If the summer was all about concerts — like I proclaimed in my last events roundup — then this fall is decidedly theater-focused.
From an immersive production of “The Sound of Music” at Wintergreen Resort to a “Stranger Things” parody at Wolfbane Productions in Appomattox, local companies are pulling out all the stops.
Jefferson Forest High School is staging the musical comedy “Disaster!,” an homage to 1970s disaster movies with a soundtrack of songs from the era. Alluvion Stage Company is presenting “Bright Star,” which features a Grammy-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, in partnership with Liberty University’s theater department, which has an absolutely packed schedule that also includes Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” and the 1890s-set drama “As It Is In Heaven.”
Keep reading for information about those productions and more, as well as events ranging from the 11th Annual Get Downtown street festival to Lynchburg Concerts’ Blue Ridge Rock Fest — with performances by Godsmack, The Offspring and DMX — to a celebration of local record label the Harding Street Assembly Lab, featuring recent “American Idol” contestant Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon.
Remember that dates and times always are subject to change, so check with the venue or organization before heading out.
Monday, Sept. 2
- The University of Lynchburg’s Daura Gallery is hosting an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. for its fall exhibition, “Into the Outer Reaches of a More Golden Land: The Paintings of Connie Fox, Featuring Sculpture by William King.” The exhibition, which will remain up through Dec. 6, features the work of abstract painter Fox and figurative sculptures by King, her late husband. (434) 544-8595, www.lynchburg.edu/daura-gallery.
Thursday, Sept. 5
- A production of “The Sound of Music” will open at Wintergreen Resort at 7 p.m., running on select dates through Sept. 29. Audience members will ride the ski lift to “a remote and breathtaking location at the resort” for the production, which is being presented by Brian Clowdus Experiences, a company that specializes in immersive theater. Tickets range from $35 to $45. www.wintergreenresort.com/the-sound-of-music.
Friday, Sept. 6
- Get Downtown, now in its 11th year, will run from 6:30 to 10 p.m. in downtown Lynchburg, featuring local vendors, a beer garden, street performers, live music on several stages, a glow stick party, karaoke, trivia, games that range from cornhole to axe throwing, and more. (434) 485-7250, www.getdowntownlynchburg.com.
- Little Town Players will begin its 2019-20 season with “The Savannah Sipping Society,” a comedy about four Southern women “drawn together by fate – and an impromptu happy hour, [who] decide it’s high time to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve lost through the years.” Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6, 7, 13 and 14 and 2 p.m. Sept. 8 and 15 at the Little Town Players Theatre, English Meadows-Elks Home Campus, 931 Ashland Ave. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for those 12 and younger. (540) 586-5881, www.littletownplayers.com.
Saturday, Sept. 7
- Lynchburg Concerts’ 3rd Annual Blue Ridge Rock Fest runs Saturday and Sunday, featuring performances by Godsmack, The Offspring, Stone Temple Pilots, DMX, A Day To Remember and more. Gates at DeVault Vineyards, 247 Station Lane in Concord, open at 10:30 a.m. and the show starts at 11. Tickets range from $35 to $600. www.lynchburgconcerts.com.
Friday, Sept. 13
- Musician Cheryl Wheeler and stand-up comedian Tony Deyo will perform during Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity Presents: Lyrics and Laughs for Habitat, set for 8 p.m. in the Academy of Music Theatre. Wheeler, whose songs have been covered by the likes of Garth Brooks, Bette Midler, Peter Paul and Mary, and Kenny Loggins, typically weaves stories into her concerts, making for an atmosphere press materials liken more to “a comedy club than … a folk music concert.” Deyo, who Village Voice called “one of the tightest joke writers in the business,” made his late-night TV debut on “Conan” in 2013, and his latest album, “Comedy Road Trip,” debuted as the No. 1 selling stand-up album on iTunes. Tickets range from $14 to $29. https://academycenter.org/event/lyrics-and-laughs-for-habitat.
Saturday, Sept. 14
- More than 140 artists will be displaying and selling their art — and competing for more than $5,000 in prize money — during the 47th Annual Lynchburg Art Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at E.C. Glass High School (a rain date is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 15). A wide range of materials will be on display, including watercolor, oil, pastel, encaustic, sculpture, drawing, mixed media, photography and more. There also will be food trucks and a student art exhibition with cash awards. (434) 528-9434, https://lynchburgartclub.org/47th-annual-lynchburg-art-festival.
- Spoken word artist Black Ice — who has toured with The Roots and Mary J. Blige and appeared in the Tony Award-winning “Def Poetry” on Broadway — will perform at Speakertree, 901 Jefferson St., at 8 p.m., as part of The Listening’s Signature Sessions series. Tickets are $15. https://welcometothelistening.org.
- Bold Rock Hard Cider’s Cider Cinema outdoor film series continues with “Step Brothers” (2008), starring Will Ferrell and John. C. Reilly. The event features food trucks, movie-themed activities and the film shown on a 30-foot screen. Admission is free. The series continues with 1993’s “Hocus Pocus” on Oct. 19. https://boldrock.com/events.
Friday, Sept. 20
- The Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College’s 108th Annual Exhibition, “Children’s Book Illustrations: Visual Storytelling,” opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit highlights the art of several illustrators, including current 2019 Caldecott Medal winner Sophia Blackall, who will give an artist talk there at 11 a.m. Sept. 21. Other related events include an Oct. 10 artist talk by Lynchburg native and illustrator Charles Vess, who recently won the prestigious Hugo Award for his work on a book illustrating the works of Ursula K. LeGuin; the college’s Helen Clark Berlind Symposium on Oct. 12; and family storytimes in the gallery on Oct. 17 and 26. http://maiermuseum.org.
- Alluvion Stage Company and Liberty University’s Department of Theatre Arts are presenting the musical “Bright Star,” starting on Sept. 20 and running through Sept. 29, in Liberty’s Tower Theater. Featuring a Grammy-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, it tells “a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ‘40s.” Tickets range from $7 to $22. www.alluvionstage.com.
- Riverviews Artspace and the Dante Alighieri Society of Virginia are partnering for the event Viva L’Italia: Celebrating All Things Italian, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m. The evening will feature Italian wines and light cuisine, a pasta demonstration and tasting, live music, Italian language trivia and games, an accordion demonstration with mini lessons, door prizes and more. Admission is free, but RSVP by emailing email@example.com. More information can be found at www.dantealighierisocietyofvirginia.org.
Saturday, Sept. 21
- The Academy Center of the Arts’ Annual Gala will be held at 7:30 p.m., featuring Postmodern Jukebox, known for its vintage renditions of modern pop songs, and a 1920s Gatsby-party theme. Tickets range from $25 to $800, with the option for a $50 add-on ticket to a pre-show mixer, featuring an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and pre-show entertainment from Flat Five Jazz. https://academycenter.org/gala.
- The Lynchburg Beer, Wine & Cider Festival, now in its 10th year, will run from noon to 7 p.m. in Lynchburg City Stadium. The event features 75 different kinds of craft beer, cider and wine; live music from Five Dollar Shake, That 80’s Show and Mended Fences; local artisans; food vendors; and more. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate, and designated driver tickets are $15 at the gate only. www.lynchburgbeerandwinefestival.com.
Thursday, Sept. 26
- Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest Presents: Mr. Jefferson’s Salon Series, a Conversation on Race and Democracy — which will focus on how the legacy of slavery has shaped our democracy — will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Academy of Music Theatre. Tickets, which cost $32 for adults and $16 for college students and those 17 and younger, include a post-salon reception with light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. (434) 846-8499, www.poplarforest.org/event/mr-jeffersons-salon-series-race-democracy.
Friday, Sept. 27
- The Appomattox 1865 Foundation’s 8th Annual Lantern Tours, featuring six new stories about the historic women of Appomattox, will be held on Sept. 27 and 28 at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. Tours begin at 6:30 p.m. and depart every 20 minutes until 8:10 p.m. On Sept. 28, the 6:30 tour will be replaced with a 6 p.m. tour, by appointment for those with mobility issues in need of a cart or slower pace. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children up to age 13 (the tour is not recommended for younger children). Refreshments are served at the end of the tour. www.lynchburgtickets.com/lanterntours.
- Devils Backbone Brewing Company’s Hoopla Music Festival runs Sept. 27, 28 and 29, featuring performances by Larry Keel Explosion, The Motet, CAAMP, Dangermuffin, The Fritz, The Judy Chops and more. Tickets range from $20 to $340, with camping options available. https://dbbrewingcompany.com/event/hoopla2019.
Saturday, Sept. 28
- Dr. Levine and The Dreaded Blues Lady will perform at the Bower Center for the Arts, 305 North Bridge St. in Bedford, at 7 p.m., as part of the Bower Community Concert Series. The duo, featuring Lori Strother on vocals and Stephen Levine on guitar, performs “a diverse selection of acoustic music styles,” according to press materials: “Though blues is their focus, they also sometimes surprise audiences with jazz, R&B, soul and classic rock tunes.” Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. (540) 586-4235, www.bowercenter.org.
- The Harding & Main Music Festival, featuring 2019 “American Idol” contestant Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, begins at 2:30 p.m. in the Academy of Music Theatre. The event celebrates the 50th release of local record label Harding Street Assembly Lab, which has worked with Harmon in the past. Other performers include Good Dog Nigel, TLVS, Sound of Ceres and Nickelus F. Tickets range from $20 to $25. https://academycenter.org/event/harding-main.
- Lynchburg Grows’ annual Greenhouse Dinner fundraiser will begin with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and speakers at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $100 to $125 per person. www.lynchburggrows.org/greenhouse-dinner.
- Avoca Museum’s 20th Annual Harvest Jubilee and Wine Festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. (with a rain date of Oct. 5), at the museum, 1415 Main St. in Altavista. The event features wine from six area wineries; live music from The Low Low Chariot, Jodie Davis and Barefoot West; local craft and merchandise vendors; food concessions; and more. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate for adults, $10 for children ages 12 and older, and $5 for children ages 6 to 11. (434) 369-1076, www.avocamuseum.org/wine.
Wednesday, Oct. 2
- Kate Clarke Lemay, historian at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and curator of its current exhibit “Votes for Women! A Portrait of Persistence,” will discuss the history, significance and legacy of the women’s suffrage movement at 7 p.m. at Randolph College. www.randolphcollege.edu.
- E.C. Glass High School will begin its 2019-20 season with Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” in the school’s Alumni Studio Theatre, with more performances on Oct. 3, 4 and 5. ecglasstheatre.org.
Thursday, Oct. 3
- The comedy “The Boys Next Door,” featuring vignettes about the lives of four intellectually challenged men who live in a group home, opens in Heritage High School’s Pioneer Theatre at 7 p.m., with more performances at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 and 5 and 3 p.m. Oct. 6. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. www.lcsedu.net/schools/hhs/about/activities/pioneer-theatre.
- Wolfbane Productions’ “The Crucible” debuts at the WolfPAC Performing Arts Center in Appomattox, with more performances on select dates through Oct. 26. Gates open at 7 p.m., and performances begin at 8 p.m. www.wolfbane.org.
Friday, Oct. 4
- Renaissance Theatre Company’s production of “Mamma Mia!,” featuring the music of ABBA, will open at 8 p.m., with more performances on select dates through Oct. 19. Tickets range from $18 to $20. (434) 845-4427, www.renaissancetheatrelynchburg.org.
Saturday, Oct. 5
- The Water Dog and the Academy Center of the Arts are holding an Oktoberfest event from 4 to 10:30 p.m. at Riverfront Park. It will feature a German-inspired feast, beer, live music, a lederhosen and dirndl costume contest, Oktoberfest games, a chicken dance contest and more. General admission is $40 in advance and $50 at the gate, and there also are VIP table options for $500. Tickets include a German meal provided by The Water Dog, a commemorative beer stein and one beer, pretzel or cupcake ticket. Designated driver tickets are $30. www.thewaterdog.com/oktoberfest-2019.
Sunday, Oct. 6
- “With Voices Raised – An Afternoon of Opera and Song,” presented by Opera on the James and featuring a program of opera arias and Broadway melodies, will be held at 3 p.m. in the Academy of Music Theatre. Tickets range from $20 to $70. https://academycenter.org/event/ootj-voices.
Wednesday, Oct. 9
- Ariel Levy, a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of the memoir “The Rules Do Not Apply,” will speak about her career as a journalist and development as a writer at 7:30 p.m. at Sweet Briar College. www.sbc.edu.
- Patricia Henley, Randolph College’s Pearl S. Buck Writer in Residence, will read from her work at 8 p.m. in the college’s Alice Ashley Jack Room in Smith Memorial Building. Henley’s first novel, “Hummingbird House,” was a finalist for the 1999 National Book Award and The New Yorker Best Fiction Book Award. www.randolphcollege.edu.
Thursday, Oct. 10
- Liberty University’s theater department presents “As It Is In Heaven,” which focuses on the arrival of an outsider into Shaker society in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, in the 1830s, in its black box theater. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15, 2 p.m. Oct. 12, and 3 p.m. Oct. 13. www.liberty.edu/arts/theatre/current-season.
- Freedom 4/24’s Freedom 2019 Gala will be held at the Academy of Music Theatre. A cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. The black-tie gala is “designed to further awaken and unify the community’s resolve to bring an end to sexual exploitation and trafficking.” Tickets range from $125 to $200. freedom424.org/freedom-gala.
- Old City Cemetery’s Candlelight Tours begin Oct. 11, with more performances set for Oct. 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26. Six tours are held on Thursdays, each 20 minutes apart from 6:10 p.m. to 7:50 p.m.; on Fridays and Saturdays, there is an additional tour at 8:10 p.m. Tickets are $24 for adults and $12 for children ages 12 and younger. They will be sold online this year starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17. Additional tickets also may be sold for each tour if good weather is forecast, typically added the Wednesday before each performance weekend. (434) 847-1465, https://www.gravegarden.org/candlelight-tours.
Saturday, Oct. 12
- Rebec Winery’s Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival, now in its 29th year, will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 12 and 13 at the Amherst winery, located at 2229 N. Amherst Hwy. in Amherst. (434) 946-5168, https://rebecwinery.com/virginia-wine-garlic-festival.
- “Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening with Ira Glass,” featuring the host and creator of NPR’s “This American Life,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy of Music Theatre. The event is being described as “an emotional and thought-provoking performance” of his stage show “Seven Things I’ve Learned” and will use audio clips, music and video as he shares “the personal stories of Americans from all walks of life and deliver[s] a unique talk on the lessons he’s learned during his career as a storyteller.” Tickets are $25 for general admission; $107 for premium seats, which include access to a pre-show reception with Glass; and $207 for VIP, which include access to the reception and a post-show meet-and-greet with him. https://academycenter.org/event/ira-glass.
Wednesday, Oct. 16
- The musical comedy “Disaster!” opens at Jefferson Forest High School at 7 p.m., with more performances at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 and 19 and 3 p.m. Oct. 20. An homage to 1970s disaster movies, it follows guests on a floating casino as the ship weathers earthquakes, tidal waves and infernos, with a soundtrack that includes songs such as as “Knock on Wood,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” “I Am Woman” and more. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. (866)811-4111, cavaliertheatre.com.
Friday, Oct. 18
- Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra will present “Beethoven @ 250,” the kick-off to a two-season celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday featuring his “Symphony No. 5,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy of Music Theatre. Tickets range from $25 to $82. www.lynchburgsymphony.org/events-concerts or https://academycenter.org/event/lso-beethoven.
Saturday, Oct. 19
- The Sedalia Center’s 23rd Annual Chili Cook-Off runs from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate, with kids 12 and younger getting in free. www.sedaliacenter.org.
Thursday, Oct. 24
- “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” opens in the University of Lynchburg’s Dillard Theatre at 7:30 p.m. with more performances at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 and 26 and 2 p.m. Oct. 27. www.lynchburg.edu/theatre.
- Sweet Briar College will host A Conversation with Sarah McConnell of NPR, at 5:30 p.m. in the Josey Dining Room. McConnell is the executive producer and host of “With Good Reason.” The talk will be followed by light refreshments. www.sbc.edu.
- The college’s fall theater production, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” will open at 7:30 p.m. in Sweet Briar’s Babcock Fine Arts Center, with more performances at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 and 26 and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 27. www.sbc.edu.
Sunday, Oct. 27
- Riverviews Artspace’s 4th Annual Maker’s Brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring handcrafted goods, unique art, food vendors, mimosas, breakfast beer cocktails, kids’ activities and more. Early bird admission, which starts at 10 a.m., costs $10, and regular general admission is $3, benefiting Miriam’s House. (434) 847-7277, www.riverviews.net.
Tuesday, Oct. 29
- Brookville High School Theatre will present its Virginia Theatre Association one-act play competition pieces at 7 p.m. “Stroke Static” takes a “look at dementia from the inside” through the eyes of an 83-year-old man who “wrestles with reality versus fantasy, and past versus present,” and “Orphan Trains” is based on The Orphan Trains Project, which transported orphans and homeless children from crowded cities to rural, Midwestern foster homes from 1853 to 1929. www.facebook.com/BrookvilleHighSchoolTheatre.
Friday, Nov. 1
- The Academy Center of the Arts’ Community Through Theatre program will debut “Ain’t Misbehavin,” a musical celebration of jazz great Fats Waller, at 7:30 p.m., with more performances on select dates through Nov. 10. Tickets range from $15 to $20. https://academycenter.org/aint-misbehavin.
- Liberty University’s theater department will present Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” in its Box Theater at 7:30 p.m., with more performances on select dates through Nov. 10. In the play, 10 strangers — all of whom “have a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal and a secret that will seal their fate” — are summoned to a remote island, where they’re eventually cut off from the mainland and murdered one by one. www.liberty.edu/theatre.
- St. John’s Episcopal Church, 200 Boston Ave., will present an All Saints Day Concert, featuring the St. John’s Parish Choir and in memory of the Rev. William Potter Parrish, at 7:30 p.m. It will feature a Handel oboe concerto, Robert Bloom’s “Requiem,” a work for oboe and string quintet, and Fauré’s “Requiem.” Admission is free, but an offering will be taken. (434) 528-1138, www.stjohnslynchburg.org.
Wednesday, Nov. 6
- Amy Leach, author of “Things That Are” — a collection of essays “exploring corners of the natural world with a keen eye and a wholly new perspective” — will read from her work at 7:30 p.m. in the University of Lynchburg’s Sydnor Performance Hall as part of the Thornton Reading series. www.lynchburg.edu.
Thursday, Nov. 7
- The KAIA String Quartet, an ensemble devoted to exposing audiences to the music of Latin America, will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Randolph College’s Wimberly Recital Hall. The quartet’s recent album collaboration with Fareed Haque was chosen as one of the Chicago Tribune’s top 10 classical music recordings of 2018. www.randolphcolllege.edu.
Monday, Nov. 11
- City Auditorium Presents: Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin Together on Stage is set for 8 p.m. in the Academy of Music Theatre. The singers and longtime friends will appear as an acoustic duo, swapping songs and sharing stories, according to press materials. They previously toured together in 2013. Tickets range from $39 to $175. http://cityauditorium.com or https://academycenter.org/event/mary-chapin-carpenter.
Thursday, Nov. 14
- “The Sea Voyage,” Randolph College’s fall theater production, opens at 7:30 p.m. in Thoresen Theatre. The late Jacobean comedy is notable for its imitation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” according to press materials. More performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16 and 2 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17. www.randolphcolelge.edu.
- E.C. Glass Theatre will present the one-act play “Elephant’s Graveyard,” their Virginia Theatre Association competition piece, and the choreography showcase “So We Dance” on Nov. 14, 15 and 16 in the Alumni Studio Theatre. “Elephant’s Graveyard” is the true story of “the tragic collision of a struggling circus and a tiny town in Tennessee, which resulted in the only known lynching of an elephant. Set in September of 1916, the play combines historical fact and legend, exploring the deep-seated American craving for spectacle, violence and revenge.” www.ecglasstheatre.org.
Friday, Nov. 15
- Wolfbane Productions will premiere the new musical “Stranger Sings: An Unauthorized Parody Musical,” written by Cinco Paul, writer and creator of the “Despicable Me” franchise, and based on the popular Netflix series “Stranger Things,” on Nov. 15 and 16. It features a score of memorable hits from the 1980s and will be staged at the Wolf DEN in Triangle Plaza, 197 Old Courthouse Road, Appomattox. www.wolfbane.org/stranger-sings.
Saturday, Nov. 16
- The 11th Annual Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. The festival, which celebrates Jefferson’s legacy as the father of Virginia wine, features tastings from more than a dozen wineries, as well as live music and vendors. www.poplarforest.org/event/thomas-jefferson-wine-festival-2019.
Friday, Nov. 22
- Twenty-three bands will perform 23 versions of “Grateful Dead” tunes to celebrate 23 years of WNRN radio during “WNRN Presents: Dead Air II,” set for 7 p.m. in the Academy of Music Theatre. Among the bands performing are Hackensaw Boys, Chamomile and Whiskey, Firecracker Jam, Tony Camm and the Funk Allstars and Lord Nelson. Tickets are $28 for general admission and $89.90 for VIP, which includes reserved seats and admission to a reception with food and drinks and special performances. (434) 846-8499, https://academycenter.org/event/dead-air.
Casey Gillis is the features editor at The News & Advance and editor of weekly entertainment publication The Burg. Reach her at (434) 385-5525.