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Stages on Fire

Theater Notes

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Seen a good show lately? Apparently a lot of Richmonders have. Several theater productions that have opened in Richmond during the past two months have been extended due to their popularity. "We've had to turn people away at the door," says Michael Gooding, president of the board of the directors for the Richmond Triangle Players. "People are making reservations for future performances as they're leaving the show." RTP's hilarious sex farce "Key West," originally scheduled to close last weekend, will now play through March 4.

The St. Mark's Players hit paydirt with just their third production ever, "To Whom It May Concern." The spiritually uplifting musical set in St. Mark's Episcopal Church has been extended two weeks, through March 11. The show's producer, Steve Boschen, says, "It's selling like hot cakes. We were hoping for 50 people at each performance and we're averaging between 70 and 100."

The Barksdale Theatre's first show of the year, the lightweight comedy "The Queen of Bingo," closed recently after a one-week extension. The theater's second production of 2000, "Side Man," should prove as popular thanks to the heavyweight cast that director Randy Strawderman has assembled. Perennial Richmond favorite David Bridgewater will star as an emotionally distant jazz musician, and popular actor/director Dawn Westbrook will play his unstable, alcoholic wife in the Tony award-winning drama set at the end of the big-band era. Other actors onboard include Jeff Clevenger, Liz Ernest, and d.l. hopkins.

And, though it is still a little early to tell how popular it will be, the rap music-inspired "Jails, Hospitals, and Hip-Hop" has already been extended. The one-man show is currently playing as part of Theatre IV's Theatre Gym series. Starting March 10, the Shard Live Performance Collective will bring "Jails" to the Barksdale, running it at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays after performances of "Side

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