GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 11, 2017 #TheatreThursday
GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI! It's Thursday, May 11, 2017 (aka #TheatreThursday, y'all!) and we're just dying to ask the musical question: What shows will you be seeing this weekend? We hope you'll live life dramatically and make it to at least one production - but multiples are even better! There's so much to choose from - Studio Tenn's got Monty Python's Spamalot to tempt you while making you ROFL, snort and wheeze from the laughter! Nashville Children's Theatre presents the last performances of Goodnight, Moon (with Rona Carter, Amanda Card, Bobby Wyckoff, Shawn Knight and Samuel Whited on board). Centerstage Theatre in Lebanon has To Kill A Mockingbird, with Kathleen Jaffe as the adult Jean Louise Finch. Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts has its third weekend (of four!) of Little Shop of Horrors with Matthew Hayes Hunter and Lindsay Pfeiffer as Seymour and Audrey. In Crossville, you can choose between Million Dollar Quartet and A Second Helping at Cumberland County Playhouse. [title of show] finishes up its run at Clarksville's Roxy Regional Theatre. The original comedy The Cast List continues at Lakewood Theatre. And the lovely folks at Distraction Theatre offer up the closing weekend of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at Centennial Black Box Theatre.
Tonight, if you go to Nashville Repertory Theatre's Ingram New Works Festival, you'll get to see Gabrielle Reisman's Pattern Seeking Animals (May 11 & 18) - Louisiana's coastline is disappearing. A plot of land the size of a football field is swallowed every hour by rising water. As the ocean creeps up on the town of Jean Lafitte, scientists and state administrators bargain over its future, and a theatre troupe arrives to tell the town's story. When a storm threatens everyone's plans, the citizens of Jean Lafitte - from the mayor to a pair of young Piggly Wiggly employees - try to make some sense of what comes next. All staged readings begin at 7 p.m. and are held at the Nashville Public Television building at 161 Rains Avenue. Make reservations at www.nashvillerep.org. Admission is $10 per person and a festival pass - providing one person admission to one reading of each play - is $35 per person.
Tomorrow night, at Tennessee Women's Theatre Project's 11th Annual Women's Work Festival, local director Vickie Bailey takes on her sixth assignment for North Carolina playwright Marilynn Anselmi: Donor 63125. Her cast is led by Kaul Bluestone, Mark Thomas, Landria Burkley and April Hardcastle-Miles, all of whom have read Anselmi scripts before under Bailey's direction, and joining them this year to read her latest about children borne of artificial insemination are Mandy Ray-Jones and James David West. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $10 at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre on Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in north Nashville.
On my calendar? Admit it, you've been waiting with bated breath to find out what shows I'm seeing this weekend! Tonight, I'm headed to Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre to see the latest incarnation of Beau Jest, directed by artistic director Martha Wilkinson and starring Layne Sasser, Charlie Winton, Joanna Hackman, Daniel Hackman, Bradley Moore and Brett Cantrell. On Friday night, I'll be on hand for ACT 1's opening night at Darkhorse Theatre, to see Moore's latest directorial effort - Michael Frayn's Noises Off - starring Cat Arnold, Meggan Utech, Brett Myers, J. Robert Lindsey, Christina Candilora, Gregory Alexander, Jackson Rector, Elizabeth Walsh and Phil Brady - and to see if they can actually make an English country house swivel around on itself in the intimate confines of the Darkhorse (admit it, you want to see if it works, too!). Finally, on Saturday, we'll be donning a dinner jacket and heading to TPAC for The Spotlight Awards at Andrew Jackson Hall, to present a few awards, introduce some performers and find out which lucky students - Nathan Keffer (Ravenwood High); Anna Cooper (Siegel High); Hatty King (Lipscomb Academy); William Kuebitz (Tullahoma High); Caleb Mitchell (Siegel High); and Lilla Golgoczy-Toler (Nashville School of the Arts) - will win the opportunity to represent Middle Tennessee at The Jimmy Awards in New York City as best actor and best actress in the fourth annual Nashville High School Musical Theatre Awards. Erica Aubrey and Miles Aubrey will co-host the event. Somewhere in there, amid the recounting of our theater schedule, we shifted from first-person to the royal "we." We do hope you'll understand our momentary grammatical multiple personalities.
We're sending out hearty "Happy Birthday" wishes to the lovely and talented Jan Vereb Rodems (she's mom to the lovely and talented Rob Rodems), local radio personality Kim Leslie (who starred in our production of Damn Yankees back in the day) and actor Eli Dangerfield. They share the date with other birthday boys and girls, including the legendary songsmith Irving Berlin, iconic choreographer Martha Graham, comic actors Phil Silvers and Mort Sahl, actor Boyd Gaines, the late actress Natasha Richardson and Broadway leading lady Charlotte d'Amboise.
On this date in theater history, Rodgers and Hart's (Richard and Lorenz) I Married An Angel opened at New York's Shubert Theatre in 1938. Carol Burnett set off on the road to stardom on this date in 1959 as Once Upon a Mattress debuted off-Broadway. Richard Rodgers' daughter Mary teamed with Marshall Barer on the show's songs. Grease was revived on Broadway in 1994, directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun, and starring Megan Mullally and Rosie O'Donnell. In 1999, the legendary Gladys Knight (sans Pips) joined the Broadway cast of Smoky Joe's Café. And in 2005, Billy Elliot opened on the West End, ultimately winning the Olivier Award for Best Musical.
That does it for us this morning, gentle readers...be sure to remember that today is indeed #TheatreThursday, so CELEBRATE THE MAGIC OF LIVE THEATRE!