Like many of my peers, I am driving far less than I did in the past. My age is perhaps one factor, but there are also other factors such as much more traffic on roads nowadays and my observation of more careless drivers.
With that said, I am thankful to be able to take advantage of local options to get out of the house for social interaction and entertainment.
First of all, we are very blessed in Richmond County to have the Cole Auditorium and our local community theater.
I already have tickets for the Motown/Jersey Boys concert and the Highwaymen tribute in the coming year. Much thanks to Cole Director Joey Bennett for getting such top-notch programs to the county and also for utilizing local talent for local shows.
Merrie Dawkins has done an excellent job as our community theater director in getting many of our local youth, as well as adults, involved in the theater. I try to get my grands to every production I can. They just love every show they have seen there.
My Google search revealed that there are 170 community theaters in the state. Many of these are affiliated with colleges and universities. I do not know how this number compares to other states but just glad we are in close proximity to two other community theaters…the Ansonia Theatre in Wadesboro and the Temple Theatre in Sanford. The Ansonia Theatre is fortunate to have as its director Tommy Wooten, the former show director at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. I would consider his Ansonia productions on a very professional level.
My most recent play adventure was with the Merry Makers, a group sponsored by the Rockingham United Methodist Church, to the Temple Theatre in Sanford to see “Murder for Two.”
The group and I were just overwhelmed by the talent of the two professional actors who carried this demanding musical-comedy farce. Rapid-fire dialogue, skillfully choreographed dance numbers, singing, virtuoso piano numbers, and multiple characterizations all contributed to make this a highly enjoyable theater experience.
Much thanks to Sharon Nichols, Cassandra Crump and Cheryl McCaskill, among others, for their coordination efforts in making trips like this one possible.
My next adventure to hop a van or bus will be with a group sponsored by the Hamlet Seniors called Soft Adventurers. This group is spearheaded by Joyce Santos who does a great job of helping to plan trips. We will be going to see the Christmas at Pirates Voyage show at Myrtle Beach in early November.
For a person who does not like to drive out of town, or at all nowadays, I am more than happy to have these options. Besides entertainment destinations, these group trips provide a splendid opportunity to socialize with old and new friends … something we all missed during the pandemic.
Geez, on my trip to the Temple Theatre, I was inspired to try to do more home cooking by listening to Glenn Alexander, our van driver, who has become quite a home chef since his retirement. Want to definitely try some of his dishes he talked about for sure.
Helen Cox is a former journalist and educator in Richmond County.