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Freedom Rings in Cumberland County and 4th of July Celebrations Abound PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Stephanie Crider   
Monday, 22 June 2015
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The Revolutionary War lasted from 1775-1783. It was about a year into the fight that delegates from the 13 colonies met in Philadelphia and voted for America’s independence from Britain. 

The delegation struggled with the decision, but on July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted for independence. Two days later, on July 4, the delegation adopted the Declaration of Independence. It was another eight years before the fighting stopped, but it is the 4th of July that America claims as her birthday. In the minds of many Americans, if there is anything worth celebrating it is freedom and independence.
This year there is no shortage of events at which to celebrate.

N.C. Symphony Present Concerts In Your Community and Fireworks

Each summer the N.C. Symphony performs free concerts across the state as part of its Concerts in Your Community series. The concerts are a way for the symphony to give back and, as the state’s official symphony, a way to make its music available statewide. On July 1, don’t miss the Independence Day concert at Festival Park. This year, the symphony has invited the Cumberland Oratorio Singers to perform, as well. 

“We take the stage at 7 p.m. and have a set that includes patriotic music and slices of Americana,” said Maureen Yearby, the marketing and publicity spokesperson for the Cumberland Oratorio Singers. “It is an opportunity to perform for the community we love and is a real indication that Cumberland Oratorio Singers has come a long way these past five years.”

Following the  Cumberland Oratorio Singers, the N.C. Symphony performance includes favorites that are sure to touch the hearts of patriots and rousing classics that will leave hearts pounding. Some favorites that are featured include Root’s “The Battle Cry of Freedom” and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” plus selections from the Civil War era. The symphony performs at 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. End the evening with a fireworks display that is fitting for patriotic celebration of American independence. Find out more at www.ncsymphony.org.

America’s Favorite Game

Known for their summertime fireworks extravaganzas, the SwampDogs pull out all the stops when it comes to celebrating America’s birthday. It’s the team’s biggest event of the year and one that should not be missed. On Friday, July 3, the Honoring America Fireworks Tribute is presented by Hendrick Chrysler Jeep Fiat and USAA. 

“This is the best fireworks show Fayetteville has to offer during the summer, and is a memorable show for the whole family,” said Assistant General Manager/Voice of the SwampDogs Joe Vasile.

Celebrate in Spring Lake

Spring Lake is celebrating with a 4th of July Festival on Main Street. This family-friendly event features live entertainment, a kid’s zone, water activities, a car show and food and craft vendors. The celebration takes place at
 the Spring Lake Chamber of Commerce and  runs from noon until dark. Call 497-8821 for more details. 

Join the Fun in Hope Mills

Hope Mills looks to celebrate the 4th of July with a Party in the Park at Hope Mills Municipal Park. But first, the day starts with a good, old-fashioned parade in downtown Hope Mills. The parade starts at 10 a.m. Party in the Park starts at 4 p.m. and will include family-friendly games, vendors and live entertainment. Find out more at www.townofhopemills.com, www.hopemillschamber.com or by calling 426-4107.

A Patriotic Celebration at Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg’s 4th of July celebration takes place on the Main Post Parade Field. The event includes plenty of events and activities to keep attendees busy all afternoon and well into the evening. 

The parade field opens at 1 p.m., for those who are serious about staking out great spots for the concerts and fireworks. Kiddieland and food vendors open at 3 p.m. The program officially starts at 5 p.m. with a performance by Easton Corbin. 

From 6-6:30 p.m., all eyes are on the skies as the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s  Black Daggers free fall from the sky. Up next is Randy Houser, who will perform until 7:45 p.m. Senior commander remarks and sponsor recognition follows. 

If you have ever attended the Fort Bragg celebration, then you know you will not want to miss the flag ceremony and 82nd Division All American Chorus’ rendition of  The National Anthem followed by a three song set by Patten and Goff. 

At 9 p.m., enjoy the music of the 82nd Division All American Band  featuring the “1812 Overture” (including the canon). The magic hour is 10 p.m., when fireworks begin to light up the sky over the home of America’s finest. 

Guests are encouraged to arrive early because heavy traffic is expected. No pets, glass bottles or grills. A complete list of prohibited items is available at www.fortbraggmwr.com/july4th. Tent rentals are available but must be reserved in advance. Find out more at www.fortbraggmwr.com/tent-city. There are no tent rentals on the day of the event. The 2015 Fort Bragg 4th of July Celebration is free and open to the public. Find out more at www.fortbraggmwr.com.


 
Fayetteville’s Stages Continue to Shine PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Janice Burton   
Monday, 15 June 2015
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In As You Like It, the immortal bard penned the famous line  “All the world’s a stage,” which refers more to the countless roles each individual plays throughout the stages of their lives, but it also speaks to the heart of theatre and the actors and actresses who walk the boards, laying themselves bare to tell a story.

In Cumberland County, there are a number of stages and a number of extremely talented people who bring stories to life on the stage and several companies that give them not only the opportunity, but the wherewithal to make magic happen. In these hazy days of summer, our theatres go dark, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of work going on and a lot of preparation behind the scenes, readying the stage for the start of the 2015-2016 theatre season.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare

One of the newest, and definitely unique, theatre companies in the Cape Fear Region is Sweet Tea Shakespeare, which operates under the auspices of Fayetteville State University.  The company seeks to “celebrate the wonder of Shakespeare, other classic plays and new work in beautiful environments with family-style flare by providing simple, elemental, magical theatre experiences.”

In its fourth season, the company’s summer season is ongoing, with its first offering, The Cherry Orchard, currently running on the grounds of the 1897 Poe House, which is part of the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. The company presents most of its work in this unique outdoor setting, which actually makes the great outdoor its stage. Written by Anton Chekhov, the play runs through June 21, with shows at 7 p.m. Music, food and fun start at 6:15 p.m. The cast features Marie Lowe, Candace Joice, Nathan Pearce, Brandon Bryan, David Holt, Michael Carney, Jeremy Fiebig, Ja’Maul Johnson, Kaley Morrison, Liz Covington, Reagan Carstens, Joey Narvaez, and Katie White. Greg Fiebig, the company director,  is directing and Jacob French is music director.

In July, the second play of the summer season is a classic Shakespeare piece, The Tempest, which follows the survivors of a shipwreck as they explore and the island of Prospero. Opening July 16, it runs through the 19th, with shows also on July 23-26.

The cast features Ruth Nelson, Jessica Osnoe, Nicole Callaghan, Marie Lowe, Cerina Johnson, Malerie Goodman, Joyce Borum, Katie Wampler, Liz Covington, Medina Demeter, Jennifer Czechowski, Zec Williams, Brandon Bryan, Joey Narvaez, and Ja’Maul Johnson. Fiebig and French team up again to bring the story to life.

Audiences should bring their own seating, including camping or other outdoor chairs and blankets. Some quilt seating is available onsite on a rental basis. $12 general admission; $10 seniors and military member; children 6-12 are $6; and those under the age of 5 are admitted free. Tickets may be reserved at sweetteashakespeare.com/tickets and purchased onsite via cash, credit or debit card.

The Gilbert Theater

The Gilbert Theater, led by Artistic Director Robyne Parrish, has six shows lined up for its 2015-2016 season, with comedies, tragedies, feel-good and socially relevant plays on tap. Company members invite the community to come out and experience “theatre with a pulse.”

The season opens Sept. 18 with the classic Mel Brooks musical, Young Frankenstein. In classic Brooks style, the show centers around the work of Dr. Frankenstein who, following in his grandfather’s footsteps, tries to bring a corpse back to life. With help and hindrance from servant Igor, buxom assistant Inga and needy fiancée Elizabeth, his experiment yields success and unexpected consequences. The play runs through Oct. 4.

For the past several years, The Gilbert has brought the classic A Christmas Carol to the stage as a gift to the community. This year the company has elected to change things up and will stage It’s a Wonderful Life instead. The classic play chronicles the life of George Bailey, the “Everyman” from the small town of Bedford Falls. Bailey’s life has not turned out as he thought it would. He stands broken, dreaming of escape and adventure. Bailey, has given up hope, and it is up to his Guardian Angel to remind him that the life he is so disappointed in, is really very wonderful. The show runs Nov. 27 and runs through Dec. 20. 

In February, tragedy takes center stage as Shakespeare’s Titus Anronicus and Hedda Baler by Henrik Ibsen are performed. 

Women of Manhattan and The Vagina Monologues round out the season in April and June, respectively. 

Women of Manhattan by John Patrick Shanley chronicles the love lives of three women: Rhonda, who has just broken up with her boyfriend; Billie, a happily married woman who is afraid that she and her husband will never move past their honeymoon phase; and Judy, who is afraid she will never meet a good-looking guy who isn’t gay. 

In a series of sharply written, subtly revealing scenes, their situations change. Billie fixes up Judy with her ex-boyfriend, a debonair black executive who proves to be more than an adequate lover; Billie’s husband gives her a black eye (which delights her because it finally proves that the honeymoon is over!); and Rhonda, still alone, summons up the courage to dispose of her boyfriend’s sneakers. 

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler is fairly self-explanatory. It is a series of monlogues delivered by women that is designed to “break down the barriers of secrecy and shame surrounding both the use of the word ‘vagina’ (both in public and in private) and the violence perpetrated against those who have one. “

Tickets are $16 for general admission with military, student and senior discounts available. There are also special package prices for advance paid groups of ten or more. For more information or to buy tickets, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , visit www.gilberttheater.com or call 678-7186. Cape Fear Regional Theatre

Nestled in Haymount, the Cape Fear Regional Theatre will continue telling great stories during its upcoming season. Under the direction of Artistic Director Tom Quaintance, the theatre has an eclectic lineup featuring everything from classics like Man of La Mancha, to musicals like The Wiz and an original work, Downrange: Voices from the Homefront in its lineup

The eight-play season begins Sept. 17  with the musical, Man of La Mancha, which runs through Oct. 11. The musical tells the story of “The Mad Knight, ” Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Miguel de Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. 

A new adaption of a timeless classic, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is on stage in October. The adaption by Todd Kreidler, tells the story of a progressive white couple’s proud liberal sensibilities that are put to the test when their daughter, fresh from an overseas romance, brings her African-American fiancé home to meet them. 

In December, the theatre stages it’s traditional The Best Christmas Pageant Ever as a special event, followed by The Wiz, which runs Jan. 21-Feb. 14. This beloved Broadway musical sets Dorothy’s adventures in the land of OZ to music in a dazzling, lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul! The Wiz is CFRT’s Classic Theatre Series production for the 2015-2016 season and is presented in partnership with Cumberland County Schools, providing an opportunity to engage, entertain and educate students. Free tickets will be provided to all 11th grade CCS students.

Downrange, written and directed by Mike Wiley, is the first original play commissioned by the theatre. It explores the impact of more than a decade of war on not only our nation’s warriors, but also their families. The show runs March 3-20, 2016.

Downrange is followed up with the classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace, which will open April 7. 

In May, theatre patrons can look forward to spending some time with The Man in Black when the musical Ring of Fire comes to the stage. With Hedwig and the Angry Inch rounding out the season May.  Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the story of a German transsexual who goes on a journey of self-discovery, has one of the greatest rock scores of any contemporary musical. From the driving rock of “Tear Me Down” to the heart rending “Origin of Love” to the country-pop brilliance of “Sugar Daddy,” this musical has struck a chord. Hedwig allows us to feel free to truly love ourselves and become the best version of ourselves and, ultimately, spread the love to others.

Season tickets are now available and options can be found at www.cfrt.org.


 

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