April's MessageDear Friends,
It's astonishing how one's spirits brighten when the redbud, the jonquils and the forcythia all start flowering. We took a 200 mile drive south last week, made short by the beauty of thousands of blooming trees. We couldn't help noticing the effect of altitude on blooming. Our home is just below 2,000 feet and at the lower elevations, perhaps no more than 200-300 feet, the flowers were as much as a week ahead of us. This week should be beautiful in the Valley of Virginia. You've got to love Spring.
And we're ready for it. March came in like a lion with some sub-zero temps and the most snow of the winter. But we left all that and went on a cruise to the Caribbean with Garrison Keillor and a ship full of nice folks and entertainers. Our first gig back in the states was in Rochester, NY. The day before we got there it snowed several inches and was dreary and cold. But the day of the concert the clouds parted and the temps started to rise. Yep! We brought the warm weather. A couple of days after we left they hit 60 degrees. You're welcome, Rochester.
There are a few updates on "Stonewall Country." We are in rehearsals at the Barter Theatre and will spend the rest of this month and the beginning of May rehearsing and performing in this musical that we helped develop and write so many years ago. The script has been shortened and refocused, the cast has been reduced from fifteen to five and we've written three new songs for this new version. Eugene Wolf, an accomplished actor and musician (some of you may remember his days with the east Tennessee band, "The Brother Boys") is our director. We're lucky to have him. We, along with Jim Watson, will be three of the participants and will be joined by two other fine performers, Jason Petty and Emily Mikesell. Jason has made quite a name for himself in his award winning portrayal of Hank Williams in the off Broadway hit "Lost Highway." Emily Mikesell is a veteran performer from New York City and has spent her adult life brightening stages there at home and in dozens of theaters around the country. She and Jason have an innate understanding of the music from "Stonewall Country" and it's fun working with them.
It's interesting that we started our rehearsals the week of the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War, April 9, 1865. We have friends who drove a mule team at Appomattox, VA and took part in the big, week-long celebration. It makes the work we're doing feel relevant and well timed.
Bumper Sticker Of The Month: Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
Hope this finds you healthy and busy. If any of you are traveling through Virginia on I-81 this month, come by the Barter Theatre and see us.
BOOKINGS: Trish Galfano, Myriad Artists,