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Ghost Brothers of Darkland County

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Two exciting new adventures came my way, first I am writing my inaugural piece for the The Backstage Beat and second I got a chance to meet the maker of scary dreams Stephen King and get a book signed.

All this came together on opening night of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County at the Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff on April 12, 2012.  This show has been the most anticipated premiere of the year as it merges the tales of Stephen King with the music and lyrics of rocker John Mellencamp.

The buzz was in the air as the red carpet hosted celebrities arriving for the big night. When Stephen King came through he admitted that he was a “bit nervous”.  When asked to why folks should check out this show, King slyly replied because “it’s a good story and John’s music is good”.  Rocker John Mellencamp was all smiles as he was accompanied by the glamorous actress Meg Ryan.

Spotted in the crowd were sports great Charles Barkley, actress Kim Fields, and playwright Pearl Cleage.  Local theatre support came from the attendance of Actor’s Express Freddie Ashley and Aurora Theatre’s Al Stilo.[nggallery id=547]

Ghost Brothers of Darkland is a story of what makes urban legends spicy. In the opening scene you are taken to a night when two brothers in a feud over a blond beauty bring out the worst of each other, lust, betrayal, and envy. This battle tragically ends in a trio of deaths witnessed by their younger brother Joe (Royce Mann).

Now fast forward from 1967 to 2007 and an adult Joe’s (Shuler Hensley) boys’ Frank (Lucas Kavner) and Drake (Justin Guarini) fall into the same dilemma as they fall for the same girl Anna Wicklow (Kylie Brown).

However the kicker is that lurking in the shadow are Joe’s late brother’s ghost Jack (Peter Albrink) and Andy (Travis Smith) with their vixen love interest Jenna (Kate Ferber) that have haunt the cabin Joe stands in present day 2007.

All is muddied when these unsuspecting souls are taunted from the man downstairs the devil himself in malevolent character the Shape (Jake La Botz).  Not to despair a voice of reason chimes in as the man from upstairs Dan Coker (Christopher L. Morgan) throws in his two cents.

This production quality is outstanding as there is a seamless mix of multimedia, staging effects, and a multilevel set design.

Mellencamp’s sounds serve as homage to the rockabilly Johnny Cash with a spin of good rock and roll flair.  This story has a multitude of twist and turns with a little of Stephen King’s naughty unexpected horror thrown in.

Young Royce Mann is a stand out as he brings to the character the vulnerability of youth facing ugly fate of life’s tragedies.

Led by Tony Award® Winner Shuler Hensley (Young Frankenstein, Tarzan, Oklahoma!) this is the must see show of the year and will give you bragging rights that you saw it first before it went on to Broadway.  Ghost Brothers of Darkland County is surely on its way for a Tony Award® nomination and win.[nggallery id=546]

Do what you can to check out this show, if not you will be haunted that you missed it.

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County runs through May 13 at the Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff, for tickets and show times visit: 404.733.5000 or www.alliancetheatre.org
Photos by Ashley Staley and C. David Trivino

Holiday Fun

“A Christmas Carol” at Theatre in the Square Brings the Holiday Cheer!

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Nothing makes me feel more like Christmas is just around the corner than seeing a live performance of “A Christmas Carol.”  We have been fortunate to see it performed all over the country with highlights in Boston at the North Shore Music Theatre and now a wonderful performance at the resurrected Theatre in the Square!

The intimate theater is the perfect setting for a story this classic. Even if you are sitting in the back, you will still get a great view and feel the story just fine.

From the opening of the story, through the highly appreciated musical numbers, and a wonderful full cast finale, this adaptation is simply delightful.

The cast, comprised of some amazing local talent, is as good as they get! Some of the best and stand out performances go to Bruce Speer as Scrooge, Cindy Copeland  as Christmas Past, Vance West as Bob Cratchit and how could we leave out Davie DeWitt as Tiny Tim!

After the show we talked to the owner of the Theatre, Raul Thomas and he told us this. ” This adaptation by Director Tony Smithey he has been producing in a variety of forms for 18 years. Originally written to tour in schools the running time was about 55 min. With the addition of music and dancing it now runs about an hour and a half with the intermission.
In the production Tony has done a little fleshing out to Scrooge’s relationships with his Mother, his only friend Jacob Marley and his one and only true love Belle. ”

This is a must on our Holiday Fun list so get your tickets now HERE as it opens tonight!

 

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The New Theatre in the Square Marietta is Back and Better Than Ever!

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Three years ago one of my favorite local theaters took their final bow and closed up shop. Ever since I can I remember, I loved going to see performances at the Theatre on the Square in the beautiful Marietta Square. I can remember going to see some great Christmas shows with my parents and one of my favorites, the “1940’s Radio Hour”. Ahhh, the memories. But, it was all over in 2012.

Three years have come and gone and I spent two of those years in Boston and one in Florida, so imagine my delight to come back to Atlanta to find that the Theatre on the Square was revamped and ready to amaze again with great local talent.

We took a few minutes to get to know the lovely Roxanne Johnson of the Theatre and ask her a few questions.

Raul Thomas – Owner of Theatre on the Square

TBB: We are so excited that the beloved Theatre in the Square in Marietta is making it’s glorious comeback. Tell me about this revival, who is involved and what we can expect?

Roxanne: It was more than heart breaking to the community as a whole to see Theatre in the Square close up shop in 2012. Immediately seeing huge potential Raul Thomas; Executive Chef, Film Maker  and avid supporter of all the arts, took over the theatre in September of this year. From the community he hand picked a team of top notch creative and business professionals. We all quickly went to bring this sacred space back to it’s former glory.

   Wanting to court previous supporters of the theatre we offer through our resident company standards and favorites of the community. There will also be more contemporary entertainment offered as well as concerts and comedy and other events. The former green room has now been transformed into a small film and photography studio.

   The studio is available to the community. As well as classes for children and adults. We are already working closely with Marietta Middle School and Kennesaw State University. The ultimate goal is creating a multi-cultural center bringing entertainment and education to the area through art and theatre.  
   Information regarding what is currently running and what is coming up for us, as well as purchasing tickets can be found on our website HERE.

   After the 1st of the year we will be offering season tickets, flex tickets and reserved seating.

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Pure Magic! Cinderella at The Fox Theatre!

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Once upon a time, there lived a little girl who dreamed of happiness, played with her animal friends and loved her daddy.  She loved to pretend that she was the beautiful princess at a ball, dancing the night away. Yes, once upon a time.

As the years went by, the girl grew older but her dreams never died. She still loves her daddy, her animal friends and of course, dreams of happiness and princess gowns.

Last night, that little girl witnessed the most amazing thing! A true princess transform on stage and she knew that anything was possible! So, she began to dream some more!

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