The group's productions will all be presented at the Pullman Hotel Grande Ballroom.
Here's the lineup:
- Starry, Starry Night - a concert performance by more than 20 talented singers, including Deborah Wolfe, Ryan Hardiman, Shayne Gue, Melanie Shafer and Marina Jurica-Preston. They'll present more than 30 hits from such Broadway shows as Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Jekyl and Hyde and Guys and Dolls, just to name a few. Show times are 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12. Dinner will be at 7 p.m. Saturday and brunch is at 1 p.m. Sunday. Combo tickets (dinner and show) are $30 or show only for $15.
- The 25th Annual Spelling Bee - the musical comedy about the wildest spelling bee contest ever will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25, and Oct. 1-2, with Sunday matinees scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sept. 26, and Oct. 3.
- Little Shop of Horrors - the musical comedy about a strange plant and its effects on the life of a shy gardener will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29-30, and Nov. 5-6, with an additional midnight showing on Saturday, Oct. 30, and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 7.
Here's the story from today's Herald-Dispatch about this weekend's performance:
The forecast for this weekend is a 100 percent chance of a Starry Starry Night.
OK, so raindrops might be falling on your head Saturday, Sept. 11, but inside at the Grand Theatre inside the Pullman Plaza Hotel, WSAZ meteorologist Marina Jurica-Preston forecasts nothing but a Starry Starry Night.
Jurica-Preston, who's been a favorite featured singer on stages with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra and the Charleston Light Opera Guild, is directing a fund-raising concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, at the Pullman Plaza.
Dinner will be at 7 p.m. Saturday and brunch is at 1 p.m. Sunday. Combo tickets (dinner and show) are $30 or show only for $15.
The Broadway breezy, cabaret-style show will feature about two dozen local singers performing more than 30 hits from Broadway shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Jekyl and Hyde and Guys and Dolls, just to name a few.
Jurica-Preston, who put together a similar show about a year and a half ago for Arts Resources for the Tri-State, said the cabaret is a fun show and a great way to give the new Pullman Plaza Playhouse a quick monetary boost as it launches its first season of dinner theater shows.
"We did one of these for ARTS and sold out the two nights and it's just great because for cabaret there are no royalties so basically the cost is low to put on the show and a lot of it is just profit," Jurica-Preston said. "When Debbie Wolfe asked if we could kick off the Playhouse season with a cabaret we thought it was a perfect idea."
While the format is similar to the show they did for ARTS, she said they've super-sized the cast, swelling it from a dozen performers from Huntington to 26 coming from Kentucky, Ohio and as far away as Morgantown to do the show.
"Todd (her husband) and I have been here a little longer and we can pull a few more favors," Jurica-Preston said with a laugh. "It's a pretty impressive cast that we've drawn in from all over the area."
Just a few of the Charleston-based singers headed this way is the Pennington family, made up of professional guild actors, Alan and Lori and their daughter Kristen, a voice major at West Virginia University.
Cary Lantz-Brown, who was the lead in the recent Charleston Light Opera Guild show Barnum is coming over, as is Beth Winkler-Bowden, and a host of Huntington-area performers are singing, including WSAZ morning show anchor, Melanie Shafer, Nancy Jackson, Ryan Hardiman, Shayne Gue and Deborah Wolfe.
Jurica-Preston, who has been involved in productions in Charleston and Huntington, said it's great to see everyone rallying for the creation of the Playhouse, which has a two-show opening season, but which hopes to grow into a five-day-week professional dinner theater much like the now-defunct Mountaineer Dinner Theater.
"We are thankful that all of these people are wanting to help out the theater company and can share our passion for wanting to see a dinner theater here," Jurica-Preston said.
Jurica-Preston said folks will love the diversity of the evening's songs that range from classic shows such as 42nd Street, to the latest modern musicals such as Mamma Mia and Hairspray.
In fact, Jurica-Preston and Hardiman are going to be singing a song from a new show, The Pirate Queen, that most people have not heard yet.
The main accompanist will be Mark Smith for the show that will feature a mix of duets, trios and quartets with a few solos splashed in along the way.
There will also be songs from the Playhouse's two fall shows the 25th Annual Spelling Bee, which will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25, and Oct. 1-2, with Sunday matinees scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sept. 26, and Oct. 3, as well as Little Shop of Horrors, which will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29-30, and Nov. 5-6, with an additional midnight showing on Saturday, Oct. 30, and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 7.
Jurica-Preston, whose husband Todd is directing "Spelling Bee" with Clara Adkins, said everyone is getting excited about the kick-off of the new downtown dinner theater.
"I think the dinner theater is great," Jurica-Preston said. "Debbie saw this void in the area since there has been nothing like the Mountaineer since it closed. People love dinner theater and being with friends at a table and being in a great environment and sharing a great meal... We have a venue and that is usually the hardest thing to get, so now it is just about getting it all set up and getting lights and sound and a stage. We're starting with the bare bones of a room and we have two shows this season and we want it to look spectacular."
CONTACT: For more information, call Shayne Gue at 304-412-0129 or Deborah Wolfe at 304-525-1001, e-mail at email@example.com or contact Gue through Facebook or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THE WEB: Go online at www.pullmanplaza.com for more info about overnight packages for the Playhouse shows.