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GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI! Welcome to Thursday, May 4, 2017 - can you believe it's already this far along in the year - and that it's another #TheatreThursday? Today, we're posing the musical question: Are all our artistic efforts worth it during these oh-so-trying times? The answer, most certainly, is a resounding "YES!" You see, gentle readers, it's during times like these that the spirit of creativity, the expression of our collective imagination and the ability to transform and to transport become even more vital to the continued existence of humankind. We implore you to continue to live life dramatically!

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 4, 2017 And what lovelier way is it to express hope for our future than to gaze upon our sweet cover models today: my wonderful friend Jodie Miller and her two sweet babies who, down in Georgia (where they fend off walkers every day even while Rick Grimes and company have "moved" to Virginia), keep up with all the latest theatrical news and gossip by reading our morning column while Teletubbies and the gang from Sesame Street battle it out for their relatively short attention spans. We're gonna make theaterati of those tots!

Truth be told, we're trying to gin up enthusiasm today despite a crippling migraine and a growing sense of frustration that we manage to keep tamped down most days. Send up some happy thoughts and good energy for every creative person who struggles daily to overcome their demons and to defeat the naysayers who add nothing to the public discourse.

Luckily, our coterie of creative friends and associates have some great stuff in store this weekend: Tonight, we're taking in the final dress rehearsal of Nashville Ballet's 7 Deadly Sins, which also includes Appalachian Spring (ah, Aaron Copland, we here he was a terror, but damn that man could compose!) at TPAC, and tomorrow night we'll be reviewing Studio Tenn's latest musical extravaganza Spamalot at The Factory in Franklin. And on Saturday night, we'll join our own cast and crew at The Larry Keeton Theatre for the final performance of Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got the Will?, featuring Linda Speir, Tony Pewitt, Memory Strong-Smith, Natalie Royal, Jonathan Hunter, Benny Jones, Natalie Lewis, Drew Dunlop, Austin Jeffrey Smith, Sara Kistner, Eric Grim, Allen Stokes and Jamie London. Whether onstage, offstage or backstage, they are the best!

All over town, you'll find things fairly a-hopping, as Tennessee Women's Theater Project opens up its 11th Annual Women's Work Festival, Distraction Theatre Company premieres its production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, Street Theatre Company hosts the final performances of John and Jen, Beau Jest continues at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theater, in Old Hickory Lakewood Theatre keeps the laughs coming with The Cast List, [title of show] is onstage at the Roxy Regional Theatre in Clarksville, Million Dollar Quarter makes music at Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville and Little Shop of Horrors takes the stage at Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts. And in the week ahead, Nashville Repertory Theatre will unveil this year's Ingram New Works Festival, featuring the debut of five - count 'em, five - new plays, including one by Christopher Durang, ACT 1 shows off its version of Noises Off at Darkhorse Theater, and there's much more theater than you could shake a stick at - if you were so inclined to shake a stick.

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 4, 2017 GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 4, 2017 Thanks to Patrick Kramer for taking over @BWW_Nashville over in the Twitterverse yesterday and giving us entrée into his wacky world: Swell job, Patrick! Today, Joanna Hackman and her husband, Daniel Hackman, (who are pretty damn adorable, don't you agree?) take the reins to show us what life is like during a two-show day at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre. We expect a lot of ribald puns, Jewish witticisms and roast beef (also, Layne Sasser's ample bosom and Joy Tilley Perryman's kugel)...follow them and us (@BWW_Nashville and @jefndixie) for all the theatrical news fit to print in 140 characters or less!

Today in theatrical history: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Alan Jay Lerner's paean to the presidency, opened in 1976. In 1982, Athol Fugard's Master Harold and the Boys opened on Broadway. Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America: Millennium Approaches opened in 1993; and in 1999, Les Miserables played its 5000th performance since its 1987 opening! Christina Applegate opened in Sweet Charity in 2005, while Mark Rylance opened in Boeing, Boeing (which will be directed by Johnny Peppers at Pull-Tight in 2018) in 2008. Today's birthdays, which oddly enough don't include any of our local stars, allow us to shine the spotlight on the prolific songwriter Howard Da Silva, the luminous actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn, and the funny and talented Ana Gasteyer.

It's #TheatreThursday, so we trust you'll seize the day (carpe diem and all that) and CELEBRATE THE MAGIC OF LIVE THEATER wherever you are!

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