Theater at Lime today released information about its 2009 season, stocked full of music, Shakespeare, juggling and STONEWALL COUNTRY! Executive Director Kim Renz says this should be a really successful year for the 26-year-old arts presenting organization. "Lexington will be an exciting place this summer, thanks in no small part to the return of Lime Kiln's signature piece, Stonewall Country, on July 10th through 12th. But I hope area residents and visitors will look over the whole season when they want something to do."
On Friday, May 15th, singer/songwriter Corey Smith will perform a benefit for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, thanks to the Kappa Alpha Order of Washington and Lee University. Renz says this is the beginning of many events co-hosted with other local groups in the fututre. "The KA's have been great. And we are glad to be part of the bigger picture in our community."
On Sunday May 17th, Lime Kiln presents its 4th annual MusicFest. The event features many area artists, opening at 1pm and ending at 10pm. "We have bluegrass, rock, country, gospel, jazz and torch singing, to name some styles you'll hear, said Renz. "Diana Schofield of Rockbridge Music has put together a wonderful festival. It almost represents what we do all year, wrapped up in one 8-hour showcase." On Friday, May 29th. Lime Kiln will co-present the premier of a PBS documentary about Garrison Keillor with Public Radio affiliate WMRA. On Saturday, May 30th, Chris Thile, formerly of Nickle Creek, headlines his band Punch Brothers. "This is one of the hottest bands On The Road these days. They have sold out venues from Richmond to Roanoke with their unique style."
On Saturday, June 6th, Lime Kiln friends Fatty Lumpkin and the Love Hogs perform classic rock and roll. The band, once a local favorite, reunited last year to open for Satisfaction and return this year for one of their popular full-length concerts
Rehearsal are underway for Lime Kiln's first homegrown production of the season, Good Ol' Girls, June 12-14. Good Ol' Girls is a music revue about Southern women. University of North Carolina professor Paul Ferguson drew characters from the writing of authors Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle. The music is by Matraca Berg and Marshall Chapman. Southern Virginia University professor Rob Smith directs, and Mary Harvey leads the music.
Popular area artist James Leva, one of the headliners of MusicFest, and Purgatory Mountain, perform on Saturday, June 27th. Peter Neofotis, who grew up in Lexington, performs his acclaimed one-man play, Stories from Concord, Virginia, on Sunday, June 28th.
On July 10th, Stonewall Country returns to Lime Kiln on the 5th anniversary of its "final" performance. "I started receiving calls about Stonewall Country before I even started working at Lime Kiln," Renz explained. "When the subject came up in late 2007, I started investigating the possibility of a revival. Then I spoke to Robin and Linda Williams about performing the music, and they were just as enthusiastic as I was. Lenfest Center executive director Rob Mish is directing, and Don Baker, Barry Mines, Cherie Sheppard and Spruce Henry are slotted to take part. I could not be happier."
Gary Ruley and Mule Train appear on Saturday, July 25th. World champion juggler and comedian Mark Nizer comes to town for a family show on Sunday, August 8th. Perennial favorites The Seldom Scene return on Sunday, August 16th.
On August 21st through 23rd, Westfield Shakespeare Festival performs Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing with youth from the area. The 2009 season opened on April 23rd and 24th with Virginia Stage Company's production of Romeo and Juliet, with participation from students from Rockbridge County High School. Renz said he was really impressed with the production and the work by local students. "We have a very talented group of young actors here, and I hope they want to work at Lime Kiln regularly."
Sunday, September 6th marks the return of the Labor Day concert tradition with Blues, Bluegrass and Barbeque. The festival features blues artist Scott Ainslie, Brennan Gilmore's bluegrass band Walker's Run and Barbeque by Todd's BBQ Restaurant in Buena Vista.
September 24th-26th Lime Kiln presents area actor, visual artist, showman and entrepreneur Mark Cline in the title role in Dracula, or How's Your Blood, Count? The comedy was created by English actor Micky O'Donoughue, who toured it for 10 years with the New Vic Theatre of London. Renz calls the play "the funniest horror story ever told."
The 2009 Season concludes with the 2nd Annual Dinner Dance at Evans Dining Hall, featuring Charlotte Jazz Orchestra.
The Lime Kiln brochure was sent out to over 7900 addresses two weeks ago, and Renz says the response has been very positive. "Thanks to our sponsors and advertising by many local businesses, we printed a more complete, 36-page booklet with information about every act, rather than just a name and a photo. We have already filled more ticket orders than our entire online sales from last year."
For more information about the season, performance times and ticket pricing, go to theateratlimekiln.com. To receive a printed brochure or for tickets to an upcoming event, call the Lime Kiln office at 540-463-7088.
Theater at Lime Kiln 2009 Performances
May 15 Corey Smith Benefit for Muscular Dystrophy Association
May 17 Lime Kiln MusicFest - Rockbridge Area Music
May 29 PBS Documentary "Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in Red Shoes"
May 30 Punch Brothers Featuring Chris Thile
June 6 Fatty Lumpkin - Classic Rock
June 12 - 14 Good Ol' Girls Musical Revue based upon characters of Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle
June 27 James Leva and Purgatory Mountain
June 28 Stories from Concord, Virginia - William Faulkner Award Winner Peter Neofotis
July 10 -12 Stonewall Country (Concert Version) featuring Robin and Linda Williams from Prairie Home Companion
July 25 Gary Ruley and Mule Train
August 8 Mark Nizer - Comedian, Champion Juggler
August 16 The Seldom Scene
August 21-23 Westfield Shakespeare Festival - Much Ado About Nothing
September 6 Blues, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival
September 12 Rockbridge Area Chamber Wine Festival
September 24-26 Dracula or How's Your Blood Count?
October 23 Dinner Dance at Evans Dining Hall with Charlotte Jazz Orchestra
Punch Brothers Diner
Ready, Aim, Stonewall