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Camp Washington-Carver’s Dinner Theater series to present “The Fantasticks” on July 7


The longest-running musical in the world comes to Fayette County when Camp Washington-Carver’s Family Homestyle Dinner Theater Series presents its first production of the season, “The Fantasticks” by the Charleston Light Opera Guild, on Saturday, July 7. The dinner buffet begins at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person for dinner and the performance. Children five and under are admitted free.

Created by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt and set deep in rural America, “The Fantasticks” is the sentimental story of two neighboring fathers who fake a feud to trick their children into courtship. Everything goes according to plan until the circus comes to town. The story reveals the folly and fragility of young love, age and human nature. The play’s inventive style requires audience members to use their imaginations as costumes and props are produced from a trunk of actor’s tricks. The whole family will enjoy this bewitching and bright story.

The artistic director of the production is Thomas P. Pasinetti. The cast includes Bill Rainey as El Gallo, Richard Neeley as Matt, Anna J. Smith as Luisa, Tim Harper as Hucklebee, Leonard Allen as Bellomy, Joe Romagnoli as Henry, Tim Whitener as Mortimer and Caroline Chamness Gordon as The Mute. Musical direction is by Mary Ellen Logsdon and choreography is by Nina Denton Pasinetti.

The Charleston Light Opera Guild has provided a showcase for local musical talent for more than 50 years. It began in 1948 as a non-profit group that produced popular operettas. In 1960 the Guild opened its season with “Oklahoma!”—ushering in the era of the Broadway musical. It has maintained a rich history of mainstage spring and fall musicals at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theater and summertime musicals at its own Guild Theater on Charleston’s west side.

The Guild’s latest mainstage productions include “Fiddler on the Roof,” “A Little Night Music,” “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Peter Pan.” Recent summer theater productions include “Grease” and “A Chorus Line.” The Guild will present “Fame” July 27 and 28 and Aug. 3, 4, 10 and 11 at its theater on Tennessee Ave. in Charleston. The group’s summer 2001 productions are sponsored by Mrs. Alex Schoenbaum.

The Family Homestyle Dinner Theater Series brings Broadway-style entertainment and delicious home-cooked meals to visitors at Camp Washington-Carver’s Great Chestnut Lodge. The camp is located adjacent to Babcock State Park just off Route 60 (Midland Trail) on Route 41 in Clifftop, Fayette County. For more information about the Family Homestyle Dinner Theater Series or “The Fantasticks” call (304) 438-3005 or (304) 558-0220. Official promotional sponsors are WOAY-TV, The Fayette Tribune and WTNJ radio.

The dinner buffet includes sliced turkey breast with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, baked ham, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, salad, rolls and pineapple upside down cake. Iced tea, soda and coffee also will be served. At intermission, playgoers will be treated to homemade cobblers and ice cream.

A beautiful retreat listed on the National Register of Historic Places and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Camp Washington-Carver serves as the state’s mountain cultural arts center and nurtures the cultural heritage embodied in the site since its dedication in 1942 as a 4-H camp for West Virginia’s African-American youth.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s web site at for more information.

The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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