Up & Coming Weekly

November 29, 2022

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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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 16 UCW NOVEMBER 30 - DECEMBER 6, 2022 Charlotte Blume to perform traditional Nutcracker dance by R. ELGIN ZEIBER On Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 11, e North Carolina State Ballet and Charlotte Blume School of Dance will present the Nutcracker at the Crown eater at 3 p.m. "We've changed bits and pieces of our choreog- raphy to add some excitement and fun [this year]," Dina Lewis, Charlotte Blume's Studio Manager, said. Charlotte Blume's Nutcracker is the "oldest grand- fathered production" at the Crown eater. "It's fun. We've been rehearsing all summer," Lewis said. "Right now it's a seven-day-a-week job, and we can't wait to get this thing on stage." Originally from Texas, Charlotte Blume started the school in the mid-1950s, bringing artistic profes- sionalism to the Fayetteville region by teaching ballet, her own top-flight training pedigree and her insistence on high standards and authenticity. "e dance studio is [the] Charlotte Blume School of Dance, but we also have a ballet company," Lewis said. "North Carolina State Ballet . . . and it's been around forever." According to the dance studio, no other local dance studio used mirrors or bars before Blume's arrival. "We are as close to a pre-professional company as you can get without going professional," Lewis said. For many, participating in Blume's productions and studying at her studio has helped win admis- sion to top colleges. She taught Fayetteville's promi- nent families as well as the less fortunate. Within the studio, all were treated equally. e Charlotte Blume School of Dance presents more of a traditional Nutcracker than other produc- tions in the area. Blume's absolute devotion to merit made her somewhat of a de facto civil rights pioneer. In Fayetteville, the first students were black. White families quietly boycotted her integrated operation until their daughters insisted that they, too, wanted to receive the finest instruction. In the South, Blume welcomed white and black students equally. ere was never any question that they would learn together in the same classes and that the prime dancing parts would go to those students who worked hard and showed talent. Blume passed away in 2016 but the studio continues to produce similar, traditional ballet studios with "classically-trained students." "If you go to New York and you've seen our pro- duction, you'll see something very similar," Lewis said. "All of the girls you see on stage are literallywork- ing seven days a week to prepare for this Nutcracker performance, Lewis said. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Crown Complex Box Office or online at CrownComplexNC.com. "We're different than other dance studios in Fayetteville," Lewis said. "I'm very firm, and the girls are so precious because they know my motto: it's 'we,' not 'me.'" Charlotte Blume is located at 1312 Morganton Road, "literally in the heart of Haymount." For more information, visit BlumeSchoolOfDance.com or www.facebook.com/charlotteblumeschoolofdance. "[Ballet] is a dying art," Lewis said. "ere's a lot of reverence for that stage, [and] we teach the girls that you have to respect each other . . . the stage, and when you hit it, you're going to nail it every single time." ASHLEY SHIRLEY, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200 Gilbert Theater brings classic musical to holiday audiences by ASHLEY SHIRLEY e Gilbert eater invites audienc- es to enjoy one of the greatest musicals of all time this holiday season. From Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, Maria and the entire Von Trapp family will grace the stage for the theater's production of "e Sound of Music." Since its theatrical release in 1965, the multi-award-winning musical collaboration between Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II has be- come a beloved fixture on the cultural landscape. Spawning hit songs like "My Favorite ings," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," and the infectious "Do-Re- Mi," it's a show that's sure to delight audiences of all ages. e musical tells the story of hand- some but gruff widower Captain Georg Von Trapp and Maria, the govern- ess who comes to teach his seven children. rough music and song, Maria brings light and love into the Von Trapp home as the realities of war threaten to destroy the idyllic life they've created. It's an enduring story of family, hope, and the power of love — perfect for the holiday season. "is show speaks Christmas to so many people. I know it does to my family and me," said actor and director Chris Walker, who'll be playing Cap- tain Von Trapp. Co-director Brian Adam Kline also attributes the show's feel-good themes to its enduring popularity. "It's a musi- cal of hope," Kline stated. "It's a story that gives us hope in a dark time." One challenge with a show as rec- ognizable and as grand as "e Sound of Music" is the need to scale back. While there might not be rolling green hills or the Von Trapp's palatial family home as a backdrop, Kline, and co- director Robynne Parrish have sought to create a show that is still large in feel. "It's a big show, written for a big stage, and the challenge comes in putting it in a black box setting," Kline explained. "You have to get creative with space and movement." According to Jean Jamison, who'll be playing the Mother Abbess, the result is an "intimate show that really works." Up & Coming Weekly spoke with the production's star, Helen Steffan, about playing Maria Von Trapp, a role made famous by iconic actress Julie Andrews. "is is a dream role for a lot of people," she shared. "It's so fun to do it with a great cast. I grew up in this theater; it's really sweet to work with the same people who have helped me throughout my career." e show's three-week run will provide a great opportunity for fami- lies who want to end a day of holiday shopping with a night at the theater. An 8 p.m. show is available on Friday and Saturday, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday and Sunday. e show has a run-time of two hours with an inter- mission — perfect for a day out with the family or a cozy holiday date night. e Gilbert eater is located at 116 Green Street in downtown Fayetteville. General admission tickets are $20 for adults, with discounted tickets available for students, teachers, and the military. To purchase tickets, visit https://www.gilberttheater.com/. COVER (Photos courtesy Gilbert eater) R. ELGIN ZEIBER, Intern. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200 Charlotte Blume students practicing for their upcoming per- formance of e Nutcracker. (Photo courtesy Charlotte Blume School of Dance)

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