Tag Archives: theatre

More than OK

More than OK

On a cross country road trip, just wanting to get through the state of Oklahoma on a trip out west, we randomly pulled off the highway and into a state park to sleep. We had no expectations of the state and was in a hurry to get through it painlessly. Upon waking we were met with the most beautiful and wonderful surprise. Red Rock Canyon State Park was the first of many incredible sights in Oklahoma. I had similar expectations about the musical, set over a hundred years ago and wondering what relevance it could have for me. Derby Dinner Playhouse’s production of Oklahoma was similarly full of beauty and surprise. The seventy-eight-year-old Pulitzer prize winning Rogers and Hammerstein musical is timeless in its universal themes of love and jealousy, intrigue and danger set in the Oklahoma territory in the time leading up to statehood. The director addressed the audience before the play began relating the themes of warring cowboys and farmers in Oklahoma to the world today at large and the need for people with different backgrounds to find common ground and work together, regardless of what you believe or who you love. That statement resonated through the cornfields and the prairie in the love story of Curly and Laurey (Ryan Skerchak and Kaitlyn Sage), and the anger and rage of Jud (played menacingly by Bobby Conte), whose powerhouse voice filled the playhouse. Aunt Eller (Mandi Elkins Hutchins) is the elderly, wise matriarch of the little town outside of Claremont, Oklahoma. Played with wit and humor expertly by Mandi Elkins Hutchins, last seen as a gorgeous and flamboyant divorcee in Mamma Mia. Derby Dinner Playhouse consistently does so many things right from the plentiful salad bar and delicious buffet to the dessert selection. Southern home cooking featuring fried chicken and fish, turkey tetrazzini and carved ham and turkey with all the fixings was almost enough to fill us up, but the temptation was too great to not partake of a new dessert item, the pecan pie cake. The theatre attracts amazing talent as servers who double as footnotes, opening the show and showcasing desserts, drinks and future shows. Some of the servers pull triple duty as footnotes and cast members and never miss a beat in any of them. Oklahoma is chock full of traditional folk type music, Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, square dancing and even lasso tricks all performed exceptionally well. Combined with authentic period costuming, the viewers are transported to a different time in American life. Aesthetically, my favorite part of Derby Dinner Productions are the creative uses of space and set design. Theatre in the round presents unique opportunities for set pieces. The audience was literally on Aunt Eller’s porch and in the blink of an eye (with the help of creative lighting and dropped set pieces) we found ourselves transported to Jud’s frightening and steamy smokehouse. Corn stalks appeared and disappeared from the ceiling and lighting let us know that Laurey was having an intense, dark dream about Jud and Curly. One of my favorite moments came just as Laurey inhaled the smelling salts that would give her the answers she was seeking. Illuminated by a spot light as the rest of the stage slowly melted away in darkness, Laurey reaches back before sleeping. Her pose struck me as an exact replica of a favorite famous painting, Christina’s world by Andrew Wyeth. It was either an incredible coincidence or a bit of directing brilliance. I tend to

think the latter, as so much of Derby Dinner Playhouse’s production was brilliant. Like the diverse and wonderful state, the musical astonishes and delights from one end to the other.

Oklahoma runs through May 27, 2018 For show times and ticket information visit https://derbydinner.com

Derby Dinner Playhouse
525 Marriott Drive, Clarksville IN 47129

PRESS RELEASE | Clarksville Little Theatre’s “Miracle on 34th Street”

Based on the 1947 classic film starring Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood, Edmund Gwenn and John Payne, the story revolves around an elderly gentleman who believes he is the real Santa and a little girl who learns to have faith in the magic of the Christmas season.

In this Christmas classic, Kris Kringle fills in for an intoxicated Santa in the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle soon gains both popularity and love with children and adults alike at the chain’s main store in midtown Manhattan. When he insists, however, that he really is Santa Claus, a competency hearing is held to determine Kringle’s sanity and on whether he could possibly be who he says he is.

Rachel Allen plays Doris Walker; Kara Marchant plays her daughter, Susan Walker. James Ballard plays the defense attorney, Fred Gayley; Richard Seng plays the psychiatrist, Mr. Sawyer, and Tom Morton plays the lovable Kris Kringle.

Directed by Rita Hight the cast ensemble also includes Lynda Arkwright, Denver Bays, Adelaide Bingham, Kearstie Burke. Kinsley Carter, Gary Crockett, Grace Cummins, Brylee Deuser, Shannon Frazier, Amber Gillenwater, Alice Haynes, Owen Kane, Dashiel Leonard, Kinsey McClure, Joyce Miller, Mike Miller, Evelyn Minton, Richard Seng, Aiden Singleton, Sophia Singleton, Autumn Smith, Debbie Smith, Charles Swarens, Terrence Thomas, Alan Weller, and Caitlin Wheat.

Shows are November 11, 12, 13, 18, and 19 at 8:00 p.m. and November 20 at 2:00.  Tickets range from $10 for children, $15 for teens and seniors, and $18 for adults. Tickets can be reserved by calling 812-283-6522 and are also available at the door.

PRESS RELEASE | Derby Dinner Playhouse announces 31st Children’s Musical Theatre Season



Adult Breakfast Price:  $60.00 for all 4 shows!

Child Breakfast Price:  $30.00 for all 4 shows!

Adult Lunch Price:  $80.00 for all 4 shows!

Child Lunch Price:  $40.00 for all 4 shows!



Derby Dinner Playhouse announces their 31st Children’s Musical Theatre Season!  Subscriptions to public performances are now available.  For more information please call the Ticket Office at 812-288-8281 or visit www.derbydinner.com.


The 2016-2017 Season offers the following musicals: THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, ONCE UPON A SNOWFLAKE, STINKY KIDS THE MUSICAL, and FANCY NANCY THE MUSICAL.  Season subscribers receive over 50% off the price of a child’s ticket when a season ticket is ordered for all four shows (limit 3 kids per adult).  That equals 2 FREE SHOWS for your child when you subscribe!


Derby Dinner’s Children’s Musical Theatre features breakfast and lunch performances on Saturdays with a freshly prepared buffet that offers kid friendly food – even for the picky eaters!  The one hour performances are just the right length for kids and all performances are suitable for ages 3 to 12.  Derby Dinner Playhouse also offers plenty of free parking.  Pre-show activities add to the fun and each subscriber will receive newsletters throughout the season including family fun plans and special discounts.  Subscribers will also enjoy visits from Bravo the Star, our Children’s Theatre mascot, at each performance.


All of the shows in the Children’s Musical Theatre Series are specially selected for our audiences.  This ensures that we meet the educational goals of both Indiana and Kentucky.


Become part of the Derby Dinner Playhouse family!


THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS (October 8, 15, 22, 24, 29, November 5, 12, 2016) You get to be the jury as the Big Bad Wolf goes on trial in this clever and funny, rockin’ musical.  Based on the best-selling book, this is “A thrilling courtroom dram-edy…with music! And ham!”


ONCE UPON A SNOWFLAKE (November 19, 25, 26, December 3, 10, 17, 19, 2016) No two snowflakes are the same, and neither are two snowmen.  Join us for this heartwarming new musical about a small snow girl with big dreams.  A world premiere that is sure to fill you with the holiday spirit!


STINKY KIDS THE MUSICAL (February 25, March 4, 11, 18, 20, 25, April 1, 2017) Britt is in a sticky situation – literally.  She has an epic wad of gum in her hair!  Will she still make it to Captain Happy’s Jumpy-Fun-Super-Bouncy Indoor Place?  Join in the adventure with Britt and her friends in this comical musical based on the successful book series.


FANCY NANCY THE MUSICAL (June 3, 10, 12, 17, 24, July 1, 8, 2017) Fancy Nancy is performing in her very first show and desperately wants to be a mermaid.  Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role, even if it isn’t the one she wants?  Based on the best-selling book series, this musical is sure to delight!


For questions, interviews, or further information please contact our Director of Children’s Theatre, Tina Jo Wallace, at 812-288-2632 x. 132 or Wallace@derbydinner.com

PRESS RELEASE | Floyd Central Theatre Arts Presents: BIG FISH

September 8-11, 2016

New Season Opens with a Splash!

Floyd Central opens its 2016-2017 theatre season with Big Fish, a highly fanciful and funny new musical about fatherhood, family, and forgiveness.  Based on the movie and novel by the same name, Big Fish introduces audiences to Edward Boom’s world of giants, witches, and other larger-than-life characters while touching the hearts of the young and old alike.  “We are hoping families will join us for this moving production,” says the show’s director, Robbie Steiner.  “It is a beautiful story that everyone can relate to on some level.  The cast, crew, and I have found ourselves deeply moved by these characters so we can’t wait to share them with our audience.”

Big Fish tells the tale of Edward Bloom (junior Mitchell Lewis), a man with a big heart and even bigger imagination. Edward’s son, Will (senior Gage Griffin), has grown up on his father’s stories of kissing a mermaid, befriending a giant and meeting Will’s mother, Sandra (senior Sarah Denison) at a circus. However, now a grown man recently married

Mitchell Lewis as Edward Bloom (left) & Sarah Denison as Sandra Bloom (right)

Mitchell Lewis as Edward Bloom (left) & Sarah Denison as Sandra Bloom (right)

and expecting a child with his wife, Josephine (junior Allie Lincoln), Will has grown out of such tall tales. Will simply does not accept these stories and finds that he is drifting farther and farther away from his father. Is it possible for Will to accept Edward before his life is cut short or will their relationship simply flop? Big Fish reels people of all ages in through the magic of storytelling as Edward’s tales come to life on stage.  Junior Sam Moore plays the larger than life giant, Karl, while juniors Brooklyn Ivey and Jordan Burger play a witch and a circus ringmaster turned werewolf.  Edward’s adventurous stories entertain while revealing a greater truth about his life and his big heart.

Big Fish is not only a show full of imagination and heart; it is filled to the brim with diverse and relatable characters.  Mitchell Lewis relies on memories of his own grandfather to help him create his version of Edward Bloom: “My grandfather was very similar to Edward.  Every time I talked to him he had a new story to tell me.  He always tried to lighten the mood and always had a joke, even living in the hospital near the end of his life.”  Mitchell explained that the show not only challenges him to take on a fatherly persona but also to develop authentic connections with the other characters in Edward’s life.  “It’s a love story, but not just about romantic love,” says senior Sarah Denison, who plays Sandra in the show, “However, Sandra and Edward do have one of the most beautiful relationships in musical theatre.”

While the performers are onstage sharing Edward’s stories, the Floyd Central Technical Theatre program is backstage helping them to come to life. Junior Megan Stapp, new to the world of technical theatre, shares her experience on working her first ever FC Theatre show as a tech: “Working behind the scenes on Big Fish, is a really eye-opening experience to everything that goes into the technical aspects of technical theatre. The show is so magical and being able to work it is an honor in itself.” Along with the inspirational story comes colorful lighting design, produced by sophomore Connor Nevitt. “Big Fish relies a lot on lights and projections to set the stage for Edward’s stories.  It is a show driven by emotion so the lights can help reflect the experiences of the characters for the audience,” says Nevitt.

Patrick Jump, Floyd Central’s Technical Director, leads a group of hard-working designers, managers, and technicians for this production.  The show’s Stage Manager is senior Jerran Kowalski, who is assisted by juniors Makenna Baughman and David Greenwell.  Senior Meredith Collings serves as the show’s Sound Designer and sophomore Jessica Bulliet as the Props Master.

Big Fish is directed and designed by Robbie Steiner with choreography by Hayie Rebilas and Musical Direction by Scott Bradley.  Vicki Hays, Janet Slaughter, and Susie Ems construct the costumes.

Parents are advised that while Big Fish is highly entertaining for all ages, it does deal with some heavy themes such as cancer and the death of a parent.



Where? Floyd Central Auditorium

When? September 8, 9, 10  at 7:30PM and September 11 at 2:00PM

How Much? $12 Adults, $10 Senior Citizens, $6 Students


Tickets are available at www.floydcentraltheatre.org and over the phone at (812) 542-2284.