Entertainment

Gilbert Theater showcases local talent in FayetteVAUDEville

07 Larry Vaudeville CopyThe Gilbert Theater has been around since 1994 when it was started in the basement of Lynn Pryer's house, and for the last 26 years, it has produced many wonderful theatrical performances on the main-stage season. “FayetteVAUDEville” was an idea that the board of the theater came up with to produce something new and fresh to end 2020. Last October, the theater put on its first-ever performance of “FayetteVAUDEville” starring Jermey Ruis for his Dark Magic. If you missed that production, reserve your tickets now because "FayetteVAUDEville" is returning Feb. 26 and 27.

“FayetteVAUDEville” is not just a typical theatrical product that one is used to, this performance will showcase some local artists and their talents. This show will star singers Karen Morgan Williams and Tim Zimmerman; belly dancer Fahada (teaches locally in Fayetteville); and comedian Vadrin Colvin-King.

“The ‘FayetteVAUDEville’ is a show intended to pull talent from our local community and string the talents together for a fun adults night,” said Brittany Conlin, business manager of the Gilbert.

From singing to belly dancing, the Gilbert Theater will present “FayetteVAUDEville” to mature audiences on the nights of Feb. 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. This show is not something you will want to miss. The show is supported by a mini-grant from the Arts Council of Fayetteville/ Cumberland County.

This show will have a max capacity of 25 people per show and tickets are available for purchase at the Gilbert Theater website. Season holders will have to purchase tickets for this show. The theater is very adamant about protecting everyone so they will be doing temperature checks at the door and masks will be required. The theater has already planned the next two “FayetteVAUDEville” performances to come in April and May of 2021.

The “FayetteVAUDEville” auditions had such a great turn out of adults and children that the Gilbert theater is moving forward with a kid-friendly version of the show entitled “The Greatest Showcase: A Youth Variety Show.” This show will be brought to the public on March 5th and 6th at 2 and 5 p.m. by the Gilbert Theater and the Kids with Hearts for Arts. The tickets will be $12.

The Gilbert theater has a wide variety of shows coming to center stage this season which began with the murder suspense “Ropes.” The next two shows to follow are “Oedipus Rex” and “Urine Town: the Musical.”

The Theater also offers educational opportunities, with the most recent being a virtual class taught by Montgomery Sutton.

For more information on shows, auditions, education and ticket sales visit the website at gilberttheater.com.

Building Fayetteville — African American architects exhibit opens at Transportation and Local History Museum

09 146616045 10165136912400171 8148525869899560600 oThe Fayetteville Transportation and Local History Museum has put together another fantastic African American exhibit to honor Black History Month. This local museum for the past three years has followed a theme to showcase African American professionals from Fayetteville’s history and will keep the exhibits up for a year after they are revealed.

This year the museum released an exhibit on Feb. 2 to honor African American architects. This exhibit is focused on bringing awareness and attribution to these early builders and historic buildings in the downtown area.

These architects were from the Fayetteville area and some of these buildings are still standing today. There is a “rich history” in Fayetteville and this museum allows people to step back in time to really understand the historical roots.

Catherine Linton, the Museum Specialist, is the one that helped bring to life this year’s exhibit entitled, “African Americans Building Fayetteville.” She is a former museum specialist with the Country Doctor Museum at East Carolina University.

“Some buildings that are attributed to these builders are not standing today, but we want to bring attention to the ones that are, to bring history and awareness to the community,” said Linton in describing the focus of this exhibit.

One of the builders that really stood out to Linton while assembling the exhibit was Abel Payne. Payne was an enslaved man that eventually purchased his freedom, but continued to work as a carpenter to afford freedom for his children. Linton said the story stood out to her because it is a “good story about overcoming obstacles.”

This year’s exhibit is the third one the museum has done to follow the theme of African American professionals in Fayetteville’s history. The first exhibit the museum did in 2019 was about African American businesses, followed by the 2020 exhibit about African American doctors. Last year’s exhibit still remains on the first floor to the right of the entrance until the end of February 2021. This new exhibit, “African American Builders,” will remain until the end of February 2022.

The museum is located in the restored 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot, with two floors of exhibits and artifacts. It is open to the public of all ages and guided tours are available for schools, church groups, home school groups and more. They also offer activities such as walking tours of downtown, bus tours, a Saturday farmers market, and more for children and adults.

The museum annex is next door for continuous history on the Fayetteville area.

For more information visit the Fayetteville Transportation and Local History Museum at www.fcpr.us, and they are open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pictured: The Transportation and Local History Museum opened a new exhibit on Feb. 2 in honor of Black Histoy Month. "African Americans Building Fayetteville" highlights Black architects and builders in Fayetteville's history. The exhibit will be on display for one year. The 2020 Black History Month exhibit about African American doctors will be on display until the end of this month.

Gilbert opens suspense thriller on Jan. 29

05 rope pic from websiteThe Gilbert Theater’s newest production “Rope” is set to open Jan. 29 and has already sold-out opening day.

The thrilling drama centered around a murder, once used as the basis of the Alfred Hitchcock film “Rope,” will play every weekend until
Feb. 14.”

Tickets are $16 per person, and $14 with senior (55+) and military discount are available for purchase on the theater’s website, or by calling 910-678-7186.

“’Rope’ is basically the opposite of ‘who done it?’ because you already know who’s done the murder and now it’s all about are they going to get away with it,” Matt Gore, director of the play, said. “It's darkly humorous where these two guys kill this 19-year-old young man, stuff him in a chest and decide to have a dinner party around his corpse.”

It’s mostly just a study in tension, and the building of tension and suspense, said Lawrence Carlisle, artistic director at the Gilbert Theater.

Beyond picking the play for the season, Carlisle will be acting in the play in the role of an acquaintance of the two murderers who invite him to the dinner party to flaunt the crime.

My character slowly starts to have some suspicions, he said.

Carlisle said he had not acted in a production for a while and thought it would be exciting to audition and act again.

“I just like the experience of it and having fun with the other performers and learning things from the director to use when I direct things,”
he said.

Carlisle picked “Rope” written by Patrick Hamilton, to include in this year’s season because he liked the story, a thriller, and he didn’t think those are seen often enough in theaters.

“It’s been a little bit of a challenge, you know, I still have to deal with the day-to-day and making sure that things are running smoothly on an administrative level while also learning a whole bunch of lines, worrying about costumes, stuff I usually don't have to worry about,” he said.

“Rope” is loosely based on the “Leopold and Loeb” murder in the 1920s. Guests can look forward to a night of suspense and thrill.

“The practices have been super smooth, I like working here and they have some very dedicated people working here behind the scenes, in the offices,” Gore said.

Things are going fairly well, all things considered, Carlisle said.

The production will be about two hours long with a ten-minute intermission.

Theater staff will conduct temperature checks at the door and offer socially distant seating with only up to 25 people per show. Masks will be required, and the staff will be sanitizing everything between each show.

“I hope people want to come see it, I know things are bad right now in the world, but what I have been trying to do since the start of this pandemic is hopefully have a place where people can come and forget about that even if they do have to wear their masks and socially distance, and not speak to the actors afterwards but some sacrifices have to be made,” Carlisle said.

For more information about the theater, production and tickets, visit https://www.gilberttheater.com

Gilbert's 'Rope' — a study in getting away with murder, or not

10 JH 00282The Gilbert Theater’s latest show “Rope” premiered Jan 29. with a full house on opening weekend. The crime-centered, murder-themed play brought a thrilling drama to the stage for its audience.

Originally written by Patrick Hamilton in 1929, the British play was later made into a movie by the famous filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock in 1948. The Gilbert’s production of “Rope” runs through Feb. 14. Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 with military, student, first responder and seniors.

The play opens with a cold-blooded murder of a young man by the two lead actors Wyndham Brandon (played by Chris Walker) and Charles Granillo (played by Tim Zimmermann).

The characters of Brandon, with his air of intellectual superiority and a temper, and Granillo with his tenderness and remorse, make quite the interesting murderous duo.

The two leads decide to host a dinner party around the wooden chest where they’ve hidden the body. The dinner party is supposed to be an amusement to the duo, especially Brandon as getting away with the “perfect crime.”

The guests include Kenneth Reglan (played by Quentin King); Leila Arden (played by Megan Martinez); Sir Johnstone Kentley who is the father of the murder victim (played by Gabe Terry); Mrs. Debenham (played by Kathy Day); Rupert Cadell (played by Lawrence Carlisle III); and amongst them is their butler, Sabot (played by Dylan Atwood).

The guests comment on the “queerness” of the evening, and the strangeness of the food being served on the wooden chest. Arden’s character goes as far as to jokingly suggest the hosts are hiding a dead body in it.

Cadell suggests it would be obvious stupidity to murder then host a party around the body, which seems to get under Brandon’s skin. Meanwhile, filled with regret and fear, Granillo drinks his feelings away through the night.

The characters bring forth a drama filled evening, not short of laughter, suspense, thrills and some philosophical back-and-forth about murder.

Suspicious and quickly picking up clues, the clever Cadell lures the duo into confessing to murder and the “perfect murder’” plan that they failed at executing.

The hard work of the cast and crew is reflected in the costumes, set and acting during the two-hour, fun-filled thrill of the evening.

For those looking for a drama-filled affair, “Rope” at the Gilbert Theater is one to see.

For tickets visit, https://www.gilberttheater.com/index.php

Pictured above: Lawrence Carlisle III (left), the Artistic Director of the Gilbert Theater, joins the cast of "Rope." Photo by Jonathan Hornby.

'The Carols' delivers nostalgic, funny escape for audiences

15 Carols review imageTaking us back in time, and yet reminding us very much of our current turbulent ones, “The Carols,” written by Jennifer Childs, transports its audience into a feel-good, nostalgic and wholesome family drama of Christmas and life.

“The Carols” directed by Robyne Parrish will run at the Gilbert Theater until Dec. 20, bringing a genuine good time filled with many laughs, great songs, a tear in your eye possibly, but also a reminder to enjoy the
present.

In the war and poverty-stricken setting of a 1940’s Veterans of Foreign War post where gloominess lingers, three sisters — Sylvia, Rose and Lily — shine bright with their optimistic natures.

Sylvia (played by Molly Hamelin) is determined to make a change in the world and is obsessed with Eleanor Roosevelt. Rose (played by Megan Martinez), dreams of marrying a general and Lily (played by Eden S. Kinsey) holds down the homestead with her charm.

The first half of the production focuses on the chaotic, hilarious challenges of putting on “A Christmas Carol.” This includes convincing the fascinating Miss Betty (played by Karen Morgan Williams), who runs the VFW, to have the production and find the right cast. Then enters Melvin Shaatz (played by Evan Bridenstine), the Jewish comedian who brings everyone a very Yiddish “Christmas Carol.”

The themes in the show touch on loss of those at war, the state of poverty in the present, and how everyone is looking forward to the future while enduring the present.

The actors put on a charming musical with wonderful jokes.

The second act brings an usual yet entertaining version of “A Christmas Carol” with Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future with hilarious modifications. It brings a smile to everyone’s face.

The Yiddish punchlines, the 40’s slang, the “bah humbugs” is just what the audience needs — a two-hour escape from the times of COVID-19.

The talented actors do a great job in reminding everyone, while looking forward so much and focusing on the misfortunes of the past, that we should not forget to live in and enjoy the present, no matter how hard
things get.

For those who just need to get away for some light-hearted singing and comedy, "The Carols" is a must watch with its reminder to hold on to right now and cherish it.

The final weekend of the show is Dec. 18-20. For more information on the play and schedule, visit https://www.gilberttheater.com/season27/thecarols.php

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