PARKERSBURG - The final program in the 2011-2012 Smoot Theatre Series will feature a tribute to John Denver at 8 p.m. May 11.
Tickets are $29 for adults and $15 for students high school and younger for the show at the Smoot at 213 Fifth St. in downtown Parkersburg. Tickets are available at 304-422-PLAY (7529).
The show is entitled "Take Me Home: the Music of John Denver" and features musician and performer Jim Curry as Denver in the tribute to his music.
Jim Curry will portray John Denver in the tribute to Denver’s music. (Photo provided)
Denver died in 1997, leaving a void in the musical world. CBS television responded by producing a made-for-TV movie in which Curry's voice was selected as the voice of Denver. Since that time, Curry has created a tribute experience and has emerged as the top performer of Denver's music today.
Often performing with Denver's former band members, Curry's tribute is the first and only full-length John Denver tribute to headline in Las Vegas and has been celebrated nationally and internationally. He has also developed further material for optional symphony orchestra accompaniment.
In an exclusive arrangement with renowned Grammy Award-winning arranger, composer and conductor Lee Holdridge, Curry and Holdridge have re-created the symphony scores originally written for Denver for the benefit of presenters with orchestral venues.
While Curry's show represents the final scheduled performance of the season at the Smoot, the downtown Parkersburg theater will remain active this summer with programs aimed at children and teens interested in learning more about live theater.
The Camp Broadway program will present "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" on June 15 and 16.
Started in 2004, Camp Broadway is aimed at getting students from grades nine to 12 involved in theater. It is an outgrowth of the Smoot's long-running Camp Vaudeville program for elementary-age children, said Smoot director Felice Jorgeson.
Over the past several years, Camp Broadway has performed "West Side Story," "Guys and Dolls," "Curtains" and other productions. During a two-week period, teens audition, rehearse and present two performances.
In July, the 23rd annual Camp Vaudeville youth program will be held from July 16-24, culiminating with the annual "Vaudeville Visions" show on July 24.
Camp Vaudeville is a summertime apprenticeship in theater arts, as the theatre was seen in the days of vaudeville during the late 19th and early 20th century. No auditions are required to participate.
The camp is designed for children who will have completed first through seventh grades. Classes are divided by experience - for returning campers - or by ages. This year's classes will include dance, music, history, acting and technical theatre.
While it spent much of its life in downtown Parkersburg as a movie theatre, Jorgeson said the Smoot was originally built in 1926 as a vaudeville house. For many years after that period, the historic theatre showed movies before returning to its roots as a venue for live entertainment.
When Jorgeson began the theatre camp program 23 years ago, the Smoot's vaudeville history was a natural theme and since that time, the program has focused on the vaudevillian art forms, including dancing, comedic skits, jokes, clowns, jugglers, animals, musicians, escape artists and mimes, she said.
The staff is made up of local educators who have both classroom and stage experience.
There are also field trips and guest artists who come in to teach and perform for the students.
For more information about the two youth summer programs, contact the Smoot at 304-422-7529 or online at www.smoottheatre.com.