ARTS offers a new twist on an old Shakespearean classic
HUNTINGTON -- It's a grand night for singing and Shakespearing.
Yes, that's a verb now, at least in this city as ARTS' award-winning author Michael Murdock is taking a third stab at presenting new stage twists on Shakespeare.
While ARTS is kicking off its three-weekend-run of "Much Ado About Nothing," Huntington also welcomes in the state's only professional theater for a one-night-stand, country style.
Here's a look a those shows and other regional theater news.
Shakespeare shaken and stirred
Enjoy your Shakespeare 1960s Vegas Lounge style -- showgirls included, as ARTS (Arts Resources for the Tri-State) presents its original twist onto the Shakespeare classic, "Much Ado About Nothing," that opens Friday, Aug. 15 .
Starting Friday and running for the next three weekends, "Much Ado About Nothing," takes place over at the old Huntington High School. Dinner and a show tickets and regular tickets are now on sale.
Showtime is at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15-16, Aug. 22-23 and Aug. 29-30, as well as 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 17 at the ARTS Renaissance Theatre, 900 8th St., Huntington.
Tickets are $15 show only and $30 for dinner and a show. Call 304-733-2787 or go online at www.artstristate.org/.
The opening night dinner tickets are sold out but show tickets remain. Dinner performances remaining are Friday and Saturday, Aug. 22-23.
Directed and adapted by Murdock, "Much Ado About Nothing," is Murdock's third adaptation of Shakespeare with a modern twist. Previous critically-acclaimed performances included ARTS presentations of "Julius Caesar" and "Macbeth." "Much Ado About Nothing" tells the story of an upcoming wedding and a hilarious plan to make two wisecracking rivals fall in love. All is well until the prince's brother decides to interfere with all of the joy of the occasion. Will love save the day?
Tickets are $15 show only and $30 for dinner and a show.
Go online at www.herald-dispatch.com and click onto multimedia and photo galleries to see pics from "Much Ado About Nothing" rehearsal.
'Tammy Wynette's story on the road
In an unprecedented swing through West Virginia, the state's only professional theater, the Lewisburg, W.Va.-based Greenbrier Valley Theatre, is taking its current show "Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story" on the road around West Virginia.
The show will be in Huntington at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15 at the Jean Carlo Stephenson Auditorium inside Huntington City Hall.
Tickets are $26 for general admission, $23 for seniors (60 and up) and $20 for children and students and will be sold at the door. For more information, call the GVT Box Office at 304-645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org/.
The GVT, which was in Gilbert Thursday, and is in Summersville on Saturday, is also taking the show to Marlinton, Princeton, Fairmont, Wheeling and Sutton.
There's also an Aug. 28 to Sept. 13 run of the show in Lewisburg, where GVT began in 1966 with several years of summer shows in tents before acquiring a theater in downtown.
The musical tells the rags to riches story of 'First Lady of Country Music' Tammy Wynette who grew up poor in Mississippi to become one of country music's iconic performers selling more than 30 million records, grossing more than $100 million. "Stand By Your Man" is still the top-selling single in the history of country music.
Hannah McGinley, who grew up just outside of Nashville, plays Wynette in the show.
For more information call the GVT Box Office at 304-645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org/.
Rocket Boys has landed
Congrats to Homer Hickam and his "Rocket Boys" musical, which just announced it has landed at Atlanta's Legacy Theatre. "Rocket Boys the Musical" will play from April 17 through May 10, 2015.
"Rocket Boys," the award-winning musical based on the best-selling book of the same name, will be presented this spring by Atlanta's Legacy Theatre, a professional regional house which also developed "Jane Eyre," among others.
Following its New York industry reading in 2010, "Rocket Boys" went on to enjoy three sold-out seasons at the 1260-seat Theatre West Virginia from 2011-2013. The production incorporates all the energy and rich humor of the original book by Homer Hickam, which inspired Universal Pictures' feature film "October Sky." Hickam himself co-authors the show's book with Carl Anthony Tramon, along with the music and lyrics team of Dan Tramon and Diana Belkowski, the composers of the award-winning musical "Flyer," which has played regionally around the country.
Hickam, a former NASA engineer, is the author of 14 best-sellers published in multiple languages around the globe, with "Rocket Boys" being a firm fixture on school and community reading lists everywhere. A winner of many writing awards, including the prestigious Clarence Cason award for nonfiction from the University of Alabama, his latest work is the sci-fi trilogy "Crater Trueblood" / Helium-3 series.
Since its initial stages, this musical telling of a misfit coal-miner's son who recruits some skeptical friends to join him in his quest to build rockets and conquer space has received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the theatre community, audiences, and press alike.
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