Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge

On the 98th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, Circle Players and The Senior Center for the Arts/Donelson Station Fifty-Forward will reprise Titanic, the Musical for an April 15-May 2 run.

But the week before the show, cast members from the production of Titanic, the Musical took part in the opening ceremonies for the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The cast performed the opening number from the show which introduces many of the people who were on the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic and ends with the stirring anthem "Godspeed, Titanic."

Regis Philbin hosted the event which christened the replica of the ship in which the artifacts are housed.

Other highlights of the grand opening included introductions and speeches by dignitaries, relatives of Titanic survivors and the president of Cedar Bay Entertainment, developers of the permanent Titanic exhibition in Pigeon Forge.

Titanic the Musical was first produced in Nashville in January 2009 by Circle Players. The production is being brought back by popular demand and is a collaboration between Circle Players and Senior Center for the Arts. The production will opens on April 15 - the 98th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Tim Larson directs the production, which boasts and a cast and crew numbering 65 people.

According to Circle Players' website: "The sinking of the Titanic, in the early hours of April 15, 1912, remains the quintessential disaster of the 20th century. A total of 1,517 souls - men, women and children - lost their lives (only 711 survived). The fact that the finest, largest, strongest ship in the world - called, in fact, the 'unsinkable' ship - should have been lost during its maiden voyage is so incredible that, had it not actually happened, no author would have dared to contrive it. But the catastrophe had social ramifications that went far beyond that night's events.

"For the first time since the beginning of the industrial revolution early in the 19th Century, bigger, faster and stronger did not prove automatically to be better. Suddenly the very essence of 'progress' had to be questioned; might the advancement of technology not always be progress? Nor was this the only question arising from the disaster. The accommodations of the ship, divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd Classes, mirrored almost exactly the class structure (upper, middle and lower) of the English-speaking world. But when the wide discrepancy between the number of survivors from each of the ship's classes was revealed-all but two of the women in 1st Class were saved while 155 women and children from 2nd and 3rd (mostly 3rd) drowned-there was a new, long-overdue scrutiny of the prevailing social system and its values. It is not an exaggeration to state that the 19th Century, with its social stricture, its extravagant codes of honor and sacrifice, and its unswerving belief that God favored the rich, ended that night.

"The musical play Titanic examines the causes, the conditions and the characters involved in this ever-fascinating drama. This is the factual story of that ship-of her officers, crew and passengers, to be sure-but she will not, as has happened so many times before, serve as merely the background against which fictional, melodramatic narratives are recounted. The central character of our Titanic is the Titanic herself."

Performances are scheduled Thursday through Saturday evenings, with dinner at 6 p.m. and the show at 7 p.m. For Sunday performances, lunch is served at 1 p.m., with the show at 2 p.m. Performances are at Fifty-Forward Donelson Station, 108 Donelson Pike.

Photos courtesy of Kate Adams-Johnson, Cedar Bay Entertainment and Circle Players

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge
Circle Players' cast of Titanic, the Musical

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge
Titanic Staff

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge
Rehearsal for the Titanic museum opening in Pigeon Forge

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge
Awaiting Sound Check at the Opening Ceremonies Rehearsal

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge
Trey Palmer and Laura Martin

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge
From the top of the Grand Staircase

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge
The Titanic under construction in Pigeon Forge

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge
Titanic Staff

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge
Circle Players' cast members await their opening song

Photo Coverage: Circle Players' TITANIC at Titanic Exhibit Opens in Pigeon Forge




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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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