Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fond Farewells to Fantastic Fall Fare

Posted by Phil Whiteway

I can’t believe we’ve already closed the curtains on the first three mainstage shows of our 2007-08 seasons. Wasn’t Labor Day just last week? Time flies when your audiences are having fun. (Special thanks to for letting us borrow the interactive graphic. Please visit them for all your theatre supply needs.)

The first show to take its final bows was Stuart Little at the historic Empire Theatre, followed about an hour later by Deathtrap at Hanover Tavern. We bid adieu to both of these crowd-pleasers on Sunday, October 21. I attended the last Stuart performance (it was great!) and then hustled out to Hanover to join Bruce in raising a glass to our wonderful and talented Deathtrap cast and crew (pictured above and to the right) at their closing festivities.

This past Sunday, October 28, it was time to make my famous chili for the wedding reception--The Member of the Wedding, that is. And I actually remembered to bring my camera this time.

Gathered around the groaning board (as Nancy Kilgore's portrait sings a supportive tune) are (left to right) cast members Joe Pabst, Carl Calabrese, Lexi Langs (arm only), Katy Burke, Erin Kate Bradner, David Bridgewater, Katherine Louis (holding her beloved grandbaby), and Eric Evans in the red t-shirt.

To the left, our brilliant and beautiful Berenice Sadie Brown (Katherine Louis) beams in the embrace of her two biggest fans - her equally beautiful daughter and granddaughter. Quoting from Crowns, her last Barksdale show, Katherine called to everyone's attention the way her granddaughter was "workin' that hat."

In the photo to the right, our stage manager Bo Wilson sneaks a hug with our other leading lady, 13-year-old Lexi Langs, with Pete Kilgore's portrait keeping a watchful eye. Joe Pabst (standing to the right of the photo) filled in as Lexi's stage father for the last two weeks of the run, and was a perfect stand-in for Dave Bridgewater, who had been called south for two weeks for some film work. Dave's movie schedule allowed him to come back to town on Sunday so that he could see the show from out front.
Lexi's real-life mom, who lived with Lexi for nine weeks in the comfortable company housing provided by our good friends at Studio Plus Deluxe Studios, smiles for the camera with Jill Bari Steinberg, Lexi's on-stage aunt.

The man of the hour was our Wedding director, Scott Wichmann, (standing to the left in the photo below and to the right) who is not only a gifted theatre artist but also, clearly, a connoisseur of great chili. A quick plug--Scotty, Joe Pabst and Dave Bridgewater joined co-star Joy Williams and director Steve Perigard yesterday to begin rehearsals for the next show in Barksdale's Signature Season at Willow Lawn, Moonlight and Magnolias, a hilarious comedy about the making of Gone with the Wind.

And please note the two stellar theatre talents located just behind Scotty's stage right shoulder. As is so frequently the case, they are in dim lights and in the background. But they are invaluable members of the Barksdale family and add immeasurably to the success of our productions. They are Renee Jones (wardrobe chief and dresser to the stars) and Linwood Guyton (light board operator extraordinaire).

Many, many thanks to all the terrific artists who made Stuart Little, Deathtrap and The Member of the Wedding the great shows that they were. Please know how much we appreciate and value your talent, dedication and hard work.

--Phil Whiteway


Thespis' Little Helper said...

Joe, you must know what that picture makes me think of...


Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved Deathtrap! I must have been asleep in the 70s, but I never remember seeing the show before, or the movie, so every twist and turn came as a surprise to me. The cast was excellent, and the set design was as GREAT as ever. The critic who said that the show was "dated" and no longer thrilling was obviously not connected to my adrenelin rush. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

All right, Mr. Whiteway. What's your chili recipe?

Anonymous said...

I thought Michael Goodwin was wonderful, and I'd never seen him before. You should bring him in for another show.