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Go catch some H.O.T. shows up in Ritter

Jul. 05, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- There hasn't been this much "Hairspray" in the Ritter Park Amphitheater since 1989.

Huntington Outdoor Theatre's 20th and final show will be the rock 'n' roll, dance-fevered musical, "Hairspray," that will light up the park at 8:30 p.m. July 5-7, July 12-14, July 19-21, July 26-28. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for picnicking, and the children's pre-show, "Disney Extravaganza!" and community pre-show begin at 7 p.m. Bring lawn chairs or blankets, cooler, etc.

Admission will be $15, $13 for seniors (65+) and kids (5-12), and kids 5 and under free. Groups of 20 tickets or more are $12 per ticket.

Advance tickets can be bought at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena box office.

H.O.T. founder and director Helen Freeman said they're excited to announce the veteran cast which includes two girls, Jessica Cooper as Tracy and Brynna Horswell, as Amber, who starred in the Charleston Light Opera Guild production of the show.

"Hairspray," also features Evan Sullivan, of Lexington, Ky., as Link, in addition to a slew of H.O.T. stalwarts such as Ryan Hardiman (who starred in many H.O.T productions including its most successful, "Beauty and the Beast"), TV personality Kennie Bass and Shayne Gue, who went on to found Curtains Up Players, and Levi Kelley, playing the cross-dressing role of Edna.

When they started looking around, "Hairspray," which has been worked up by everyone from the Paramount Players in 2011 to Ironton High School this spring, was a perfect cross-generational show.

"'Hairspray' is the perfect show probably even more so than 'Beauty' because it is a family show, it's fun, it has a social message and it teaches history," Freeman said.

For those who don't know the musical it is based off the quirky and poignant John Water's movie that starred a unknown Rikki Lake (as Tracy), Deborah Harry, Divine, Jerry Stiller, Ric Ocasek (of The Cars), and the late Sonny Bono.

"Hairspray" is set in Waters' hometown of Baltimore (which Waters dubbed "the hairdo capitol of the world"). It's 1962, at the height of the teen celebrity craze, and the wacky musical romp traces one girl's quest for the spotlight -- 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad, a big girl who's got big hair, a big heart and even bigger dreams.

Not unlike the "American Idol" and everybody's got talent kind of fever of today, the musical tracks everyone, and their moms, desperately seeking teen pop dreams.

Tracy wins a spot on the local TV dance program, "The Corny Collins Show" and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity.

Can a plus-size trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her 'do?


Sink your teeth into a great summer film

From "Moby Dick" to "Jonah," everyone loves a good story about man vs. the giant beasts of the sea.

Few films capture the epic struggle as well as the 1975 Steven Spielberg-directed classic, "Jaws," which brought the classic Peter Benchley novel to life as the town's police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman team up to try and stop a great white shark menacing a town's beach.

That summer film swims into the night as Cinema Under the Stars shows "Jaws," in the brick patio area of the Heritage Station.

The movies are $1 and start about dusk. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Concessions are available and Heritage Station shops such as SIP Wine Bar, Let's Eat, Finds and Designs, and Brand Yourself are open during the show.

Guests are encouraged to come early to browse through the shops at Heritage Station, which will extend their hours for the events.

For more information, visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/cinemaunderthestarswv.


Tattooing the local art scene

With several regionally and some nationally-known tattoo artists operating in the heart of Huntington, the downtown has long been a magnet for folks wanting to get inked up right.

Those artists show off their art work in the Tri-State Art Jam III, a show that will run from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 6, at the Pullman Plaza Hotel, 1001 3rd Ave., Huntington. Come out and see this group art show and silent auction by tattoo artist and their friends displaying American themed artwork (both positive and negative) to benefit the Vietnam Veterans of America, West Virginia chapter.

After the show, add some rock 'n' roll to the night with a three band-blast from Sly Roosevelt, the Rozwell Kid and AC30 at the V Club, 741 6th Ave. Showtime is 10 p.m. Cover is $5 for ages 18 and up.


Pedaling that summer in motion

The 25th anniversary of Summer Motion has a slew of cool events and one of those happens Sunday, July 7 when ACE (The Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts) host a Summer Motion Bicycle Tour between the parks (Greenbo and Carter Caves State Resort Parks).

There's a 30 mile ride that starts and ends at Greenbo and the longer ride (100 miles) that runs up to Carter Caves as well. Check in is 5 to 7 p.m. July 6, at the Ashland Central Park bandstand or from 6 to 9 a.m. Sunday, July 7, at the Greenbo Park Amphitheater. There will be pizza and soft drinks at the Saturday registration and SAG stops will include some surprise items. Registration is $40.

For more info, go online at www.summermotion.com and click onto the bicycle tour.


Get your brew tickets

The Tri-State will be able to tap into the growing craft beer market as The Shops at Heritage Station and Bottle and Wedge are teaming up for a new first year fest, Rails and Ales Festival set to run 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17.

A limited number of advance tickets went on sale this past week. The festival at Heritage Station's patio will feature craft beers and microbrews from such breweries as Morgantown Brewing Company, Bridge Brew Works, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and many more to be announced.

Also, Global Distributors will be bringing as many as 11 different imports, about half of those which are just entering the West Virginia market at that time. Just a few of the craft brews will include: Gulden Draak, Piraat, Wittekerke, Petrus and Bavik, and Flying Dog which is sending their Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout.

Tickets are $25 and are available only at Bottle & Wedge, the craft beer store located in Shop #14 at Heritage Station, located at 210 11th St., Huntington.

For more info and updates on the fest, check out the Facebook pages of Bottle and Wedge and Rails and Ales Festival.


Camden Park features terrific Tuesday's children festival

Every Tuesday is Terrific at Camden Park with their annual Children's Festival.

From noon until 4 p.m. the regular Midway attractions, rides, games and fun expand to include balloons of all shapes and sizes, the Honey Hill Petting Zoo and the Steve Free band jamming on the Arbor Stage.

In addition to the Children's Festival, Camden Park features an 18-hole miniature golf course, a lake with paddleboats, an Arcade, classic rides like The Whip, The Scrambler, The Big Dipper and The Haunted House as well as its newest ride, the swinging pendulum ride known as The Rattler.

Camden Park, open for its 110th Season, is located on U.S. 60 West, Huntington. For information on special discounts or packages call 304-429-4321 or visit the website camdenpark.com.


Free kids films at Marquee

Looking for something to beat the mid-week doldrums?

Head over to the Marquee Cinemas at Pullman Square for the 2013 Kid's Summer Movie Series.

The free series runs at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Aug. 7.

There are two movies from which to choose each day, with free admission. The films for July 9-10 are "Planet 51," and "The Pirates: Band of Misfits."

There is limited seating available. The movies are subject to change without notice.

Call 304-525-7469 or go online at www.marqueecinemas.com for more info.