Actors Guild begins new season

PARKERSBURG – The Parkersburg Actors Guild will open its 2013-2014 season on Friday with the gothic classic “Dracula” and continue through the season with a mix of musicals, comedies and dramas.

More information is available at www.actors-guild.com or by calling 304-485-1300.

Based on the classic book by Bram Stoker, the Guild production of “Dracula” was adapted by Steven Dietz. It will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Oct. 4, 5, 11 and 12 at the Guild Playhouse at Eighth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg.

There will also be a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Oct. 6 and a special midnight encore on Oct. 11, which also feature a costume contest for audience members.

The new adaptation restores the suspense and seduction of Bram Stoker’s classic novel to the stage. As Count Dracula begins to exert his will upon the residents of London, they try to piece together the clues of his appearances in an attempt to save themselves from a hideous fate in the tale, which is rich in both humor and horror.

The next show in the Guild’s season is the musical “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas – The Musical,” which will come to the stage in late November and early December. Auditions were held in June and the cast and crew are working through November on costuming, choreography, set design and other aspects of the show.

“White Christmas” will be performed at 8 p.m. Nov. 22, 23, 29 and 30 and Dec. 7, with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Nov. 24, Dec. 1 and 8.

Based on the classic 1954 movie of the same name, the musical adaptation features 17 Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. In the show, veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former army commander.

The classic songs featured include “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and “White Christmas.”

The Guild’s first show of 2014 will be the drama “Lombardi,” based on the life of famed football coach Vince Lombardi.

The show will be performed at 8 p.m. Jan. 24, 25 and 31 and Feb. 1 and at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 and Feb. 2.

Though football’s Super Bowl trophy is named for him, few know the real story of Lombardi the man – his inspirations, his passions and ability to drive people to achieve what they never thought possible. “Lombardi” is based on the best-selling biography “When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss.

The annual Guild Builders youth theater production will be “Annie Junior” in February and March of 2014.

The performances will be 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1, 7 and 8 and 2:30 p.m. on March 8 and 9, with the cast and crew made up of children who have worked for months to prepare for the production.

In a special production geared to feature all youth actors, “Annie Junior” is the well-known tale of the orphan girl, Annie. A complex little girl, Annie is a tough, streetwise urchin who is nevertheless vulnerable when she thinks she might lose what has become most important to her: a newfound “family” who loves her.

In another production for the whole family, the Guild will present “Shrek – The Musical” in the spring of 2014.

The performance dates are 8 p.m. May 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17, with matinee performances at 2:30 p.m. May 4, 11 and 17.

Based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film, the play brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to new life on the stage. In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue a feisty princess.

The next Guild production will be “Grandest Canyon,” which will be performed at 8 p.m. June 20, 21, 27 and 28 and 2:30 p.m. on June 22 and 29, 2014.

In the show, Miss Ida Ingram’s dying wish was to have her ashes scattered over the Grand Canyon – no small request for the two remaining sisters, Isabelle and Imogene, as they are elderly and have never before ventured out of South Carolina.

Into the picture comes a long-lost nephew, Brandon, who agrees to drive his maiden aunts to Arizona to give himself time to think through his own mid-life crisis. Leigh Ann, a young neighbor woman who was practically raised by the elderly triplets, soon catches up and joins them on this incredible trip where they meet everyone from a crooked mechanic to a cross-dresser named Barbie who saves the day in New Orleans.

The final show of the 2013-2014 Guild season will be the comedy “9 to 5: The Musical.”

The show will be presented at 8 p.m. Aug. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 and at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 10 and 17 at the Guild Playhouse at Eighth and Market streets.

The movie is based on the classic movie comedy from 1980 which starred Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda. Pushed to the boiling point by their boss, three female co-workers concoct a plan to get even with the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.