On Thursday night, my family and I watched with delight the Jordan River Theatre Company production of The Fantasticks, directed by Julie Clark and produced by Regina Schmiedicke.
Anyone not familiar with the show will come to understand why The Fantasticks is the longest running off-Broadway musical in history. And if you are familiar with The Fantasticks, you will truly enjoy Jordan River’s production.
The leading role of El Gallo (Alex Clark), is fully engaging and honest. Our lovers, Luisa and Matt, (Catie Moore and Brendan Clark), are romantic, passionate, and everything young love should be.
All supporting characters are well played, but particularly entertaining is Henry (the Old Actor), portrayed by Jim Clark. Jim is as big as his character believes himself to be, and that’s saying a lot.
He delivers terrific comic relief!
All-in-all, The Fantasticks is superbly played and I strongly recommended seeing it during it’s limited run!
The play is being performed three nights only, May 30, 31, at 8 PM and June 1 at 6:30 PM. PLEASE NOTE that there is no Sunday performance.
Father Ruehl Hall, St. John the Baptist Parish, Front Royal, Virginia. Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for students.
Warren County, VA
Ride for a Reason: Winchester Community Revs Up Support for Evans Home for Kids
Skyline Harley-Davidson Hosts Festive Fundraiser with Shenandoah Valley Christian Riders.
As the festive season approaches, the spirit of giving is revving up in Winchester, Virginia. The Henry and William Evans Home for Children has teamed up with the Shenandoah Valley Christian Riders (SVCR) for a unique Christmas fundraising event. Dubbed the “Christmas Fund Ride,” this event invites motorcycle enthusiasts and community members to hit the road for a noble cause: bringing holiday cheer to children in need.
Set against the scenic Shenandoah Valley backdrop, the event will kick off at the iconic Skyline Harley-Davidson, located at 140 Independence Road, Winchester. Registration begins at 2:00 p.m. on December 10, 2023, with engines starting at 2:15 p.m. In case of rain, the event has a backup date set for December 17, ensuring that the ride will go on, come rain or shine.
Leading the pack will be members of the SVCR, a local chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, known for their commitment to community service and love for the open road. Participants are encouraged to contribute $20 per rider or non-motorcycle vehicle and $10 for each motorcycle passenger. These donations will go directly towards purchasing Christmas gifts for the children residing at the Evans Home, making the holiday season brighter for those who need it most.
Mitch Berkenkemper, the President of SVCR, is the go-to person for more information about the ride. He can be reached at email@example.com or via phone at 540/520-0330. His enthusiasm for the event is infectious, as he calls on the community to show their support not just as riders but as benefactors of a heartfelt cause.
This Christmas Fund Ride is more than just a motorcycle event; it’s a testament to the power of community spirit and the joy of giving. As the engines roar to life on December 10, it won’t just be about the thrill of the ride but the collective effort to make a difference in the lives of children. In the true spirit of the holiday season, the Winchester community is invited to come together, ride, and spread joy where it’s needed most.
This Week’s Showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of December 7th
Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! Reserved seating in all auditoriums.
Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Thursday, December 7:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $10
- Child (under 12): $7
- Military: $8
- Student (college): $8
- Senior: $8
- Matinees, All Seating: $7
FREE “Christmas Classics” Movies
“NAUGHTY OR NICE TRIPLE FEATURE”
Saturday and Sunday @ 1:00pm
- “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom”
Triumphant Harmony: Fishnet Ministries Hosts Three Pianos Christmas Concert
A Unique Musical Celebration to Herald the Festive Season in Front Royal.
In the heart of December, when the chill of winter meets the warmth of festive cheer, Fishnet Ministries Church in Front Royal, VA, is set to host an extraordinary musical event: the Three Pianos Christmas Concert. Scheduled for Sunday, December 17, at 6 pm, this concert promises to be a harmonious blend of pianos and voices, celebrating the joy and peace of the Christmas season.
The concert, a novel concept featuring three pianos played simultaneously, is set to be led by Bobbi Andes, a Shenandoah University alumnus, alongside talented pianists Naomi Marie Caricofe and Zack Dodson. This trio of pianists will merge their skills to create a captivating and inspiring atmosphere filled with beloved Christmas Carols. The synchronization of three pianos is a testament to the pianists’ skill and a symbolic representation of the harmony and unity that the holiday season embodies.
Bobbi Andes, renowned for her God-inspired touch on the keyboard, brings a wealth of experience to this event. Together with her husband, Pastor Larry Andes of Fishnet Ministries Church, she has historically guided worship for vast crowds at the Fishnet Festivals. Her profound musical heritage and deep ties with the community infuse this concert with genuine depth and resonance.
Adding to the musical spectacle, vocalists Cheryl Yancey and Tracy Atsiknoudous will lend their voices, further enhancing the melodic experience. The concert will also feature a vibrant display of banners presented by the youth, adding a visual element to the auditory experience.
In keeping with the spirit of giving and community, the Three Piano Concert is offering free admission. Attendees can also look forward to enjoying refreshments, making the event not just a concert but a communal celebration. This musical evening is not just a performance; it’s an invitation to the community to come together and share in the joy and peace of the holiday season.
The Three Pianos Christmas Concert at Fishnet Ministries Church is more than just a musical event; it’s a gathering that epitomizes the essence of the Christmas spirit. Through the harmonious blend of pianos and voices, the concert aims to spread joy and peace, reminding us of the true reason for the season. This unique celebration is open to everyone, promising an evening of enchanting music and festive cheer. Don’t miss this special opportunity to be part of a memorable holiday experience on Sunday, December 17, at Fishnet Ministries Church located beside Rockland Park, 391 Fishnet Blvd., Front Royal, VA 22630
Magical Radio Days Reimagined: Selah Theatre Project Brings a Holiday Classic to Life
Andrew J. Fenady’s ‘Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus’ Hits the Stage This December.
The charm of old-time radio, where imaginations ran wild and stories came to life in the minds of listeners, is being rekindled in Middletown, VA. This holiday season, Selah Theatre Project, in collaboration with Laurel Ridge Community College, is set to enchant audiences with its latest production, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.” The play, written by the celebrated Andrew J. Fenady, is a visual and auditory feast, an adaptation of the beloved 1897 editorial from the New York Sun.
In an era dominated by screens, this production harks back to the golden age of radio, offering a unique theatrical experience. It revolves around a heartwarming exchange where young Virginia, in her quest for truth, writes to the New York Sun asking about the existence of Santa Claus. This inquiry leads Ed Mitchell, the editor, to assign the task to Frank Church, a reporter grappling with personal struggles. Church’s profound response, affirming Santa’s existence, has since woven itself into the fabric of Christmas traditions worldwide.
With nineteen actors, both budding and experienced, the Selah Theatre Project’s rendition promises a blend of nostalgia and innovation. Audiences will be swept away to an era where radio reigned supreme, meeting an array of vivid characters including Virginia, Frank Church, and Santa Claus himself. The cast, under the skillful direction of LaTasha Do’zia, breathes life into this classic tale, ensuring a visual and auditory treat.
Selah Theatre Project, known for its commitment to quality community theatre, finds this production especially close to its heart. The play not only celebrates the Christmas spirit and the innocence of childhood but also stands as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling. Supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, this production is more than a play; it’s a community event, fostering the arts and bringing people together in the spirit of the holidays.
As the holiday season approaches, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” offers a perfect opportunity for families and friends to gather and immerse themselves in a world of wonder and joy. Selah Theatre Project invites everyone to experience this enchanting production, which not only entertains but also supports the arts in the community. With performances scheduled from December 8-10 & 15-17 at the William H. McCoy Theatre, Laurel Ridge Community College, this is an event not to be missed. Tickets are available online, via phone, or at the door, promising a magical evening for all.
Tickets can be purchased at selahtheatreproject.org or call 540-684-5464 or at the door.
A Night of Merriment: Front Royal’s Christmas Parade Draws Record Crowds
A Spectacular Evening of Floats, Music, and Santa’s Sleigh Marks the Holiday Season.
The Town of Front Royal donned its festive attire, turning into a picturesque winter wonderland for the eagerly awaited annual Christmas parade. Excited residents filled the streets, their faces glowing with anticipation as they awaited the parade’s start.
The 2023 edition of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade was brought to life under the hosting of Mike McCool, the Royal Examiner Publisher, and Mayor Lori Cockrell. The event was captured beautifully by Royal Examiner videographer Mark Williams, and heartfelt appreciation was extended to the parade’s sponsor, Lindsay Chevrolet.
Commenting on the impressive crowd, McCool observed with enthusiasm, “This looks like it’s going to be one of the largest turnouts for our Christmas parade.”
Participants ranged from community groups to lively bands and dance troupes, each adding a unique flavor to the festive procession. Local businesses and various organizations outdid themselves with colorful and imaginative floats that captivated both young and old alike. Adding to the musical cheer, the Warren County High School and Skyline High Bands and their respective cheer teams performed enthusiastically, echoing the festive spirit throughout the town.
The highlight of the evening, as always, was the arrival of Santa Claus. Breaking tradition, Santa opted out of his usual spot atop a fire truck, choosing instead to ride in his signature red sleigh. His appearance was met with waves and cheers, especially from the children bundled up along the sidewalks, their faces lit with excitement.
The parade concluded with the members of the Front Royal Police Department following Santa, symbolizing the close of another successful and joyous celebration. In conversation with McCool, Mayor Lori Cockrell aptly summed up the event’s significance: “It’s so important to have everybody come together as a community and celebrate this wonderful holiday.” The sentiment was echoed in the smiles and interactions among the residents, who were clearly appreciative of the chance to come together and usher in the holiday season.
The Front Royal Christmas parade marks the beginning of the holiday season and highlights this charming town’s strong sense of community and togetherness. From the lively performances to the appearance of Santa Claus, the event was a perfect blend of tradition, joy, and communal celebration. As the town lights twinkled in the background, Front Royal residents were reminded of the magic and warmth of the holiday season, especially when shared with neighbors and friends.
The judges selected Ghostbusters of VA/Main Street Geek as Best in Parade, with an Honorable Mention to the Human Society of Warren County/Neko. Best Walking Group was Allstar Legacy, with an Honorable Mention to Jig n’ Jive Dance Studio. Best Commercial Entry was Timber Works Tree Care, with an Honorable Mention to Fussell Florist. Best Float Youth was Skyline Middle School FFA, with an Honorable mention to Warren County Youth Cheerleading. Best Float Adult-Civic, Church or Business was CBM Mortgage with an Honorable Mention to LifePoint Church. Most Creative was Edward Jones with an Honorable Mention to Explore Art & Clay.
If you missed the Christmas Parade or want to see it again, sit back and enjoy!
Thanks to Photos by Dok for providing this gallery of photos taken during the parade.
A Night to Remember: Front Royal Celebrates the Holidays with Tree Lighting and Joyful Songs
A Night of Music, Community Spirit, and the Magic of Christmas.
The Town of Front Royal transformed into a scene straight out of a Christmas card as the community gathered for a spectacular evening filled with music, joy, and the much-anticipated tree lighting ceremony. The event was made even more special by the melodious presence of the Blue Ridge Singers, the area’s premier choral group, who brought the spirit of the holidays to life through their enchanting performance.
As the chilly evening air buzzed with excitement, the Blue Ridge Singers stepped forward as musical ambassadors. Their performance of classic holiday songs like “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” captivated the audience, with everyone from toddlers to seniors humming and swaying along.
In a heartwarming gesture, the group dedicated songs to the community’s service members, teachers, healthcare workers, and those who lost loved ones this year, adding a layer of emotional depth to the festivities. The event wasn’t just about the music; it was a celebration of community spirit and resilience, especially poignant as the town remembered those who couldn’t join the celebrations.
Mayor Lori Cockrell made welcoming remarks and reminisced of Christmas past. Council members, including Councilman Rappaport, Ingram, Wood, and Councilwoman Domenico-Payne, expressed their awe at the turnout, comparing the vibrancy of the streets to a scene from a Hallmark Christmas movie. The evening was a testament to the small-town charm of Front Royal, showcasing the strength and unity of its community.
The night reached its climax as the crowd eagerly anticipated the arrival of Santa Claus, rumored to have upgraded from his traditional fire truck to a more fuel-efficient sleigh. The arrival of Santa, marked by flashing blue lights, was greeted with cheers, especially from the younger attendees, who were thrilled at the sight of the jolly old man in red.
As the countdown to the tree lighting began, the excitement was palpable. With a collective countdown, the tree burst into a magnificent display of lights, symbolizing the official start of the holiday season in Front Royal. The beautifully decorated tree, a labor of love by the Public Works department, became an instant attraction, drawing families and friends together for memorable photographs.
The evening in Front Royal was more than just a celebration; it was a reminder of the joy, hope, and togetherness that define the holiday season. The Blue Ridge Singers, through their music, not only entertained but also united the community in a shared experience of festive cheer. As the town looks forward to the rest of the holiday season, the tree lighting ceremony will remain a cherished memory, a beacon of the warm and welcoming spirit that makes Front Royal a special place to be during Christmas.