Pruitt
Winthrop Paroo – Franklin Norton
Amaryllis – Lydia Waybright
Mayor Shinn – C.E. Wilson
Eulalie Shinn – Jane Morse
Zaneeta Shinn – Jessica Maier
Gracie Shinn – Amanda Callicoat
Marcellus Washburn – Kenny Harbolt
Quartet – “The Thundertones”
Ethel Toffelmier – Melanie Hughes
“Ladies” - Loretta Hetzer, Debbie Wolfe

Featured Dancers are Micah Collins, Amy C., Wendy Goodenough, Jessica Maier and Tiffany McCullough.

In the Chorus: Amanda Callicoat, Amy C., Todd Childers, Grayson Collins, Micah Collins, Sheridyn Collins, Shelby Easter, Wendy Goodenough, Kenny Harbolt, Loretta Hetzer, Melanie Hughes, Amy Jones, Anastasia Jones, Chrissy Lewis, Jessica Maier, Jack McGee, Tiffany McCullough, Rachel Meadows, Jane Morse, Franklin Norton, Mallory Norton, Sydney Pay, Karen Pruitt, Andrea Steele, Allen Stern, “The Thundertones,” Emily Waybright, Lydia Waybright, Jordan Wehmeier, C.E. Wilson, Annie Wolfe, Debbie Wolfe, Paul Wolfe and Sarah Wolfe.

For more information about the show, contact Terri Tagmeyer at 304-634-3979 or Maxine Loudermilk at 304-696-5522.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Breaking News!

I've been keeping a secret from you, dear readers - I've been in negotiations to direct a show next fall for the First Stage Theatre Company (Huntington's children's theatre).

Today I received the final approval from that group to direct "High School Musical" for the Fall of 2007 (I'm apparently the only one crazy enough to take the job). For those of you who haven't seen it yet, "HSM" is the popular Disney Channel movie/musical that has become a phenomenon. It became a top-selling CD and DVD, and now it has been adapted for the stage.

I should mention up front that First Stage won't be the first local group to produce the show - it's on the Spring schedule for Ashland's Backstage Players. But why should they have all the fun?

It's a great show, with loads of energy and terrific songs - I know it's going to be a blast, and I'll keep you up to date on our progress right here.

We're not sure where we're going to stage it yet, but we're working on it (along with a few zillion other details). Stay tuned, y'all!

On Stage Tonight - Bell, Book and Candle

As mentioned here, you can catch "Bell, Book and Candle" beginning tonight. Make plans now!

Coming Soon - "Godspell"

There's a nice story online about the upcoming production of "Godspell" at the First United Methodist Church, as directed by my pal (and local theatre legend) Jerry Morse. You can read about it here, and having attended past productions, let me assure you that you'll not only see a great show, but you'll also get an excellent meal out of the deal.

Highly recommended!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bell, Book and Candle

Ah, Blogger has mended its ways and is cooperating. You can find the story on that show right here.

Remember, it starts tomorrow in Ashland!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

On Stage This Week - Bell, Book and Candle

Hopefully the snow will let up in time for everyone to get to see the Blazer Theatre presentation of "Bell, Book, and Candle," which will hit the stage Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 8 - 10, at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2:30 p.m.

The show will be at the Millennium Center at Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland, Ky. The admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students & senior citizens. For More Information, call (606) 327-6040 ext. 3207.

There's a nice write-up about the show in today's paper, but Blogger is making it difficult for me to link to it - so just go to the Herald-Dispatch website at www.herald-dispatch.com and you'll find it.

I haven't seen this show before, but Blazer always does good work, so give it a try and support your local theatre!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Oh Well...

Now you see why I rarely gamble. Congrats to the Colts and their fans for the Super Bowl victory, and to Bears fans - there's always next time.

Meanwhile, on the theatre front (you know, the actual topic of this humble blog), things are starting to heat up - some great shows are on the way for February. We'll have a preview soon and we'll try to stick to that topic and avoid sports as much as possible. If just to avoid embarrassing me any more.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Sunday

The big drama today is unfolding in Miami, as the teams get ready to duke it out in the Super Bowl.

My prediction? Well, since my youngest son is going to school in Chicago, and all the media seems to have already decided this is the "Peyton Manning Super Bowl' (thereby putting the hex on him), I'll go with Chicago (Da Bears) to win this one, 38 to 28.

Personally, I always look at the Super Bowl as a day of mourning, since it means no more football for many months to come.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

So You Want to Put on a Show... (Part 3)

So you’ve lined up some money and decided which show you want to do. Here’s the most important advice ever for tackling a community theatre show: get help.

Putting on a show is a monstrous task, and the only way to accomplish it is by getting lots of help. The theatre bone yard is littered with the broken dreams of those who thought they could handle everything on their own. But one of the many dirty little secrets about theatre is that it’s actually a team sport. You gather talented people, and each person is assigned a job. As long as everyone does their part, you’ll end up with a successful performance.

So you need to assemble a team. Jobs tend to vary according to each team, and sometimes more than one person combines efforts to manage a single job, but here’s a rough division of labor. You’ll need: a Director to deal with the actors, set up rehearsals and generally guide the production from beginning to end; and a Producer to handle the behind-the-scenes jobs, including coordinating costume and set construction, organizing volunteers and tech people and a few thousand other details.

Assuming you’re doing a musical, you’ll need a Music Director to teach the music to the cast and guide the musicians who will accompany the performance, and you’ll need a Choreographer to design and teach the dancing involved.

That’s the core of the team you’ll need, although there are lots of other people you’ll need, including a costume designer, someone to manage set construction, a stage manager to organize the tech crew during performances, and many more.

Once you have you team assembled, then it’s time for the fun to start, and every show kicks off the same way: with auditions.

Next: Looking for talent.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Coming Attractions

You can catch the play "Great Expectations" Monday at the Paramount in Ashland. There's a lot more details and info here.

Also, don't forget about the auditions for 5th Avenue Theatre's "The Music Man" this weekend at the Huntington City Hall auditorium, which we told you about here.

On a more personal note, I hope to have an announcement soon about a certain show I'm hoping to direct in the fall. First I have to talk some friends into it. More on that as news develops.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


This post is #100 in the series (collect 'em all)!

So let's see, we started this humble blog on October 4, so that means it's been rolling along for just under 120 days - so that averages out to almost a post a day - not bad!

Hope you've enjoyed the ride so far - we have lots more stories to tell, shows to preview and review, and assorted other nonsense to keep you on your toes!

Thanks for reading - let's see if I can score a perfect score (at least one post a day) for the next 100! (But no promises.)

Vote Early and Often

My pal Angela Henderson sent along this comment about the "Grease: You're the One That I Want" show, printed out here in case you missed it:

<< Okay, so here's the deal for all of you Derek fans out there. Yes, NBC is giving people a second chance to vote this week based on last week's performances. You can vote on-line at www.nbc.com from 10:55 p.m. to 5 a.m. this Sunday/Monday. HOWEVER, you can only vote 10 times per e-mail address. You can vote 200 times by phone and those lines will be open from 10:55 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday/Monday. As you may recall, Derek's number was 1-888-IVOTE-01. >>

Thanks, Angela! She's so good at this blogging thing that she has two sites, which you'll find to the right - one on TV (Stay Tuned) and one on American Idol.