SHENANDOAH Opens Wayside Theatre's 49th Season, Runs 6/5-7/3

Wayside Theatre Artistic Director Warner Crocker announced the 2010-2011 Season Opener, cast and performance schedule for the musical, SHENANDOAH. Shenandoah runs June 5 through July 3rd. The musical is written by Gary Geld, Peter Udell, Phillip Rose and James Lee Barrett. The production is sponsored by Heirloom Emporium.

According to Crocker, "We're thrilled to open Wayside Theatre's 49th Season with the Tony winning musical Shenandoah. It is not only a great American story, but it is the story of our home here in the Shenandoah Valley during the American Civil War."

Charlie Anderson, a Valley farmer and widower doesn't see why he and his large family of sons and one daughter should get involved in the war that is raging around them. His views change when his youngest son is taken prisoner by Union soldiers. Charlie is pushed to the limit as his family is dragged inexorably into the fray. It's North versus South, brother against brother. The story is based on the classic Jimmy Stewart film SHENANDOAH. The musical is rich in emotion, heart and humor featuring stirring anthems, gentle lullabies and dance. Through joy, sorrow and turmoil, this great musical reminds us that it's the strength of family that matters most.

In announcing the cast Crocker added, "We are thrilled to have Tom Simpson playing the leading role of Charlie. Tom starred in last season's opener, Man of La Mancha and his singing stopped the show for applause each and every performance." This will be Tom's fifth production with Wayside Theatre. Other Wayside Theatre favorite veteran cast members are: David Maga (Harvey, Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story, Miracle on 34th Street, Southern Crossroads, Smoke on the Mountain Trilogy), Thomasin Savaiano (Southern Crossroads, A Christmas Carol, The Mousetrap, Always...Patsy Cline, Smoke on the Mountain series), Bill Diggle (Southern Crossroads, A Christmas Carol), Richard Follett (Buddy!, The Buddy Holly Story, Miracle on 34th Street, Always...Patsy Cline, Smoke on the Mountain Trilogy), Bob Payne (Miracle on 34th Street, Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story, Cotton Patch Gospel), Steve Przybylski (Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story, Southern Crossroads, Smoke on the Mountain Trilogy, Cotton Patch Gospel, Shadow of the Raven), Ricky Hesson (Man of La Mancha, Miracle on 34th Street, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet), Eddie Staver (Harvey), and Brandon Shockey (Miracle on 34th Street, Comedy of Errors, A Christmas Carol). Newcomers to Wayside Theatre are: Brandon Wells, Troy Van Meter, Aaron Mann, Katherine Yacko, and Jim Ritter.

The production is directed by Warner Crocker, Music Direction by Steve Przybylski and Chorography by Heather Reid. The Set Designed by Til Turner, Costume Design by Tamara Carruthers and Lighting Design by Paul Callahan.

Shenandoah will begin performances on Saturday, June 5 and. Opening Night is Sunday, June 6 at
6:30 PM. The remaining schedule of performances is Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday's at 2:30 PM. The Shenandoah Saturday, July 3 performances are at 1:00 PM and 7:30 PM. There is No matinee performance on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. Ticket prices are $30 to $25 dollars for adults. Prices for children 5 to 17 are $10 for any performance. Discounts for students, seniors and groups are available with information available at the box office, (540) 869-1776.

Wayside Theatre is the second oldest professional theatre in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and is celebrating its 49th season of presenting high quality, professional entertainment. Single tickets, subscription packages and group packages can be obtained by calling the box office at (540) 869-1776. Additional information can be obtained on the theatre's website at Wayside Theatre is located in Middletown, Virginia on Route 11, Main Street, just north of the intersection of I-66 and I-81.

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