Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Holiday Happenings Kick Off This Week

Posted by John Steils

If you’re looking for a way to jump start your holiday celebration, you need look no further than Barksdale Theatre and Theatre IV. Our upcoming roster of eight different productions and special events is bound to include something smile-inducing for you and yours. We’re YOUR theatre, so please join in the fun.

1. Home for the Holidays
This is Barksdale’s third annual benefit concert for the Richmond Theatre Artists Fund. Not only will you enjoy a great 2-hour evening of entertainment from some of Richmond’s finest theatre singers, you’ll also be supporting a great cause. This year’s line-up of super-stars includes Brett Ambler, Corey Davis, Jan Guarino, Audra Honaker, Katrinah Lewis, Jason Marks, Robyn O’Neill, Fernando Rivadeniera, Janine Serresseque, Durron Tyree, and Tony Williams at the piano. Erin Thomas is our emcee. Performances are on the starlit Barksdale Willow Lawn lobby stage, with attendance limited to 80 guests sitting cabaret-style at reserved tables. Click for more details.

2. Bifocals Theatre Project
If you’re 55 or older, or if you know a theatre lover who is 55 or older, you really should connect with Barksdale’s Bifocals Theatre Project, our fun and fast-moving initiative designed to serve Greater Richmond’s senior theatre artists and audiences. On Thurs Dec 6 and Fri Dec 7, our Bifocals troupe will present a half-hour version of the radio drama It’s a Wonderful Life, directed by Bob Albertia, and featuring the acting talents of Bob himself plus Tom Bass, Woody Eney, Joel Grow, Donna Knicely, Chase Kniffen and Ali Thibodeau. The performance will take place on the lobby stage at Barksdale Willow Lawn. Seating for lunch (optional) begins at 12 noon, and the performance begins at 1 pm. Attendance is limited to 80 guests, and tickets must be reserved in advance. Following the Friday performance will be the annual Bifocals Christmas Party, which is open to all theatre lovers 55 and over, free of charge. Click for more details.

3. Indonesian Shadow Puppet Performance and Concert - FREE
Also this Fri Dec 7, in partnership with the Modlin Center for the Arts at Bruce and Phil’s alma mater (the University of Richmond), Barksdale will present free performances of a traditional Indonesian shadow-puppet performance featuring Dr. Andrew Clay McGraw (ethnomusicologist and music professor at the University), Gusti Putu Sudarta, Dalang (shadow master and musician), and John MacDonald (gamelan musician). Free performances will be at our historic Empire Theatre, conducted as a part of First Fridays. Call Catherine Dudley for more information, 643-2477. And while visiting the historic Empire on First Friday, be sure to enjoy the art photos of Jay Paul, now on display in our lobby gallery. Click for more details.

4. Stretchin’ at Barksdale – only $12 for a GREAT concert
Stretchin’ at Barksdale is our free-wheeling, grab-a-beer-and-chill-to-the-music concert series, presented on Sunday evenings in the “living room” lobby at Barksdale Willow Lawn. This Sun, Dec 9, 6 pm, national rising star Justin Townes Earle, son of country superstar Steve Earle, will be taking the stage with Richmond great Susan Greenbaum. B J Kocen is our impresario and emcee. It’s the best deal on the best music in town. If you enjoy live music in a laid back “at home” atmosphere, you’d be crazy to miss it. No reservations. Purchase tickets at the door. Click for more details.

5. Rostov’s Coffee & Conversations - FREE
Get outa here! You’ve NEVER been to a Coffee & Conversations event??!! Well, there’s no time to start like the present. Next Tues, Dec 11, 9:30 am, join us in the lobby of Barksdale Willow Lawn to hear all the backstage stories directly from the horses’ mouths. Our three leading men of Moonlight and Magnolias will answer all your questions and reveal all the backstage insights you’ve been dying to know. And if you can, come a little early. Rostov’s delicious coffee, hot tea and pastries are available for a suggested donation of $3. No tickets or reservations required. Click for more details.

6. A Christmas Story – Empire Theatre
A great, hilarious play, suitable for the entire family age 6 to 106. You can read review quotes elsewhere on the blog, or call the Theatre IV box office for more info. 344-8040.

7. Moonlight and Magnolias – Barksdale Willow Lawn
A laugh-fest comedy about the making of the screenplay of Gone with the Wind. You can read review quotes elsewhere on the blog, or call the Barksdale box office for more info. 282-2620.

8. Swingtime Canteen – Barksdale Hanover Tavern
A joyous, toe-tapping, boogie-woogie recreation of a USO show from Christmas 1944. You can read review quotes elsewhere on the blog, or call the Barksdale box office for more info. 282-2620.

See you at the theatre!

--John Steils

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