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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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

On Stage This Weekend

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

   Here's the rundown:

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

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

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

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

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

   So go see a show!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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


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

Friday, June 16, 2017

On Stage This Weekend

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

   Here's the rundown:

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

This Weekend: "Beauty and the Beast"


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

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

First Stage Offers Two Scholarships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Friday, June 09, 2017

On Stage This Weekend

   On stage this weekend are three classic shows - two musicals and a drama! Here's the rundown:

- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - The Alban Arts and Conference Center presents the play by Tennessee Williams on  June 10 at 8 p.m., and June 11 at 2 p.m. at the Alban Arts and Conference Center at 65 Olde Main Street in Saint Albans, W.Va. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

- Hairspray - The Aracoma Story presents the musical comedy on June 10, 11, 15, 16, 17 and 18 at 8:30 p.m. at the Liz Spurlock Amphitheater at Chief Logan State Park in Logan, W.Va. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and senior citizens, and $6 for children under 10.

Oliver - Jenny Wiley Theatre presents the beloved musical June 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jenny Wiley Mainstage in Pikeville, Ky. Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for youth.

   So go see a show!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

"Beauty and the Beast" Photo Gallery


   We're just over a week away from the premiere of HART's Beauty and the Beast at Huntington's Ritter Park, but while you're waiting you can see some great photos by Toril Lavender (like the one above) from rehearsals at this Photo Gallery from the Herald-Dispatch.



Wednesday, June 07, 2017

On Stage This Fall: "Elf Jr."


   First Stage is slowly rolling out the shows they're going to present in their next season, and the first show they've announced is Elf, Jr! 

   They're combining auditions for Elf, Jr! and the 2018 Junior Theatre Festival - they'll be held Saturday, June 24, 2017, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pea Ridge United Methodist Church at 5747 E. Pea Ridge Road in Huntington, W.Va.

   That musical comedy is based on the holiday film starring Will Ferrell. It tells the story of Buddy, a boy who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

   The musical will be directed by Amy Browning and produced by Jeanette Bailey. The show will be presented at Huntington High School's auditorium on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2 and 3, 2017.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Auditions for "The Odd Couple"


   My pal Gene Anthony is going to direct The Odd Couple this fall for ARTS, and sends out this notice:

   "Greetings everyone! I will be directing The Odd Couple as the last offering in ARTS 2017 season. Admittedly, it is an "oldie" but undisputedly a "goodie." I played it as a pro in Chicago for three months but I have never had the pleasure of directing it. 

   I am truly looking forward to working with a cast and crew on this project. There are parts for six men and two women. All of the roles are WIDE OPEN to anyone interested in auditioning.  

   Auditions will be held at ARTS in the Ballroom (at 900 8th Street in Huntington) on Wednesday, June 14 from 7 to 9 a.m. (or until everyone is seen) and on Saturday, June 17 from 10 a.m. to noon. If you would like to audition but you are unable to attend on those dates, send an e-mail to actorpop@frontier.com and we will arrange another time. 


   We will be reading scenes from the script. Sides will be provided at the audition. I hope to see you there!"

   It's a great show, and Gene is one of the area's finest directors - go have fun!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

On Stage in June

   Summer's here, and there are some terrific shows being presented in the month ahead!

   Here's the rundown:

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

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

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

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - The Alban Arts and Conference Center presents the play by Tennessee Williams on  June 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m., and June 4 and 11 at 2 p.m. at the Alban Arts and Conference Center at 65 Olde Main Street in Saint Albans, W.Va. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Hairspray - The Aracoma Story presents the musical comedy on June 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17 and 18 at 8:30 p.m. at the Liz Spurlock Amphitheater at Chief Logan State Park in Logan, W.Va. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and senior citizens, and $6 for children under 10.

Cabaret - Hipp Stage Productions presents the musical on June 24 and 30 at 8 p.m. and June 25 and July 1 and 2 at 2 p.m. at the Peoples Bank Theatre at 222 Putnam Street in Marietta, Ohio. All tickets are $20.

Oliver - Jenny Wiley Theatre presents the beloved musical June 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, at 7:30 p.m. and June 4 at 3 p.m. at the Jenny Wiley Mainstage in Pikeville, Ky. Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for youth.

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

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Theatre Camp Time!

   This is the time of year when I get lots of emails asking about summer theatre camps - and here's one now!

   My pals Eddie Harbert and Coni Anthony will be presenting a summer theatre camp for ages 5-11 running June 12 to July 1. Students will be performing the musical Magic Treehouse: Dinosaurs Before Dark, Jr. 

    There will also be a camp for ages 11-18 running July 17 to August 4. Students in the older camp will be performing the musical Xanadu, Jr. 

   Camp runs five days per week for three weeks from 9 a.m. to noon for both camps. Students will learn beginning aspects of theatre and will assist in building costumes and props, auditioning, learning lines and choreography, and building sets. 

   Cost for the camp is $300 and includes all materials including script, T-shirt, and cast photo. Camp will be directed by Eddie Harbert with Coni Anthony serving as choreographer and Carol Scarberry as Craft Coordinator. 

   Camp will be held and performances given at the Barboursville Amphitheater in Barboursville Park. Each camp is limited to 30 participants and spots are already beginning to fill up. If interested in receiving a registration form, one can be emailed to you. There is a nonrefundable $25 registration fee. There may be some very limited scholarships available. 

   For more information or to reserve a spot call 304-360-2749, or by email at harberteddie@gmail.com. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

On Stage This Weekend

   As summer rolls in, community theatres get ready for the outdoor season. But there are a few indoor shows to catch - here's the rundown:

   Sordid LivesPortsmouth Little Theatre presents the play on May 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. at 1117 Lawson Street in Portsmouth, Ohio. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens. The play is rated "R" for language and adult themes.

   Unplugged Children's Theatre of Charleston presents The Theatre Project on May 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and May 27 and 28 at 2 p.m. at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater. Tickets are $10 each.

   Oliver! - Jenny Wiley Theatre presents the classic musical on May 26, 27 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jenny Wiley Mainstage in Pikeville, Ky. Tickets are $14 and $9.

   So go see a show!

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Community Players Reunion


   My pal Dave Lavender wrote a not-to-be-missed story this weekend for the Herald-Dispatch about the upcoming reunion for the community theatre group known as the Community Players!
------------------
What do Marshall basketball coach Dan D'Antoni, two-time Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris, Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Keller, award-winning documentary filmmaker Deb Novak, Hattie and Nan's owner Joanna Sexton, Huntington High School teacher Helen Freeman and Academy Award-nominee Brad Dourif all have in common?
They are all players.
Or more accurately, they were players - and that is a good and memorable thing.
That illustrious group of multi-talented people are among the hundreds of talented folks who took to the stage during the six-decade history of the Community Players.
For the first time this Memorial Day weekend, Community Players - Huntington's community theater group that put on more than 250 shows in Huntington from 1937 until 1997 - is hosting a reunion on the street that was the heart of it all.
The main reunion, which is free and open to the public, is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at the Charles Holley Gazebo, just a couple blocks from the empty lot at 420 14th St. W., that once held The Darwin E. Abbott Theatre, home to the Community Players from 1952 until December 1994.

Friday, May 19, 2017

On Stage This Weekend - "Sister Act" and "Sordid Lives"

   There are only two shows taking the stage this weekend!

   One is family friendly, and the other's for adults. Here's the rundown:

   Sister Act: The Musical - The Charleston Light Opera Guild presents the musical comedy based on the popular film on May 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre at One Civic Center Drive. Tickets are $25 - reserved seating

   Sordid Lives - Portsmouth Little Theatre presents the play that became a hit movie and cult television series. It will be presented May 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at www.pltlive.com, and are $12 for adults and $10 for students & senior citizens. Rated R for language and adult themes.

   So go see a show!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Tonight Only; "Showcase 2017"

   GAME DAY!!!


   Today's your one and only chance to see some of First Stage's top talents perform at Showcase 2017!


   It's a special fundraiser for the children's theatre, and features some of that group's amazing alumni and young performers showing off their talents!

   We have some of the company's top young talent performing, along with several graduates, including Broadway performer Brooklyn Nelson, Becca Gaunch, Audrey Fosson, Levi Kelley, Sarah Hayes Navy, Evan Price, and Maggie Saunders!


   The show starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Huntington High School auditorium at One Highlander Way - you'll enjoy two hours of singing and dancing, and tickets are just $12 for adults and $10 for students age 12 and under.

   (I admit prejudice on this one - I'm one of the co-directors of the show, along with Amy Browning, Jonathan Joy and music director Lara Donahoe.)


   Don't miss it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On Stage This Weekend

   On stage this weekend, there are four great shows, including a concert by First Stage's top talent, a collection of Gilbert & Sullivan's greatest hits, a serious drama and a hit musical!

   Here's the rundown:

- Showcase 2017 - First Stage Theatre Company presents a concert and talent show featuring alumni and present-day performers. The performance will be one night only, on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Huntington High School's auditorium at 1 Highlander Way. Tickets are available at the door - $12 for adults and $10 for children age 12 and under. The performance is a fundraiser for Huntington's children's theatre.

- An Evening with Gilbert & Sullivan - ARTS presents a concert of classic songs from the masters of musical theatre! Shows will be presented on Thursday, Friday and Saturday - May 11, 12, and 13 - at 8 p.m. at the Renaissance Theatre Ballroom at 900 8th Street in Huntington. Tickets are $15 each. 

- Dutchman - Curtains Up Players present the play on Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. and May 14 at 2:30 p.m. at the Huntington City Hall Auditorium. Centered squarely on racial conflict, the play is literally a shocking play - in ideas, in language, in honest anger. A full question and answer discussion will take place after each performance. Some content may not be suitable for all audiences.

- Sister Act: The Musical - The Charleston Light Opera Guild present the musical comedy based on the popular film on May 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and May 14 at 2 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre at One Civic Center Drive. Tickets are $25 Reserved seating.

   So get out there and see a show!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Who Stars in "Showcase?"

   Yesterday we talked about Showcase 2017, a special fundraiser / concert / talent show that First Stage Theatre will be staging this weekend.

   The list of performers includes present-day performers, a handful of our talented alumni - and a special performer who is neither!

   Brooklyn Nelson got her start in stage just five years ago in First Stage's The Little Mermaid, and she performed in several other shows before landing a dream role - she was cast in the hit Broadway show Matilda the Musical!

   After a run of a couple of years, that show closed down a few months ago - which was our good fortune, because it meant Brooklyn had a short time between projects in New York to allow her to be part of Showcase!

   She's not really an alumni - she's not old enough! But since she's a professional actor, she can only take part in a benefit concert (with a community theatre group) like this with special permission.

   We're so happy to have her back where she started, if just for a short visit!

   Several other alumni will be joining her on stage, including the amazing dancer / singer Sarah Hayes Navy, actor and singer Maggie Saunders, the powerful singing voice of Evan Price, the versatile and talented singer Levi Kelly, the gifted singer Audrey Fosson, and our most recent graduate, and another terrific singer, Becca Gaunch!

   it's a terrific lineup - but there's more! We'll talk about that - in tomorrow's post.

   Showcase 2017 will be presented on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. (one performance only) at the Huntington High School auditorium at One Highlander Way. 

Monday, May 08, 2017

Working on a "Showcase"

   It's been a hectic week as First Stage Theatre prepares to bring back a classic: Showcase.

   Back in the mid-1990s when the children's theatre was brand new, it faced a big challenge: it takes money to stage shows, and the group didn't have enough for its next production.

   The solution was to stage a show that had minimal expenses, so it would serve as a fundraiser for the next show.

   The shows were talent shows, allowing young performers to demonstrate their talents - they could sing, dance, or juggle (to name just a few of their talents).

   The shows were a lot of fun, and First Stage presented them in 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2003. By that point, the group was on sound financial footing, so it turned its focus to producing shows.

   But six years ago, First Stage made a big investment in its future - the group bought a small warehouse near downtown Huntington. It serves as storage space for the group's sets, costumes and props - and provides work space to build sets.

   As soon as the building is paid for, First Stage plans to modify it into a small theatre space. To speed up the process, two special concerts were staged in 2012 and 2013 focusing on the group's alumni - performers who are now grown up, many of them working as professional entertainers around the country.

   The shows have been a great success, and the group is 2/3 of the way to paying off the building.

   For the third benefit concert, they're changing things up by combining the alumni concerts with the classic Showcase model - so the show will feature returning alumni and today's young performers!

   And that's just the beginning! We'll talk about some of the performers included in the show - and some of the other special events included - in our next installment tomorrow!

   Showcase 2017 will be presented on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. (one performance only) at the Huntington High School auditorium at One Highlander Way. 

Friday, May 05, 2017

On Stage This Weekend

   You have three great shows to choose from this weekend, including a concert of beloved songs, and two classic musicals!

   Here's the rundown:

- An Evening with Gilbert & Sullivan - ARTS presents a concert of classic songs from the masters of musical theatre! Shows will be presented on May 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13 at 8 p.m. at the Renaissance Theatre Ballroom at 900 8th Street in Huntington. Tickets are $15 each. 

- Sister Act: The Musical - The Charleston Light Opera Guild present the musical comedy based on the popular film on May 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and May 14 at 2 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre at One Civic Center Drive. Tickets are $25 Reserved seating.

- Company - Actors Guild of Parkersburg presents the musical by Stephen Sondheim on April 21, 22, 28, 29 and May 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and April 30 at 2:30 p.m. at 724 Market Street in Parkersburg. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and senior citizens. 

   So go see a show!

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Jonah: From Stage to the Screen

   Kudos to Brittany Adkins Beitzel, who grew up on stage in local theatre productions, including First Stage, ARTS and HOT. 

   For the past six years, she's been appearing in the Sight & Sound Theatre's productions in Lancaster, Pennsylvania!

   She also hit the big screen, as a film version of Jonah: On Stage aired this week at local theatres!

   You can read more about it in the Herald-Dispatch story by Dave Lavender at this link.

   Here's an excerpt:

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

   For the past six seasons, 2005 Cabell Midland High School graduate Brittany Adkins Beitzel has been a regular in the cast at the Sight & Sound Theatre's professional productions.
   But to see Beitzel you have to drive to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the popular Pennsylvanian Dutch country to see her perform at the 2,000-seat Sight & Sound Theatre.
   Beitzel, who is 30, is in the ensemble cast of Jonah: On Stage!, the Biblical theatrical production that was filmed in 2012, her first year performing with the company.
   Filmed in front of a live audience, Jonah: On Stage! brings to life the journey of a lovable, yet stubborn prophet. This performance offers cinematic music and massive sets, including an underwater scene featuring a huge 40-foot whale - made by the same folks who create the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade floats.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The Tony Nominations

   The Tony Awards were announced this morning!

   As expected, Bette Midler and the revival of Hello, Dolly! soaked up quite a few nominations, as did the Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (which had 12 nominations)!

   You can read the complete list of nominees at the Playbill website right here.

   Or you can go to the Tony Awards link and watch the replay of the actual announcements right here!

   It looks like a strong lineup, with perhaps the only surprises being few nominations for fan favorites Anastasia and Amelie!

   The 71st Tony Awards will air on June 11, 2017!



Monday, May 01, 2017

On Stage in May

   There are a half-dozen great shows coming up in May - here’s the rundown:

- Showcase 2017 - First Stage Theatre Company presents a concert and talent show featuring alumni and present-day performers. The performance will be one night only, on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Huntington High School's auditorium at 1 Highlander Way. Tickets are available at the door - $12 for adults and $10 for children age 12 and under.

- An Evening with Gilbert & Sullivan - ARTS presents a concert of classic songs from the masters of musical theatre! Shows will be presented on May 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13 at 8 p.m. at the Renaissance Theatre Ballroom at 900 8th Street in Huntington. Tickets are $15 each. 

- Dutchman - Curtains Up Players present the play on May 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and May 14 at 2:30 p.m. at the Huntington City Hall Auditorium. Centered squarely on racial conflict, the play is literally a shocking play - in ideas, in language, in honest anger. A full question and answer discussion will take place after each performance. Some content may not be suitable for all audiences.

- Sister Act: The Musical - The Charleston Light Opera Guild present the musical comedy based on the popular film on May 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and May 14 at 2 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre at One Civic Center Drive. Tickets are $25 Reserved seating.

- Company - Actors Guild of Parkersburg presents the musical by Stephen Sondheim on April 21, 22, 28, 29 and May 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and April 30 at 2:30 p.m. at 724 Market Street in Parkersburg. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and senior citizens. 

- Oliver! - Jenny Wiley Theatre presents the classic musical on May 26, 27 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jenny Wiley Mainstage in Pikeville, Ky. Tickets are $14 and $9

   So get out there and see some shows!


Friday, April 28, 2017

First Stage to Present "Showcase 2017"

        The First Stage Theatre Company is bringing back alumni from past shows to join present-day actors to take part is a special concert called Showcase 2017!

The performance will be one night only, on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Huntington High School's auditorium. 

   "Showcase" is a (non-competitive) variety show, and the performers will show off their talent - including singing, dancing, playing an instrument, and more!

   Playwright Jonathan Joy and his son Levi are directing a short non-musical play that will be part of Showcase!

The show is a fundraiser - all funds raised will go toward paying off the First Stage building. 

Based in Huntington, W.Va., the First Stage Theatre Company is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing an educational, developmental experience for young people through the performing arts. Founded in 1990, the organization produces stage shows starring young performers. There is no charge to take part in a First Stage production.

     “Showcase 2017” is the final production in First Stage’s 27th season.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

On Stage This Weekend

   There are only two shows taking the stage this weekend - but they're "choice!"

   Here's the rundown:

- Company - Actors Guild of Parkersburg presents the musical by Stephen Sondheim on April 28, 29 and May 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and April 30 at 2:30 p.m. at 724 Market Street in Parkersburg. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and senior citizens. 

- The Robber Bridegroom - Jenny Wiley Theatre presents the play on April 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. at 218 Second Street in Pikeville, Ky. Set in eighteenth century Mississippi, the show follows Jamie Lockhart, a rascally robber of the woods, as he courts Rosamund, the only daughter of the richest planter in the country. The proceedings go awry, however, thanks to a case of double-mistaken identity. Throw in an evil stepmother intent on Rosamund's demise, her pea-brained henchman and a hostile talking head-in-a-trunk, and you have a rollicking country romp.

   So go see a show!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Inside "Guys & Dolls"


   Marshall University Theatre wraps up its season this weekend with a terrific show - the classic musical Guys & Dolls!

   Derek Halsey gives us a look at the production in this story in the Herald-Dispatch.

   Here's an excerpt:

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Set in the bustling underworld of 1920s and '30s New York, Guys & Dolls debuted on Broadway in 1950 and quickly added its iconic songs - like "Luck Be a Lady" and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" - to the American songbook.
Now, the Marshall University School of Theatre brings the classic, gangster-themed musical to life to close out its 2016-17 season. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, through Saturday, April 22, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. Tickets are $20; $15 for seniors and Marshall University employees; Marshall students free with ID. Call 304-696-2787 for more information.
Based on two short stories by the late 1880s/early 1900s writer Damon Runyon, Guys & Dolls is about the clash between some gamblers in New York City and some attractive, straight-laced women that run a Salvation Army mission and are in search of some souls to save. One side tries to outwit the other while love enters into the picture and turns everyone's heads around.
With music written by Frank Loesser and a book written by Jo Swirling and Abe Burrows, Guys & Dolls also became famous for the actors who played the parts in this madcap story. Most notable was the 1955 film version of the play that starred Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine, who appeared in the original Broadway production.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On Stage This Week (and Weekend)

   There are lots of great shows coming up this weekend (and this week), including classic musicals and thought-provoking plays! Here’s the rundown:

- Guys & Dolls - Marshall University's School of Theatre will present the classic musical by Frank Loesser on April 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23 at 2 p.m. at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. Considered by many to be the perfect musical comedy, the show has won a bevy of awards, including Tony Awards, Drama Desks, and Oliviers. Set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, the musical is an oddball romantic comedy of gamblers, entertainers, city cops and even the Salvation Army! Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for faculty and senior citizens, $7u for children ages 5 to 12, and free to full-time Marshall students with valid ID.

- Company - Actors Guild of Parkersburg presents the musical by Stephen Sondheim on April 21, 22, 28, 29 and May 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and April 30 at 2:30 p.m. at 724 Market Street in Parkersburg. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and senior citizens. 

- She Loves Me - George Washington High School’s Theater of the Nevertheless will present the musical on April 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. and April 23 at 1p.m. at 1522 Tennis Club Road in Charleston.

- Marcellus Shale - Alban Arts and Conference Center present the play by Paul Zimet and Ellen Maddow on April 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. at 65 Olde Main Street in Saint Albans, W.Va. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. Proceeds benefit the Ohio Valley Environmental Council and WVSORO.

- The Good Woman of Setzuan - West Virginia State University will present the play April 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the David Stephen Skeen Theatre. Admission is free for students and $10 for general admission.

- The Robber Bridegroom - Jenny Wiley Theatre presents the play on April 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. at 218 Second Street in Pikeville, Ky. Set in eighteenth century Mississippi, the show follows Jamie Lockhart, a rascally robber of the woods, as he courts Rosamund, the only daughter of the richest planter in the country. The proceedings go awry, however, thanks to a case of double-mistaken identity. Throw in an evil stepmother intent on Rosamund's demise, her pea-brained henchman and a hostile talking head-in-a-trunk, and you have a rollicking country romp.

   So get out there and see some shows!