Up & Coming Weekly

January 21, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 14 of 32

14 UCW JANUARY 22-28, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Givens Performing Arts Center's 'Bandstand' tells a tale of a 1940s homecoming and its joys and struggles by CAROLINE SCHAFER EVENTS Gilbert Theater presents 'Ruins' by JENNA SHACKELFORD When natural disasters strike Fayetteville, our community often becomes poignant, reflecting on prior disasters and our relationships with each other. Montgomery Sutton's "Ruins," opening on Jan. 24 at Gilbert eater, asks the questions, What is the past? And when we look on the past, what are we really looking back on? e production is a romantic tragic comedy set in the wake of a horrific natural disaster in Tornado Alley, where two lovers who haven't seen each other in a decade are reunited in the wake of that tragedy. "Over the course of 90 minutes, they relive moments from their pasts that shed light on the past 10 years. Each of them realizes that actions and events from the past they remember may not exist in the same way they think for the other person," Sutton explained. A short play was the origin of the production almost a decade ago. For Sutton, the play was inspired by per- sonal events in his life, which spurred the evolution of the work. He is oiginally from Dallas, Texas, and since he began the writing of the play, there have been two major natural disasters in the area — tornadoes. "And then of course, in my personal life, there have been all kinds of personal and romantic relationships that have come and gone that have elevated me and also erupted and dissolved. e play has very much become an exploration of what heightened moments of tragedy in life can inspire in our own personal spheres," he said. He wanted to explore the nostalgia of events that we recall and question whether or not the memories we are recalling might, in fact, be fiction. Larry Carlisle III, the artistic director at Gilbert eater is excited to see the show on stage. "is is the first time that it's been produced anywhere, so no one has ever seen it on a stage before. We, at the Gilbert — that's kind of part of our mission to present lesser-known and sometimes previously unpublished or unproduced works." Since the show takes place in the wake of a tornado, the set reflects that. "e technical director and main builder of the set really outdid herself on this one," Carlisle said. e cast is small, featuring new and familiar faces. Adam Smith is played by Justin Toyer. Grace Car- son is played by Megan Martinez. e last char- acter is a tree removal expert named Mr. Green, played by Michael Carney. Carney and Toyer are Gilbert veterans, but the show will be Martinez's first time performing on the Gilbert stage. Sutton was an actor in Cape Fear Regional eater's "Henry V" in 2016. At Gilbert eater, he wrote a new adaptation and directed "Anti- gone" two years ago. Sutton's favorite part of the production is the inventive way that the cast performs the transitions in time throughout the production. Being in one space and with one audience, the production "changes the trope of this flash- back into something that is very unique … and creates an experience that becomes slightly experimental in the way it looks at how our memories affect our actions in the present," said Sutton. "Ruins" opens on Jan. 24 and runs through Feb. 9. Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.gil- berttheater.com/ or by calling 910-678-7186. Tickets are $16 and specially priced tickets for seniors 55 and up, military, students and first responders are avail- able for $14. Our community offers a unique structure of residents and it's fair to say that many know first- hand the struggles of war. It is because of this very reason that Givens Performing Arts Center at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke chose the play "Bandstand" as one of its performances for this year. It's a one-night-only performance Wednesday, Jan. 29. Directed by three-time Tony winner and "Ham- ilton" choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, the musical "Bandstand" is a top notch-production with upbeat music. It's a compelling story that portrays the undeniable impact of war and the lifelong consequences on those who serve. e play takes place in 1945. ere's a homecoming and a joyous celebration of such. "Bandstand" will have you tapping your feet and snapping your fingers to the lively music of jazz and swing. But it's not just about the celebrations of those who have returned. It also how addresses the tough question of to deal with getting back to so-called "normal" life once one has been to war. "Bandstand" is a play that will captivate your emotions by weaving the struggle of war with the main character Pfc. Donny Noviski, who is thrilled to be home but also laboring to find his way to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a singer and songwriter. "is story is one that moves the heart and hon- ors our women and men who serve our country," Givens Performing Arts Center Marketing Direc- tor Chat Locklear said. "And although the music is inspired by the 1940s, it is all brand-new." If you want to feel nostalgic, you like swing and jazz music, you want to honor our military or you just want to understand what service members and their families go through, this play is some- thing to put on your calendar. ere will be only one performance of Bandstand and it is Wednes- day, Jan. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $21 - $46. e show is recommended for those 13 and older because of some adult language and some subject matter that may not be understood by younger children. Audiences can expect the show to last two hours and to include an intermission. Call 910-521-6361 or visit https://www.uncp. edu/resources/givens-performing-arts-center for tickets and information. CAROLINE SCHAFER, Contribut- ing Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484- 6200. "Bandstand" is a play that will captivate your emotions by weaving the struggle of war with the main character Pfc. Donny Noviski. JENNA SHACKELFORD, Editor. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Ruins plays at Gilbert eater Jan. 24-Feb. 9.

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