One of Western Virginia's Best Kept Secrets: Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke, VirginiaDuring the month of April, this truly excellen regional Theatre will be presenting two interesting pieces of musical theatre adaptations of two classic pieces for children. One of them, a new post-modern classic; the other a very old classic. On the Trinkle Main Stage, from April 1st through 6th, 2008, with tickets at $15-$10, you can see a musical adaptation of John Scieszka and Lane Smith's Caldecott Honor Book, The Stinky Cheese Man (and Other Fairly Stupid Tales). The adaptation is by Kent Stephens, with music by Gary Rue. This book is filled with deconstructed fairy tales. The Stinky Cheese Man is a perversion, of course, of the Gingerbread Boy. The Ugly Duckling who grows up to be a really ugly Duck, is a perversion of Danish authorHans Christian Anderson's tale, and so on. The book, with its postmodern book design and funky typography is a favorite of both mine and of my children, and if Mill Mountain brings half of the irreverant fun of the book to the stage, it should be a great success. For more information and ticket reservations, visit: http://www.millmountain.org/stinkycheese.html.
From April 16th through the 27th, 2008, the Trinkle Main Stage will feature another much more ancient classic that has been embraced by children for centuries: Tales From the Arabian Nights, adapted by Michael Bigelow Dixon and Jan Cole. A show that promises not only the well-loved tale of Scheherazade and her 1001 never quite-finished tales to stave off the death sentence of her Sultan, but song and exotic dance. Tickets are $15-$10, and for more information, you may visit: http://www.millmountain.org/tfan.html.
To really enjoy the theatrical experience, take the day to enjoy Roanoke first. The theatre is located in the heart, the downtown, of historic Roanoke, where one of the longest running historic farmers markets thrives daily, and becomes especially lively on weekends, adding a festive air to the downtown. A variety of shops, restaurants and multiple museums, make the heart of the city a destination; and hiking trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains are right next to the city; after the theatre, one can walk over the pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks to the Grand Dame Hotel Roanoke for dessert and then drive up to the neon star that overlooks the city from Mill Mountain, also the location of a small zoo and an entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway.