Jasper loves theatre in small and non-traditional spaces, especially when new groups are involved. This coming weekend, in addition to name-brand shows at well-known theatres around town, we want to make you're aware of two additional shows that are worth checking out.
The Fine Arts Center of Forest Acres is a new performance and event venue located on the second level of Richland Mall, at 3400 Forest Drive, corner of Beltline and Forest Drive. The space is right above the Barnes & Noble bookstore, and is home to the first show presented by the new Theatre Rowe Productions: Pamela Parker's Second Samuel. The title refers not to the book of the Old Testament, but rather a small town in Georgia (so named after Sherman burned the first one) "where the men spend their leisure time at the local watering hole, and the women are found the beauty emporium." From their press release:
Set in the late 1940's, the inhabitants of this sleepy southern town prepare for the funeral of one of their most beloved citizens. But their serenity is suddenly shattered when dark secrets are revealed. The folks of SECOND SAMUEL are in for a summer no one will ever forget - join us for this special play about true friendship filled with outright laughter and tears! Second Samuel opens Thursday March 22nd at 8 PM, and runs Th. through Sat. this weekend and next, with special dinner performances at 6 PM on both Sundays (3/25 and 4/1.) These will include "a Sunday Dinner of good old, down home, country cooking, just like you'd have at any funeral gathering! Because...it wouldn't be a funeral without Marcela's good ol' deviled eggs!"
The cast includes Tyler Kemmerling (recently seen as Clay-boy in The Homecoming at Chapin) Bob Blencowe (we recall him as a particularly scruffy and drunken Pap Finn in a memorable production of Big River at Workshop Theatre in the 90's) Chauntel Bland (the first runner-up in the apocalyptic Cocoa vs. Craft dance-off - and we still think that ballot-box may have been rigged!) Patricia L. Anderson, Todd Kemmerling, Gayle Stewart, Liz Knight, Lisa Buchanan, David Reed, and Philip D. Rowe (who also directs.)
All tickets are general admission. Ticket prices for the Thursday thru Saturday performances are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors/student/military; and $10 for children (12 and younger). Tickets for the Sunday Dinner Shows are $25 each. For information, please call (803)200-2012 or go to www.TheatreRowe.com.
What's that you say? Food and theatre? Yes, please? Hungry for even more?
We are only too happy to oblige.
The very next evening, Friday March 23rd, John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer and Tony Award winning play, Doubt: A Parable, will be performed by the Shandon Players of Shandon Presbyterian Church at 607 Woodrow Street (that's the block in between Devine and Blossom.) A barbecue dinner is served at 6:30 PM, followed by the play at 7:30, and the whole thing is just $18 per person. In addition to another show the next evening (Sat. March 24th) there is a Sunday matinee at 4 PM on the 25th, for just $10, with no dinner.
From their press material: "In a Bronx Catholic school in 1964, a popular priest's ambiguous relationship with a troubled 12-year-old black student is questioned by the school's principal." This production stars Malie Heider as Sister Aloysius, Emily Harrill as Sister James, Stuart Massey as Father Flynn, Marilyn Matheus as Mrs. Muller, and is directed by Libby Campbell, recently seen as the mom-from-hell in August: Osage County, and who played Sister Aloysius a few years ago in Charleston. Campbell jokes "Come on folks - even if you aren't good Presbyterians, you haven't seen Malie and Marilyn onstage in far too long. You want to see this. You know you do."
Tickets and information are available at Shandon Presbyterian Church, 607 Woodrow St., or call (803) 771-4408.
~ August Krickel