Weather Changes “Happenin’ at the Hollemans” to “Fun in the Franklin Room”

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on May 15, 2015

“Everyone talks about, but no one does a thing about the weather.”

Well, we did. We changed “Happenin’ at the Hollemans” to “Fun in the Franklin Room.”

I had been watching The Weather Channel intently all week and saw that Monday showed a large yellow lightning bolt (and Sunday as well). I could, but didn’t want to, imagine Roxy patrons not coming to our annual spring soiree because of the rain.

And although they offered to hold the event inside, rather than in tents on their well-manicured lawn, I didn’t want to imagine seeing all that dirt and mud tracked into Mark and Ricki Holleman’s lovely home. I also missed out on playing with John Mark’s phenomenal train set and blowing up and popping an endless number of balloons with Will.

Perhaps I jumped the gun. But times, this winter especially, have not been good (snow cancellations, et al), so I couldn’t risk any reason for patrons not to attend. There are times when “safe not sorry” applies, and I suppose this was one of them. So when our friend Fred Landiss offered F&M Bank’s Franklin Room as an alternative, we jumped on it.

Theatregoers got a taste, literally, of our upcoming season: for Oliver, our 33rd season opener, cheese and olives; for Go Dog Go, nonalcoholic cold drinks; for Speakeasy, mint juleps from MB Roland Distillery; for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, gazpacho served in test tubes (apropos); and for A Christmas Carol, cakes and sweets served by my best friend, Leslie Greene.

After Christmas, for all those preschoolers and their grandparents, we scheduled Little Red Riding Hood & Friends. Everyone who stopped at the American Idiot table received the stars and stripes, a small Old Glory. Lettuce wraps and smoked brisket sliders complemented Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

And the list goes on … lots of choices and many levels of support, and even a CD for The Awesome ’80s Prom. I’ve not included all of our upcoming mainstage productions, nor theotherspace shows, and nowhere near the abundance of great-tasting comestibles offered to everyone who attended this year’s spring soiree.

Ken Grambihler has honored us by allowing the Roxy to exhibit the Tennessee State Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention trophy here in our lobby. When I dream of the new performing arts center, I imagine so many events like the Fiddlers’ Convention taking place here. And of course, due to the Fiddlers’ Convention, we were given, along with other nonprofits, a donation. Ours was presented by two good friends, James and Debra Heaton.

“Precision and order” sings Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins, and that’s true of the backstage as well. Performers are a uniquely goodhearted group of people. Everyone helps everyone else to move a column from one side of the stage to the other. Helping hands hand sets, props, kites, gloves, hats and an endless amount of costumes like that Hindu goddess with all those arms.

Mary Poppins continues on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, through next Saturday, May 23.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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