Dinner Party

Belmont Theater Scene Alive and Well

Belmont, most recently known for it’s thriving downtown and restaurants, has been an active theater town for a number of years. The Abbey Players would regularly present interesting and sometimes quirky works a couple of times per year.

Keith Taylor, the long time drama instructor at South Point HS left after the last school year to pursue greener pastures in the Triad. His replacement at South Point, Marcus Riter (prounounced, write-r), has taken the youthful thespians to new heights this school year.

 
During the fall semester the students performed a drama,  “Dearly Departed”, a play about a death in a southern family.

In the Spring, “Little Shop of Horrors”, a dark-comedy/musical about a flesh eating plant in a flower shop, was staged to rave reviews. Little Shop of Horrors

Saturday night in the South Point cafeteria, the stage was set for a Dinner Theater production of Murder and Mystery. 2, one-act plays were performed around a pasta dinner catered by the Olive Garden restaurant to a sold out, SRO crowd.

The first performance, “Clue’, was a take-off of the popular whodunit game. Mr. Riter wrote and directed his young charges through a simple choreography of murder and revenge. The usual suspects  of Mr. Green (played by Sarah Green), Professor Plum (Scott Stowe), Colonel Mustard (Jon Stewart), Ms. Scarlett (Laura Lemond), Ms. White (Kelsey Pate), Mrs. Peacock (Haley Bishop), and the body (Adam Kirkby), were drawn into a surprising murder, committed by who? An audience member? one of the caterers, or (gasp…) Mr. Riter’s own father!

The second play, a longer one-act play-within-a-play, called, “The Real Inspector Hound“, evoked a Twilight Zone appeal where two theater critics are drawn into a London stage play in the midst of their own personal dramas. Julianne Reeger starred in this scenario as “Moon”, a second level theater critic covering for a more expereienced reporter. Ms. Reeger ably carried an english accent throughout the production as did her competitive writer, Birdboot, played by Geoffry Brown. Ryan Howard played a somewhat clueless romeo, Simon Gascoyne, often floating around the stage. Felicity (Crystal Hannah) and Cynthia (Kirby Beal) were the objects of Simon’s “affairs”.

To make a long story short, the students pulled off a complicated plot line with energy, humor, and class. More importantly, a young crew of actors displayed their talent in a popular dinner setting. Mr. Riter is to be praised for his chops in putting together this event. As he mentioned, “if you liked it, tell everyone, if you didn’t, just be quiet and go home!”

Obviously, we liked it. The format, the staging, the actors, and the enthusiasm – all good, even after a busy day in downtown Belmont.

The Abbey Players are still around. Somewhat loosely organized, but missing longtime director, Simon Donohue. Marcus Riter could certainly try to tie the student and adult groups together, find much needed funding for both programs and keep Belmont theater supporters going to dinner and a show.

 

Conference Championship Sunday

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AND

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On the Belmont Front Porch, Conference Championship Sunday is actually a bit bigger than the Super Bowl. The reason? There are TWO games and a lot more emotion wrapped up in the outcomes — plain and simple.

There is a split in the factions, so this year it seems that everyone will be rooting for someone else. This makes for an interesting evening.

No school on Monday and with MLK holiday on top,  it is all working well for a wonderful get-together.

There were some stores sales the past week to help with party planning. The food prep is pretty easy — with two games back-to-back — there is time for two complete meals. Nobody really stresses out over it all.

Ok, well, one for the kids, and one for the gamers. The rest of us just sorta come and go.  

We will have chili, hotdogs, chips (lots of ’em), wings, and a lot of pickups like the smokie sausage thingy’s. Since we have too many cheese-heads in Belmont, we have to grill out Brats — they are sooo picky with their food choices during ball games.

Right now it appears that overall, people are predicting the Pats and the Pack in the Super Bowl.

It has been a great football season.

   

Legion Christmas Celebration Gives Nod to Belmont Historical Society

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Friday night’s American Legion annual Christmas celebration awarded its Community Service Award to two very deserving men, Bob Brown and Jack Page.

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(Gazette Photo-Benjamin Patton)

 The award was given for their long community service records and especially for their leadership in the establishment of the Belmont Historical Society.

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Both men were invited to the celebration to introduce the other as the Community Service award recipients. Mayor Richard Boyce and long time legionaire, Art Shoemaker, turned the tables on both by having Mayor Boyce introduce them to the assembly.

The annual Christmas celebration at the Legion Post on Park Drive was attended by current Mayor Boyce, and past mayors, Billy Joye and Kevin Loftin. Newly elected city council member, Ron Foulk was in attendance as well as the re-elected Charlie Flowers and former council members Becky Burch and Arlene Flowers. County Commissioner Mickey Price was present as well.

Joye served as emcee in his own inimitable way introducing honored guests and community stalwarts. Coaches John Devine and Mickey Lineberger were recognized as well as former Belmont Banner editor, Dwight Frady. 

Art Shumaker announced that Mickey Lineberger would be the Belmont Braves Legion baseball coach for this upcoming season.

Shannon Angel, a 1991 Red Raider graduate entertained the crowd with several Christmas songs and carols.

Youth leaders from the community were introduced and each spoke briefly about their experiences of the Legion-sponsored event that they had been selected to attend.

Legion baseball player-representative Nick DeMarsico thanked the Legion Post 144 for sponsoring the baseball team each year and how he enjoyed playing through the summer to keep his skills sharp.

Girls State representatives Lindsey Hawkins, Caitlyn Reese, Katie Dare Payseur, Emily Scruggs, and Ashley Baker. The young women had attended the Girls State program at Catawba College this past summer, and each expressed their gratitude for the leadership development opportunity. Boys State Representatives for the summer program were, Trevor Reeves, Matt Crane, Cameron Matthews, Andrew Pierce, and Omar Baroudi.

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Endorsement Party Discussion

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Food, drink, friends and neighbors. Discussing politics among friends can get touchy from time to time, but the great food made up for it.

Everyone walked away with a good feeling about the following recommendations:

  • Your vote is crucial to the foward movement of Belmont, its extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), and the next generation of families and citizens.
  • Every vote counts. Do not underestimate the power of one vote, just remember to get out and make the effort. Multiply your effectiveness by calling your neighbor and offering to help them get to a polling station.
  • Becky Burch and Charlie Flowers need to be retired by election out of office. Both have continued to perpetuate the good ‘ol boy backwoods emotion of pitting newcomers against the hometown-born and raised. They are inneffective as a team and inconsequential as free-thinkers.

The Belmont Front Porch is endorsing Dennis Boyce, Martha Stowe, and Richard Turner for City Council.

Dennis Boyce, no relation to Mayor Richard Boyce, has demonstrated a willingness to become involved with the community politics and represent the North Belmont Community that for years has been underserved. Mr. Boyce will represent the community in an educated manner, listen to both sides of a story, and not have preconceived notions about his own pocketbook.

We feel that Martha Stowe deserves your vote and support because she too will bring a sense of fairness to the council discussions. Martha is knowledgeable about the issues, has a good connection to the younger people of the community, and continues to work hard in a number of community activities that are not always sports-related. She will not be anybody’s patsie.

Richard Turner was the toughest decision for endorsement. However, we do feel that ultimately he too will be fair in his council decisions and processing of the issues. Our concern is over his axe-grinding on public-private partnerships. He has demonstrated a willingness to  learn more about an issue, even if he openly disagrees, he is civil in his overall behaviors and will talk to opponents.

Independent voices for an independent and thriving community. It is your choice, we still love you Belmont, whether you agree with our choices or not.

See ya’ll on Tuesday !

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Ahh, Canvassing – The Best Part of Local Politics

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The best and most intimate form of political work is the old-fashioned, door-to-door, canvassing for votes.

Kudos to Belmont City Council candidate, Richard Turner for recognizing and putting out his platform in the door-to-door format.

 Turner’s Platform: richard-turner-platform.pdf

Irl Dixon’s format is to mail something to everyone. Of course, it helps that his office is located on the corner of Myrtle/McLeod and Main Street (Coldwell Banker Realty office). He has a chance to talk to everyone who walks by him. Irl also has a record to run on for this election.

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Irl Dixon’s flyer: irl-dixon-mailing.pdf

Our editorial board has not agreed on any endorsement at this point. We will be meeting on Saturday evening for our annual Endorsement Dinner Party and will report the results on Sunday night.

To fill in the newbies to our blogsite, the Endorsement Dinner Party is an unpretentious (ok, just a bit pretentious), intimate gathering of the BFP Editiorial board and their significant others for great food, libation, and humorous discussion (We often have these dinners, this just happens to be prior to this election).

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Yeah, Right

It is more like this:

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This year’s Endorsement Dinner will be to discuss the candidates, and try to achieve a concensus on who to recommend to our friends and neighbors.