Smoot Theatre looks ahead with 2015 programs

PARKERSBURG – With the start of the new year, the Smoot Theatre in downtown Parkersburg will be continuing its programs in the coming months of 2015.

The Smoot has several productions planned as part of its Kids Club Series and Live Entertainment Series programs resuming in early February.

Tickets for shows may be purchased by calling the Smoot at 304-422-7529.

With the arrival of 2015, the Kids Club Series will resume with “Four Score and Seven Years Ago” at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Smoot. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.

To young Lemuel, who has escaped slavery in Georgia, life in Gettysburg is everything he had dreamed it would be. His ideas about the North and the South, as well as what it means to be a free man, are challenged, however, when he unexpectedly befriends Jacob, a young Confederate soldier. The two men may be of different races and on different sides of the Civil War, but they have much to teach each other about bravery and loyalty in the musical from ArtsPower.

The Live Entertainment Series resumes in March when the Smoot will feature a performance of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” at 4 p.m. March 29.

Tickets will be $37 for the Smoot performance, which has been adapted for the stage by Simon Levy as a snapshot of the Roaring Twenties. It will be performed by the Montana Repertory Theatre from the University of Montana.

Smoot director Felice Jorgeson said she is working with others to develop a larger event surrounding the performance of “The Great Gatsby,” with related activities and performances still in the planning stages.

“A Community Celebration of The Great Gatsby and the Roaring Twenties World He lived In” will be March 29, primarily at the Smoot and some other locations in downtown Parkersburg, Jorgeson said.

On March 24, the Smoot will feature local living history re-enactor Debra Conner presenting her one-woman show “Muse to Madness” about the live of Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Parkersburg native and performer Dan Kamin will present two programs, on March 26 and 27 in Parkersburg. A physical comedian who has helped train top actors for performances requiring those skills, Kamin will present his one-man show “Comedy in Motion” on March 26 at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

On March 27, Kamin will perform on the Smoot stage when he presents “Funny Bones: The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin.” He will help the audience experience the artistry of cinema’s greatest comedian from the inside as he deconstructs Chaplin’s comedy with film clips, live demonstrations, audience participation and a classic Chaplin short using live music.

Jorgeson said the March 28 program will feature a tour of some unique local homes of the Roaring Twenties era, followed by dinner and entertainment at Spat’s in the Blennerhassett Hotel. Participants will be able dress in 1920s attire if they wish.

The Kids Club Series will offer two programs in April, beginning with the annual visit to the Smoot by the Missoula Children’s Theatre program in April.

The MCT program provides a pair of directors and teachers who will work with up to 50 local children to rehearse and stage the story of “Aladdin” at 7 p.m. April 11. Ticket prices to see the show will be $9 for adults and $7 for children.

For children interested in being in the show, not just watching it, auditions will be open to everyone from kindergarten through 12th grades. No preparation or prior experience will be necessary. Auditions will be April 6 from 4:15-6:15 p.m. All must be available to work daily after school until approximately 8:30 p.m.

The final Kids Club Series show will feature Tom Chapin in concert at 7 p.m. April 25. Tickets will be $18 for adults and $12 for children.

Chapin has been performing for five decades, with 23 albums and three Grammy awards. In addition to his work as a recording artist and concert performer, Chapin has acted on Broadway, as well as working extensively in films, television and radio. As a music-maker, Chapin has maintained two long and productive parallel careers, both as a highly respected contemporary folk artist and as a pioneer in the field of children’s music.

As part of the Live Entertainment Series, the final performance of the 2014-2015 season will be “Barbara & Frank The Concert That Never Was” at 8 p.m. May 9 with backup music provided by the Smoot House Band.

Tickets will be $30.

The show features performers Sharon Owens and Sebastian Anzaldo portraying Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra.