AthensWest Theatre Company to Stage Regional Premiere of GOLDEN BOY OF THE BLUE RIDGE

AthensWest concludes its inaugural season with the hilarious musical comedy Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge. Based on J.M. Synge's classic comedy The Playboy of the Western World, this toe tappin', banjo-pickin' adaptation is by Peter Mills and Cara Reichel. It played Off-Broadway, and has since made the rounds in regional theatre. Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge runs in Lexington at the Downtown Arts Center April 22-May 1.

This production marks a homecoming for two Central Kentucky talents. Recent UK Opera Theatre graduate Elliot Lane - last seen in UKOT's The Phantom of the Opera - returns to play Luther. Winchester native, and AthensWest Director of Outreach Mark Mozingo, who originated the role of Clayton in the show's Off-Broadway debut, reprises his role.

"This has been an amazing opportunity," said Mozingo, living in Central Kentucky again after several years in New York City. "I've wanted to play this role again ever since I was first in this show, and being able to do so in my hometown with this new company, doing professional work alongside such great, homegrown talent is a dream come true!"

Lane still calls NYC home and came back to Lexington just for the role. "I've been lucky in New York - working constantly since I got there," he said. "But I had a month in April I knew I wouldn't be working, and this role just landed in my lap - and with it, the chance to come back home and see all the great things going on in Lexington theatre!"

The play also signals a move by AthensWest to offer newer works that haven't yet established themselves in the American repertoire. "This show has had a handful of productions, but hasn't exploded like it deserves to," said AthensWest Producing Director Bo List. "Plays like Doubt and To Kill a Mockingbird don't need theatres like us to help them out. But a gem like this gets to shine brighter the more it gets produced, gets seen and heard. We're lucky to be among the first!"

Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge follows headstrong young Maggie (Jenna Day, Miss Kentucky 2013) who runs the general store in a small Appalachian town. When Clayton (Mozingo), a handsome drifter, shows up and confesses to a violent crime, the town takes pity on him. Maggie finds herself torn between the exciting stranger and her timid fiancée Luther (Lane). When Clayton's supposedly dead father Leroy (Tim X. Davis) shows up, all heck breaks loose!

Tickets are $25 for adults, and $20 for students, seniors, and active military. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Tickets are available at or by calling the Downtown Arts Center Box Office at 859-425-2550. Performances run April 22 through May 1, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Thursday, April 28 will be a "Pay What You Can" performance.

Give Into the Groove and Hot Sauce Records serve as sponsors of this production.

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