Springing Back Into Theater

Scott Treadway, left, and Damian Duke Domingue of Flat Rock Playhouse as the gangsters in Kiss Me, Kate. (Photo contributed by Flat Rock Playhouse)

Bold Life celebrates the solid return of live theater this month with stories about events at three local companies. Hendersonville Theatre emerged from the pandemic with a new title — they were Hendersonville Community Theatre for their first half century or so — and a rebranding that reflects the snappier moniker. A new look, a new educational component, and the introduction of original new works are numbered in the image overhaul.

The sound of strings promises to be a strong theme across the spectrum. Hendersonville Theatre is implementing live-music shows this year (Buncombe Turnpike opens the series on March 4), and Tryon Little Theater opens 2022 with a presentation of the popular bluegrass-gospel musical Smoke on the Mountain. It’s all about beautiful harmony when it comes to Smoke’s singing revue, but ultimately, the play is most relatable for its interpersonal bumps, being “chock-full of family dynamics,” as director Carol Cox promises.

Flat Rock Playhouse is bouncing back with a full roster of live-music tribute shows; the debut of an edgy Black Box Series (God of Carnage opens that program in September); and favorites on the Main Stage including Catch Me if You Can opening in April, Million Dollar Quartet in May, and West Side Story in July. This month, it’s a staged reading of Two Jews, Talking and the latest in the Playhouse’s series of classes via its Studio 52 division. Veteran comic actor Scott Treadway leads a Sketch Comedy Work-shop: “The goal is to laugh a lot while we honor the great comedians and perform classic comedy sketches,” he says.

Comedy is all about delivery and timing, and timing also played a big part in the success of the professional theater’s new offerings in adult education, which multiplied on ZOOM and are now transitioning to the stage. “We plan to add more,” says Anna Kimmell, Flat Rock Playhouse’s director of education.

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