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.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

On Stage This Weekend - "Les Mis," "39 Steps," "Steel Magnolias" and "Murder"

   You have four great shows to choose from this weekend! Here's the list, courtesy of my pal Ryan Hardiman:

Les Misérables (Musical)
by Boublil and Schönberg
The Charleston Light Opera Guild / The Clay Center
Friday and Saturday, November 1,2 / 8,9 2013 at 7:30pm
Matinee performances Sunday, November 3 and 10 at 2pm
Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences
Maier Performance Hall
One Clay Square, Charleston, WV 25301
$25 Reserved tickets available NOW at the Clay Center Box Office. Call 304-561-3570 or walk up. Open 7 days a week 8:30am – 6pm or online at theclaycenter.org

Music, Murder and Mayhem! (Interactive Murder Party)
Murder and Merriment
"Killer Fundraiser" for the Alban Arts Center
Fri Nov 1 at 7pm
Alban Arts Center
65 Olde Main, St. Albans, WV
Tickets $40 single or $70 per couple, Reservations required
Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served
(Wine shall only be served to those 21 and over with ID).

The 39 Steps (Play)
Portsmouth Little Theatre
Fri-Sat November 1-2 at 7:30 p.m.
Portsmouth Little Theatre
1117 Lawson Street, Portsmouth, OH
Adults $12 / Students-Seniors $10

Steel Magnolias (Play)
Jackson County Players
Sat Nov 2 at 7PM
Matinee Sun Nov 3 at 2pm
The Alpine Theatre
Ripley, WV
Adults $10 / Youth $5
Tickets available at Jackson County Public Libraries

   So get out there and support your community theatre!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Three Days and Counting...

   Only three days until one of the year's biggest community theatre shows takes the stage at the Clay Center! 

   It's one of my all-time favorites (and after you see it, I'll bet it's yours, too). Of course, I'm talking about CLOG's production of the musical Les Miserables!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Concert

   Here's a great show to catch Tuesday night: the Cabell Midland High School and Huntington High School orchestras will team up for the annual Halloween Concert on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013 at 7 p.m. in the Cabell Midland auditorium.  

   The orchestra will be accompanied by members of the area middle school string programs   The middle school students and  the high school students will perform two songs together in the beginning of the concert.  All the students will dress in Halloween costumes during the concert.  

   The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. 

   For more information contact Ron Caviani at 304-743-7425

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Auditions for "South Pacific"

   Auditions are being held this week for a classic musical. 

  The Portsmouth Little Theatre will hold auditions for Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific on Oct. 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. 

   Directed by Jason Chaney with Musical Direction by Linda Tieman, the show will be presented Feb. 14, 15, 16, 21 and 22. 

   The auditions will be held at 1117 Lawson Street in Portsmouth.

   Come prepared with a song and for cold readings from the script. 

   For questions or more information email: jasonc@pltlive.com.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On Stage This Weekend

   You have lots of shows to choose from this weekend - comedy, musicals, horror, mystery - you name it!

   Here's the rundown, courtesy of my pal Ryan Hardiman:

Night of the Living Dead (Play)

Kanawha Players
Fri.-Sat., Oct. 25-26 at 8 p.m.
Kanawha Players Theater
309 Beauregard St. Charleston, WV
$12 Adults / $10 Senior Citizens, Kids under 18, Students with ID

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Musical)
Alban Arts Center
Fri.-Sat., Oct. 25-26 at 8 p.m.
Matinee Sun., Oct. 27 at 2 p.m.
Alban Arts Center
65 Olde Main, St. Albans, W.Va.
$15 Adults / $10 Seniors and Children 12 and under

The 39 Steps (Play)
Portsmouth Little Theatre 
Fri.-Sat., Oct. 25-26 and Nov. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m.
Portsmouth Little Theatre 
1117 Lawson Street, Portsmouth, Ohio
Adults $12 / Students-Seniors $10

Kiss Me Kate By Cole Porter (Musical)
Ashland Community and Technical Collece (ACTC)
Thur.-Sat., Oct. 24-26 at 8 p.m.
Matinees Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m.
ACTC - JB Sowards Theatre
Ashland, Ky.
$8 Adults / $5 Students/Seniors/Groups

Murder on the 20th Century Ltd! (Interactive Murder Dinner Party)
Murder and Merriment
Fri.-Sat., Oct. 25-26 at 7 p.m..
Heritage Station
210 11th St., Huntington
$40, Reservations required

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Coming Soon: "Les Miserables"

   Coming up next week, the Charleston Light Opera Guild tackles one of its biggest productions ever (and that's saying something): the musical Les Miserables!

   Here's a press release about the production, and word to the wise: buy your tickets soon. You don't want to miss this one.
Box Office Now Open for Charleston Light Opera Guild & the Clay Center presentation of  Les Misérables

All seats are reserved for only $25
Call 304-561-3570
Box Office Hours 7 days a week 8:30am – 6pm
Buy Online at theclaycenter.org
Maier Foundation Performance Hall
Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences
Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1, 2 , 8 and 9, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees Sunday, Nov. 3 and 10 at 2 p.m.
The Charleston Light Opera Guild and the Clay Center are collaborating to produce our largest and most expensive production in the Charleston Light Opera Guild’s 65 year history. 

The London production of Les Misérables has been running continuously since October 1985. The original Broadway production won eight Tony Awards and ran for 6,680 performances, making it the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history.

This is the first time the rights to Les Misérables have been available to amateur community theatre groups!  The Charleston Light Opera Guild and the Clay Center jumped at the chance to produce this masterpiece of musical theatre.

One hundred eighty people auditioned to be in a cast of 72. There is a live orchestra and the sets and costumes are from a major touring company.

Entertaining and riveting, this world famous musical phenomenon is an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss. 

Les Misérables Cast

Jean Valjean – Ryan Hardiman
Javert – Chris Terpening
Fantine – Emily Capece
Eponine – Beth Winkler Bowden
Cosette – Brynna Horswell
Marius – Evan Sullivan
Enjolras – Jonathan Tucker
Thenardier – Alan Pennington
Madame Thenardier – Laurie Pennington
Bishop/Grantaire – Ted Rose
Foreman/Courfeyrac - Jamison Miller
Pimp/Feuilly – Kris Corbett
Gavroche – Will Manahan
Young Cosette – Bria White
Young Eponine – Grace Javins
Factory Girl – Andrea Parkins
Bamtabois/Babet – Rick Fleenor
Sailor 1/Montparnasse – Mark Felton
Faucheevelant / Brujon – Tim Whitener
Constable/Drinker 4 – John Valleau
Constable/Drinker 1 – Alan Smith
Prologue Inkeeper – Kennie Bass
Prouvaire – Cameron Vance
Joly – Austin Thomas
Prison Guard - Horace Emery
Student – Jacob Fleck
Student/Sailor 3/ Cambferre – Ethan Lyvers
Student – Trey Harris
Chain Gang/Student – Stephen Hayward
Chain Gang – Eric Hudnall
Claquesous – Bob McCarty
Chain Gang/Sailor 2 – Paul Shannon
Prison Guard – Carl Simpkins
Student – Clayton Strohmenger
Student – Blake Whitener
Prostitute – Lynn Bell
Worker/Diner – Elizabeth Cary Brown
Worker 1/Old Woman – Dionne Canterbury
Townsperson – Victoria Casey
Worker/Bishop’s Sister – Lindsey Duvall
Townsperson – Anne Marie Haddy
Inn Wife/Old Woman – Kimberly Harry
Bishop’s Sister/Whore – Kim Javins
Whore/Old Beggar Woman – Cassia King
Prostitute - Pam Kessler
Worker 4/Young Prostitute – Katlin Kouns
Prostitute – Lauren Meyer
Worker/Beggar – Lily Odekirk
Beggar – Cassandra Phelps
Prostitute/Nurse – Whitney Pressley
Worker/Beggar - Jennifer Rizzi
Worker/Beggar – Aubrey Roberts
Prostitute/Beggar 2 – Rachel Scarpelli
Worker 2/Urchin – Katie Shaver
Worker/Beggar – Taylor Shaw
Worker/Woman 2 – Carly Thaw
Poor/Whore 2 – Susanna Tucker

Les Misérables Staff

Director – Nina Denton Pasinetti
Musical Director – John Marshall
Accompanist – David Patrick
Technical Director – Thomas Pasinetti
Stage Manager – Stevie Brigode
Guild Board President - Tim Whitener 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Final Interview With the Cast of "Shenandoah"

    This afternoon I caught the final performance of the musical Shenandoah at the Renaissance Theatre in Huntington - and I’m so glad I did!

   It was a wonderful show, with great music, terrific dancing and powerful performances by an all-star cast (and an amazing orchestra). I’ll have more to say about it in the week ahead, but it was something special - I hope you saw it!
   We're running late with this, but we have three interviews to share with some of the young actors who starred in the show (my apologies for the technical difficulties that kept me from posting this sooner). Let’s hear from Armaan Karimpour, Trinity Tiffany and Xavier Stambaugh:

Q: Shenandoah was a popular film - but in case our reader isn’t familiar with it, tell us the basic story.
Tiffany: Set in the civil war and a family who doesn’t want to be involved in the war but everyone around them is trying to drag them into it. 
Armaan: Takes place during 1863 during the Civil War and the Yankees and confederates are starting to get close to Shenandoah where the Anderson family lives. They are trying to stay out of the war and the cannons and fights are starting to get closer. James thinks they should be involved in the war while Charlie says it’s not their war and it doesn’t concern them, until the youngest son gets stolen by the Yankees.
Xavier: It’s a story about the Civil War and how a family starts to fight about the war and they think their land is going to get destroyed if they don’t fight. In the midst of that the boy gets taken by the Union. They go to find him and they are actually dragged into the war. 

Q: Tell us about the character you play.
Triunity: I play a Civil War girl whose dad goes off to help with the war and carry prisoners and slaves in his train. 
Armaan: The Boy is the youngest Anderson son. He likes to mimic people, especially his brothers and the pastor. He can be very playful, but he doesn’t like fighting best. 
Xavier: My character is a confederate soldier that fights in the war and is very young. The Confederate army is running out of soldiers so they start allowing younger boys to fight. I’m very scared because I really don’t want to fight but I’m made to.

Q: What’s your favorite song in the show?
Armaan: My favorite song is “Next to Lovin’.”
Trinity: “Next to Lovin’.”
Xavier: My favorite song is “Raise the Flag of Dixie.”

Q: What’s your background in theatre?
Xavier: I’ve been in The Music Man at Backstage Players, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and ACTC’s The Christmas Carol three times. 
Armaan: I’ve done five other shows including Seussical the Musical, The Little Mermaid and The Bully Plays.
Trinity: I’ve taken Helen Freeman’s Monday night acting classes and then became involved in HOT.

Q: What’s the most challenging thing in this show?
Armaan: Acting with all the adults. It’s different from children’s theatre.
Trinity: Learning about what they did during the Civil War time and how they did things.
Xavier: Trying to get used to all the different personalities in the play.

Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Armaan: It’s a good story. It’s a show about how important family can be.
Trinity: It’s fun to watch and you also learn things while watching it.
Xavier: It has a good story line and teaches you about sticking together as a family.


"The Magic Flute" - An Interview

   It's a great weekend for music lovers, as Marshall University's School of Music and Theatre offers a performance of The Magic Flute!

   Here's an interview with one of the musicians taking part in today's final performance - Olivia Hay:

Q: For those who aren’t familiar The Magic Flute, tell us about it.

Olivia: The Magic Flute is an opera by Mozart, an incredible composer from the 18th century who is still quite famous for his operas. This opera tells the story of Tamino, a prince, who must undergo many trials in his quest for the beautiful Pamina. However, the plot, though quite complex and interesting, pales in comparison to the pure genius of the music as it brings the audience on journey of emotions while the plot progresses.

Q: What's your part in the performance? 

Olivia: I am a violinist in the orchestra. The orchestra sets the mood for the opera with the overture, introduces many of the arias, and lays a groundwork of support for the singers.

Q: What's your background in music?   

Olivia: I have played violin for 10 years, and piano for 12. Now I am in my second year of study at Marshall University, majoring in Violin Performance and Music Education. I have performed with several orchestras and participated in various festivals over the years, but this opera is the greatest musical experience I have been privileged to be a part of. 

Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers? 

Olivia: Everyone participating in this production is simply ecstatic to share this music with the community. The greatest joy in music is in sharing with others, and we can not wait to share our excitement. The music speaks for itself, and the performers are simply wonderful! It is the best kind of entertainment, and I think everyone will enjoy it.

Q: Tell us the dates, times and place for the show.

Olivia: The final concert at City Hall in Huntington will be on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 3:00 p.m. 

   Thanks, Olivia!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Technical Difficulties - and Final Shows for "Superman," "Shenandoah" and "The Magic Flute"

   Sorry for the lack of posts, gentle readers - your pal Chuck has been shut down by the crashing and burning of his Internet access - this tiny update is about all I can manage right now.

   It's especially aggravating because there are so many great shows running in our area this weekend - tomorrow, for example, is your last chance to catch the musical It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman, which is being presented by First Stage Theatre at the new Huntington High School. The final show starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

   It's also the final show for the musical Shenandoah, which is being presented by ARTS. It's a touching show about a family buffeted by the Civil War. The final show is at 2 p.m. Sunday at the old Huntington High School at 900 8th Street.

   It's also the last performance of the opera The Magic Flute at 3 p.m. at the Huntington City Hall auditorium. It's presented by the Marshall University School of Music and Theatre. And it's in English!

   All three shows are real delights, and I've heard nothing but rave reviews - so pick one and support your local arts efforts. They're counting on you!

Interview #5 With the Cast of "Shenandoah"

   I've been struggling with some Internet issues, but I'm going to do my best to share the last few interviews I have with the cast of the show Shenandoah (Internet, don't fail me now)!

   The musical wraps up its run this weekend at the Renaissance Theatre in Huntington.

   Let’s hear from my pal, the talented Jonathan Armstrong, who plays a Confederate Soldier and Federal Purchasing Agent:
Q: Shenandoah was a popular film - but in case our reader isn’t familiar with it, tell us the basic story.
Jonathan: Shenandoah is about the Anderson family who has mixed emotions about joining the Civil War. The father, Charlie Anderson, believes it does not involve his family. The brothers have conflicting views on the war. The Anderson family is forced into the war in one way or another and their responses to the varying situations become the focus. 
Q: Tell us about the character you play.
Jonathan: I am a Confederate soldier who wants to protect the state of Virginia. Virginia is under attack and my duty to the state is to lay down my life to protect it. 
Q: What’s your favorite part of the show?
Jonathan: My favorite part of the show is when Charlie Anderson realizes the consequences the war has had on his family and takes it out on a Confederate soldier. 
Q: What’s your background in theatre?
Jonathan: The Man Who Came to Dinner and church skits. 
Q: What’s the most challenging thing in this show?
Jonathan: The rifle routine in the first number. 
Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Jonathan: Shenandoah shows the cause and effect of life. 
Q: Tell us the dates, times and place for the show.
Jonathan: The show runs Oct. 18, 19 and 20, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at ARTS Resources for the Tri-State in the old Huntington High School theatre at 900 8th Street.
   Thanks, Jonathan!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Interview #4 with the Cast of "Shenandoah"

  This weekend is your last chance to catch the musical Shenandoah on stage in Huntington, so let’s share a few more interviews with the cast.

   Today let’s hear from one of the youngest actors in the show - Will Meadows, who plays the part of Gabriel:

Q: Shenandoah was a popular film - but in case our reader isn't familiar with it, tell us the basic story.

Will: Shenandoah is a Civil War-era musical set in the fall of 1863. The action of the play takes place in the Shenandoah Valley, Va., after the Confederate loss at Gettysburg. The story is centered on Charlie Anderson, his six sons, one daughter, and expecting daughter-in-law. Charlie Anderson is a farmer and widower of 12 years who has decided that the Civil War is not his war, and that his family is not going to take part in it. This Tony Award-winning musical is based on the Jimmy Stewart movie of the same name. Shenandoah is about family and duty in the most challenging of times. 
Q: Tell us about the character you play.
Will: I play a black 12-year-old slave who goes to the Anderson’s house a lot. He’s best friends with their youngest son. 
Q: What’s your favorite part (or song) of the show?
Will: “Freedom.”
Q: What’s your background in theatre?
Will: I made my theatre debut in HOT’s Hairspray this summer.
Q: What’s the most challenging thing in this show?
Will: Trying to talk like a slave. They didn’t use proper grammar.
Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Will: It’s good! You get to see all aspects of the war that people don’t think about. 
Q: Tell us the dates, times and place for the show.
Will: The show runs Oct. 18, 19 and 20, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at ARTS Resources for the Tri-State in the old Huntington High School theatre at 900 8th Street.
   Thanks, Will!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Auditions for "Laughter on the 23rd Floor"

   Here's a note from my pal Mike Murdock about auditions Monday and Tuesday night for the next ARTS show: Laughter on the 23rd Floor:

TOMORROW! (Monday & Tuesday) 7 p.m.! (Both days)

AUDITIONS for Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor
It's the final show in the ARTS inaugural season.
It's directed by Mike Murdock.

It's an ensemble, fast-paced, HILARIOUS comedy. Simon's funniest, in my opinion!

We'll be doing cold readings!

I need SIX GUYS for the following roles!

Max Prince (Star of the Max Prince show): Mid-40s to early 50s.
He appears to be taller than he is because he exudes great strength. His strength comes more from his anger than from his physique. He dominates a room with his personality. You must watch him because he's like a truck you can't get out of the way of. He is quixotic, changing quickly from warm, infectious laughter to sullen anger. He is often monosyllabic, offering a word or two to convey his thoughts.

Lucas Brickman (New Writer): early 20s, sincere and sensible.

Milt Fields (Flamboyant): Mid-20s to 40s, Milt is a gag man, a joke-a-minute wholesaler who deals in fast paced patter.

Brian Doyle (Irish American): Mid-20s to mid-40s. A heavy smoker, a heavy cougher and a heavy drinker, but with a biting sense of humor as caustic as his outlook on life.

Kenny Franks (Wiz kid): Late-20s to Mid-30s. Boy genius and the most sophisticated of the writers.

Ira Stone (Hypochondriac): Late 20s to early 40s. A hypochondriac who comes in late every day with a new ailment. His greatest wish in life was to have a virus named after him.

The rest of the info you need is probably in the description of the event! Here it is:


There's never been a better time to be at ARTS! Join us, won't you?

   By the way, I agree with Mike - I think this is Neil Simon's funniest play!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

"Superman" - a Review

   There are two great shows on stage this weekend and next in Huntingotn. One is Shenandoah at the old Huntington High School - I haven't seen it yet, but a friend saw it last night and he loved it.

   My lovely wife and I did see It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman last night, and had a great time - it's a fun throwback to the 1960s with wonderful performances, terrific singing and dancing, an outstanding orchestra and great flying effects. But I admit I'm prejudiced - I'm on the board of First Stage Theatre Company.

   So instad, let's get a review from a theatre newbie (and his much more experienced dad), as local playwright Jonathan Joy joins forces with his three-and-a-half-year-old son Levi to review "Superman:"

(Jon notes that this review contains SPOILERS regarding the preshow.)

Jon: Did you like the play?
Levi: Uh-huh.

Jon: What was your favorite part?
Levi: Spider-Man. (Spider-Man makes an appearance during the preshow and my son is a huge Spider-Man fan.)

Jon: Did you like the singing and dancing?
Levi: Yes.

Jon: Did you like it when Superman was flying through the air?
Levi: Yes. 

Jon: Do you want me to take you to see more plays?
Levi: Yes!

He also talked quite a bit about the ninjas and, upon returning home, proclaimed at least six times, "It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Superman!"

He thoroughly enjoyed it. 

He was also a big fan of the bathroom at Huntington High School, as we made at least five trips in just under two hours.

He did have one suggestion. He thought Iceman and Firestar should have also been included in the preshow. (Big thumbs up for including one of the Incredibles, though.)

I was a bit concerned halfway through the first act when he asked to leave, but it turned out he just had to go to the bathroom. Each time we went to the bathroom he said, "We better hurry. Superman is going to be very angry."

Nice job, First Stage! Thank you very much!

   Thanks, Jon and Levi! I told Jon we'd be glad to share any future reviews in this space!

Friday, October 11, 2013


   There's a great story in today's Herald-Dispatch by Dave Lavender about the musical Shenandoah, which takes the stage tonight at the old Huntington High School. (The photo above is by Toril Lavender.)

   You can read the story right here - and here's an excerpt:

   If you hear musket fire from inside the old Huntington High School this weekend, you might not want to call the cops, it's just the folks at Arts Resources of the Tri-State turning back the clock to the drama of the Civil War. 
   Armed with an orchestra, a more than 40-member cast and crew and a Tony Award-winning story, director Stephen Vance and ARTS presents a rare local performance of the Civil War-themed musical "Shenandoah" at the Huntington High Renaissance Center, located at 900 8th St., Huntington. 
   "Shenandoah," runs 8 p.m. Oct. 11-12 and Oct. 18-19. Matinee shows are 3 p.m. on Oct. 13 and 20. Cost is $15 for show only and $30 for Friday and Saturday dinner and a show. 
   Call 304 733 ARTS(2787) or get tickets at the door. Dinner reservations fill up quickly and should be reserved in advance. 
   Vance, one of ARTS' four company directors, which also includes Gene Anthony, Bil Neal and Michael Murdock, said he picked this musical to do after falling in love with a song from the show ("I've Heard it All Before") that Neal sang a couple years ago at a cabaret. 
   "The original reason I picked the show was hearing him sing a song from the show, and then when I read the script it was crazy good. The script is what won it the Tony for Best Book." Vance said the fact that the musical, which was out in 1974-1975, and based on the 1965 non-musical film starring Jimmy Stewart, had never been done here was a good reason to put on the show, as was the fact that this is the 150th anniversary of West Virginia, the only state born out of the Civil War.

On Stage This Weekend: "Superman," "Shenandoah," "Seussical" and "Charlotte"

   Lots of great shows taking the stage this weekend - and they all start tonight! 

   Here, courtesy of my pal Ryan Hardiman, is the rundown for this weekend:

- It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman! (Musical)
First Stage Theatre Company
Fri.-Sat., Oct 11-12 and 18-19 at 7 p.m.
Matinees Sun Oct 13 and 20 at 2 p.m.
Huntington High School (The new one)
1 Highlander Way, Huntington, WV
$12 Adult / $10 Child and Seniors / Group rate available

- Shenandoah (Musical)
Arts Resources for the Tri-State (ARTS)
Fri.-Sat., Oct. 11-12 / 18-19 at 8 p.m. (Dinner at 6:30 p.m.)
Matinees Sun., Oct 13 and 20 at 2 p.m.
ARTS Renaissance Theatre at Old Huntington High School
900 8th Street, Huntington, WV
$15 Show Only, $30 Dinner & Show (Dinner available Oct 11, 18, 19)
Call 304-733-2787 for reservations.

- Seussical, Jr. (Musical)
Children's Theatre of Charleston
Fri., Oct 11 at 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct 12 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sun., Oct 13 at 2 p.m.
Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre
200 Civic Center Dr, Charleston, WV
$12 Adults / $10 Students under 18

- Charlotte's Web (Play)
Capital High School
Fri,.-Sat., Oct. 11 - 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Capital High School
1500 Greenbrier St. Charleston, WV
Adults $10, students $6, children 5 and under free

- The Ghost of Windsor Manor (Interactive Murder Dinner Party)
Murder and Merriment
Fri.-Sat., October 11 - 12 at 7 p.m..
Greenhouse of Teays Valley
Hurricane, WV
$40, Reservations required

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Interview #4 With the Cast of "Superman!"

   For our fourth interview with the cast of It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman, let’s hear from the most famous female reporter ever - Lois Lane!
   Superman’s love interest is played by the talented and lovely Meg Barber - here’s what she had to say about having a crush on the Man of Steel:
Q: Everyone knows Superman - but what's the basic story of the musical?

Meg: The musical basically tells the story of Superman and his influence throughout this city. It involved a love story, an evil villain, a competitive news paper boy... pretty much everything that was in the first series of the comics.

Q: Tell us about the character you play.

Meg: I'm Lois Lane. Ms. Lane grew up on a farm and is extremely goal driven. She very much wants to be the best reporter in Metropolis; however, she falls in love and that shakes things up quite a bit. I can personally relate to Lois very well and I love being able to transform into her.

Q: What's your favorite song in the show?

Meg: I enjoy the songs "We Need Him" and "I'm Not Finished Yet.”

Q: What's your background in theatre?

Meg: I have been in plays since the fourth grade, my first being Babes in Toyland. Ever since I've been hooked! I've played Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical, Lucy in Snoopy the Musical, and several others. I attended the Governors School of the Arts for Vocal music this past summer, take voice lessons, and tap and ballet.

Q: If you get to fly in the show - what's it like (is it as much fun as it looks)?

Meg: It's very painful but a blast! I wish I could fly more!

Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?

Meg: It's a great family show. Not only does it involve a beloved superhero, but also includes a great story that everyone will love. 

Q: Tell us the dates, times and place for the show.

Meg: The two middle weekends in October, Huntington High School!

   Thanks, Meg! The show starts tomorrow (Friday) at 7 p.m. - don’t miss it!

"Shenandoah" Photo Gallery

    You can catch some great photos from the musical Shenandoah on the Herald-Dispatch's photo gallery right here.

    The photos (including the one above) were taken by Toril Lavender. The show starts this Friday at the Renaissance Theatre in Huntington!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Interview #3 With the Cast of "Superman!"

   What could be more fun than playing the bad guy?

   For our third interview with the cast of the musical It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman (which takes the stage this Friday in Huntington), let’s hear from the “heavy” in the show, played by the talented Chris Drown:

Q: Everyone knows Superman - but what's the basic story of the musical?
Chris: The musical takes a complete different approach to the well-known story of Superman. It keeps the basic backstory, but it adds so much to it, letting the audience see the story unfold on Superman’s inner-self, a corrupt reporter’s lust for power, an evil scientist’s (me) journey for “Revenge,” and a woman’s hopeless love towards the incredible symbol of goodness.
Q: Tell us about the character you play.
Chris: I play the nefarious Dr. Abner Sedgwick, the 10-time Nobel Prize loser, who has an extreme need to get revenge on the world who slighted him from his life’s ambition. How is he going to do that? By destroying Superman, of course!
Q: What's your favorite part (or song) of the show?
Chris: The show is so wonderful that it is hard to choose! The talent in the cast is tremendous, and we all provide wonderful renditions of our characters’ songs and scenes. I absolutely love the songs “You’ve Got Possibilities,” “It’s Superman,” “Revenge,” and “You’ve Got What I Need.” The list goes on and on.
Q: What's your background in theatre?
Chris: I am relatively new to theatre. I started at Huntington High as a freshman in the plays Alice in Wonderland and Grease. This is my third show, and first principal role, and I am absolutely loving the opportunity, and hope to continue pursuing theatre for a very long time.
Q: If you get to fly in the show, what's it like (is it as much fun as it looks)?
Chris: I don’t get to fly, but from what I see, I am very glad I don’t have to. It looks rather frightening.
Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Chris: I wish for absolutely everyone to see this show. The talent far exceeds children’s theatre, and bounds to an almost professional level. It is an extraordinary sight to see, with exceptional special effects, and incredible direction and choreography. This show is a spectacle that you will never forget.
Q: Tell us the dates, times and place for the show.
Chris: The show takes place at (the new) Huntington High School on Oct. 10, 11, 12, 18, 19 and 20 - Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. 
   Thanks, Chris!

Interview #3 With the Cast of "Shenandoah!"

   For our third interview with the cast of Shenandoah, let’s hear from my pal Bil Neal, a wonderful guy and a triple threat - he’s a terrific actor, a wonderful director and is doing an amazing job as the current president of ARTS!

   He has some delightful comments to share about this show, which starts this Friday at the Renaissance Theatre in Huntington:

Q: Shenandoah was a popular film - but in case our reader isn't familiar with it, tell us the basic story. 

Bil: The story of Shenandoah involves one man's struggle to protect his family, and keep them out of the Civil War. I play that man, Charlie Anderson.  

Q: What's your favorite part of the show? 

Bil: This is an great story, and I get to work with some awesome actors from the area. There's just too much about it that I enjoy. 

   The last time I was onstage with Jesse Riggs he played my adversary in fighting over a woman. This time he plays my oldest son. He brings such a sweet honesty to this role that I enjoy our stage time together. 

   Playing my second son, James, is Eric Wilson. Such a pleasure to work with him - such a strong actor, and an all-around Good Guy. 

   In the role of Nathan is another stage local favorite - Brian Cook. Having played my son onstage once before, I can only say that any man would be pleased to call him "Son." I certainly am, even if it’s only again onstage. 

   Clay McKnight is my son John. So many enjoyed his work in Cabaret and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and I'm a huge fan. 

   As my only daughter, Jenny, I've really enjoyed the rehearsal process with Emma Grace Imes. One of the youngest members of ARTS Company, and certainly a pleasure to watch. I'm crazy about her. 

   I've always enjoyed Andrew Surber every time I've seen him on area stages. He catches your eye, and he's so much fun. He brings that playfulness to life at ARTS as my son, Henry. I'd love to work with him again... and often.

   Arman Karimpour has a special place in my heart, as my youngest son Robert. I think he's the son who looks most like me physically, but he certainly dances better than I do. When he sings and dances with Will Meadows I stay in the wings and watch. They're both a pleasure to have working with us. 

   I've never gotten to sing with Leann Haines. It's still a dream of mine (she's amazingly talented that way), but this time I do get to have her as a daughter-in-law.  The poignancy and quiet strength she brings to the role of Anne is lovely. 

   It's so good to have Eric Newfeld around anywhere, but when you're looking for a son-in-law (onstage or off), there are few that reach the level our man Eric does.  

   I may be biased, but I think Jonathan Maynard is excellent in this role. I've enjoyed every minute I've gotten to work with him.  

   I've enjoyed Tristan Reynolds in several ARTS shows this year, and with good reason.  He's really good with what he brings in this production. You may be surprised to know that his younger sister Fiona also has substantial talent. As the guy who sits directly in front of her while she's singing, I'm amazed at the quality and volume that child produces. 

   There's so many more people I'd love to brag on in this production, I could talk about all of them for days, but you asked me what's my favorite part of this show?  The people... and the characters they've created. 

   I loved watching Coni Anthony work her magic for me in How to Succeed, and she has (mercifully) chosen to not rely on my innate dancing abilities and work my sons instead. I love that. 

   Mike Naglee? Really? Awesomeness onstage and off: fight choreographer: weapons master: husband of Jenn Naglee? I want to be him.  

   Director Stephen Vance took an eclectic group of theatre folk and has given us the time and space to play. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me, and I hope to get all the memories out of it that I can. I can't thank that guy enough for letting me be a part of this. 

Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers? 

Bil: Why wouldn't I recommend a show with these people?  Guns, singing, fighting, dancing, passion, war, love, and a full orchestra.  I'm having the time of my life. Please come see this show. 

Q: Tell us the dates, times and place for the show.

Bil: We're at the OLD Huntington High (900 Eighth Street in Huntington), the curtain goes up at 8 p.m. Oct. 11,12,18,19, and matinée on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Oct. 13 and 20. Join us for dinner if you like and make an evening of it!  Call 304-733-2787 for reservations.

   Thanks, Bil! And thanks to Stephen Vance for the photo!