Clarksville An Important Travel Destination, Roxy A Key Stop

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on February 22, 2013

George Mabry caught my eye while shopping at Kroger the other morning. I congratulated him again on having APSU’s Mass Communication auditorium named for him and his beautiful wife, Sharon. I said I envied him, and his retort was, “Well, you’ve got a building named for you as well.” Before I could sort it out and wrap my mind around it, he was gone. I wanted to say, “Yes, and mine has a drive-thru,” but it was too late.

Tax is an ugly word — one of two things which are certain — but it is not an ugly word if we don’t have to pay it. I wonder how many of us ever notice what the room tax is when we are spending an overnight on holiday or for business. If we could not tax ourselves, but instead raise the overnight stay tax, we could build this new center for arts and education in practically no time at all.

Back in 1983, I remember reading an article in The Leaf-Chronicle where someone speaking for the Chamber of Commerce said, “We are a nice place to visit on the way to someplace else.”

But today, more and more people are finding Clarksville an important travel destination and, unfortunately for our local Convention and Visitors Bureau, they come up or over only for the day. It’s really sad, and I think a mistake, that their salaries and budget depend on overnight stays.

I know more than half of our audience comes from out of town. Not that our locals don’t support us; they do. But at the same time, we are expanding our base support with ticket buyers from Davidson, Stewart, Sumner, Cheatham, Robertson, Christian and other surrounding counties.

Children who performed in or saw our Peter Pan back in ’85 are now parents who will come back and bring their children to see live theatre, some for the first time. By that, we are educating and creating an audience for the future.

Jacque Clydesdale and Leslie Greene are a combo fit to be tied. It is rare to have such chemistry between actors. The chemistry is so perfect and palpable that you can feel the respect, admiration and love these two incredible ladies have for one another.

As much fun as it is to put a production together, there is another kind of joy in seeing that finished product come to fruition, especially when an audience also brings that magical and indefinable something that lifts a good performance to heights only imagined and hoped for in rehearsals. But Always…Patsy Cline has it in droves.

If you see nothing else this season, don’t miss Jacque as Patsy and Leslie as Louise, backed up beautifully by Tom Thayer on piano, Jarrod Jackson on steel, John Waddle on guitar, Bruce Ervin on bass, Scott Emerson on fiddle, and Thad Wallus on drums. Always…Patsy Cline continues through March 2, playing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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