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Performances

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Valley Playhouse Presents: “Chasing Manet”

Chasing Manet PosterTina Howe’s Chasing Manet is a dry, witty comedy, an amusing fantasy of two women struggling to adjust to life in a retirement home. A legally blind, successful, well-known painter from a socially distinguished Boston family and a jovial Jewish woman with a huge adoring family find themselves unlikely roommates in the “Mount Airy Nursing Home,” in Westchester, New York. The two women dream of returning to younger lives in Paris, and traveling there aboard the famous “Queen Elizabeth II.” The question is, can they possibly pull it off? The tension and comedy grow as these friends struggle to take wing one last time. The play highlights their human spirit, mischievousness and strength of character, despite various medical difficulties.

Chasing Manet has an inspirational message at its core concerning the potential that lives in us all, no matter what the barriers, to defy expectations and take action to attain our dreams.

The Valley Playhouse production features some familiar local actors and some new faces– including Lelia Hedrick, Jennifer Murch, Kathleen Holter, Kathy Gardner, Bill Bleeker, Buddy Garrison and Reilly Walker. Director Tom Arthur notes, “This play has some unique challenges in terms of acting and set design. A few scenes include five people whisking around stage in their wheelchairs. I don’t think Valley Playhouse has done anything quite like this before.”

PERFORMANCE:

Thurs. (3/12) : 8:00
Fri. (3/13) : 8:00
Sat. (3/14) : 8:00
Sun. (3/15) : 3:00 (Matinee)
Thurs. (3/19) : 8:00 (“Pay What You Will” Night”)
Fri. (3/20) : 8:00
Sat. (3/21) : 8:00
Sun. (3/22) : 3:00 (Matinee)

Doors open 30 mins before performance

TICKETS:

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Adult : $12.00
Senior : $10.00
Groups of 10 or more : $10.00

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United Nations of Comedy Presents: Jordan Rock

Jordan Rock FlyerJordan Rock isn’t just the brother of comic superstar Chris Rock … he is hilarious, and he’s coming to Harrisonburg for one night only. Jordan is no rookie to the comedy scene. He’s performed in some of the top comedy rooms throughout the nation, including: New York Comedy Club, Live at Gotham, Caroline’s, Comedy Strip and many others. Rock has performed with some of the biggest names in comedy and has appeared on FXX’s Totally Biased with Kamau Bell, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and other national programs. As he steps out of the shadows of his star-studded Rock brothers, Chris and Tony, Jordan shows that he is more than just a name, night in and night out.

PERFORMANCE:

Saturday, April 11th
Starts at 8:00, Doors at 7:00

TICKETS:

Adult: $20.00
Student: $15.00 (must present student ID)

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Seldom Scene

ss lighter 300dpiThe Award-winning and GRAMMY-nominated bluegrass band, Seldom Scene, returns to Court Square Theater!

“Please don’t think about me when I’m gone,” sings Dudley Connell on “Hometown Blues,” the opening track of the Seldom Scene’s new Sugar Hill release,SCENEchronized. But how can we not, when it’s the Seldom Scene, one of the most acclaimed bluegrass bands of all time, and it’s been seven years since their last recording?

The band is back, and like an old friend coming around for a visit after being gone too long, the Scene pulls up some chairs and starts telling stories, and the time between just melts away. From the first notes of the CD, it’s like the band was never gone. The familiar warm harmonies and sparkling instrumental work are as strong as ever, signature sounds over the band’s 36- year career that have remained constant despite multiple line-up changes. Now the band is Ben Eldridge, along with guitarist/singer Dudley Connell, mandolinist/singer Lou Reid, dobroist/singer Fred Travers, and bassist/singer Ronnie Simpkins and occasionally guitarist Chris Eldridge. It’s this quintet that is the longest lasting version of the band, together since the 1996 death of founding member, the legendary mandolinist and larger-than-life character John Duffey.

“It would have been easy to hang it up after Duffey died,” admits Eldridge. “But we had a meeting about a month after he passed, and we decided that we’d been enjoying playing together too much to let it just fade away. And these songs, the body of work that the Scene had created over the years, it would have been a shame to never play those songs again.”

But for now, the world is a better place with the release of SCENEchronized. In its way, it’s a tribute to the Scene’s past as much as it is a statement about the present. You’ll find two songs recorded by the Country Gentlemen along with one song written by Duffey and recorded early on by the Seldom Scene. There’s not one but two Paul Craft songs (Craft contributed such gems as “Keep Me From Blowing Away” and “Through the Bottom of the Glass” to earlier Scene releases). There’s one called “Sad Old Train” that’s an explicit tribute to “Old Train,” a beloved number from the Scene’s repertoire. And once again going outside the usual bluegrass lines, there’s a Dylan song, a John Fogerty song, a Duane Allman song, as well as a more traditional Stanley Brothers tune.

And throughout, you’ll find the songs couched in brilliant arrangements by this stellar quintet–frequently augmented by the jaw-dropping flatpicking of Ben’s son Chris Eldridge (of the Infamous Stringdusters), who wasn’t even around when the Seldom Scene first began on its incredible journey. “He didn’t come along until eleven years after we got started,” says Ben, “I have to say, he’s played some amazing stuff. Nice that he can show us a thing or two.”

“Cover versions have always been the band’s highlights and this record is no exception. The songs by John Fogerty, Merle Haggard, Steve Earle, and Bob Dylan resonate with both high lonesome energy and a melodious melancholy. Here’s to hoping it’s not seven years until they release another new album.”
– Mike McGonigal, amazon.com

View Website 

PERFORMANCE:

Saturday, April 18th
Starts at 8:00, Doors at 7:00

TICKETS:

$30 in advance, $35 at the door
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Stephen Bennett

Stephen BennettWidely regarded as one of the most respected fingerstyle guitarists of his generation, Stephen Bennett is also an acknowledged master of the harp guitar, a challenging teacher, a gifted composer, and a performer of great sensitivity. The Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar Association referred to him as “the Jedi Master of Fingerstyle Guitar”.  Stephen has traveled the world and performed with the best. From California to Maine, Texas to Tennessee, around Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan, Stephen has played all sorts of venues and events. He has released many recordings of music, along with DVDs, books and other instructional materials – and is always working on something new.

Listening to Stephen’s music, it’s clear that his work is the product of both mind and heart, intellectually challenging and emotionally satisfying. It is deeply personal, even as it is universal. Listeners often have a feeling that they have stepped into the world of the musician, and for a short moment in time, there are only the two of them there. Says one reviewer: “With his ear near the body of the harp guitar, Mr. Bennett gave the impression of a father cradling a newborn baby . . . His performance was imbued with heart and grace.”

View Website

PERFORMANCE:

Saturday, April 25th at 8:00pm

TICKETS:

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$15 in advance, $18 at the door

Members save 20% on this event! (And always get free popcorn.)

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The Duhks

the duhks

No band epitomizes the polyethnic strands of modern folk music better than The Duhks. Since forming in Winnipeg in 2001, The Duhks have created a dynamic blend of old-timey, French Canadian and Celtic music punched up with shades of blues, soul and driving Afro-Cuban rhythms that leaves festival crowds on their feet. Over the course of four critically-acclaimed albums the band has earned Juno and Grammy awards and nominations and have played a significant role in the neo-folk revival.

On Beyond the Blue The Duhks are in the best form of their 13 year career. Rejuvenated by a two year hiatus and energized by the return of vocalist Jessee Havey and the addition of new members, fiddler Rosie Newton, drummer/percussionist Kevin Garcia, and guitarist/bouzouki player Colin Savoie-Levac, The Duhks founder Leonard Podolak found an amazing pallet of inspiration for the new project. “All of the people who have been in the band over the years, including non-touring founding members Tania Elizabeth and Jordan McConnell (who both appear on the album) have had a hand in shaping our sound and direction. The goal with the new record was to draw on everything we’ve learned over the years and everything we know about where we want to take the music now and create something as fresh, exciting and forward thinking as possible.” Toward that end, the band turned to the rising production team of Mike + Ruthy (Mike Merenda and Ruth Unger of The Mammals), who brought a progressive approach to production that was still firmly rooted in the traditions of folk music.

The Duhks website

PERFORMANCE:

Saturday, May 2nd at 8:00 pm

TICKETS:

$16 in advance, $20 at the door

Members save 20% on this event! (And always get free popcorn.)

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41-F Court Square, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540.433.9189