79th Season for Lost Colony

Sir Walter Raleigh (Ethan Lyvers) defends the colony in London from naysayers.
Sir Walter Raleigh (Ethan Lyvers) defends the colony in London from naysayers.

Now that’s the way to start the season!

The 79th year of The Lost Colony kicked off last night and all the elements for success was there and they didn’t miss.

The weather at Waterside Theatre where the play is performed was perfect, the acting was outstanding, the staging compelling and fun to watch and the dancing and singing were as good as it has ever been and maybe even a little bit better. There was a little bit of problem with the mikes, but that’s fixable.

Two notable actors who went on to other careers were honored at a pre-performance ceremony. Chief Wanchese, 1952—Carl Kasell, for many years the voice of NPR news received the Emma Neal Morrison Award for exceptional service to the arts in North Carolina and former Senator Pro Tem, State Senator Marc Basnight, who played a number of parts as a child, was given the  Skipper Bell award as a distinguished alumni of the production.

Basnight is battling ALS and could not attend, but his daughters were on hand to accept the award.

The evening though was all about the show and what a show it is. Filled with pageantry and great story telling, the tale of the doomed first attempt by the English to colonize the New World unfolds. Underfunded and with dubious support from Queen Elizabeth I at best, the fate of the 115 colonists was sealed almost before they set sail in 1587.

Their predicament was further complicated by the heavy-handed blundering of Ralph Lane who lead a military force that was supposed to hold Roanoke Island until the colonists arrived. His killing of the local chief, Wigina, insured a hostile welcome from local tribes.

Although circumstances were stacked against them, the play that Paul Green wrote in 1937 focuses on the pursuit of dreams and the perseverance it takes to achieve things we sometimes believe are beyond our reach.

Worth checking out—especially for visitors who have never seen the play before, performances will run through August 20.

Remember it’s outdoor theatre at night; bring a light sweater or jacket in case the temperature drops. It’s helpful to have mosquito repellant also.

Joe Lamb, Jr. is a proud sponsor of The Lost Colony.

#joelamb #lostcolony

OBX Summer Is Coming, Event Calendar Fills

JLbrewfest

Yea for summer! It’s almost here. Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, the weather is getting warmer and there’s lots to do.

The Lost Colony kicks off its 79th season this weekend; the Outer Banks Brewfest ups the ante with the Inaugural Outer Banks Craft Beer Week. There’s still a Brewfest—that’s happening next weekend on June 5, but this week will be filled with beer tastings, beer and food pairing and all things beer related.

Summer, of course, is all about music, especially shag music and the weekend will not disappoint.

Sunday at the Whalehead Club in Corolla, the Memorial Day Beach Blast is a day before the actual holiday, but who’s counting. Outdoors on the expansive Whalehead Club lawn with vendors selling food, beer, soft drinks and just about everything that’s needed for a good time. Music from Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band, DJ Harvey Taylor and Aquarium should keep the place hopping for the 12-5 time it’s scheduled..

It is free, but no coolers are allowed.

The Shallowbag Shag Beach Music Festival is Monday—yes, that is Memorial Day—at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo. This one is an all day affair with music with the sound of shag and beach music beginning at 1:00 p.m. and going until 8:30 or 9:00 o’clock at night.

Cory Hemilright has been producing the  Shag Music Festival for a couple of years and it has really improved. He is also brining in some great sounds for the summer at RIFP. First show is this coming Thursday, June 2;  Collin Raye, Dave Atkins and the Lonesome River Band. That should be some great sounds.

#joelamb,jr. #thelostcolony #brewfest

Mustang Spring Jam-Great Music in Corolla

Last Days of May in performance. (LtoR): Gracie Deichler, Joe Sawin, Jonah Wills-drums, Jacob Mandis, Sam Wills.
Last Days of May in performance. (LtoR): Gracie Deichler, Joe Sawin, Jonah Wills-drums, Jacob Mandis, Sam Wills.

The music at Mike Dianna’s Mustang Music Spring Jam—or his fall Mustang Festival—is always great, but honestly the highlight may very well be the kids of the Mustang Music Program who kick things off.

Yes—People’s Blues of Richmond, the headliner for the day, is an amazing band . . . so good that they may be on the cusp of hitting it big. Their sound is a hard driving blend of blues, rock and psychedelia performed by three remarkably talented musicians:  Tim Beavers on guitar and vocals, Matt Volkes on bass and drummer Neko Williams rocked the house.

But there is something so special about the kids in Ruth Wyand’s Mustang Music Program and the joy they bring to performing classic rock songs that lights up even an overcast cool day like it was today in Corolla.

The No Clue band, which are the beginning students, were remarkably tight throughout their set and brought an energy to the stage that set everything up for the day.

The older kids, especially Last Days of May, are performing at a level that is almost as good as professional performers and in some cases as good as almost anyone locally.

Sam Wills rocks on guitar—and his 12-year-old brother is no slouch on drums. Kaman Blake, Joe Sawin and Gracie Deichler have become very talented vocalists, and Gracie in particular really knows how to sell a song.

The weather wasn’t so great today—chilly, drizzling a bit with a northeast breeze, but somehow that all gets overlooked when the music is this good.

Proceeds from the Mustang Music Spring Jam benefit the Mustang Music Program and the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

#joelamb, jr. #mustangmusic

The Outer Banks, WWII & the Battle for the Atlantic

JLBook Cover

World War II was fought on the doorstep of the Outer Banks. The Battle for the Atlantic ravaged Allied shipping from the Caribbean to the North Sea and the coastal waters of North Carolina saw some of the heaviest losses.

In March of 1942 more than 70 ships were sunk off the coast of North Carolina, many of them within sight of the residents of the Outer Banks. Although that month saw the heaviest losses, the battle continued throughout the war.

The human cost of that battle was brought to life in a presentation at the Coastal Studies Institute by William Geroux. His book, The Mathews Men, Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-Boats, tells the story of the Hodges clan a family of seafarers from Mathews.

Mathews, a small city on the  Chesapeake Bay just north of Norfolk was noted for its maritime traditions. Six of the seven Hodges brothers captained merchant ships during the war and two, Dewey and Leslie, gave their lives for the cause.

Geroux’s presentation highlighted the bravery and effort of the merchant marines—efforts that are often overlooked in telling the story of WWII. Geroux points out that the merchant marines suffered the highest casualty rate of any service group in war although the merchant marines were never recognized as a branch of the armed services and they never qualified for any veteran benefits.

The presentation was part of the CSI’s “Science on the Sound” series, once a month topics of interest to the Outer Banks.

The Mathews Men is available at Downtown Books in Manteo and Duck’s Cottage in Duck.

#Joelamb,jr. #downtownbooks

A Special Fundraiser for The Lost Colony

Anias Dare, Sir Walter Raleigh and Chief Manteo making an appearance at Pamlico Jack's.
Anias Dare, Sir Walter Raleigh and Chief Manteo making an appearance at Pamlico Jack’s.

What a great evening at Pamlico Jack’s in Nags Head. Billed as a Night of  Friends, Food & Fine Wine Benefitting The Lost Colony, it was all of that a little bit more.

The food was absolutely outstanding. Hard to pick out a favorite, but the bbq bacon wrapped pineapple squares was universally given excellent reviews as an appetizer. Main course—impossible to choose . . . a three way tie among the roasted mahi in shrimp in puff pastry, pork loin medallions or braised red cabbage and the grilled Angus shoulder tenderloin.

The wines came for Francis Coppola Winery and what made it really special is the new winery and label Coppola is introducing—Virginia Dare Wines. With a label hearkening back to the original labels from the North Carolina Winery of the early 20th Century, it almost seemed like a blast from the past, although the NC Virginia Dare wines were sweet muscadine wines.

The Virginia Dare Winery, located in Geyersville, is turning out some very nice classic California wines. The chardonnay in particular really stood out.

What really set this evening apart, though was the appearance of Eleanor Dare, her husband Anias Dare, Sir Walter Raleigh and Chief Manteo as guests of honor. Their appearance though was overshadowed by the arrival of Queen Elizabeth—in the person of Barbara Hird.

After some rather pithy yet humorous remarks from the Queen, the feast began—and a wonderful evening it was.

Joe Lamb, Jr. is a proud sponsor of The Lost Colony.

#Joelamb #thelostcolony

William Ivey Long and the Lost Colony

Noted for his attention to historic detail, this image from William Ivey Long Studios, shows how Long created a modern costume from a 16th century portrait.
Noted for his attention to historic detail, this image from William Ivey Long Studios, shows how Long created a modern costume from a 16th century portrait.

Now that we’re in May it’s just a few weeks before the The Lost Colony opens for the season at Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island. Opening night this year is Friday, May 27.

This will be the 79th year for the play. First staged in 1937 with the hope that it would last one season, it proved so successful that it was brought back in 1938  . . . and 1939, and in 2016 it’s still very much a part of the Outer Banks experience.

Over the years a number of well-known actors have been a part of the production—Andy Griffith starred as Sir Walther Raleigh in the late 1940s; Christopher Guest was part of the production n the 1980s; Lynn Redgrave played Queen Elizabeth. But if there is one well-known figure in the world of stage and film who has been associated with The Lost Colony’s Production Designer William Ivey Long.

Long is one of the most sought after costume and production designers on Broadway and in film. Over the years has won six Tonys and seven Drama Desk Awards, been elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame, and he is currently the Chairman of The American Theatre Wing.

Even before he was born, Long’s parents were part of The Lost Colony—his father’s history went back to the very beginning; he was a graduate assistant attending UNC  and he helped get the play off the ground in 1937.

His mother, Mary, played Queen Elizabeth for a number of years and his father eventually became the director.

He credits his lifelong fascination with design and costume to lessons he learned working with the production’s first costume director, Irene Smart Rains.

Although the play has been updated—especially some of the special effects and lighting—it is still very true to the original production that Paul Green wrote. It is the longest running outdoor play in North America, and the history it tells and the history of the play itself makes for a great evening of theatre.

Joe Lamb, Jr. is a proud sponsor of The Lost Colony.

Mother’s Day 2016-An OBX Delight

The Kitty Hawk Beach on Mother's Day 2016.
The Kitty Hawk Beach on Mother’s Day 2016.

Since it first became an official holiday in 1914, Mother’s Day has really focused on two themes—mothers and family. The Outer Banks seems to represent the best part of both of those.

That was on full display today along the beach. Families of every sort were enjoying an absolutely beautiful spring day—the temperature was in the low 80s, the breeze from the south around 10-12 mph, the sun was bright without a cloud in front of it . . . even the Atlantic Ocean, it seems, cooperated and kept the temperature in the surf tolerable.

(That can be a rare occurrence—springtime water temperatures are typically in the 50s.)

It is wonderful to be on the beach and hear kids laughing—ok, squealing—in delight. Fathers, in an image that seems to be a picture from time immemorial, walk into the surf holding the had of a two or three-year-old.

it was interesting; looking north along the beach in Kitty Hawk to Pelican’s Perch—that’s the pink house that’s the last home still standing east of the Beach Road in that area—there were kids playing on the beach, dads with their children and a long row of mothers sitting in beach chairs and towels relaxing.

A fitting way to spend Mother’s Day.

Time to Climb-NPS Opens Outer Banks Lighthouses

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Now that the weather is getting better, it’s time to think about the view from the top—in this case the top of Outer Banks lighthouses. The two lighthouses that are part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore are ready for climbing.

Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses are extraordinary structures; Cape Hatteras in Buxton, opened in 1870 is 193’ tall and is the tallest brick lighthouse on the East Coast. Forty-three miles north is its close cousin, Bodie Island Lighthouse. Dedicated in 1872 and 170’, it was patterned after the Hatteras Lighthouse using many leftover materials with the same contractor building it.

The view from both lighthouses is absolutely breathtaking. The world seems to fall away, running out to distant horizons. At the foot of Hatteras Lighthouse is Buxton Woods, running off to the south.

Bodie Island Lighthouse rises above the marsh and wetlands of South Nags Head. Looking south and east Oregon Inlet is clearly visible.

The climb to the top can be somewhat strenuous—narrow, twisting metal stairs and very little ventilation can get things pretty warm, especially in the summer. But whatever the effort—that view from the top makes the journey with while.

Lighthouses are available for climbing from 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. There is a fee, age, weight and height requirements so check with the National Park Service for more information.

19th Annual Mollie Fearing Art Show Looks Great

Mary Ann Remer's tribute to astronaut Scott Kelly, Best in Show.
Mary Ann Remer’s tribute to astronaut Scott Kelly, Best in Show.

There are some great traditions on the Outer Banks for artists and it’s always great to see who turns out for the art shows.

Sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) the Molly Fearing Art Show is one of the best around. Open to DCAC members and Dare County Residents, it is a wonderful mix of art styles and media.

There whimsical paintings and sculpture; startling photography—a personal favorite was Daniel Pullen’s  “Blood Moon”—symbolic art, still life, modern art all blending into a wonderful kaleidoscope of creativity.

Mary Ann Remer’s tribute to astronaut Scott Kelly was the judge’s choice as Best in Show, and they were still tallying the votes for People’s Choice when we left a little before 4:00.

This was the best attended in years, with estimates putting the number between 125-150 coming to the old Dare County Courthouse, now the DCAC Gallery, for the opening reception.

According to Program Director Fay Edwards, there were 84 entries this year, topping last years 75.

A shout out should go to Mike Kelly and Kelly’s Caters. The food was excellent and the staff did a great job of keeping the buffet table full and the wine flowing.

Mollie Fearing was a founding member and first president of the DCAC in 1975. In addition to her contribution to the arts, Mollie was the mayor of Manteo and sat on a number of boards addressing the needs of Manteo.

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Painting Party with Amy Redford

JLARartist

A 7th grade social studies teacher, published author and artist, Amy Redford is an interesting person.

Although she is a very good teacher and her books are very readable, it’s Amy as the artist that most people on the Outer Banks are getting to know her.

That’s because Amy hosts art parties. There are two kinds—the Adult Painting Parties and the Children’s Parties . . . although there are subdivisions within the Adult Parties.

About once a month she hosts a painting party at La Dolce Vita in Manteo, but she will also stop by a rental home or a house to host a party.  She’s even done a couple of parties for bridal parties.

Amy has had a lot of training although she is somewhat of an accidental artist. While teaching in Germany in 2000 she took an art class. “I picked up art for the fun of it,” she said. “I discovered that I loved art.”

That love for art comes through in her classes . . . or parties. “I get to brin out the creative in people who really don’t think they have it,” she said.

Children or adults, it doesn’t seem to matter to her.

“Children are a little more demonstrative,” she said. “But I like them all.”

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Contact info:

757-692-3218

amyredford@charter.net   

Painting Party info-the basics

Adult Painting Parties

Amy will arrive 15 minutes before the party to set up the painting area. The two hour class includes the art materials and the instruction. 

Party Fees

Adult two hour classes are $35.  Adult classes are for people ages 18 or older.  A minimum of 10 is required for the party/event.

Children Parties

The ages are 5 to 12.   You and your child need to select a picture from my gallery and sign up for the 1 hour  30 minute class.  The class includes art instructions and supplies.

Party Fees

There is a 10-child limit and $250 for the celebration class and a $20 fee for each additional child.

Books by Amy Redford (available at Amazon)

Once You Have Flown

Massenet’s Duet