Happily out of the blue, U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn stopped by the Roxy at the end of a Winter’s Tale field trip performance to add her support for our new center for arts and education. She was pleased with our partnership with the Parks and Recreation Summer Playhouse acting program, as well as our sharing of props and set pieces with the APSU Opera Workshop and their reciprocal loan of costumes for various productions.
Representative Blackburn was also pleased and surprised that I knew the story of her hometown’s generosity to one of its most famous citizens, Miss Leontyne Price. The good people of Laurel, Mississippi, bought out a performance of the Metropolitan Opera so that their native daughter could be the first African-American to sing a romantic leading role there. Marian Anderson had broken ground sometime before, but as a gypsy in Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera (The Masked Ball). Leontyne sang Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore (The Troubadour) opposite Franco Corelli, who made his Met debut that night as well. Leontyne garnered the bulk of the reviews, and Mr. Corelli chose never to sing with Miss Price ever again. Representative Blackburn reveled in my knowledge of Laurel and of that incident — one step up for the new center.
I was one of many who joined others in filling a hall to mourn with and pay tribute to a great man, a kind man and a gentle man. Jack Nagrod and his wife were avid theatregoers. I had admired him for a long time, but my respect grew even greater when I would visit those good souls who have found comfort and contentment in Montgomery County Nursing Home. Of all the like places I have visited, there I have always been treated by the staff as a guest of those who call it home. To find out that Jack had spearheaded its inception gave me yet another reason to admire him. Shakespeare says in Julius Caesar, “The good we do is often interred with our bones.” This is not true in Jack Nagrod’s case, as all his good will continue.
In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Rivers & Spires, the Roxy Regional Theatre will offer $10 tickets to any performance of the spring and summer season, purchased at the box office or by phone on Thursday, April 19, between the hours of 9am and 2pm. These tickets are sold as-is (no refunds or exchanges). The theatre will be dark except for Thursday evening’s opening festivities, during which the cast of Spring Awakening will perform. In the past we have tried to continue with performances, but that was a losing battle, as this venue was never built to compete with the modern application of amplified music and outside noise levels of such intensity.
Tonight at 8pm we proudly present Spring Awakening, an awe-inspiring work rated PG-13 (or, for some, rated R or NC-17). Four-letter words and deeds notwithstanding, its message transcends the messenger.
See you at the theatre!