Newspaper Archive of
Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
October 31, 1991     Mountain Messenger
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October 31, 1991

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8A The Mountain Messenger, Thursday, October 31, 1991 Hillsboro Lady to Perform _ Own Play Margaret Baker of Hillsboro will perform her own play, Snow- balls in Hell. November 9, 8 p.m. at Carnegie Hail in Lewisburg. FRIDAY, NOV. 1 The Philadelphia City Paper describes her performance as "a o "WILD FIRE" cross between Lily Tomlin, Lau- d/ * DOOR PRIZES* rle Anderson, Catherine O'Hara, Woody Allen, and a chamelold SATURDAY, NOV. 2 shapeshffter from outerspace." The parade of characters ln- oA 'SECOND GENERATION" eludes the following, according to a news release. "Mouse" -- the :.": 1 YEAR tll]lffll]Ell"41Tl~tl[i]D fading punk rock star, aban- doned by her band, Is reduced to MEMBER PARTY singing a folk song. "Grace Ste- ..A. vens" -- southern Sunday school (Bring Membership Card) teacher who tells of the passion- ,.--'r FREE BUFFET .c~o, Lo,,0* ate romance of the pretty widow, 392-60~ ~.~ ~--\~:~'2,J Ruth. "Rite Dee" --- hostess of the radio call-ln show, "The 1-64 Exit 161 t0 ~. 60 then 3 miles on "--~CTA--ITL---..~ ~ Heartache Hotllne," who offers Wednesday Evoni~ Dinner,Special ~;/ 64 -~ U,, U her advice on dating guitar play- ers. "Two Giant Snowballs" -- Rent To Own At they have a "hot-again/cold- again" sort of affair. "Snowballs in Hell" is a pa- rade of comic characters who brave love and death and Scho- lastic Aptitude Tests in a world too hot to handle," the release said. *Admission Is $6. More infor- mation Is available at 653-4514 In Hillsboro. Brother Sewing Machine per week Own In 12 Months VCRs- TVs-S TEREOs We took our final curtain call, the applause faded, and the au- dience straggled out of the Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT) barn. For six weeks we'd been three drunks, a bartender, and an embassy butler, and now we were taking off our makeup, hanging up our costumes, and getting back to real life. In real life, Ed's an orthodon- tist. Paul's a lawyer, Pat's a teacher, Jim's retired, and I'm a social worker. In May we'd shown up at a summer theater audition for My Fair Lady and landed roles. We shared a dress- ing room in a corner of the barn, a cramped space we called Eld- erhostel. We chose the name be- cause we weren't exactly aspir- ing young actors; four of us had children, and two had grandchil- dren. Five had wives willing to let their husbands make public fools of themselves. Ed had been in a number of plays. Paul was returning to the stage after an eighteen-year ab- sence, largely because his teen- age daughter had a role and he decided to offer his services as an actor as well as a chauffeur. Pat lived in Pennsylvania and had come to Lewisburg as a GVT summer intern to renew his the- atrical skills. Jim was a Virginian who had taken to the stage relatively late in life. He was drawn to certain roles and wanted to play Eliza's drunken scoundrel of a father, Alfred P. Doolittle. I'd Just joined the theater's board of directors and thought acting would be a good way to get a behind-the- scenes look at how things worked. For three weeks our families were effectively widowed and or- A PPL IA NCEs-FURNITURE No Down Payment Order By Phone Same Day Delivery Brand Name Products No Credit Check * 50% Cash Buyout Service Included No Long Term Obligations Remember the naDle,.. Open: Mon.-Thurs. 10-7 Next to Friday 10-8 Gadd's IGA Saturday 9-6 Minimum 2 Week Rental 158 Seneca Trail Fairlea, WV 645-7827 oween 1/4" f Your Choice White Crossbuck or White Self-Storing 32" or 36" 209 W. WASHINGTON ST., LEWISBURG 645-6348 Mon. thru Sat. 8-5 STOP IN OCT. 31 TO PICK UP YOUR FREE TRICK-OR-TREAT BAGS & ENJOY PUNCH & COOKIES :.. WITH US. McGruf! the TAKE A BITE OUT OF ~-,,4v, F fW Ronceve~le 100 Maplewood Ave. at Red Oaks Shopping Center (304) 647-5700 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIll 1991 Rt. 220 North of Covington, VA VAOL 962-7853 or 1-800-234-7853 Toll Free !111111111111111111111111111111 By phaned as we spent hours nightly doing physical and vocal warmups, learning songs, work- lng with a choreographer on dance routines, practicing Cock- ney dialect, and running scenes. The task was complex: 38 per- formers and technicians had long lists of chores and cues, and frantic costume and set changes which, ff properly exe- cuted, would result in three hours" worth of musical enter- talnment. We weren't Broadway, but we hoped it wouldn't be too painfully obvious to our audi- ences. I was fascinated by the whole business. I'd expected to meet llghthearted people who saw theater as half work, half lark. Instead I met a group who couldn't have been more dedi- cated if they'd been the crew and technicians on a space shuttle. Our only moments of carefree abandon were our Wednesday night brush-ups, when perform- ers appeared on stage in drag or worse and parodied their usual routines. An outsider who hap- pened by suggested we open the brush-ups to the public. "It looks like Meaty Python doing My Fair Lady," he reviewed our effort. "You could draw the David Letterman crowd." Everyone was impressive in their own way, from the director whose creative vision turned the song "Just You Wait" into a comic dream sequence where Eliza wielded an ax over a gagged-and-bound Henry Hig- glns kneeling with hls head on a chopping block, to the actress who broke her finger on stage and kept on going without the audience noticing the difference, to the teenagers who volunteered hundreds of hours of their time building and changing stage sets. There was an obvlous brotherhood and sisterhood, and the invislble walls that usually divide young and old and people from different walks~ of life were missing. The comradarle was apparent In our dressing room. Jim, the eldest of the Elder- hostelers, was our superstar. Jim's a gentle giant of a man with a charismatic stag pres- ence, born to the spotlight. There were nights when Pat and I, who played his drinking bud- dies, thought the audience would rush the stage at the end of "I'm Getting Married in the Morning" and bear him off tri- umphantly on their shoulders. Jim wah warm, humorous, and good-natured, and we didn't mind being upstaged by him night after night. He taught us humility and the meaning of the term "supporting role." Ed was an equally kind soul, a generous man who'd traveled a long road to success but who was mindful of those who weren't as successful. He was a perfect gentleman until you got him on one subject: Richard Nixon. Everything about the 37th president really bothered Ed, and at the mention of his MESSENGER name he'd the mouth. One formed us he'd written! protest to a TV the poor judgement his least favorite loved the theater and ally went to New ductions, but I think bet he skipped the Nixon in China. Pat was an Irishman, grown leprechaun with! ish grin and an He didn't drink, but looked as if he'd just mug of beer. The summer job for him, the only Elderhosteler paycheck for his dltlon to acting In the served as Its technical working at the barn every morning until night. He fell in Greenbrier Valley but time to see much of a lot of friends during month stay. Paul was a natural tor, with a flair for characters into stealers. His wit was from day one, whet mented that even hadn't been on a he'd gotten a lot of tice standing before saying with a Honor, my client is an man." Paul's a thinker who translates his action. His acting kindled an interest that had been lying and he quickly ~getlc supporter group, organizing ties and expressing continuing his yond the current Our down time came during the utes of the play, whl a lot of business and the Professor. Jim in a wheelbarrow of "I'm Getting Morning," leaving a lag audience in our costumed in our rub garb, with top hats and flowers in our sit outside under the benches and tree trade stories, jokes, until curtain call. made a strange Unless they're men with families, complicated lives have the time to sit after night and talk liberty, and the puts hess. We did, and at "Cheers," we We covered a lot we avoided Richard Our last Sunday afternoon eryone stayed to but I left to join my beach in North the way I had six long the car to consider nay hag career. It had beet~ Ing experience, a~ someday I'd prob~ again, but I still sense of loss. There other summer plays, and casts and Elderhostel had neatly. 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