Arts + Entertainment / Faces + Places / Lifestyle

Temptations at the Theater

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance presents the second annual “Temptations at the Theater on Wednesday November 11 beginning at 6:30pm.  This fundraising event takes place at Court Square Theater with a dessert and wine reception followed by a modern comedy presented by The Playhouse.

Downtown restaurants provide all reception refreshments, showcasing the talents of local chefs and bakers.  With more than a dozen donating restaurants, the selections range from marbled cheesecake brownies, locally made Warfel’s truffles, Kentucky Derby tartlets and more.  This year’s menu will be enhanced with savory selections such as Indian spiced crackers and smoked salmon Gouda roll with caviar as well as gourmet coffee provided by local roaster, Lucas Roasting, Co.  Downtown Wine & Gourmet will provide wine tastings with full wine service provided by event coordinators during the reception.

Following the reception, the main event will take place at 7:30pm with a performance of Morning’s at Seven performed by The Playhouse.  This comedy was written by Paul Osborn and produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

“This is great opportunity to appreciate the many talented actors that we have in the Valley and to support Downtown at the same time,” says  HDR organization committee chair Glenda Rooney.

For reservations, call the HDR offices at 540.432.8922.  Tickets are $20 for HDR members and $25 for non-members.  All proceeds of this event go to downtown revitalization.  Additional event details are available at www.DowntownHarrisonburg.org.

Morning’s at Seven focuses on four aging sisters living in a small mid-western town in 1938.  The whole family reacts strongly when two of the sisters begin to question their lives and decide to make some changes before it’s too late.  One critic described the play as, “Honey colored sunshine, white clapboard houses, picket fences, cheerful company manners, nosy neighbors…“ Another reviewer wrote, “Paul Osborn’s love letter to just plain folks is that rare thing, an absolutely perfect production of a heart-warming, funny, and emotionally satisfying play…. It will not only make you feel great about yourself, it will let you finally forgive every member of your family who has ever wronged you…”
If the play’s title sounds familiar, it’s because the phrase comes from the last stanza of Robert Browning’s Pippa Passes: ”The year’s at the spring/And day’s at the morn/Morning’s at seven/The snail’s on the thorn/God’s in His heaven/All’s right with the world.”  The original Broadway production of Morning’s at Seven opened on November 30, 1939 with the first Broadway revival, directed by Vivian Matalon, following on April 10, 1980 at the Lyceum Theatre, where it ran for 564 performances.  That production received four Tony awards and seven Drama Desk awards or nominations.  In 1982 Matalon directed a television broadcast of the play.
Tom Arthur directs this production which includes veteran actors Nancy Beall, Lawrence Chisholm, Susan Comfort, Laura Dansby, Deb Lehman, Robin McNallie, Helen Nafziger, Tom Pettit, Jay Zehr.
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