Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


June 19, 2014

AROUND THE TOWN: Beat the heat with a cool play

CROSSVILLE — Although most of us have been celebrating summer for the past couple of weeks, the official beginning of it is Saturday. The summer solstice, or the longest daylight day of the year, occurs each year somewhere between June 20 and June 22. This year it falls on June 21. The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of the earth’s semi-axis is most inclined towards the sun.

Communities all over the country have special summer solstice celebrations. At least one Alaskan town, which begins its six months of daylight, starts a softball game at midnight to mark the end of six months of darkness.

Summer may not officially begin until Saturday, but the temperatures have already begun to rise. The mercury has risen to the high 80s over the past few days forcing a lot of folks to seek solace from the heat indoors. If you are looking for ways to avoid the heat, you may want to check out the Cumberland County Playhouse’s summer schedule. The live action comedy, drama and music will entertain you in a cooled theater.

This summer’s shows include Shrek the Musical. Based on the box office smash, Shrek is based on the book and lyrics of David Lindsay-Abaire. It was originally produced on Broadway by Dream Works Theatricals and Neal Street Productions. You can “believe all ogre again” from now until Aug. 31. This is a family friendly production.

One of my favorite plays is Annie Get Your Gun. Set to Irving Berlin’s score, Annie features love, sharp shooting, comedy and toe-tapping music. It is sponsored by Plateau Pediatrics and runs until July 11.

Front Page News/ Inherit the Wind runs for just three days next month on the main stage. This is co-produced by CCP and the World Famous Scopes Trial Festival in Dayton. This is a newly adapted play set to music about the Rhea County courtroom where William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow clashed during the 1925 “Monkey Trial.”

The new production was co-written by Deborah Harbin, Jim Crabtree and my fellow CCHS Class of '78 graduate Bobby Taylor, who is a Grammy nominated song writer. This three-day play, is historically written, is a precursor to Inherit the Wind, which will open later this fall.

The 21st season of the much loved Smoke on the Mountain is now underway. The Sanders Family and their beloved the Rev. Oglethorpe have returned from parts unknown to the playhouse stage for another round of America’s and certainly, Cumberland Countians, favorite gospel music comedy. Smoke, as it is so lovingly called, is in the Adventure Theater until Aug. 8. It is rated G and is sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.

Lastly, and certainly not least, is Gypsy. It opens on July 18 and is sponsored by Dr. Dirk Davidson and Tennessee Plateau Oncology and Fairfield Glade Resort. If you aren’t’ familiar with the story line of this stage production, here goes: “Join the ultimate stage mom, Mama Rose, and daughters June and Louise as they journey across the country when Vaudeville was dying and Burlesque was born." Gypsy is loosely based on memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee. It is rated PG and runs through Sept. 5.

If you are interested in seeing Annie Get Your Gun, Smoke on the Mountain, Front Page News, Shrek or Gypsy, call the playhouse box office at 484-5000 for show times and ticket prices or visit the website at The playhouse also offers multi-show packages and group discounts.


Don’t forget about the Summer Reading Program at the Art Circle Public Library. The summer performances will be held in the Cumberland Meeting Room and include magic by Jason Murphy June 26; the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on July 3; Baker Mountain Farms on July 10; and Meet the Robinsons movie on July 17.

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