PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Babahatchie Community Band Performs For Christmas

For the fourth time, the Babahatchie Community Band played the Princess Theatre.  It was the second time they have performed their Christmas Concert, and a modest crowd seemed pleased with what was presented.
  Mr. McCall Bohanan has been the conductor for at least the six years I've been following them.  Last night McCall was presented with an early Christmas gift from Dr. Joe and the band.  His efforts are great appreciated.
Bohanan does a great job at arranging their music and working with "student" players from the area high schools, and the elder musicians like founder Dr. Joe Williams and his long time friend Dr. Julian Ahler.  Mixing new and seasoned musicians isn't as easy as it sounds, but Bohanan encourages each group to perform at their very best on performance nights!
Bill Farnham and Luther True
Mr. Bill Farnham, narrated the evenings music pieces, bringing his own brand of humor to the presentations.  It's always interesting and entertaining to be in his company.  Bill is also a very talented actor who performs frequently with the Roane State Players.
Special guest vocalist, Sandy Wells, of Oliver Springs, impressed the audience with her command of the stage and the music she presented.  There is so much talent in our area, and we have yet to tap into it.  There are many more than need to be seen and heard on our Princess stage.
For more than 20 years, the band has performed for Harriman residents several times each year, with popular classics, marches, brass band music, and show tunes.  They perform in the gazebo at Riverfront Park on scheduled Sundays during the summer.  The tuba and euphonium players also get together the 2nd Saturday in December for the annual Merry Tuba Christmas, held at the Harriman High School gym. 

The full group, usually about 30 members strong, was formed by Dr. Joseph (Joe) Williams in 1989.  The band holds weekly rehearsals, which are open to the public and held in the Harriman High School band room most any Monday evening around 8 PM.  
You are invited to join the band anytime, just show up; they would enjoy your company!

Also remember to support this group with your donations at their performances.  It's only through your help that the group is able to bring us this wonderful music.  Thanks!

Friday, December 12, 2014

"It's A Wonderful Life" Packs The Princess

It was a historic evening!  The showing of "It's A Wonderful Life" marked the end of 15 years without a movie being shown at the Princess Theatre, in Downtown Harriman, TN.  
Cecil Johnson closed the movie house in 1999, and the theater fell into decay.  The leaking roof ruined everything inside, but a tragic accident made it possible for the building to be renovated and the Princess was brought back to life.  With her resurrection came new hope for a community that the spark of life would also rejuvenate Downtown Harriman.
Some of that dream came true Friday night as the community relived old memories, and made new ones, at the movie theater.  There were cars parked all up and down the street and people scurried between the Princess and the Simply Sweet Bakery.  In my mind, it was reminiscent of days gone by; when it was common place to see Roane Street lit up and people window shopping.
Inside the auditorium was nearly packed.  I would say it was the largest crowd since Marshal Tucker and The Kentucky Headhunters!
When Mayor Chris Mason and RSCC President Chris Whaley announced the start of the movie, the house erupted in applause and cheers!  The people have been hungry for a "real" movie at the Princess and they got their wish Friday night.

"It's A Wonderful Life" isn't a first run movie, but it was to those of us that have long awaited that evening!

It was also great to see the new screen down and reflecting new memories.
Above was the digital projector, an old one, given to us by Regal, but with the gift of $5,000 from the Cornstalk Heights Historical Community Organization (CHHCO), we are on our way to getting the $24K for a new one!  

Your gift to the Princess will go along way in achieving that goal.  Please give today!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Michael Golebiewski Directs "A Christmas Story" At Roane State

Again Michael Golebiewski brought another great stage production to the Roane State theatre.  This time it was "A Christmas Story", written by Philip Grecian, based on the stories by Jean Shepherd.  There was a large turnout for the play Friday evening, or it could have been for Michael's famous dessert offerings at intermission!

The story is all about Ralphie Parker, played wonderfully by Caleb Wright, a 7th grader at Cherokee Middle School, who only wants one thing for Christmas.  Ralphie not only obsesses about during is waking moments, but day and night dreams about becoming a neighborhood hero using a Red Ryder BB gun.
Caleb was also a gentlemen off stage.  I touched his shoulder on the way out and told him that he had done a great job, and the young man, still dressed in his silk robe after coming off the stage, said smilingly, "Oh thank you sir!"

All the iconic elements were there (as my photographic evidence proves); the leg lamp with ensuing "Battle of the Lamp"; which eventually leads to a broken leg, the metal pole with Flick's frozen tongue (Flick played by John Conard Belitz V, a 4th grader at Kingston Elementary), a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and "this thing which tells time", said 28 times in the original movie (I didn't count the stage expressions, but it was close.), the "you'll put your eye out" comments were also there, the barking Bumpus dogs next door, and the "redneck Bumpus"  theft of the Christmas turkey, the clinker battles with accompanying expletives, the Christmas tree trip with the scattering of the lug nuts, and the famous line "...only I didn't say fudge", Randy behind the couch and under the sink and back steps, the explosive fight scene between Ralphie and Scut Farkas (played by Chayse Mitchell (a freshman at Greenback), and even the Cowboy dream sequences (played by Caleb Stephenson, a student at RSCC)!

The most important element on the stage was the youth of Roane County expressing themselves, quite admirably I must say, through their art.  (A personal note: At least Roane State has theatre, something shamefully missing in our high schools!  The Princess stage needs to be utilized by the school system and promote the arts in education.  It's part of the dream folks!)
The youth on the stage ranged from kindergartner Seth Gutridge (playing Randy),  to old timer Corey Jones (playing the Old Man).  I've watched Corey grow in theatre, and he's maturing into a fine actor.

Randy (little fellow in the above photo), who incidentally often stole the show by either adorably waving at audience members, or poking his hands or head up through the kitchen sink to the shock of his mom, to walking or crawling on and off stage at will!  His mother (on and off stage), Tiffany Gutridge (played Ralphie and Randy's mom), had her hands full keeping up with her lines and the timing of delivery, while at the same time holding, dragging, or whispering "don't do that" to Randy!  It made for an enjoyable evening...just these exchanges and antics keep the audience smiling and laughing!

To be honest I'm not sure what part of the hilarious actions of the young actor were written into the script, or were just a little boy being himself!  Either way, it added to the whole feel of the show, and was quite fitting regardless.

Also on stage was a host of other supporting actors: Garrett Davis (Adult Ralphie) delivered the voice over, as was in the movie, Luke Taylor (Schwartz) is a 2nd grader at Bowers Elementary, Alayna Golebiewski (Esther Jane - Ralphie's girlfriend), Elizabeth Fishel (Helen), Kimmie Haliburda (Miss Shields) is a theatre major at RSCC, Gianni de Schaepdryver (tree salesman) is from Belgium, Tre Pack (Santa Claus) is a 2nd year RSCC student, and Kristen Arden (Elf) is also a 2nd year student at RSCC.
Spoiler Alert!  The played turned out like it was supposed to with Ralphie getting his Christmas wish; a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and "this thing which tells time"!  And yes, he almost shoots his eye out!
Ralphie and his father have a grand Christmas; without turkey!

Other photos from Friday evening's performance:
Congratulations all on the great performances, and keep up the great work.

Go now to the RSCC's website and signup to receive an electronic version of the Roane State Presents Performing and Visual Arts mailer (click the embedded link).  You will be very happy you did.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Princess Makes The News Again!

HARRIMAN, Tenn. (WVLT - Hilary Magacs) -- The Princess Theatre used to be Harriman's crown jewel: "Everyone around the county went to the Princess Theater at one time. It was a lot of fun," said Jesse Rittenhouse, who lives in Harriman. But it fell on hard times and closed in the 90s. In 2012, the Princess Theatre Foundation reopened the theater as a show and concert venue. 

Now, after a lot of fundraising, movies are coming back. The foundation bought a $14,000 movie screen and got a donated projector. "We're really excited about our first movie that we're going to show - an old classic movie. "It's a Wonderful Life". We're going to show that December the 12th at 7 o'clock," said Chris Mason, Mayor of Harriman. 

"I think there's a lot of grandparents that remember coming here as kids and so I think it will be very special for them to be able to bring their grandkids or their children with them," said Megan Anderson, manager of the Princess Theatre. 

A few doors down, Simply Sweet Bakery expects business to increase. They're extending store hours on movie days - and they're even offering special deals: "We'll give them 10 percent off their meal as long as they bring in their ticket with them," said Mike Borman, co-owner of Simply Sweet Bakery. 

Mason said that's the goal - bring people downtown to enjoy themselves at the movies, while supporting other businesses as well. 

Again, the first movie will be "It's a Wonderful Life" on December 12 at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but you're asked to bring canned goods to donate to the hungry. 

For more information on the Princess Theatre and to see a schedule of events, click this LINK.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, and Johnny Cash At The Princess Thursday!

Don't forget tomorrow night at the Princess!

Tina, Dolly and Johnny will all be at the Princess tomorrow night!  Free admission-donations accepted!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Princess Holiday Season Schedule


James Rogers is having his Christmas show on December 11th!  I just found this poster on the Princess Theatre website:

This means we have even more Christmas Season fun lined up!

The first movie at the Princess, since the renovation, will be shown on the evening of December 12th!  "It's A Wonderful Life" will be shown for the admission cost of a single can (or bring a truckload if you like) of food.  You have been waiting to again see a movie at the Princess, and this will be your first opportunity; plus you can help the area hungry.  Please come out and start your Christmas Season off right.
The Babahatchie Band will perform, free of charge, on the evening of December 13th at 7PM.  This is a wonderful way to get into the Holiday Spirit!  These local musicians have been performing in this band for over 20 years, and they sound great in the wonderful acoustics of the Princess!

Coming soon, information about Dr. Eric Littleton's concert on the 19th
Then on December 20th, the Princess will show it's second movie on its new "silver screen".  "A Christmas Snow" staring our own Muse Watson!  Muse will also be here to celebrate with us that evening.  The admission is just $5.

Hope to see you there every night!

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