By Josette Keelor
Local theater, music, holiday crafts and fundraisers add to a weekend of whimsy and good will.
Winchester Little Theatre's "Ravenscroft," by Don Nigro, opens Friday and runs for three weeks, ending on Nov. 17
In 1905, at a manor house in Great Britain, an inspector arrives to investigate the suspicious death of a footman who broke his neck falling down a stairs.
The five women of the house become suspects, and, said Director Barbara Swink, "Finally all of the women claim to have done it."
"It starts out as a mystery and it gets kind of comedic," she said.
Debra Miles plays Mrs. Ravenscroft, and Meagan Haynes plays kitchen maid Dolly.
Husband and wife, Steve and Ellen Nichols, play, respectively, the inspector and housekeeper/cook Mrs. French. Amy Thomas plays the governess Marcy, and her daughter Zoe plays the 17-year-old Gillian Ravenscroft.
But Steve Nichols said, as far as the plot is concerned, any connection between cast members in real life is purely circumstantial.
"I've been here for a third of a century," he said, and he's well-versed in the layout of mysteries.
"If it's an English detective, here I am," he said. Still, "Ravenscroft" has its own unique plot twists, he said. "This crime scene doesn't seem as stodgy and sober as the other crime scenes in the other mysteries I've been in. It tries not to be."
"No one," he said, "is going to guess the end of this show."
"Ravenscroft" will take the stage Friday at Winchester Little Theatre, at 315 West Boscawen St. in Winchester, and run through Nov. 17. Performances are Friday, Saturday and Thursday at 8 p.m. and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices are $18.75 for adults, $16.75 for seniors age 62 and older and $14.50 for students. For more information, call 662-3331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Wayside Theatre in Middletown, "Wait Until Dark" will complete its run this weekend, and artistic director Warner Crocker is so convinced that patrons will love the show, he has assured in an emailed letter to area news outlets that he will refund tickets to anyone who doesn't like the show.
The story of a young blind woman threatened by intruders looking for something in her apartment, "Wait Until Dark" will sew up plot twists at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2:30 Saturday, at 7853 Main St. in Middletown. Tickets are $30 for evening performances and $25 for matinees. Student and senior (age 62 and older) tickets range from $23 to $30. For more information, call 869-1776 or visit www.waysidetheatre.org.
Also playing this weekend will be "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," performed by the St. John's Teen Drama Club in Front Royal.
Performances will be held at Skyline High School, at 151 Skyline Vista Drive in Front Royal, at 7:30 Friday and Saturday, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors age 65 and older. Children age 12 and under who come dressed in costume on Friday or Saturday can meet the cast and receive a special treat. Clergy will be admitted free on Friday, and families (parents and children only) may attend matinees for a $30 maximum price.
For more information, call 636-2929 or email email@example.com.
Musical events this weekend will include The Stray Birds in Strasburg and Chatham Street in Mt. Jackson.
American folk band The Stray Birds, of Lancaster County, Penn., will perform Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Cristina's Cafe, at, at 219 King St. in Strasburg. The band will visit Virginia as part of an eastern United States tour of its original debut album, which its website TheStrayBirds.com says was released July 21. For more information, call 465-2311.
For The Art Group Gallery's First Friday, original folk, rock and Americana band Chatham Street, a duo by Christal and Peter Prout, of Stephens City, will perform from 7 to 10 p.m. at 5998 Main. St. in Mt. Jackson. For more information, call 477-4131.
November around the area offers a rare moment between holidays when Halloween events still stir up trouble, and Christmas previews pick up speed.
In Winchester on Saturday, Halloween has not ended quite yet for Spirit Watch, which will present John E.L. Tenney's Realm of the Weird/"Hauntings, Ghosts and Spirits," from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Holiday Inn Gateway, at 333 Front Royal Pike. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at johntenney.eventbrite.com, by phone at 336-4530 or at the door the night of the event.
In Front Royal and Warren County, holiday bazaars will paint the weekend with cheer.
Beginning Friday, the Front Royal United Methodist Women will present a bazaar in the fellowship hall at 1 Main St. from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with dinner available Friday and lunch on Saturday.
On Saturday, First Baptist Church, will hold a bazaar from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the fellowship hall at 14 W. First St. in Front Royal. Holiday items, decorations, crafts, unique gifts, fine artists and crafters, jewelry, quilted items, decorative accessories for the home, concession foods and homemade baked goods are just some of what will be included.
Front Royal Presbyterian Church, will partner with SERRV, a nonprofit fair trade and development organization with a mission to eradicate poverty wherever it resides, to present a bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, in the fellowship hall at 115 Luray Avenue, Fellowship Hall.
Proceeds from the bazaar will support international development efforts and support orphans in Africa. Catalog orders will be accepted.
Reliance United Methodist Church will hold a bazaar from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 1571 Reliance Road, with crafters, vendors and lunch available. Proceeds will benefit United Methodist Women Missions.
Also Saturday, Bennet's Chapel United Methodist Church will hold its annual bazaar from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 839 Rivermont Dr. in Front Royal, where food, crafts, a bake sale and homemade items will be for sale.
Fundraisers this weekend will include a High Tea in Front Royal, to benefit Christkindlmarkt; the 2nd Annual Charity Cornhole Tournament in Middletown, to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Care2CureHD-5K in Winchester, to benefit the Huntington's Disease Society.
Frederick County Professional Firefighters will present Charity Cornhole Tournament at 9 a.m. Sunday, with a Round Robin Tournament using American Cornhole Association rules. Personal cornhole sets are welcome but must meet ACA guidelines. Team rates are $40, with a 50 team maximum.
The event will take place at the Middletown Fire and Rescue Co., at 7855 Main St. in Middletown. First place wins $300, second place $100 and third place $50. Additional raffles will include "Best of the Best Shootout" and door prizes. Food and beverages will be provided by Middletown Vol. Fire & Rescue Auxilary and Local 4145.
Pre-registration is recommended online at www.local4145.com or at 336-2122.
The Care2CureHD-5K walk/run will include a 1/4 mile Kids Fun Run at Millbrook High School, at 251 1st Woods Drive in Winchester, beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday The children's run will follow. Event awards will be free Saucony shoes for the first male and female, and trophies for the top three males and females overall and medals for top three in each age group male and female, in 10-year increments. The price is $18 for SVR members, $20 for adult, $15 for children under 14 and $5 for the Kids Fun Run. For more information, visit care2curehd5k.com.
High Tea and a silent auction will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Calvary Episcopal Fellowship Hall in Front Royal For more information, call 622-2060.
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org.