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September 3, 2009

MIDDLETOWN -- John Brown's 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, the signal event that hastened the coming of the Civil War, is deftly explored in Wayside Theatre's "Robert E. Lee and John Brown: Lighting the Fuse."

August 20, 2009

FRONT ROYAL -- History cannot seem to deliver a definitive judgment on whether legendary abolitionist John Brown was a martyred hero or a fanatical villain, whether he was a man willing to take up arms for a cause, or a megalomaniac zealot consumed by a religious crusade.

July 25, 2009

WINCHESTER -- Eighty-four year old Gene Babb was already getting asked about his age more than two decades ago, when a reporter inquired if he felt a little old to be acting.

WINCHESTER -- "Beauty and the Beast" is back at the Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre in all its sumptuous, ingenious glory.

July 23, 2009

MIDDLETOWN -- Gin rummy is a tame card game, unlikely to arouse much suspense and certainly no passion. But in "The Gin Game," the acerbic comedy at Wayside Theatre, the innocuous pastime generates paroxysms of fury, more akin to blood sport, and opens a window into the souls of two old, lonely people.

July 16, 2009

WINCHESTER -- The Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre will end its season happily ever after with its fourth show, "Disney's Beauty and the Beast."

July 11, 2009

WINCHESTER -- Musicals come serious or silly, but few among the latter can top "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" for sheer escapist fun.

July 9, 2009

MIDDLETOWN -- How many hands of gin rummy does it take to get to know a stranger? Wayside Theatre plans to show audiences just how two different people can learn about each other in its upcoming production of D.L. Coburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Gin Game."

July 2, 2009

WINCHESTER -- Audiences at the Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's next production will receive a nice holiday between the summer's only drama and the finale. "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, offers a fantasy version of a Bible story complete with a narrator for the children and a moral at the end.

June 27, 2009

WINCHESTER -- "West Side Story" works its timeless magic at the Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre.

June 18, 2009

WINCHESTER -- The second production of the Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers, but don't expect your typical Shakespearean tragedy.

June 13, 2009

WINCHESTER -- "Hairspray," that musical celebration of plumpness, gets the Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's season off to a rollicking start.

June 11, 2009

MIDDLETOWN -- Gritty realism and soaring idealism are starkly contrasted in Wayside Theatre's compelling musical, "Man of La Mancha."

June 4, 2009

WINCHESTER -- Shenandoah Conservatory can boast that it is ahead of the curve, offering its students and area residents something that most other theater companies cannot -- the rights to a famous, award-winning musical that is still on stage in New York and is currently touring nationally.

May 28, 2009

MIDDLETOWN -- A love, or maybe just the slightest appreciation, for the arts has to start somewhere.

May 9, 2009

MIDDLETOWN -- It wasn't quite Broadway, but 16-year old Noah Scheibmeir got a small taste of what it's like to be in the spotlight. And, he seemed to enjoy it.

May 6, 2009

Shenandoah University graduate J. Robert "Bobby" Spencer knows a nod for a Tony Award is anything but normal.

April 30, 2009

WINCHESTER -- Winchester Little Theatre's upcoming production of "Funny Money" may be just the elixir needed during the current economic downturn.

April 25, 2009

WINCHESTER -- From the first, skittering notes of the familiar overture, the musical genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart blossoms spectacularly in "The Marriage of Figaro."

April 17, 2009

MIDDLETOWN -- The Wayside Theatre's 2009 Student Playwriting Festival will feature a staged-reading style performance of "Come Along My Dear, Come Along," written by Skyline High School student Noah Scheibmeir,...

April 16, 2009

WINCHESTER -- If you are looking for a standard, run-of-the-mill opera, then Shenandoah University's April presentation of "Marriage of Figaro" should not be your first choice.

April 9, 2009

FRONT ROYAL -- When two characters look so similar to each other that they are able to induce mass confusion throughout a story, that's comedy. Add in another set of look-alikes, and watch as hilarity ensues.

March 12, 2009

MIDDLETOWN -- Jesus is from Georgia, his disciples are a bluegrass band and King Herod is the mayor of Atlanta in Wayside Theatre's resurrection of the popular "Cotton Patch Gospel," which opens March 21.

February 28, 2009

WINCHESTER -- Despite its politically incorrect theme, "Kiss Me Kate" remains a frisky Broadway war-horse, brimming with humor, indelible characters and, above all, some of Cole Porter's most scintillating music.

February 26, 2009

WINCHESTER -- Combine a dead mistress in the driveway where the wife of a cheating husband ran her over, a nosy neighbor, a punk rock maid with a mane of pink hair, and blackmail has a fertile breeding ground. Written in the '50s by British playwright Leslie Sands, "Something to Hide" is a murder mystery that starts action in the first 10 minutes and never slows down.

February 19, 2009

WINCHESTER -- Sarah Sesler has been waiting to play the role of Lois Lane for the past seven years, after a friend cast as Lois in their high school production of "Kiss Me Kate" told Sesler, "The next time you're in the show, you're going to be Lois Lane."

February 5, 2009

By John Horan Jr. -- Daily Staff Writer MIDDLETOWN -- Home cooking is hard to beat. Buffeted, like everyone else, by the harsh economic downturn, Warner Crocker, Wayside Theatre's artistic...

January 22, 2009

MIDDLETOWN -- In times of economic hardship, Americans always have fought the current of recession by relying on what can't be taken away: Talent, determination and ingenuity. Wayside Theatre's next performance, "Southern Cross Roads," is set in the Great Depression South and illustrates the country has made it through tough times before.

January 15, 2009

WINCHESTER -- The cast and crew of the Shenandoah Musical Theatre Ensemble are anxious for the curtain to go up on "Working."

January 8, 2009

WINCHESTER — Different people from different times have different cultures, but there are few if any gulfs that friendship and understanding can’t bridge. That’s the premise of “Grace & Glorie,” the latest production at Winchester Little Theatre under the direction of Roxie Orndorff.

January 3, 2009

J. Robert Spencer is not partial to one genre of music. He loves everything about it. The music producer, writer, actor, singer, dancer, musician practically eats, sleeps and breathes it.

December 11, 2008

WINCHESTER -- As Winchester Little Theatre prepares to perform its holiday production, "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," it reaches out to more valley residents than ever before.

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