Fun

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.

 

U.S. economy rebounds thanks to huge growth of farmers markets

WASHINGTON– In a surprising turn of events, new financial data from the Federal Reserve brought jubilation to both Main Street and Wall Street yesterday as the economic picture for job growth, new business starts and overall household income improved markedly improved since last month. But financial analysts were bewildered about the source of this sudden economic rebound: farmers markets reopening for spring with fresh produce.

“The looming economic recession that kept Americans on the edge of their seats for the past months has been entirely and unexpectedly averted by an infusion of revenue generated at local farmers markets,” said a grinning Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, at an appearance with President Bush at a farmers market in suburban Reston, Virginia. “We should never have underestimated the economic prowess of public markets simply because of their small size, lack of business experience, or previously tiny share of the commodity system.

 clip_image003_0004_large.jpg George Bush and Ben Bernanke

The outlook is even rosier for April and May, as farmer’s markets reopen in many states outside the Sun Belt. Concerns were raised by many economists about what happens late next fall when local farmers markets shut down at the end of harvest season, but Congress was busy all day yesterday drafting emergency legislation to construct thousands of indoor year-round public markets.

The Clinton-McCain-Obama Act, named for its chief sponsors, passed unanimously in both the House and Senate yesterday and was signed by President Bush in a special ceremony at Washington’s Eastern Market this morning. It appropriates more than $37 billion dollars to construct and manage indoor public markets in every county seat and community of more than 2500 people across America.

“Obviously, these sources of local food, public gathering places, and intra-neighborhood commerce are the engine that will drive the economy of the United States,” Bush said as several members of the White House press corps fainted in shock.

While this marks a sudden and fundamental shift in the Bush Administration’s policy, press secretary Dana Perino reminded reporters, “George Bush and Dick Cheney have always been true believers in market economics.”

“This administration may have devoted too much attention to large businesses in our first seven years,” Perino admitted. “But in our last ten months we will do everything possible to level the playing field by boosting small-scale farmers and enterprises that serve Americans right in their communities. Farmers markets are just the beginning. We also intend to boost small, independent neighborhood businesses.”

Economic analysts attribute this huge growth in farmers markets to consumers’ newfound interest in eating locally-sourced food, improving public health, boosting their local economies, creating community gathering places and supporting small, environmentally-friendly farmers everywhere.

“We must publicly acknowledge the new power of farmers markets in the U.S., and admit that we have so far missed the boat on what consumers want: healthy, locally-grown food,” said Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. “We cannot stand in the way of progress. We plan to add organic farmers markets to each Wal-Mart store and will look into tearing up the parking lots to plant heirloom tomatoes.”

Interest in locally produced food is expected to grow substantially, fueled in part by a report to be released next week by the federal Centers for Disease Control that unearths long-buried research establishing clear links between eating locally and wildly prolonged human life expectancy.

Read this and all the other April 1 News at Faking Places. Hope your day was a pleasant one…

Winning $276 million Powerball ticket sold in WVA

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Go Figure !

One person, gee, what do you think they will do with the money?

If a winner chooses to take the estimated $275 million in annual payments, the prize would be the equivalent of a salary of about $35,256 a day based upon an average, 40 hour a week job. The cash equivalent, or lump sum payment would be approximately $135,700,000.

One of the tickets sold in West Virginia for the Powerball game Saturday night matched all six numbers drawn, which were:

6, 22, 42, 43 and 47. The Powerball was 16 and the Power Play was two.

The Powerball Web site says nearly 2 million other players won prizes totaling more than $12 million.

Tickets that match the first five numbers, but miss the Powerball, win $200,000 each, and there were twelve of those. They were sold in: Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky(2), Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina(2), Pennsylvania(3) and Wisconsin.

There were two Power Play Match 5 winners in the states of: Iowa and North Carolina.

The estimated jackpot for Wednesday is 15 million dollars.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Kids fly high with kites in Belmont

 march-15-kite-flying.jpg (Gazette Photo – Brad Coville)

From the Gazette article:

 gracie-smith.jpg (Gazette Photo – Brad Coville)

Winners from Saturday’s “Go Fly a Kite!” in Belmont

2- to 5-Year-Olds

Most Unusual

Leah Bivens

Dhruv Patel

Sophie Smith

Quickest Controlled

Puja Patel

Mason Craig

Kevin Granson

Highest

Mason Craig

Leah Bivens

Dharmin Patel

6- to 8year-olds

Sarah Griffin

Maddie Deal

Niraj Patel

Quickest Controlled

Eternity Moore

Priyanka Patel

Kendal Craig

Highest

Eternity Moore

Hemali Patel

Gracie Smith (tied for third)

Ekta Patel (tied for third)

9- to 12-year-olds

Brendan Granson

Neerel Patel

Destiny Moore

Quickest Controlled

Destiny Moore

Neerel Patel

Brendan Granson

Highest

Destiny Moore

Brendan Granson

Neeral Patel

Belmont to citizens: Go Fly a Kite!

Yep, that is what the city is telling their citizens on sandwich boards scattered about the city.

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Of course it is in reference to the Parks and Recreation, Go Fly a Kite celebration, this Saturday, March 15, at the Belmont Central Elementary school soccer field.

This event is for children ages 2-12, and prizes are awarded. There is no entry fee, and hopefully the weather will cooperate.