Posts Tagged ‘Arts Enter Cape Charles’

Playtime At The Palace In Cape Charles, Virginia

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Once again we’re looking forward to play time at the historic Palace Theatre in Cape Charles, Virginia.   ( See  September, 2010 posts  about Arts Enter’s  first play of  the  2010-2011 season,  a mystery entitled The Two Mrs. Carrolls . )   This season’s second production by Art’s Enter is a long-time thespian favorite,  The Importance Of Being Earnest  by Oscar Wilde.    Interestingly,  this clever farce,  subtitled  A Trivial Comedy For Serious People,  was  first performed about 1895 and has been kicking around ever since.   It was  even made into a movie about ten  years ago,  staring Rupert Everett,  Judi Dench,  Colin Firth  and Tom Wilkenson,  some of my favorite British actors,  ( Dench especially for her role in the long running BBC series  As Time Goes By  and Wilkenson as Gerald in the hilariously poignant  film,  The Full Monty  ).  According to the Palace’s advance ad,  George Bernard Shaw once said that Earnest  was the funniest play ever written.  It is indeed a very witty piece of  writing,  a romantic comedy full of clever turns of phrase.  I find it  pretty amazing that a play which is now  115 years old is still capturing  the imaginations of theatre groups all around the country  ( take a quick peek at some of  the U Tube clips of  recent  productions of  Earnest,   especially the clips from  South Coast Repertory.  )

Getting ready for lunch at Aqua restaurant

So we  are planning for a late lunch today at  Aqua’s Restaurant overlooking the Chesapeake Bay near the marina and then off to the theatre for the matinee.   I’m looking forward to the Cobb Salad at Aqua.  Unbelievably,  next Wednesday,  as part of an over-all menu revision,  I’ve been told they are taking their  absolutely delicious Cobb Salad off  the menu although it’s their most popular salad and,  in my opinion,  their best salad,  assorted field greens layered with corn kernels,  an entire sliced egg,  crunchy bacon, perfectly ripened avocado,  long crisp cucumber slices,  tender grilled chicken,   topped with a creamy Parmesan pepper dressing.   I’m just asking……. What sense does it  make to remove one of your most popular luncheon dishes just because it’s been there nearly since opening day ?    Their hamburger has been on since opening day as well —  but I’d just about bet the farm that the  same hamburger choices are  going to make an appearance on the new menu !   ( I think we need a revolt,  maybe a  “Committee for the Retention of the Cobb Salad at Aqua”.  )   My daughter will be likely be having the fish sandwich and clam chowder,  safe and secure that fish sandwiches will probably always be on the menu !  Anyway, we all truly enjoy Aqua’s atmosphere and scrumptious food and shall cling to the hope that maybe next spring the  beloved Cobb Salad shall re-appear on their menu.

After lunch,  it’s off to  the  theatre.  We  are especially looking forward to seeing David Kabler,  broker for Blue Heron Realty Co.’s  Cape Charles  office,  who is playing the role  of   the vicar,   Dr. Chasuble.    This is Dave’s second stage role,   having made his debut at the Palace earlier this year in the part of   Frank Updyke  in the Art’s Enter production of  the  Two Mrs. Carrolls .    So it should be a good day,  a farewell  Cobb Salad  followed by playtime at play time in the little town of  Cape Charles’  beautifully renovated Palace Theatre.   (  P.S.  I might mention that  Wilde is also  known for  his short stories,   particularly the beautiful  The Happy Prince    and  the ironic  The Nightingale and the Rose,  both of   which can be read on-line at    I first read Oscar Wilde when I was in school,  having  received as a gift  a book which was a collection of  his short stories and some of his poetry.   The stories have stuck with me ever since.  )

To The Cast Of “Two Mrs. Carrolls”, Take Another Well Deserved Bow !

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Historic Palace Theatre In Cape Charles, Virginia

My husband,  a friend and I spent a delightful Sunday afternoon last week  at the historic Palace Theatre in Cape Charles, Virginia  watching the matinee performance of  ” The Two Mrs. Carrolls”.   It was one of those cool, rainy,  constant drizzle  Sundays that usually make me feel like staying at home with a hot cup of tea,  listening to  The Splendid Table  on NPR or thumbing through the latest  Contessa or  Mario Batali cookbook, wondering if there is a delicious recipe of less than five ingredients that can be whipped together in  15 minutes ( good luck with that ! ) . However,  we had matinee tickets for the play and off we went,  rain or no,  to see the Mrs. Carrolls.

I was not familiar with that particular  play,  written by Martin Vale,  but the playbill indicates that it is a film noir classic from 1947 and starred Hunphrey Bogart and Barbara Stanwyck.   A  comic thriller set in the South of  France,  it revolves around  a lovey-dovey,  newly- wed English couple  ( but the husband,  an artist,  has a roving eye ),  the wife’s  old flame who visits a lot,  a beautiful young neighbor who also visits a lot and a very funny French  housekeeper,  Clemence ,   who can speak English but insists on speaking French throughout,  sans peur et sans reproche,  played with good comic effect by Susan Kovacs,  a  Blue Heron customer .    The wife soon falls mysteriously ill and the play is off and running !

Bravo ! Take Another Bow !

Staged and directed by Sheila Cardano,  whose daughter,  Clelia Sheppard,  is the Executive Director of  Art’s Enter,  the play came off wonderfully– the years of Sheila’s  hard work and efforts to put together a talented local amateur theatre group and stage crew and to renovate  the Palace Theatre  have really paid off handsomely.   The theatre,  now fully restored,  truly looks great.  ( Years of fund raisers together with grants and donations have restored this lovely Art Deco building to its former 1940’s glory.  Wow !  And you should see the seats now,  comfy and beautifully re-covered,  to the tune of  hundreds of  dollars each and the gorgeous golden wall murals.  Before and after pictures  really tell this  amazing restoration story and  illustrate how far the Palace Theatre and Art’s Enter have  come in these  last 15 years. )   On stage,  the props and scenery looked great– so authentic,  you felt like you really were in  an artist’s home.  Lots of well done lighting and sound effects too,  especially the mistral wind,  which blew on and off for much of  Act 3. 

Eva Takes The Lead Role And Dave Makes His Stage Debut

Best of all was the cast,  who vividly brought this  story to life.   Consisting of  nine amateur actors  from various  walks of  life, including a recreational director,  a vacation rental associate,  three  retirees,  a real estate sales agent,  a real estate broker,   a Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue  plus  Clelia Sheppard,  the Executive Director of Art’s Enter and one of the Eastern Shore’s great multi-taskers,  this cast  came together seamlessly to create the story’s realistic voice.   It was an excellent performance,  thoroughly enjoyed by the entire audience.   I realize that I am biased but the three of us really loved seeing our two colleagues from the Blue Heron Realty Co. Cape Charles office ,  Eva Noonan and Dave Kabler   ” do their thing”  on-stage,  both presented an accomplished performance,  with Eva  cast in the leading role of Sally Carroll.  And so,   to the entire cast,  at the next performance  go ahead and take an extra bow— you deserve it !

Planning To Feed My Murder Mystery Addiction At The New Play At The Palace Theatre In Cape Charles

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

For better or for worse,  I’m addicted to murder mysteries.    No point in trying to deny it because an entire room,  a very spacious room even,  that was planned as my husband’s home office with space for my books,  CD’s and DVD’s  has now evolved into  my library with space  for my husband’s desk and file cabinets  at the far end,  by the full wall of windows.  ( Well,  at least I let him keep  the windows, which are  floor-to-ceiling,  south-east  facing and overlook  our beautiful rolling lawn,  bird feeders,  trees and  pretty sunrises.  I feel that makes things even-steven but I don’t think  he really agrees. )   Six tall bookcases,  books I’ve already read but  want to keep stacked at least two rows deep,  books I’m planning to read sitting on my  “read this next”  table,  about 30% of which are murder mysteries or courtroom dramas,  not the gory ones,  just the good, old-fashioned sleuthing- through- clues to find the bad guys kind.   ( I think I could probably write a book,  a thick, heavy tome,  about the books that I love…. I do read a lot of non-fiction too but let’s face it — not as much fun !  Currently reading   “The Immortal World of Henrietta Lacks”,   fascinating but  not nearly as satisfying as a John Grisham thriller.  )   Two tall bookcases of DVD’s including,  more or less,  the complete sets  (or working towards  complete )  of  most of  BBC’s great mystery  series.  (Let me recommend  as an absolutely  “must view”  website. )  Inspector Morse,  Foyle’s War,  Sir Peter Wimsey,  Rumpole,  Prime Suspect,  MidSomer Murders,  Last Detective,  Poirot ad infinitum,  Sherlock Holmes,  P.D. James,  etc., etc. (all  on the dramatic side) on stand-by  on the shelf,  ready to be watched or re-watched at a moment’s notice.   Plus  light and humorous  favorites like Hamish McBeth  (was TV John a delightful character or what ? ),  Campion,  the new(ish)  Miss Marple series staring  Geraldine McEwan  ( BBC’s best Marple ever ),  Rosemary and Thyme,  Hetty Investigates  and the wonderful  series we are currently viewing,  Pie In The Sky…. impatiently waiting for UPS to deliver Series 3  ( which was originally shown in the U.K.  about a thousand years ago  but  just  released in the  U.S. on DVD September 7 th,  why on earth BBC  waits  so long I can not  imagine. )   Anyway,  hopefully Monday.  What  the mystery lover’s  life would be like without the British Broadcasting Corporation —  well, I shudder to think !  (  We love British comedy too but  no space  for that commentary  now —  except to say that anyone who doesn’t practically fall right off  the sofa laughing while  watching  Black Adder,  Faulty Towers or  Vicar of Dibley simply doesn’t  have much of  sense of humor.  Watching an episode of  Father Ted  is like eating potato chips– you cannot stop at  just one !  )  But enough already about BBC videos.

So naturally I’m really looking forward to seeing  the  latest production this week-end at the Palace Theatre,  ” The Two Mrs. Carrolls” ,   a mystery,  produced by Art’s Enter.   A word, or three,  about  Art’s Enter,  actually headquartered in Cape Charles’  historic Palace Theatre,   and its successful efforts  to bring  the visual and performing arts in the southern tip of  Virginia’s  Eastern Shore under one roof.    Lucky !  Fortunate !  Favored !   That is what Cape Charles is to have  Art’s Enter as a vibrant  part of  the town and its culture !    And flipping to  the other side of  that coin,  that’s what Art’s  Enter (   )  is to have  the  love, support and participation  of the people of  Cape Charles.  So,  a synergistic  relationship,  benefiting all.   This truly amazing arts group,  headed up by Co-Directors  Clelia Sheppard and Mary Ann Roehm,   has brought such well known organizations as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Opera Company,  both headquartered in Norfolk,  to the Palace Theatre for performances.  (  It tickles me no end that the Virginia Symphony Orchestra,  which has performed at many national venues including  the world renowned Carnegie Hall,  has actually also performed,  several times even,  here on the Eastern Shore at the  Palace Theatre.   Thanks Clelia and Mary Ann — you’re amazing ! )  And  dozens and dozens of other high quality vocalists, dance companies and orchestras  recently including the Cab Calloway Orchestra,  David Leonhardt Jazz Group and Lee Jordan-Anders have lit up the Palace’s  stage.  

It is also  a beehive of activity for the Eastern Shore  of  Virginia’s  growing thespian community,  providing a wonderful theatre season right here in our own community.  The  performances last season included an evening of one act plays,   “The Wizard of Oz”  and  “A Christmas Carol”.   In addition  to  “The Two Mrs. Carrolls”,  the 2010-2011 theatre season at the Palace Theatre also  features   “The Importance of Being Earnest”  and  “Oliver”.    But  for all of us at Blue Heron Realty Co. ,  the icing on the cake  for  the performance of   “Two Mrs. Carrolls”  is that two of  the actors on-stage are  Blue Heron agents !   Maestro, drum roll,  please !    Eva Noonan,  an agent in our Cape Charles office,  an effervescent gal  who  has performed in a number of Art’s Enter’s  previous plays,   takes the lead role in  “Carrolls”.   And David Kabler, our Cape Charles managing broker,  will be making his stage debut.   And so this week-end I will not only be feeding my mystery addiction at the Palace Theatre,  I will be on hand  to enthusiastically  applaud two of our own.   Break a leg,  break two legs even,  Eva and Dave !!!!!