April 2017

by Jim Reyland

Jim Reyland’s new book, Handmade: friendships famous, infamous, real and imagined, is available at Amazon.com in paperback and on Kindle. jreyland@audioproductions.com

“I chose Lucky Stiff because now’s a good time for some laughter,”

—Jason Tucker, Street Theatre’s Artistic Director

Angela Madaline-Johnson as Rita LaPorta and Jack E. Chambers as Tony Hendon; Photography by Nathan Zucker

Starting a new theatre company and producing shows out of the back of a panel truck is a hard-knock life. Many of these companies don’t last, and for the ones that do, it’s sure to leave a mark. Not just on the back of the AD’s neck, but in the hearts and minds of the Nashville theatre lovers who support them and come to rely on them. It’s good for us. Nashvillians need as much new theatre as we can get. Imagine a great American city without it. Imagine theatre in storerooms and church buildings, in strip malls, schools, and empty Waffle Houses. In existing places along with new multi-use spaces (are you listening developers?), built to accommodate the theatrical arts explosion that is surely coming. Keep crafting, hang some lights, and check the sound; Nashville Arts Magazine supports you.

Street Theatre Company

STC started twelve seasons ago out of that same panel truck, but before long, founder Cathy Street secured a permanent home and real growth began. Today, upon Cathy’s departure, Street Theatre has returned to its nomadic ways. The difference: They now have the experience of twelve quality seasons to take with them, and Cathy has handpicked Jason Tucker to carry on as Artistic Director. While STC continues to look for another permanent home, they are producing shows in an unused chapel located at Holy Trinity Community Church as well as at the Looby and 4th Story theatres.

“In order to do theatre in a chapel, we’ve had to install our own lighting and sound rigs as well as basically create a stage and backstage area out of whole cloth. We’ve got a cadre of technicians and designers who have gotten really good at making cool theatre happen in unlikely spaces—something we’re quite proud of. Our actors and musicians love the challenge of doing things a little differently, and our audiences get to see something new every time they come see a show. Still, our ultimate goal is to secure permanent premises since we fully believe that we can produce better theatre more efficiently in a home of our own.”

—Jason Tucker

Currently on stage at the Street Theatre is Lucky Stiff. Mayhem ensues as a gaggle of colorful characters cavorts through this wacky tale of murder, inheritance, and a dead body! “Lucky Stiff is smart, witty, and zany,” Tucker promises. Lucky Stiff will be staged at Holy Trinity Community Church, 6727 Charlotte Pike, through April 2. Tickets are $24 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. www.streettheatrecompany.org.

New Work at Lakewood

Lakewood Theatre, one of Nashville’s finest examples of doing things right for a very long time, has a new work to offer us. They are excited about presenting The Cast List, an original play written by Gayle Greene, the grand-prize winner of Lakewood Theatre Company’s first annual Tennessee Playwright Festival in 2016. “We are committed to showcasing new works and are thrilled to produce this comedy.”

—Lakewood Theatre Company

Allie Hemmings and Suzette Williamson rehearse for Murder in Bloom; Courtesy Tara Tioaquen Photography

The Arts Center is trying to keep its head above water by selecting a sure-fire money-maker with great name recognition (and no royalties)—Romeo and Juliet—but will Shakespeare’s classic tragedy unwittingly be turned into a comedy in this Waiting for Guffman-like, play-within-a-play farce with heart, as two star-crossed cast lists wreak havoc on this community theatre’s ill-fated production? See The Cast List to find out! April 28 through May 14 with 9 performances: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, students, and the military. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketsnashville.com or at the door with cash, check, or credit card.

CoPlayers Theatre Blooms

CoPlayers Theatre founding Artistic Director Easton Curtis directs the inaugural production of Murder in Bloom, a mystery-comedy in two acts.

“What could be more harmless than a ladies’ garden club in a small English village? That’s what they thought in sleepy, uneventful St. Basil-on-Green, until one day the richest lady in town is mysteriously murdered during a club meeting! As the police come onto the scene, we realize that this is more than a mere garden club and that more is at stake than begonias.”

Performances at Madison Church of Christ, 106 Gallatin Pike N, Madison, TN 37115, April 13–15 at 7:30 p.m., April 21–22 at 7:30 p.m., and April 23 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Email coplayerstheatre@gmail.com to reserve tickets in your name. All tickets will be paid for at the box office. If you reserve tickets in advance, you can pick them up at Will Call.

It’s Crazy at the Darkhorse

Woodland Entertainment presents Crazy All These Years (a movie that’s now a great new play) by Jeff Swafford, a poignant yet humorous look at family and the damage that is caused by running away from the past.

“Ben leaves home. Ben returns. Ben reunites. Now Ben must face everything he’s run from.” Directed by Jeff Swafford, a World Premiere starring Cinda McCain. Dates are April 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at the Darkhorse Theater. A portion of ticket sales benefits the Tennessee Equality Project. Tickets on sale through www.TicketsNashville.com or at the door.

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