I can still remember the first time I went to the Jenny Wiley Theatre. It was awesome! My grandparents took my sister and me to see “I Do, I Do” in 1978.
I had been to school plays and even been in a few, but I had never been to anything as magnificent as this! Why, when the first song began, one of the main characters was standing right in the middle of the audience. I could’ve touched her if my sister would have moved! It was Broadway before I knew there WAS a Broadway!
I was taken in by the music, the sets and all of the actors! My sister and I remember so much about that magical night so long ago. (We can still sing several of the songs.) It was a delicious escape from a difficult home life. We were temporarily transported in time and thoroughly relished every moment.
Afterward, we loaded into my grandfather’s Lincoln for the long, long ride back to Belfry. Snuggling up in the back seat, we hummed until we fell asleep.
I’ve never forgotten that gift he gave us. He wanted to show us the world, and as cheesy as it sounds-he did!
My family has enjoyed the Jenny Wiley Theatre for many years since: Oklahoma, The Music Man, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, etc. When Beauty and the Beast played, my daughter and I were thrilled to attend. (It had been her very favorite Disney movie and we knew ALL of the songs!)
I sang every note as if I were a member of the cast. We laughed out loud and even cried at times. At intermission, with too much enthusiasm, I asked the 80-something lady next to me if she was having a good time.
“Well not really,” she grumbled. I’m pretty sure that was my fault, though I found out later she had family in the cast and had seen it three times already.
Last summer, we saw The Sound of Music. I loved the movie as a child and have seen it many times over the years, yet, it was wonderfully presented right here in Floyd County before my very eyes!
A history buff was in our group and had never EVER seen it. I was shocked! He knew all about the world history behind it but had no clue about the play. He loved it!
In the fall, I saw the Legend of Jenny Wiley. I have to tell you that I had purposely NOT seen it in the past. Jenny Wiley is one of my heroes and I know her story inside and out. I was sure I would be a mess-a loud mess-throughout the performance.
It was better than I could have imagined! It was gripping and yet inspiring when the tears began. I moved to a seat by myself. (I didn’t want to get anything on anybody.) I was emotionally exhausted by curtain call but was so glad I’d finally gone. It could be my favorite!
We will be seeing South Pacific in a few weeks and we’re stoked! It’s the 50th anniversary of the Theatre! Woohoo!
My daughter heard that White Christmas is scheduled for the new Pikeville location this winter. We can’t wait! We watch White Christmas every year while we put up our Christmas tree. (I don’t know if they would let us do that on stage.) When you go, you might not want to sit by me…I know ALL of the songs!