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Pump Boys & Dinettes Opens Tidewater Stage Season

By Amanda Morad | June 20, 2014

Pump Boys & Dinettes opens Friday, June 20.

Tidewater Stage's "Season of Southern Charm" opens Friday, June 20, in Regent University's Studio Theatre with Pump Boys & Dinettes, a hilarious country music revue. Now in its second season, Tidewater Stage is the professional theatre company of Regent's School of Communication & the Arts.

According to the show's director and Tidewater Stage's artistic director Eric Harrell, Pump Boys & Dinettes is "Comfort food for the theatre: an irresistible, homespun, deeply satisfying good time."

"It's all about great food, toe-tapping music and hometown friendships that last a lifetime," Harrell explained. "As a director, I've enjoyed bringing to life the very specific world of this play. It's a charming slice of rural Americana lost in time, a downhome place where gas station attendants and diner waitresses while away the hours singing the stories of their lives and playing musical instruments fashioned from kitchen tools."

The show runs June 20-22, 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. and June 21-22, 28-29 at 2:30 p.m. Purchase tickets at the Box Office.

The company boasts some of the area's greatest talents, including 20-year Tidewater theatre vet Troy Hedspeth, and renowned musical director Gary Spell. Regent MFA in Acting alum Christopher Graham '09 returns to Tidewater Stage after his performance as Frankie in the company's inaugural production, Forever Plaid. Joining him from the Regent pool is current MFA in Acting student Shaunté Corrina.

"This is an exceptional cast of professional actors," Harrell said. "They sing, act, play multiple instruments, tap dance and deliver one-liners with bulls-eye accuracy. Vocally, they have set the bar at a new level for us."

Many positions on the production's crew are filled by Regent students, giving them invaluable professional experience before they graduate, and allowing Tidewater Stage to capitalize on the talent and training Regent attracts.

"There is an exceptional level of talent associated with this production, not only on-stage but the design team as well," Harrell noted. "The scenic and lighting design is stunning, and this is one of the most imaginative and detailed sets we've ever constructed."

Tidewater Stage remains the only professional theatre in South Hampton Roads to produce a summer season, attracting locals and tourists alike. This season's theme of "Southern Charm" appeals both to Virginia's roots and to nostalgia for a simpler time. But with Pump Boys & Dinettes, the focus is on the music, expressed with both heartache and hilarity.

Tidewater Stage will continue their "Season of Southern Charm" August 1-10 with the classic Driving Miss Daisy.

Purchase tickets at the Box Office.

Learn more about Tidewater Stage and Regent's School of Communication & the Arts.


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