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Tri-State Theater

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

Don't Forget "Honk, Jr."

   Whoops, this one almost slipped by me - here a note from my pal Eddie Harbert about a special performance this weekend:

   The City of Huntington Foundation and Camp 5th Avenue Younger Camp will present Honk, Jr.   Friday and Saturday evenings, June 27 and 28,  at 7 p.m. in City Hall Auditorium. Cost is $10. 

   Come support the thespians of tomorrow and get your HONK on!

   (Honk, Jr. is, of course, a musical based on the story of the Ugly Duckling - a terrific show, lots of fun!)

On Stage This Weekend: "Nunsense"


   The bad thing about being out of town on vacation was missing the opening weekend for Huntington's new summer theatre, HART!

   That group has kicked off its summer productions with Nunsense, the musical comedy about a small group of nuns who find themselves in hot water - and come up with an original way to solve their problems. It's a fast, funny show and well worth a visit to Ritter Park this weekend.

   Here's an excerpt from Dave Lavender's story in the Herald-Dispatch about the show:

   As the sky above the Ritter Park Amphitheater fades to black, the soft spotlight of the stage shines on the Rev. Mother, who is a bit "lit" herself -- Lord have mercy.
   Rolling around the stage and owning every square inch of it, the Rev. Mother (actress Mary Williams) gets steadily building waves of laughter from those at rehearsal and director Danny Ray nearly spits his last drink of water into the grass as he roars.
   Packed with more one-liners and laughs than the nearby hardwoods hold fireflies, the rollicking comedy musical "Nunsense," goes up at 8:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, June 27-29.
   Gates open at 6:30 nightly. The pre-show, "Adventures in Storyland," will begin at 7 p.m.
   Tickets for this first production of Huntington Area Regional Theatre or HART in the Park are $15, $20 for reserved and $10 for children at the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District office at Heritage Station, the Ritter Park Tennis Center, as well as online at www.ghprd.org. Tickets will also be available at the gate.
   Featuring the theatrical return of veteran director Danny Ray, the show (with musical direction by C.J. Casey and choreography by Sarah Hayes) "Nunsense" has an all-star local cast. The Reverend Mother is played by Mary Williams, Sister Hubert by Mary Olson, Sister Robert Anne by Jane Modlin, Sister Leo by Meg Barber, and Sister Amnesia by Cindy Westbrook.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On Stage This Weekend

    Here's the list of shows taking the stage this weekend, courtesy of my pal Ryan Hardiman:
- Nunsense (Musical)
by Dan Goggin
Huntington Area Regional Theatre (HART)
Fri-Sun, June 27-29 at 8:30 p.m.
Gates open for picnicking at 6:30 p.m.
Children's Preshow "Adventures in Storyland" at 7 p.m.
"HART's Superstar Preshow" at 7:30 p.m.
Nunsense at 8:30 p.m.
Ritter Park Amphitheater
1310 8th Ave, Huntington, WV
$15 Adults / $10 Children / $20 reserved Seats / Group Rates Available
Purchase tickets at gate, or in advance at Greater Huntington Park and Recreation Board office, Ritter Park Tennis Center or online at ghprd.org

- Catch Me If You Can – The Musical
Book by Terrence McNally, Music by Marc Shaiman, Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman
Based on the DreamWorks Motion Picture
Charleston Light Opera Guild (CLOG)
Fri-Sat, June 27-28 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees Sun, June 29 at 3 p.m.
Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre, 200 Civic Center Drive, Charleston, WV
All seats are reserved $20. Tickets sales begin in June 16 at Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre Box Office open Mon- Sat 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
304-343-2287

- The Blob (Musical)
Original- Music by Mark Scarpelli. Lyrics/book by Dan Kehde
Based on the classic 1958 Steve McQueen sci-fi movie
Contemporary Youth Arts Company (CYAC)
Thurs -Sat, June 25-28 at 8 p.m.
WVSU Capitol Center Theater
123 Summers St., Charleston, WV
$15 Adults / $8 students
304-342-6522

- Lost in Yonkers (Play)
by Neil Simon
Alban Arts Center
Fri-Sat, June 27-28 at 8 p.m.
Matinees Sun, June 29 at 2 p.m.
65 Olde Main St, St Albans, WV
$15 Adults / $10 Students and seniors
304-721-8896

- An Enemy of the People (Site specific play)
by Henrik Ibsen
New Brooklyn Theatre
Thurs-Sun, June 26 - 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Public Access Dock, Porters Hollow, Charleston WV
Ticket info unclear.

- Grandest Canyon (Play)
by Burton Bumgarner
Actors Guild of Parkersburg
Fri-Sat, June 27-28 at 8 p.m.
Matinee Sun, June 29 at 2:30 p.m.
Actors Guild of Parkersburg
724 Market Street, Parkersburg, W.Va. (corner of 8th and Market)
Adult $14 • Senior $12 • Student $12
304-485-1300

On Stage This Weekend: "The Blob!"

   I'm still catching up on the local theatre news! 
   For example, this is the final weekend for the musical based on one of the most beloved science fiction / monster movies of the all - The Blob!
   Here's the info about that production:
   The Contemporary Youth Arts Company Presents Scarpelli and Kehde’s The Blob!
   The 1958 Sci-Fi Classic Film comes to life with music, dancing, and romance, in Scarpelli and Kehde’s fun, family friendly musical The Blob, featuring performances by Nik Tidquist, Caitlin Moore, Daniel Calwell, Jeremy Drake, Austin Susman, Matthew Connelly, Maddy Gourevitch and a large supporting cast of singers, dancers and musicians. 
   The production includes twenty 1950s style rock and roll/ blues songs from Scarpelli and Kehde, with such titles as “Duck and Cover,” “Midnight Monster Marathon.” “A Boy To Hold Me," “Too Young To Ever Fall In Love, “Rocket Route Forty,” “Little Moon” and many more. A fun evening of entertainment for audiences of all ages!
Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28 at 8 p.m.
Tickets $15 Adults, $8 Students/Seniors
The Historic WVSU Capitol Center Theater
123 Summers Street, Charleston.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Cast of "Much Ado About Nothing"


   The next show on tap for ARTS is William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing  - and just moments ago they announced the cast for that show, which runs August 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 29 and 30.
Here's the list:
Benedick – Len Trent
Beatrice – Joanna Berner
Claudio – Eric Wilson
Hero – Emma Grace Imes
Don Pedro – Stephen Vance
Don John – Simon Woods
Borachio – Tyler Bradley
Conrade – Jinnie Knight
Leonato – Bill Stambaugh
Casino Staffer – Jonathan Maynard
Margaret – Sheila Meade
Ursula – Jamie Mathis
Balthazar – Nic Skaggs
Dogberry – Dylan Clark
Verges – Luke Matlock
Watchman #1 – Jonathan Armstrong
Watchman #2 – Andrew Surber
The Sexton – Frederick Walker
Friar Francis – Andrew Potter
Cigarette Girl / Showgirl #1 – Jocelyn Clark Knapp
Cigarette Girl / Showgirl #2 – Cyndi Mac Fuller
Woman at slot machine – Karen Kelly Pruitt
Man at slot machine – Todd Green
CREW:
Director: Mike Murdock
Choreographer: Coni Anthony
Stage Manager: Michael Sullivan
Light Board Operator: Tristan Reynolds
Sound Operator: Michael Sullivan
Costumes: Bil Neal
Set Design: Mark Harrison Near & Mike Murdock
Lighting Design: Stephen Vance & Mike Murdock
Sound Design: Michael Sullivan & Mike Murdock
Misc. Crew: Courtney Parsley, Todd Green, Karen Pruitt, Andrew Surber, Nic Scaggs, Laura Armstrong

Back Again!

   Sorry to have been quiet of late, gentle readers - your pal Chuck slipped away for a couple of weeks of vacation - namely, a long-planned trip with the family to Europe (please don't hate me).

   I scheduled some posts to hold you over while I was away, but now I'm back and I'll try to get back up to speed on local theatre activities and what shows you should be watching for.

   For example, ARTS just announced the cast for its next show - so that'll be our next post!

   It's great to be back!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

On Stage This Weekend

   The summer theatre season officially starts heating up this weekend - here are the shows to watch for:

- Nunsense - For its inaugural season, HART presents the musical comedy starring the crazy antics of five nuns from the Little Sisters of Hoboken convent. When their cook accidentally serves up some tainted soup, 52 of the sisters are poisoned and die, leaving only five living nuns who were not at home the day of the toxic meal. The sisters find themselves strapped for cash, so they decide to put on a benefit performance in order to raise the rest of the money before the health department discovers their secret. The show will be presented June 20, 21 and 22 at  8:30 p.m. at Huntington’s Ritter Park Ampitheater.

- Catch Me If You Can - Charleston Light Opera Guild will present the musical the true story of Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who runs away from home in search of the glamorous life, and the FBI agent Carl Hanratty, who chases him to the end. The show is punctuated by music from the swinging sounds of the 1960s. With nothing more than his boyish charm a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as an airline pilot, doctor and a lawyer – living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. The show will be presented on June 20, 21 and 22 at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre.

- The Blob - Contemporary Youth Arts Company (CYAC) presents this original musical with music by Mark Scarpelli and Lyrics and book by Dan Kehde. It's based on the classic 1958 Steve McQueen sci-fi movie. The show will be presented at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater at 123 Summers Street in Charleston on June 19 - 21 at 8 p.m., and June 22 at 2 p.m. 

Murder on the 20th Century, Ltd! - Murder and Merriment present the murder mystery on June 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. at the Greenhouse of Teays Valley, Hurricane, WV Tickets $40 each. www.murderandmerriment.com

Grandest Canyon - Actors Guild of Parkersburg presents the story of Isabelle and Imogene, who take a road trip to scatter their sister Ida’s ashes over the Grand Canyon. What they encounter along the way makes for a hilarious and touching discovery of the soul. Shows are June 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. and June 22 at 2:30 p.m. at 724 Market Street in Parkersburg (corner of 8th and Market).

Lost in Yonkers - Alban Arts Center presents the coming-of-age tale that focuses on Jay Kurnitz, left in the care of his grandmother and Aunt Bella in Yonkers, New York. Grandma is a severe, frightfully intimidating immigrant who terrified her children as they were growing up, damaging each of them to varying degrees. The play will be presented June 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. and June 22 at 2 p.m.
www.albanartscenter.com

An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein - LimeLight Theatre Company presents this tour through the darkly comic adult world of Shel Silverstein where nothing is as it seems and where the most innocent conversation can turn menacing in an instant. With familiar music (including "A Boy Named Sue" and "Cover of the Rolling Stone" written by Shel Silverstein and performed by Dennis Strom. The show will be presented June 20 and 21 at 9 p.m. at Timothy's Sports Bar at 1022 Quarrier St. (below Quarrier St. Diner).

   Jenny Wiley Theatre presents four shows in June:
- A Second Helping - June 19, 20 and 21.
- Peter Pan - June 19 and 20.

    So get out there and support your community theatre!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Helping Hand for the Kanawha Players

   The oldest theatre group in West Virginia needs your help!

   A special event designed to save the Kanawha Players will be held next weekend - Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22 at the Kanawha Players Theatre at 309 Beauregard Street in Charleston.

   Here's the message the group sent: 

   Kanawha Players has given Charleston over 92 years of quality community theater and hopes to be around for years to come. But to do that we need help pulling out of debt accrued over a harsh winter as well as struggles related to the expenses of the water issues in West Virginia recently. You can help out by sharing this event as well as attending and keeping an eye on the events we have planned all this month. 

   The fundraiser will include appearances by Harrah, Miniature Giant and more bands to be announced! There will be a s
ilent auction, an appearance and autograph signing by Jeremy Ambler and more! 

   For information email kanawhaplayers@yahoo.com, or you can d
onate directly at www.kanawhaplayers.org - click on the donate button. 

   Kanawha Players Theater is the Official State Theater of WV and is the second longest continually running theater in the United States. Please help keep theater alive in your community!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

On Stage This Weekend

   Only a few shows on tap this weekend, as summer theatre gets ready to bust loose. Here are the shows taking the stage this weekend:

- Plaza Suite - The Jackson County Players presents the comedy at The Alpine Theatre, 210 W Main Street in Ripley on June 13 and 14 at 7 p.m., and June 15 at 2 p.m.

Art - Portsmouth Little Theatre presents the funny, serious story of three friends and a canvas covered in white paint which becomes almost as much an object of obsession as Moby Dick was for Captain Ahab. It will be prsented June 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m.

 Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead - The show will be presented in the basement of the Pendleton Arts Center in Ashland. Tickets are $5.The show runs June 12-14 and starts at 8 p.m. 

   Jenny Wiley Theatre presents these shows this weekend:

- A Second Helping - June 13 and 14.
- Peter Pan - June 12, 13 and 14.

    So get out there and support your local theatre!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

More Auditions for "The Wedding Singer"



   The Charleston Light Opera Guild is extending its auditions for The Wedding Singer!

    Any interested singers, dancers and musical theatre performers are invited - they especially need more dancing and singing men! 

   The auditions will be Wednesday evening, June 11 at the Charleston Light Opera Guild Theatre at 411 Tennessee Avenue in Charleston. It's a fun show - don't miss out!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

This Weekend - The Tony Awards

   Yep, it's the Super Bowl for theatre fans - the annual Tony Awards are on this Sunday night!

   It promises to be a great show, though host Hugh Jackman will have to go some to top last year's opening number by Neil Patrick Harris (who can't host this year, because he's up for an award for his role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch).

   As a warmup for this year's show, here's another look at last year's show-stopping opening number:

Monday, June 02, 2014

Auditions for "The Wedding Singer"

   Auditions are coming up in a few days for he next big show from the Charleston Light Opera Guild - The Wedding Singer
   Here's the info:
SATURDAY, JUNE 7 ~ 2 p.m.
SINGING & ACTING
Prepare a musical selection and bring sheet music for Guild accompanist. Scripts provided.
SATURDAY, JUNE 7 ~ 11 a.m. PROMPT!
DANCING
Dress to dance, musical theatre styles, character heels and ballet or character flats. Combinations will be taught.
Charleston Light Opera Guild Theatre
411 Tennessee Avenue at Roane Street
The production features a large chorus with many featured roles for actors who sing and dancers who act.
AVAILABLE ROLES
ROBBIE HART – Rock tenor, low B to high A to high C, Age Range 17-30, Strong singer with good comedic timing, basic movement required, guitar playing helpful, charismatic with a "puppy dog" appeal
JULIA SULLIVAN – Soprano, low G to E, Age Range 17 – 30, Strong singer, with good movement ability, exudes sweet and innocent qualities, a waitress longing for marriage and the perfect life
SAMMY – Baritone to high F, Age Range 19 – 30, Singer, ability to play guitar helpful, basic movement required, Robbie's friend and guitarist for the trio, not real sharp but good spirited, a typical man's man, rock star-wannabe
HOLLY - Pop belt to middle E, Age range 18 – 30, Must have dance ability and a unique voice with a strong belt, strong actress with comedic timing, Julia's cousin, very uninhibited (based on an '80s Madonna type)
GEORGE – Baritone, to high F (strong falsetto), Age Range 19 – 30, strong character singer who can rap, playing keyboard a plus, Boy George type
LINDA - Rock belt, to middle D, Age Range 19 – 30, strong belt and movement required, Robbie's trashy girlfriend who dumps him, Pat Benatar type
GLEN GUGLIA - Baritone, to high G, Age Range 19 – 35, strong acting skills and requires singing and basic movement, Julia's fiancĂ©, a calculating, money-loving Wall Street type, fraternity brother type, slimy
ROSIE – Mezzo soprano that can rap, Age Range 40+, good comedic timing, voice suited to classic musical theatre and rap sound, basic movement, Robbie's sweet, spicy and loveable Grandmother
The NUMEROUS ENSEMBLE ROLES include impersonators of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Billy Idol, Tina Turner, Mr. T and Cindy Lauper.
LOTS OF DANCE AND ENSEMBLE SINGING!
Nina Denton Pasinetti is director/choreographer and Bobby Hodges, Jr. is musical director.
THE WEDDING SINGER, a musical based on the 1998 Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler film will be presented at
Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre
Friday and Saturday ~ August 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday ~ August 3 and 10 at 3:00 p.m.
THE WEDDING SINGER is sponsored by Mrs. Alex Schoenbaum.
THE WEDDING SINGER has a book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy, music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin. The musical received 5 Tony nominations. Return to a time when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up and a wedding singer might just be the coolest guy in the room. It's 1985 and rock-star wannabe Robbie hart is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He's the life of the party, until his own fiancée leaves him at the altar. Shot through the heart, Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own. Enter Julia, a winsome waitress who wins his affection. As luck would have it, Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark, and unless Robbie can pull off the performance of a decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

On Stage in June

   Lots of great shows on tap for the month of June - here's the rundown:
- Nunsense - For its inaugural season, HART presents the musical comedy starring the crazy antics of five nuns from the Little Sisters of Hoboken convent. When their cook accidentally serves up some tainted soup, 52 of the sisters are poisoned and die, leaving only five living nuns who were not at home the day of the toxic meal. The sisters find themselves strapped for cash, so they decide to put on a benefit performance in order to raise the rest of the money before the health department discovers their secret. The show will be presented June 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 at  8:30 p.m. at Huntington’s Ritter Park Ampitheater.

- Catch Me If You Can - Charleston Light Opera Guild will present the musical the true story of Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who runs away from home in search of the glamorous life, and the FBI agent Carl Hanratty, who chases him to the end. The show is punctuated by music from the swinging sounds of the 1960s. With nothing more than his boyish charm a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as an airline pilot, doctor and a lawyer – living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. The show will be presented on June 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29 at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre during FestivALL Charleston 2014.

- The BlobContemporary Youth Arts Company (CYAC) presents this original musical with music by Mark Scarpelli and Lyrics and book by Dan Kehde. It's based on the classic 1958 Steve McQueen sci-fi movie. The show will be presented at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater at 123 Summers Street in Charleston on June 19 - 21 and 25 - 28 at 8 p.m., and June 22 at 2 p.m. 

Little Shop of Horrors - Artists Collaborative Theatre - June 5, 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and June 8 at 2:30 p.m. at Elkhorn City, KY. The musical covers the life of two people, Audrey and Seymour, when a talking plant from outer space suddenly turns both their worlds upside down. www.act4.org 

- Plaza Suite - The Jackson County Players presents the comedy at The Alpine Theatre, 210 W Main St, Ripley, WV on June 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m., and June 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.

Murder on the 20th Century, Ltd! - Murder and Merriment present the murder mystery on June 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. at the Greenhouse of Teays Valley, Hurricane, WV Tickets $40 each. www.murderandmerriment.com

Grandest Canyon - Actors Guild of Parkersburg presents the story of Isabelle and Imogene, who take a road trip to scatter their sister Ida’s ashes over the Grand Canyon. What they encounter along the way makes for a hilarious and touching discovery of the soul. Shows are June 20, 21 27, 28 at 8 p.m. and June 22 and 29 at 2:30 p.m. at 724 Market Street, Parkersburg, WV (corner of 8th and Market)

Lost in Yonkers - Alban Arts Center presents the coming-of-age tale that focuses on Jay Kurnitz, left in the care of his grandmother and Aunt Bella in Yonkers, New York. Grandma is a severe, frightfully intimidating immigrant who terrified her children as they were growing up, damaging each of them to varying degrees. The play will be presented June 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. and June 22 and 29 at 2 p.m.
www.albanartscenter.com

An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein - LimeLight Theatre Company presents this tour through the darkly comic adult world of Shel Silverstein where nothing is as it seems and where the most innocent conversation can turn menacing in an instant. With familiar music (including "A Boy Named Sue" and "Cover of the Rolling Stone" written by Shel Silverstein and performed by Dennis Strom. The show will be presented June 20 and 21 at 9 p.m. at Timothy's Sports Bar at 1022 Quarrier St. (below Quarrier St. Diner).

Art - Portsmouth Little Theatre presents the funny, serious story of three friends and a canvas covered in white paint which becomes almost as much an object of obsession as Moby Dick was for Captain Ahab. It will be prsented June 6,7,13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m.

 Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead - The show will be presented in the basement of the Pendleton Arts Center in Ashland. Tickets are $5.The show runs June 12-14 and starts at 8 p.m. 

   Jenny Wiley Theatre presents four shows in June:
- A Second Helping - June 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26 and 27
- Peter Pan - June 12, 13, 14, 18, 19 and 20
- South Pacific - June 26, 27 and 28
- 101 Dalmatians - June 30

   So get out there and support your community theatre this summer!