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Tri-State stages filled with local productions

Oct. 11, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

It is true what they say -- all of October is a stage.

OK, no one said that but they should have this October weekend and beyond.

While Mother Nature's spreading her red, gold and green quilt of color in these hills, inside we've got more costumes than you can shake a hanger at in area theaters.

Let's go down through the rabbit hole and peer around at some of the wild and wonderful live theatrical offerings happening here now on a stage near you.

Let there be blood

There will be blood at the Renaissance Center as long-time Shakespeare fan and actor Mike Murdock is in the director's chair taking a stab at updating, "Macbeth," one of Shakespeare's bloodiest, most popular, and most quotable dramas.

Starring Greg Morris as Macbeth, Kate Morris as Lady Macbeth as well as such theater veterans as Paul Neace, Bil Neal and Sarah Diamond Burroway, "Macbeth," is ready to run Friday through Sunday and next weekend as well splaying open the timeless tale of political ambition, fate, deception and treachery of men vying for glory and the crown.

Dates are Oct. 12-14 as well as Oct. 19-20 with 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday shows and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $10 and dinner and a show reservations (Friday and Saturday only) are $25.

There will also be a school show that is almost sold out set for Thursday, Oct. 18. Call 304-733-ARTS for dinner reservations.

Into the witching hour

Starring American Idol finalist Chase Likens as John Proctor, "The Crucible," is now burning up the stage at Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center.

Directed by Jack Cirillo, "The Crucible," which won a Tony Award for Best Play in 1953, will continue at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 11-13. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The lobby will open at 7 p.m. for coffee and conversation prior to the show.

Arthur Miller's parable of mass hysteria draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch-hunt of 1692 and the McCarthyism which gripped America in the 1950s. The story of how the small community of Salem is stirred into madness by superstition, paranoia and malice is a savage attack on the evils of mindless persecution and the terrifying power of false accusations.

Call the box office at 304-696-2787.

'Alice' in high school land

Huntington High School's award-winning theater department dials back the pocket watch to childhood to present the always entertaining and mind-bending Lewis Carroll tale, "Alice in Wonderland."

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 11-13; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. Admission is $5 and free for children under 2 years of age.

Dylan Parker, a co-captain on the speech and debate team, will play the March Hare and is creating the Mad Hatter's costume. Sarena Johnson, Luke Hagely and Chloe Donahoe also star in the show. Johnson will play Alice, Hagely will play the Cheshire Cat, and Donahoe will play the caterpillar. Carley Claudio will play the White Rabbit, Jacob Eastman the Mad Hatter, Liz Dyer the Queen of Hearts, Kiersten Oldham the Dodo, with Jamia Shook and Chad Arthur as Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Bullets fly at the B&O

The Huntington-based Murder and Merriment Murder Mystery Troupe has tromped all over the region performing their interactive dinner theater.

As the New River Trains pull into Huntington, the troupe will be on hand here at home to provide entertainment for those guests as well as the public at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 and Oct. 27 at the old B&O station at Heritage Station.

The Collis. P. Huntington chapter of the National Railway Historical Society is presenting these two performances of "Another Fistful of Bullets," a railroad-themed murder mystery that features a robbery, hostages and bounty hunters.

Tickets are $40 for the evening meal and entertainment. Call 304-523-0364 and 866-639-7487.

Other upcoming Murder and Merriment include "The Murdered Mistress!" at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 and 13 at Greenhouse of Teays Valley and "Murder at the Opera!," a special benefit for the Marshall Artists Series at 7 p.m. Oct. 31, at the St. Clair home, 1805 McCoy Road, Huntington. Reservations for this event can be made by calling 304-412-4071 or 304-654-0040.

For more information on Murder and Merriment events, call George R. Snider III at 304-634-8581.

Under the sea downtown

Get immersed in one of the most beloved Disney classics, "Disney's The Little Mermaid, Jr.," as First Stage Theatre Company presents the musical based on the beloved animated film.

The show, which starts more than 50 young performers from high school seniors to elementary school kids, takes place at the Renaissance Theatre, 900 8th St., at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27 at 2 p.m. Oct. 28.

The show's cast is guided by director Chuck Minsker, music director Mark Smith, choreographer Melissa McGuffin, producer Leslie Porter, assistant director Robyn Welch, set construction director Jack Welch, and costume designer Trish Woods.

For more information, visit www.firststagetheatre.org or call 304-416-KIDS.

Love at first bite

Fresh off of a smash hit with "Avenue Q," Curtains Up Players takes a bite out of the Halloween thriller, "Dracula: The Musical."

Directed by Clara Adkins and starring Jon Lamp as Dracula, the Goth romance (set in the Victorian Age in Europe), the musical follows the famed vampire as he lusts for new blood as Dr. Van Helsing (played by Alison Smith) tries to fight his supernatural powers.

The musical will be performed at the Jeslyn Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27 as well as Nov. 1-2. There will be 2:30 p.m. matinees on Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 as well.

Tickets ($15 adults and $12 students) now available online at www.curtainsupplayers.org .

Even more shows

Here's a roundup of even more theater in the region, via The Herald-Dispatch theater blogger and veteran Tri-State thespian, Chuck Minsker.

Read more of his blog Tri-State Theater online at http://herald-dispatchblogs05.blogspot.com/

"Phantom of the Opera" -- ACTC presents Andrew Lloyd Webber's famous musical on the ACTC stage at 8 p.m. Oct. 18-20 and 25-27 and at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 21 and 28.

"The Woman in Black" -- Portsmouth Little Theatre presents the scary story of a man who recalls his encounter with the mysterious woman in black, who haunts his memory. The drama will be presented Oct. 26, 27, Nov. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m.

"Hello, Dolly!" -- One of the most enduring classic musicals of all time will be presented by the Charleston Light Opera Guild at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences on Oct. 26, 27, Nov. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 at 2:00 p.m.

"Peter Pan" -- The Children's Theatre of Charleston presents the play based on the classic story of the mischievous boy who can fly and spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys, interacting with mermaids, Indians, fairies, pirates, and occasionally ordinary children from the world outside of Neverland. The show will be presented at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theater Oct. 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 13 and 14 at 2 p.m.

"Evil Dead: The Musical" -- Kanawha Players presents the horror musical Oct. 5, 6, 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. at the Kanawha Players Theater.

"Animal Farm" -- Charleston Stage Company presents the play based on the classic George Orwell novel at the WVSU Capital Theatre on Oct. 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m.

"West Side Story" -- The Paramount Arts Center in Ashland presents Troika Entertainment's first two showings of the national tour of this beloved musical Oct. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m.

"Music Man, Jr." -- Portsmouth Area Children's Theatre will present the musical Oct. 11, 12 and 13 at Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.

"Sleepy Hollow: the Musical" -- JAX Theatre is staging the Halloween classic on Oct. 19-21 at the JAX Theatre in Wheelersburg, Ohio.

"The Canterville Ghost" -- presented by the French Art Colony's Riverby Theater Guild, Oct. 20-21 at the University of Rio Grande's Fine and Performing Art Center Auditorium. Tickets $7 and $5 for students, seniors and French Art Colony Members. Call The French Art Colony, at 740-446-3834.