The Blue Ridge Music Center, Across the Blue Ridge, Behind the Scenes with Mary Dalton and More

The Blue Ridge Music Center, Across the Blue Ridge, Behind the Scenes with Mary Dalton and More

1:10pm May 23, 2014
Fiddler, banjo player, and music historian Paul Brown.
Martin Tucker

Today on the show we take to the road, but not just any road. This is one of the most scenic driving destinations in the entire world, plus it’s right in our own backyard. Yep, we're talking about the Blue Ridge Parkway, mile post 213 to be exact. But once there you’ll find even more than fresh air and stunning mountain vistas. You see the hills are alive with sounds of Appalachian music too, and they’ll be ringing in the air all summer long at the Blue Ridge Music Center. Program Director Richard Emmett is here to tell us all about it, and he’ll be joined by NPR’s own Paul Brown. That’s right. Paul’s Across the Blue Ridge is back, and he’ll be bringing it LIVE to the Blue Ridge Music Center stage. Then film scholar Mary Dalton takes us behind the scenes with her take on three films with religious themes. They’ve been generating some praise and some scorn, but they’re pulling in the big bucks either way. And Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance shares the story of one mother’s struggles with bipolar disorder, their impact on her family, and the sometimes unseemly underbelly of suburban life. It’s the Pulitzer Prize winning rock musical Next to Normal.

Blue Ridge Music Center and Across the Blue Ridge

The Blue Ridge Music Center (BRMC) recently announced its Summer Evening Concert Series Schedule with artists spanning all styles and iterations of traditional Appalachian music including The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Steep Canyon Rangers, Kruger Brothers, Stevie Barr, Slate Mountain Ramblers, Red June, and that’s just a small sampling. Really. Weekend concerts will continue practically every Saturday through October at the BRMC’s beautiful outdoor amphitheater. This Saturday, May 24th it’s Young Appalachian Musician Day With the Whitetop Mountain Band at 3:00PM. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located on the North Carolina/Virginia border, just south of Galax, Virginia at mile marker 213 on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s just about an hour’s drive from the Triad area, and as Program Director Richard Emmett tells it, it’s well worth the trip.

David Ford also spoke with NPR’s own Paul Brown. Paul’s also an acclaimed fiddler, banjo player, and music historian. He’ll be bringing back Across the Blue Ridge LIVE at the Blue Ridge Music Center this summer. The first in his three-part series is Fiddle, Dulcimer, and Song Traditions of Southern Virginia & Northwestern North Carolina featuring Jim & Phyllis Gaskins, and the Piney Woods Boys on Saturday night July 19th at 7.

Blue Ridge Music Center's concert series kicks off Saturday night, May 31st at 7PM in the beautiful outdoor amphitheater with outstanding Bluegrass and Old Time Mountain Music by Chatham County Line & The Buckstankle Boys. Beginning Memorial Day weekend The Music Center, located on the North Carolina/Virginia border, just south of Galax, Virginia at mile marker 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, will be open from 10 AM - 5 PM every day where you can enjoy the Roots of American Music Exhibit and local Mid-Day Mountain Musician concerts daily from noon to 4:00PM. This summer will also feature NPR’s Paul Brown and his live radio show: Across the Blue Ridge. The three-part series begins Saturday night, July 19th with Fiddle, Dulcimer, and Song Traditions.

Behind the Scenes with Mary Dalton

Now, we go Behind The Scenes with Wake Forest University Professor of Communication, Film Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies Mary Dalton. Today she’ll be taking in three religious themed films that have been generating some praise & some scorn, but one thing they’ve got in common—besides the religion part: they’re pulling in some big bucks!

Theatre Alliance and Next to Normal

Next to Normal with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt is a Pulitzer prize winning rock musical. It’s about a mom, her struggles with bipolar disorder, and their impact on her family. The musical also exposes the sometimes unseemly underbelly of suburban life. To prepare for her role as Diana Goodman, the mother, Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance actor Heather Hamby says she’s followed the lives of several individuals with bi-polar disorder, and the psychiatrists who treat them. She’s also studied other modern media interpretations of the disorder including Showtime’s award-winning series Homeland. According to Heather, and her Theatre Alliance colleague Henson Milam who plays her daughter Natalie, the acting challenges they’re finding in Next to Normal are equaled by the play’s powerful song repertoire.

The Pulitzer Prize winning rock musical Next to Normal comes to WSTA Friday, May 23rd where it’ll run through June 1st with evening shows at 8:00 PM and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.  The show is sponsored by the Mood Treatment Center and Awakenings Whole Life Counseling and Resource Center.

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