Local arts organizations in middle of production season

While January marks the start of the new calendar year, for several local arts organizations it marks the middle of their production season.

The Actors Guild of Parkersburg, the Mid-Ohio Valley Players in Marietta and the Smoot Theatre in downtown Parkersburg are among the organizations which have presented a variety of shows and performances during the final half of 2013.

They will be presenting the second half of their seasons in the upcoming months, offering a wide variety of entertainment options during the winter and spring quarters of the year.

In Marietta, the Mid-Ohio Valley Players will be continuing its 2013-2014 season in January with the popular musical “The Fantastiks.”

The show will be 8 p.m. Jan. 17, 18, 24, 25 and 31 and Feb. 1 and at 3 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Players Theatre at Third and Putnam streets in downtown Marietta.

Written by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, it is the story of two neighboring parents who trick their children into falling in love by pretending to feud and then hiring actors to stage a mock abduction and rescue. “The Fantastiks” is the longest running show in American theater, going back more than 50 years.

More information about the MOVP’s schedule is available at www.midohiovalleyplayers.org.

The MOVP will present the comedy “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” at 8 p.m. March 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 and at 3 p.m. March 16.

In the show, based on the popular movies, Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau must find an escaped madman from killing him and destroying the world with a Doomsday machine.

“God of Carnage” will be performed by the Players in late April and early May, with shows at 8 p.m. April 25 and 26 and May 2, 3, 9 and 10 and a 3 p.m. matinee on May 4.

The show is a comedy of manners, without the manners as a playground altercation brings together two families in increasingly childish ways.

The final show of the MOVP’s 2013-2014 season will be “The Complete History of America (Abridged)” at 8 p.m. June 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 and at 3 p.m. June 22.

The show will feature 500 years of history compressed into a single humorous performance.

In downtown Parkersburg, the Smoot Theatre will also continue its Live Entertainment Series for adults and the Kids Club Series for children as 2014 gets underway, along with other productions through the season.

The Smoot is located at 213 Fifth St. in Parkersburg. Tickets and information about productions at the historic theater are available by calling 304-422-PLAY (7529) or online at www.smoottheatre.com.

With the start of the new year, “The Queen of Bingo,” an off-Broadway comedy currently touring the U.S., will be performed Jan. 17 at the Smoot Theatre in downtown Parkersburg.

Showtime is 8 p.m. at the Smoot at 213 Fifth St. Tickets are $25 for adults and $14 for students. More information is available at 304-422-7529 (PLAY).

The next Smoot show will be “Love me Tender!” on Feb. 13, which will bring a double dose of Elvis Tribute Artists to the Smoot stage.

The show features Scott Bruce, portraying Elvis’s early years, and Mike Albert, as Elvis from the 1970s. Albert takes over the second half of the show with the Big E Band and back-up singers.

The final show in the Live Entertainment Series will be “California Dreamin'” March 22 on the Smoot stage.

“California Dreamin'” is a family-friendly, musical journey through the California pop scene of the mid-’60s and early ’70s. It features songs from a variety of groups, including “I Get Around,” “Surfing U.S.A.,” “Wipeout,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Our House,” “Little GTO,” “Good Vibrations,” “What a Day for a Daydream” and “California Dreamin'”

The Guild’s first show of 2014 will be the drama “Lombardi,” based on the life of famed football coach Vince Lombardi.

The show will be performed at 8 p.m. Jan. 24, 25 and 31 and Feb. 1 and at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 and Feb. 2.

Though football’s Super Bowl trophy is named for him, few know the real story of Lombardi the man – his inspirations, his passions and ability to drive people to achieve what they never thought possible. “Lombardi” is based on the best-selling biography “When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss.

More information is available at www.actors-guild.com or by calling 304-485-1300.

The annual Guild Builders youth theater production will be “Annie Junior” in February and March of 2014. The performances will be 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1, 7 and 8 and 2:30 p.m. on March 8 and 9, with the cast and crew made up of children who have worked for months to prepare for the production.

In a special production geared to feature all youth actors, “Annie Junior” is the well-known tale of the orphan girl, Annie. A complex little girl, Annie is a tough, streetwise urchin who is nevertheless vulnerable when she thinks she might lose what has become most important to her: a newfound “family” who loves her.

In another production for the whole family, the Guild will present “Shrek – The Musical” in the spring of 2014.

The performance dates are 8 p.m. May 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17, with matinee performances at 2:30 p.m. May 4, 11 and 17.

The next Guild production will be “Grandest Canyon,” which will be performed at 8 p.m. June 20, 21, 27 and 28 and 2:30 p.m. on June 22 and 29, 2014.

The final show of the 2013-2014 Guild season will be the comedy “9 to 5: The Musical.”

The show will be presented at 8 p.m. Aug. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 and at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 10 and 17 at the Guild Playhouse at Eighth and Market streets.