The Times West Virginian


June 28, 2012

WVPT season starts this week

FAIRMONT — As the West Virginia Public Theatre (WVPT) opened up the red curtains at the Metropolitan Theatre on Wednesday for the first time this season, they were thrilled to reveal who was behind the curtain.

Broadway stars Brandi Wooten and Bart Shatto are starring in their first production “9 to 5,” a new musical comedy based on the classic hit movie. Now in its 29th year, the WVPT offers a variety of productions. Starting off with this production just sets the tone for what they expect to repeat over the coming weeks.

“It’s lively,” artistic director Michael Licata said. “It’s big. It’s colorful. That’s part of the reason. We like to start big.”

Drama is inevitable in this production. Three females working with Shatto are fed up. As the chauvinistic, bombastic boss in a workplace of women, Shatto is known to chase after everything in a skirt.

“The perception is he sits in this little office and gets credit for everyone else’s work,” Licata said. “It’s not just about the women but also the little guy picking up the slack for the big guy.”

For the next six weeks, the WVPT will have shows that they promise will be highly entertaining. Performances will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and on at Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m.

Accustomed to being represented by the most talented actors and actresses in the region and beyond, the WVPT operates as a non-profit, professional regional theater. For every dollar they spend, executive director Loree Houghton estimates they generate $4 back into the economy.

With this being the second season the theater has had its performances at the Metropolitan Theatre located on High Street, Houghton feels it has added a spark to the already lively atmosphere.

“The theater is fully restored, and it’s absolutely beautiful,” she said. “When you go in, you feel like you’ve come to the theater. It feels like a Broadway theater, complete with the red velvet curtains. It’s very special, so we’re really happy to be in that theater.” 

Following “9 to 5,” “Godspell” features a high-energy, youthful cast in a family-oriented environment. Members include local Fairmont resident Jeremy Crawford along with Erin Sullivan, who is fresh off the tour of “Young Frankenstein,” and Jenyth Rosati, who played Nancy in last season’s “Oliver.” The performance is a modern-day version of the gospels shown in the form of song, dance, comedy and mime. Songs such as “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” and “By My Side” bring the parables of Jesus Christ to life.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Licata said.

Along with WVPT favorite Robert Anthony Jones,  Wooten will reappear in the Cole Porter classic “Anything Goes,” a performance with lots of tap dancing and a lot of humor. Revived a number of times on Broadway, it was one of the first successful musicals that opened in 1934.

In the next week, “The Marvelous Wonderettes” is a celebration of the 1950s and 1960s girl group music, which chronicles four women during their high school prom and their 10-year reunion. Dana Glaus, Alexandria Howley, Jenyth Rosati and Erin Sullivan are featured in this production.

“All Shook Up” is a comedy that features the music of Elvis Presley and is also set to the story of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

And to end the season, the music of Johnny Cash will be featured in “Ring of Fire” as a tribute and celebration of his music.

Located downtown, the Metropolitan Theatre and the surrounding area has a lot to offer. Around the corner are fine restaurants such as Dragonfly, which makes for an ideal night out in the town.

“By coming to a performance, you can have a really great evening in a downtown area,” Licata said.

Being able to catch a glimpse of these actors and actresses of the WVPT in action is special as well, he said.

“A lot of people just met in the last couple days, but they truly love what they do. They have a passion for what they do. I think live theatre is wonderful. You sit there and watch people sweat, maybe forget a line, whatever, but they’re being entertained. That’s what we want to provide to the audiences.”

To learn more about the WV Public Theatre, visit the website at or find them on Facebook listed under West Virginia Public Theatre.

Email Nicole Lemal at

Text Only
  • Morgantown revving up for MountainFest

    Around 60,000 guests will flood into the Morgantown area July 23-27 for the 10th anniversary of MountainFest.
    The motorcycle-themed event will offer live music from two stages, two stunt team demonstrations, a vintage car show, custom bike builders, and around 80 vendors that offer motorcycle memorabilia, clothing, crafts and 14 different food options.

    July 24, 2014

  • Keaton clicks with Douglas, ‘And So It Goes’

    Two old pros show the kids how chemistry works in a romantic comedy in “And So It Goes,” a love-the-last-time-around romp that’ll give its target audience the warm fuzzies.
    Diane Keaton dons one stylishly kicky outfit after another — hats included — trills “La di dah,” or words to that effect, and all is well in this high-rent corner of Connecticut, where the perfectly-coiffed Michael Douglas plays her permanently grumpy Realtor neighbor.

    July 24, 2014

  • Some ‘Abbey’ details to tide you over

    American viewers are still a ways off from having the upstairs-downstairs bunch of “Downton Abbey” over as guests in their homes through the telly, but we have some crumpets of information to hold you over before then.
    Executive producer Gareth Neame and cast members Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech and Joanne Froggatt appeared before reporters as part of PBS’ session at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.

    July 24, 2014

  • Kids Day Facepainting.jpg Kids Day is Saturday in Morgantown

    On Saturday, a portion of High Street in Morgantown will be closed to traffic to make room for all the kids.
    This year’s Kids Day will feature more than 100 activities, including an interactive butterfly exhibit, bounce houses, sand art stations, a model railroad display and much more.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘The Strain’ offers more gore than story

    At the same time “The Strain” was in development, a commercial in heavy rotation showed three catty middle-schoolers stalking a chubby guy on a diet. Whenever he contemplated a calorie-drenched monstrosity, they’d pipe in with a rapid-fire “Ew!” “Seriously?” “So gross ...”

    July 17, 2014

  • Brooks’ Dublin concerts off; refunds begin

    It’s crying time on the Emerald Isle: Country music superstar Garth Brooks issued a statement Monday confirming that his five planned concerts in Dublin next week are scrapped, and that ticket refunds for 400,000 ticket buyers will proceed.

    July 17, 2014

  • Helping the United Way ... the musical way

    Heston Farm Winery and the United Way of Marion County have teamed up for the third year for the Heston Arts and Music Festival.
    While the HAM Festival has little to do with meat — although there will be a few ham-themed food options, including “hog wings” — it has a lot to do with the community.

    July 10, 2014

  • Go ‘Red, White & Boom!’ July 4

    Palatine Park will be full of people and patriotism Friday during Fairmont’s “Red, White & Boom!” celebration.
    Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and festivities start at 4:15 p.m. with Mama Corn, a bluegrass band from Pennsylvania.
    The Marshall Lowry Band, a country and bluegrass trio with members from Fairmont, will take the stage at 5:30 p.m., and country rock singer Katie Ohh will follow at 7 p.m.

    July 3, 2014

  • The Father of Rock ’n’ Roll

    Next weekend, musicians will come to Fairmont to pay tribute to a man considered the father of rock ’n’ roll piano.
    The 13th annual Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Festival will be held July 5-6 at Palatine Park.
    A Fairmont native, Johnson taught himself to play piano, and his talent led him into a partnership with musician Chuck Berry — Johnson wrote the music for more than 60 Chuck Berry songs but did not receive writing credits.

    June 26, 2014

  • Petting zoo offers ‘total freedom’

    Wallabies, silky chickens and miniature ducks — oh my!
    The Great American Petting Zoo will travel to the Clarksburg Shop ’n Save on June 25 and then to the Mannington Shop ’n Save on June 26 to warm the hearts of families in Marion and Harrison counties.

    June 19, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Lifestyles
House Ads