Capitol Theatre to Feature Holiday Favorites

It’s great to see Wheeling’s venerable, and newly restored, Capitol Theatre being utilized for a variety of entertaining programs, with returning favorites as well as new offerings.

Of course, the Wheeling Symphony was set to perform its second Masterworks concert at the Capitol Friday, Nov. 6. The new Broadway at the Capitol Series opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, with a touring production performance of the musical, “Stomp.” As noted in a feature article in Friday’s TGIF section, the cast of “Stomp” includes Elec Simon, a fomer Smithfield and Steubenville resident and 1999 graduate of Buckeye Local High School.

A Thanksgiving Eve concert featuring popular area bands is planned at the Capitol Wednesday evening, Nov. 25.

The holiday season brings a return of seasonal traditions to the Capitol, along with additions that are sure to please. In cooperation with the Independent Theatre Collective of Wheeling, the holiday classic play, “A Christmas Carol,” will be performed on the Capitol stage at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. As noted elsewhere in today’s Arts & Living section, Oglebay Institute and the Wheeling Symphony are teaming up to present a production of the holiday favorite ballet, “The Nutcracker,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19.

Fans of Wheeling musician B.E. Taylor will be pleased to learn that the “B.E. Taylor Christmas Show” is returning to the Capitol for two shows at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 22-23. During the theater’s temporary closure, Taylor’s holiday show was presented at WesBanco Arena, but fans loved the Capitol atmosphere.

Also returning to the Capitol is the annual Linsly Extravaganza, which is set for March 5. When the theater was closed, the musical production had to be staged in a much smaller venue on the Linsly School campus.

Looking ahead, the Capitol management has scored a big coup that should thrill classical musical enthusiasts: the National Symphony Orchestra from Washington, D.C., is scheduled to perform at the Wheeling theater on April 6.

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Today is Beverly Fluty Day in Wheeling, honoring the tireless work and legacy of local historian Beverly Fluty, who died in August.

As noted in last Sunday’s Arts & Living section, the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation is presenting a special program at the hall, located at 1528 Market St., Wheeling, at 2 p.m. today, Nov. 8, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. Custom House (as the hall was known originally) and to honor Fluty’s legacy. The event is free and open to the public.

The program will feature a performance by QuarterTone quartet and a talk by Dr. David Javersak of Wheeling. The event will conclude with a festive reception.

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Organizers of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame’s upcoming induction ceremony misidentified one of the performers for the event, Wheeling resident Karen McKenzie, daughter of inductees Doc and Chickie Williams. The Music Hall of Fame folks incorrectly referred to McKenzie as “Katherine” in an announcement about the program.

McKenzie, however, took the error all in stride. She remarked that since most fans are more likely to know the Williamses sisters by their stage nicknames, it’s not surprising that someone might get her legal given name wrong.

Meanwhile, reader Monna Massey of Wheeling, chastised me for omitting the late Hawkshaw Hawkins from the list of West Virginia Music Hall of Fame 2009 inductees. I didn’t mention Hawkins, a Huntington native, in last week’s Grapevine because no local connection was listed for him in the hall’s press materials. However, Massey pointed out that “the talented and handsome Hawkshaw Hawkins” performed on the Jamboree in Wheeling every Saturday night for eight years. In Massey’s opinion, Hawkins was “the most popular singer ever to grace the Jamboree stage.”

In any event, the induction ceremony will take place at the state Culture Center Theater in Charleston at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: