Twin City Stage parties at the Millennium Center this Friday

by Mark Burger

Twin City Stage parties at the Millennium Center this Friday

It’s official: The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem is now officially known as Twin City Stage — and the 75 th season of one of the nation’s most venerable community theaters is officially underway.

This Friday, Twin City Stage will be marking the event with its Grand Hollywood Glamour Gala, a grand bash in the Main Ballroom of The Millennium Center (101 W. 5 th St., Winston-Salem). The party starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m., with plenty of excitement and surprises along the way. There will be hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, ballroom dancing with live music provided by the Society Swing Band, celebrity impersonators (including the likes of Clark Gable, Mae West, Judy Garland and other superstars of years past), contests, giveaways and much more. Attendees are invited to dress like their favorite ’30s celebrities or in cocktail attire. Elegance is the name of the game. “The renaming of the company from the Little Theatre of Winston-Salem to Twin City Stage has given us reason to celebrate our past and our future,” said Norman Ussery, executive director of Twin City Stage. Tickets are $25 and are going fast — but if you act quickly, you can still join in the fun. To order tickets, or for more information, call 336.748.0857 or see the website: its upcoming production of Smoke on the Mountain, Twin City Stage is seeking actors who can sing or, if you prefer, singers who can act. There are roles for three women and four men (aged between 18 and 60), and each must have some experience and ability in playing a musical instrument. (The Sanders Family favors the bluegrass and gospel styles of music.) The auditions will be held Monday at the Arts Council Theatre (610 Coliseum Drive, W-S), which is where Twin City Stage works its onstage magic. Actors will be asked to read short scenes from the script (available on-site) and be prepared to sing and play a musical instrument. The production, which is being directed by Bobby Bodford, is scheduled to run Nov. 6-22 — just in time to kick off the holiday season. The show is set in October 1945, as the nation is breathing a collective sigh of relief at the end of World War II and looking forward to the promise that the postwar future holds. No family is happier than the singing Sanders family, appreciative that their family is together again in time for the Christmas season. But there is some wistfulness as well, as the local minister’s been called to preach in Texas. He and his pregnant wife are preparing to ride off into the sunset, but not before the Sanders Family gives them a special sendoff that includes a little love, a lot of humor and more than two dozen tunes. That’s a lot of singing, so actors should be prepared for it! For more information about the audition, call 336.748.0857 x.201. Monday is also the day that tickets go on sale for Twin City Stage’s upcoming production of Run Hutchinson’s comedy Moonlight and Magnolias, which runs Sept. 18-20 and 24-28 at the Arts Council Theatre. Ticket prices range from $18-$22. Taking a page from Hollywood history, this acclaimed comedy is set in 1938 and centers around the tumultuous production of the epic film Gone With the Wind. Filming has already begun, but producer David O. Selznick is not happy with the way the production is progressing, so he taps Wizard of Oz director Victor Fleming and screenwriter Ben Hecht to completely rewrite the entire script. He even goes so far to lock the two men in his office until the work is finished. With the help of a harried secretary, they bicker and battle as they try to save the film — and their careers. “The insanity of the comedy found in Moonlight and Magnolias is the result of it being a true story,” said Ussery. “These men actually lived this out. And as they say, ‘Looking back, it’s really funny now. It probably wasn’t as funny then.’” The production is directed by long-time Little Theatre/ Twin City Stage favorite Stan Bernstein, with a cast that includes Anthony Liguori as Selznick, Chad Edwards as Hecht, Don Gunther as Fleming and Cheryl Ann Roberts as Miss Poppenghul. For more information about this production, just go to the website.