The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 27, 2013

Historic Fayette Theater ready for an exciting season


— 2013 brings new and exciting opportunities to the Historic Fayette Theater.

Once again, main stage shows will form the core of its presentations, while special programming comprises the Second Season, so designated because they are often pre-cast and offer HFT regulars new opportunities.

In addition, Fayette Theater will be open for tours on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The tours are free and open to the public.

 HFT opens with a patriotic tribute and spring musical, “Kilroy Was Here!” Show dates are March 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. with matinee shows at 2 p.m. on March 17 and 24.

Come to HFT when the ships leaving a navy yard are being sunk by Nazi U-boats. Suspicion points to a nearby U.S.O. Club which may be harboring spies. Action builds to an exciting climax during a wild radio broadcast.

April showers down two great shows. The Mystery Dinner Theater April 12-13 includes a 6 p.m. dinner at a local restaurant and then  “Murder Among The Meringues,” an audience participation murder mystery at 8 p.m. performed by The In-Cahoots Players. Reservations are required.

As the production unfolds, Gigi Sharp and The Meringues have done it again, their newest song, “Sweet Sugar,” is a hit single, topping the charts, and Gigi has been nominated for a Grammy for the song. They are touring the nation, promoting their new album, and have come for a press conference. But one member of the entourage has murder on his or her mind. Join us for an evening of music and maybe even murder as we meet The Meringues.

Tickets are $30 per person and include choice of dinner at Diogi’s, Pies & Pints or Gumbo’s. Show-only tickets are available for $10 per person.

“Panache,” an unpredictable, charmingly comic story, plays out April 26, 27, May 3, 4, with matinee on May 5. The story seems to start out simply — Kathleen wants a license plate with the word “Panache” on it, but Harry has it. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, however, and what begins as a ridiculous squabble over the seemingly unimportant quickly turns into a desperate quest to salvage two lives.

Summer will bring something for all ages, from the July 6 performance of “Kemper’s Musical Extravaganza,” to the possible shooting of an angel in “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” on July 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 and 28. Hailed by audiences as a comedy with a heartfelt message, the play follows the intersecting paths of the two guilt-ridden, bumbling Alabama duck-hunting brothers who think they accidentally shot down an angel.

The 2013 Youth Drama Camp will be offered July 29-Aug. 3. Attendees engage in a variety of theater games and activities that encourage skills in team work and problem-solving. Activities also sharpen critical thinking and boost self-confidence. The camp ends with a performance for family and friends.

Enrollment is limited and is open to children ages 6 to 15. Tana Higginbotham directs the camp.

In September, HFT presents the theater’s competition-quality plays with an Evening of One Acts. Playwright James McLure’s two one-act comedies, “Laundry & Bourbon” and “Lone Star,” take theater-goers to small-town Texas.

In “Laundry & Bourbon” we visit Elizabeth’s back porch in Maynard, Texas, on a hot summer afternoon where she and friend Hattie are whiling away the time folding laundry, watching TV, sipping bourbon and Coke, and gossiping about the many open secrets that are so much a part of small-town life. They are joined by the self-righteous Amy Lee, who can’t resist blurting out that Elizabeth’s husband has been seen around town with another woman. While the ensuing conversation is increasingly edged with bitter humor, from it emerges a sense of Elizabeth’s inner strength and her quiet understanding of the turmoil which has beset her husband since his return from Vietnam.

“Lone Star” takes place in the cluttered backyard of that same small-town Texas bar. Elizabeth’s husband, Roy, is trying to re-establish his position in the community. Joined by his younger brother, Ray, who worships him, Roy sets about consuming a case of beer while regaling Ray with tales of his military and amorous exploits. Roy cherishes three things in life: Lone Star beer, his wife Elizabeth, and his classic pink Thunderbird car, not necessarily in that order.

Both productions, scheduled Sept. 20, 21, 27 and 28, contain adult themes and language.

The theater will partner again on Oct. 2 with the West Virginia Professional River Outfitters Association and IQ Media to present the 10th Annual Video Boaters Challenge.

This popular event showcases the talents of local videographers who work in the whitewater industry, giving paddling film enthusiasts as well as professional videographers the chance to compete for great prizes.

A panel of judges from the local community will vote on locally produced videos and award prizes.

With November’s end comes the beginning of the holiday season and this year HFT presents a Christmas classic, “Miracle on 34th Street.” Show dates are Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1, 6, 7 and 8.

Wrapping up the season on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. will be the New River Youth Symphony and Chorus’ concert of holiday and classical music.

Historic Fayette Theater is conveniently located at 115 S. Court St. in the Fayetteville Historic District, 1 mile south of the New River Gorge Bridge.

For more information call administrator Christy Ingram at 304-574-4655.

Admission for all main stage performances is $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens over age 55 and children 12 and under unless otherwise stated.

Group rates and season tickets are available. Historic Fayette Theater accepts all major credit cards.

To order advance tickets online with a credit card go to www.brown papertickets.com and search HFT.

There will be a service charge and your tickets can be mailed to your or held at “will call.”

You can also purchase your ticket in advance at the theater.

The box office will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., beginning four weeks prior to a performance.