Local events offer fun, entertainment in support of Pride Month

15 2019 4The month of June has been observed as LGBTQ+ Pride Month since 1970 to honor the Stonewall Uprising in 1969. According to the Library of Congress, the commemorative month’s purpose is to recognize and honor the impact of the LGBTQ+ community on history locally, nationally and internationally.

“It does have a lot of significance for me personally, obviously,” Fayetteville Pride Board President Sam DuBois said. “The amount of friends and families of LGBTQ+ community that have come out and supported us really shows me how far we’ve come over the years.”

Fayetteville Pride was established in 2017 and focuses on instilling pride, celebrating unity and embracing diversity and inclusion while providing education and support within the LGBTQ+ community.

For more information on the organization visit www.FayettevillePRIDE.org/

DuBois said he used to think of Fayetteville as an uber-conservative area and expected pushback when the organization first started.

“But at the end of the night we were flabbergasted by the positive response from people attending the event,” he mentioned. “It has been extraordinarily welcoming
to Pride.”

Due to the pandemic the Pride Fest 2021 is postponed until further notice.

“We have hopefully reached a satisfactory substitute with Cool Springs Downtown District, and we will be setting up an info table at their weekly Summer Markets downtown and there will be part of the field dedicated to the Pride Community Picnic on June 24 from 4-8 p.m.,” DuBois said.

The Summer District Markets are held on Thursdays and will feature live entertainment, food trucks and games.

“Everyone is welcome, come with that attitude and we are happy to have you,” he said.

There are a number of other Pride events scheduled this month.

There will be a free online chat event June 20 from 8-9 p.m. The Free Mom Hugs Social Happy Hour is hosted by the Free Mom Hugs Fayetteville/Sandhills chapter. For more information visit, https://freemomhugs.org

The NC VA Coastal Health Care System invites all LGBTQ+ veterans and allies to participate in the 2021 Pride Car Parade & Drive-Thru from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on June 21. The event will take place at the Fayetteville VA Health Care Center at 7300 S. Raeford Road. Participants are encouraged to decorate their cars for the free event.

The Rainbow Reunion, a business mixer for LGBTQ+ community to network and connect, will be held Jun. 26 and 27 at Hampton Inn & Suites located at 2065 Cedar Creek Road. The event will have a happy hour mixer from 4-6 p.m., a kickback from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and a night swim from 8-10 p.m. The hotel will have limited rooms and those interested can book by calling 910-635-3200

Cool Spring Downtown District will host Drag Me Downtown on June 25 from 5-9 p.m. on Maxwell Street featuring performances by local drag queens, and a cabaret headlined by Miss Minnie Bouveé. Tickets are available for purchase on their Facebook page, $25 general admission and $125 for a VIP Table seating up to 6 people.

Drag Me to Designer BINGO will take place at Dirtbag Ales Brewery and Taproom from 6-9 p.m. on June 30. The event will feature Tatianna Matthews. Tickets are $40 with a portion of the proceeds going to Fayetteville Pride. Dirtbag Ales is located at 5435 Corporation Drive in Hope Mills.
For more information about Pride events, follow @fayncpride on Facebook.

Pictured above: Although the Pride Fest 2021 was postponed, there are a number of local events scheduled in June to celebrate diversity in support of pride month. (Photo Courtesy of Fayetteville Pride). 

18 2019 6Pictured bottom left: Morgan Richards preforms at an event 2019.

Pictured bottom right: Friends come together to enjoy an event celebrating diversity and inclusion. 19 2G6A0204

Next Rock'n On The River concert set for June 18

08 ReflectionsTrialByFiredoubleWith the beginning of summer and people looking for outdoor entertainment, the Rock’n On The River summer concert series is the perfect opportunity to hang out with friends, enjoy food and drinks, and dance the evening away.

On June 18, all are invited for live, free entertainment from local Fayetteville band Reflections II and North Carolina band Trial by Fire.

Reflections II is a widely known local Fayetteville band of three professional musicians. Bringing a variety of music to the table from pop to Motown and the oldies. Known for their entertaining performances, the band will kick off the evening at 6:00 p.m. and it is sure to be a show you won’t want to miss.

At 8:15 p.m., headliner Trial by Fire takes the stage. The tribute band is named for Journey’s album of the same name released in 1996. Back in the day, after an injury suffered by lead singer Steve Perry, Journey was unable to tour and promote the album “Trial by Fire.” Now, five seasoned musicians from North Carolina are bringing the tour to life with area audiences — recreating the glory days of the Journey era to their fans.

Rock’n on the River is a free live concert, sponsored by Healy Wholesale, Bob 96.5 FM radio, and Up & Coming Weekly. The event will have beverages sold by Healy and food exclusive to Deep Creek Grill. Coolers and outside food are prohibited at this event. Pets are also not allowed onto the concert grounds. There is a $5 parking fee per person.
The event is first come first serve, as the venue can only host 1200 to 1400 people.

“Bringing a well-rounded live concert series to get people out after lockdowns in 2020, and having something they will enjoy listening to is the goal,” said Greg Adair, event coordinator.

Each monthly concert showcases a different genre of music, bringing together different crowds of people for a good time with friends and family.

Rock’n On The River is located at 1122 Person St. in Fayetteville (behind Deep Creek Grill). Parking for the event will begin at 5:00 p.m.

For information on the concert series, visit https://www.facebook.com/Rockn-On-The-River-271048666818630

07 rockn logo jpeg

Fayetteville Dinner Theatre brings Broadway to local audiences

09 20210516 Dinner Theater Promotion 010The 2021 Fayetteville Dinner Theatre will present “Beyond Broadway: Music of Our Time” June 17-19 at the Gates Four Golf & Country Club. Tim Zimmerman and Linda Flynn will headline the show with special guest Tyler Tew.

Zimmerman and Flynn will perform popular Broadway musical hits for the audience.

“Tim used to work on cruise ships, and this is a show he did,” Flynn said.

“He included me in this and I helped him with the backstage stuff. It’s Broadway shows rockified cause that's Tim’s whole style, he makes Broadway rock ’n’ roll.”

The musical will focus on duets with mild banter in between by Flynn and Zimmerman, including mashups, medleys and hits from shows such as “Phantom of the Opera,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Les Miserables” and more.

Written by Zimmerman and directed by Up & Coming Weekly Publisher Bill Bowman, the dinner theatre will commence at 6 p.m. with a welcome reception and wine tasting followed by a dinner and the performance at 7 p.m.

“I think we have got something like 13 to 14 numbers in the show, the first act is 45 minutes long and the second act is 30 minutes long,” Zimmerman said.
“This is going to be a night of all your Broadway favorites, Broadway tunes from classic and modern as well.”

There will be three performances. The June 17 show will be a dessert preview which includes the welcome reception and dessert (no dinner). Tickets are $40 per person.
Tickets for performances on June 18 and 19 will be $75 for general admission or $95 for VIP seating. The dinner theatre offers senior (age 65 and up) and active duty military discount tickets for $65.

Although a wine tasting is part of the welcome reception, wine will also be available for purchase. All wine sales will be donated to The CARE Clinic, which provides free quality health care to eligible uninsured, low income adults who live in Cumberland County and surrounding areas. The CARE Clinic relies entirely on the generosity of donors, grants from foundations and fundraising events.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased at www.fayettevilledinnertheatre.com

“We are excited because COVID has restricted everything and not everyone can plan a trip to New York City, so we are bringing Broadway to them,” Bowman said.

“Beyond Broadway” will be a more refined version of the headliner show Zimmerman performed on cruise ships, Bowman said.
The dinner theatre will also showcase local musician Tyler Tew.

“I was trying to get some music out and when the opportunity came up with the Fayetteville Dinner Theatre for me to come out as a special guest and perform, I thought it was great,” Tew said. “It's strictly country music, growing up hunting, fishing, my family listened to country and that’s something I relate to.”

Tew, a singer-songwriter and guitar player, will perform a half-hour set. He said he is excited for people to hear his music.

“One of the things that the Fayetteville Dinner Theatre aims to do is showcase local talent and give young people a chance to perform while maintaining a quality performance for the audience,” Bowman said.

So far, audiences approve. The last Fayetteville Dinner Theatre show “A Sinister Cabaret” in April sold out both performances and prompted Bowman to offer a third performance this time around.

Bowman said he is expecting a similar response for “Beyond Broadway.”

“It's definitely a great dinner theatre show, and Gates Four is the perfect venue,” Bowman said. “We know that there is definitely demand for this kind of entertainment.”

“We’ve got good theatre here with Cape Fear and the Gilbert but we didn't have a dinner theatre,” said Bowman who resurrected the Fayetteville Dinner Theatre a few years ago.

“People had to go to Greensboro, Raleigh or Charlotte for dinner theatre," he said. "We really found the right niche to be able to pull all this talent together to perform. It has been very rewarding.”

Cast and crew deliver a hit with Gilbert's 'Urinetown'

01 UrineTown0005 2The Broadway musical “Urinetown” opened at the Gilbert Theater to sold-out shows, an indication that audiences are willing to overlook the odd title in exchange for an evening of hysterical entertainment.

Set in a dystopia where the masses are suffering from a drought, one giant corporation has monopolized bathroom usage. Citizens are forced into a pay-per-use urinal by law, with the ultimate punishment of being sent to Urinetown. The musical addresses important social issues and freedoms while keeping it fun with music.

The show is narrated by Officer Lockstock (played by Zech Williams) and Little Sally (played by Hannah Smith) who win the audience’s heart with their mesmerizing performances. Smith does a terrific job with her vocals and acting in her debut show at the Gilbert.

“Urinetown” is a satirical comedy written by Greg Kotis and directed at the Gilbert by Robyne Parrish. The show draws in the audience for a night filled with many laughs.

The first act reflects on the injustices done by the Urine Good Company and its president, Mr. Cladwell (played by Bill Saunders) — a shrewd, selfish man. The lead Bobby Strong (played by Tim Zimmerman) begins to light the fire of revolution and justice amongst the people after his father, Old Man Strong (played by Gabe Terry) breaks the law and uses the urine facility without paying and is sent to the ultimate mysterious bad place – Urinetown.

Hope Cladwell (played by Linda Flynn) is the naive, kind daughter of Mr. Cladwell, who falls in love with Bobby Strong, leading to a series of humorous interactions and drama.

“There is the star-crossed lover’s aspect,” said actor Jacquelyn Kessler (who plays McQueen).

While the lead urges the masses to uproot governmental control and tyranny, the urine facility’s supervisor Penelope Pennywise (played by Jennifer Newman), Lockstock, and rest of law enforcement and UGC’s employees resist their advances.

Newman, also in her debut at the Gilbert, deserves a special shoutout for her performance of Penelope Pennywise.

With musical delight, the show encompasses a classic class struggle between the rich and poor, the have and have nots and sends the audience for a spin to question different social constructs like the legal system, capitalism, corporations, corporate mismanagement and bureaucracy.

The latter half of the show focuses on the masses kidnapping Bobby Strong’s love interest and leading lady Hope, to get her father and villain to agree to their terms. The corrupt old man then refuses to save his daughter and has Strong arrested and sent to Urinetown.

What happens next reflects strongly on misuse of power and authority by the rich and law enforcement, as Urinetown is a violent death to anyone who disagrees with the authority. The production’s last bit shows Hope leading the masses against her father. The show, however, doesn’t necessarily end in happiness for all as many lose their lives or move away due to lack of water after their freedom led to overuse of the resources, as Lockstock narrates. Overall, the production delivers a fantastic time with great actors, band and a successful execution by the crew.

“It has all the things you want to see in the musical, it’s got love, heartbreak, death and fantastic characters, so any big Broadway musical lover is going to love this show,” Parrish said.

For tickets or more information call 910-678-7186 or visit www.gilberttheater.com

Above photo: The cast of "Urinetown" delivers an entertaining performance at the Gilbert Theater. (Photo by Tori Barker)

Mini Dogwood Festival set for June 11-12

06 71779616 10156368551201969 3438027097455460352 nThe Dogwood Festival’s mini-fest which was postponed earlier this year is being held June 11-12 at Festival Park off Ray Ave. Live music from the Throwback Collaboration Band and On The Border will be staged on day one. The second day features a car and motorcycle show, as well as scaled-down collections of arts and crafts. Food vendors will provide snacks. "We're all very excited for this opportunity," said Sarahgrace Snipes, who was recently named Dogwood Festival Executive Director. The scaled down mini-fest is among the first events being held at Festival Park since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year. The festival runs from 5-11 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Donations are being accepted.

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