Good Neighbors in Historic Downtown Clarksville

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on July 7, 2011

In Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack asks Algy, “Got nice neighbours in your part of Shropshire?” There is a sarcastic reply: “Perfectly horrid! Never speak to one of them.”

If someone were to ask me, “Do you have nice neighbors in your part of Clarksville?” I would have to say that Linda and Gary Shephard and their son John, of Edward’s Steakhouse, are the best neighbors that a theatre could ever have. They sponsored the John Denver Father’s Day Weekend cookout, down under F&M Bank. They also give a 10% discount to Roxy patrons who present their tickets to that evening’s performance. The same 10% offer is good for after-theatre dessert and coffee. Not to mention, it’s the best Saturday night theatre and dinner bargain around — $40 for a steak dinner and a show.

Speaking of friends, F&M Bank’s Fred Landiss has pulled a string or three for so many of our events, like making our John Denver cookout and sing-off possible in what was a pleasant and casual “down under” event and a great success.

Another new dear neighbor, Matt Helbig, bought Joy’s Jewelers and was remodeling it before he was shipped off to Afghanistan. But it is an ever-shrinking world, as he emailed that the BBC had sent a young woman over to document his unit’s work. He is now engaged to her and wants to show her documentary here at the theatre. Sarah Kanervo had a film premiere here last year, so it wouldn’t be a first. We have friends at the BBC, such as Alice Arnold, who came over to help with the clear-out and conversion of the Roxy in 1983. At that time, Alice said, “If you are still open, I’ll come back and play Sally Bowles in Cabaret.” We were, and she did. Well, Matt’s fiancĂ©e knows of our friend Alice.

The world gets even smaller: a lady from Nashville, sitting next to Stephen and Susan Baird, said she had heard about our production of Almost Heaven from the United Kingdom’s John Denver Fan Club. Go figure — Clarksville to Britain to Nashville, and back to Clarksville. Our ticketing service lets us know where our audience comes from. Fifty-five percent comes from Clarksville, while 45% comes from other places near and far. Some (0.01%) come from as far away as Canada.

Young hopefuls Ali Arnold, Christian Boyd, Courtney Collins, Autumn Crafton, Humberto Figueroa, Samantha Grimes, Andrew Hulse, Meghan Judd, Matthew Kurtz, Krista LaRocca, Michelle Lebkuecher, Patrick Long, Annalise Martin, Sidney McCarty, Madeline O’Connor and Amy Wyer, along with professionals Erica Lee Haines as the Narrator and Travis Kendrick as Joseph, make up the amazing cast of an amazing show by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The musical runs through July 16, playing Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 6pm and Saturdays at 2pm and 6pm.

See you in the chaos of theatre!

[John McDonald]

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