Rivers & Spires Anniversary Inspires $13 Tickets, Today Only

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on April 17, 2015

Today (Friday, April 17), all tickets for the remainder of the Roxy Regional Theatre’s 32nd Season (Mary Poppins, The 39 Steps and The Music Man) are $13 in honor of Rivers & Spires’ 13th Anniversary. This offer can only be redeemed from 9:00am until 2:00pm today, either in person at the box office or by phone at (931) 645-7699. Special events are excluded, and all sales are final.

On Good Friday, Debby Dowlen came to drop off a batch of beautifully made costumes for our production of Mary Poppins. I was reminded that it was Good Friday 1983 when Tom and I first glimpsed the inside of the Roxy and that Debby Dowlen, actress and costumer extraordinaire, was the first recipient of our prestigious Monte Award.

The city had let the option on the building lapse. We had seen then Mayor Ted Crozier, and he had made our walk-through possible. It was fairly grim inside, with a flooded basement and pigeons flying overhead, and the cooling and heating system were kaput. But even with all that, we could still imagine the building’s potential. Penniless as we were, we managed to beg, borrow and, some still say, steal to get the theatre opened.

Thirty-three years later, the struggle continues. With six performances of Honky Tonk Angels snowed out and common core’s disinterest in a production of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, brilliant as it was, I was reminded of a line from Booth Tarkington’s The Magnificent Ambersons (being workshopped by my Saturday class for production next spring): “It’s like the moment just before drowning. You’re not under water and you’re not out of it. All you know is you’re not dead yet.”

The Roxy’s stage is a motley mess due to a Sunday afternoon visit from Amber Wallace, who gave it the look of blackened chimney tops as a start toward a drop for Mary Poppins, smudged out so as not to draw attention from those Honky Tonk Angels.

Later, a green smear with blotches of pink was cast over the floor from the “Jolly Holiday” drop. All the chaos of color which seems to have no reason or rhyme did nothing to disturb the ambiance of Tuesdays with Morrie‘s superb cast of Jay Doolittle and Matthew Whitfield.

When Mary flies next Friday for our pay-what-you-can preview, all the colors will magically appear in their proper places, just as Mary Poppins would want them. Disney magic or blood, sweat and tears? You decide.

Next Saturday, April 25, is our grand opening celebration for Mary Poppins, featuring champagne and conversation with stage legend Marge Lillard following the 8:00pm performance. Tickets are $40.

On Saturday, May 2 and May 16, at 12:30pm, you are invited to “High Tea with Mary and Bert” before the 2:00pm matinee. Make your own kite, have your photo taken with Mary and Bert, and enjoy a pre-show luncheon across the street at Edward’s. Tickets are $40.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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