Tennessee Williams Tribute: “Kingdom of Earth”

(From Left to Right) Director, M.J. Etua, Brenda Caradine, and of course, the VIP!

(From Left to Right) Director, M.J. Etua, Brenda Caradine, and of course, the VIP!

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A storm ‘s a brewin’…the flood waters are a risin’…the levee ‘s a breakin’…one eerie Mississippi night.  All the citizens, doctors, law enforcement, and even “the help” has fled for them higher grounds…except for one lost soul…soon to be joined by two mo’, who seems to be runnin’ toward the danger instead of aways from it… now two half brothers with the same father and totally different mothers and a show business woman transformed into a motherly bride battle it out to see who will gain control of the land.  It’s a testy scrimmage of wits, lust, and who-can-drink-who under the table…these three characters are racing against time. 

The waters keep a risin’ and so does the fear and madness amongst this disgruntled household. What will happen? Will they all make it out alive? Who will get this sacred house and land valued at more than $50,000?  You, tell me.  Go see the astonishing performance of Tennessee Williams’ Kingdom of Earth in Columbus, Mississippi, April 9-13 at 7:30pm to find out.

Miss VIP chatting with the director about how she began her start in the theatre business. I will have a VIP Interview with Director M.J. Etua on my YouTube channel soon...so, stay tuned:)

Miss VIP chatting with the director about how she became involved in the theatre business.  I will have a VIP Interview with Director M.J. Etua on my YouTube channel soon…so, stay tuned:)

Kingdom of Earth is truly a breathtaking, twisting turn of events play written by renowned American playwright, Tennessee Williams.  Director M.J. Etua made the Tennessee Williams Tribute (TWT) proud as she took on this terrific project to portray Tennessee Williams’ vision of mass controversy set in 1960 in a rural town in the Magnolia State (Mississippi).

(From Left to Right) Sid Caradine (aka Captain Sid), M.J. Etua, Brenda Caradine, Miss VIP, and Isa Stratton Beaulieu

(From Left to Right) Sid Caradine (aka Captain Sid), M.J. Etua, Brenda Caradine, Miss VIP, and Isa Stratton Beaulieu

Isa Stratton Beaulieu (Set Design), Kay Manzilillo (Costume and Set Decor), Melissa Duncan (Props Mistress), Brenda Caradine (Producer for TWT and TWT Board Chair), Claude Simpson (Set Construction), Ed Moody (Set Construction), and Christopher Blank (Set Construction) did a spectacular job of designing and creating a set that brings the audience into the house with Chicken (David Trotter), Myrtle (Cherri Golden), and Lot (Alex Orsak) as they manipulate to determine the heir to Ravenstock Plantation.

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David Trotter, as Chicken, played quite the interesting character...many viewers of the play says his character's personality varried from sexy to creepy in a matter of minutes. David kept everyone on the edge of their seats as he acted out his character, Chicken in complete and utter perfection.

David Trotter plays quite the interesting and complex character-Chicken…his character’s personality goes from sexy to creepy in a matter of minutes…seconds.  His dark humor, his loneliness, and his rejection by white society leaves the viewer straddling the fence of liking him and despising him.  David’s portrayal of Chicken is complete perfection.  Bravo! Bravo!

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Cherri Golden, as Myrtle, shows off her mad acting skills in the performance of Kingdom of Earth. “As the character of Myrtle, Cherri is now focusing on honoring her skills in whimpering, waffling, and screaming…” (TWT pamphlet) My most memorable moment of her magnificent acting skills is the scene where they talk about “washable velvet”! Cherri Golden’s performance as Myrtle was beyond breathtaking as she was able to transist through each scene with absolute ease.  At times, I found myself unable to catch my breath…and wondering if I should invest in some small appliances….

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Alex Orsak, as Lot, exposed a sense of peace to the intensity of the play.  His character is just as complex and dark as that of Chicken’s.  His weakness, his illness, his paleness are stark contrasts to the attributes of Chicken.  At first meeting, Lot seems to be a charming, sophisticated, and loving young man–full of innocence and dedication to his late mother.  As the play unfolds, the viewer loses faith in Lot…and begins to pity him for not his physical illness, but mental one.  Let me just say one thing without giving away the ending…the last few moments of the play grab’s the attention!  Alex’s portrayal of Lot is stellar.  Two thumbs up and five stars!

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You must see this play, VIP readers! It is so fabulous that I could watch it over and over again!  My goodness!  I must stop chatting about it, or I am just going to give the entire thing away….

Upcoming Blogs, Videos, and VIP Interviews:

  • VIP Interview: Director M.J. Etua

  • VIP Interview: Gabriel Tajeu Part 2

  • Blog: Columbus Spring Pilgrimage–tour of Amzi Love Home

  • Video: Tennessee Williams play coverage featuring Brenda Caradine

  • Video: Amzi Love Home Tour coverage and interviews

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See my interview with City Councilwoman Ward 6 candidate, Whirllie Byrd on the YouTube channel now! She has fabulous ideas on how to improve the youth and city of Columbus, Mississippi! Vote May 7th! www.youtube.com/user/vintagepassionista

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Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for a peek inside my life.

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Latest Real Media (Real Story Publishing) Article: http://thisisrealmedia.com/2013/04/03/the-adventures-of-the-vip-perfectly-prominent-pearls/

Town and Gown Magazine April Issue: http://issuu.com/townandgownmagazine/docs/april2013

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SNEAK PEEK OF THE AWESOME PHOTO SHOOT I HAD AT THE AMZI LOVE HOME IN COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI.

SNEAK PEEK OF THE AWESOME PHOTO SHOOT I HAD TODAY AT THE AMZI LOVE HOME IN COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI.

SNEAK PEEK OF THE AWESOME PHOTO SHOOT I HAD AT THE AMZI LOVE HOME IN COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI.

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Tennesee Williams Tribute 2012

Hello, again, my lovelies! I am here to tell you about my latest adventure at the 11th Annual Tennessee Williams’ Tribute in Columbus, Mississippi.. I had to share my adventure with the world’s most magnificent fans :)

Let’s begin with a little history lesson about Tennessee Williams…

“Facts About Me” by Tennessee Williams 

Excerpt from 1949 program of  A Streetcar Named Desire

“I was born near the Episcopal rectory of Columbus, Mississippi, an old town on the Tombigbee River which was so dignified and reserved that there was a saying, only slightly exaggerated, that you had to live there a whole year before a neighbor would smile at you on the street. My grandfather, with whom we lived, was the Episcopal clergyman, we were accepted without probation…Roughly, there was a combination of Puritan and Cavalier strains my blood which may be accountable for the conflicting impulses I often represent in the people I write about. I was christened Thomas Lanier Williams. It is a nice enough name, perhaps a little too nice. It sounds like I might belong to the sort of writer who turns out sonnet sequences to spring. As a matter of fact, my first literary award was $25.00 from a woman’s club for doing exactly that, three sonnets dedicated to Spring. I hasten to add that I was still pretty young…When I grew up, I realized this poetry wasn’t much good and I felt the name had been compromised so I changed it to Tennessee Williams, the justification being mainly that the Williams has fought the Indians for Tennessee and I had discovered that the life of a young writer was going to be something similar to the defense of a stockade against a band of savages…When I was about 12, my father, a traveling salesman, was appointed to an office position in St. Louis…It was a tragic move. Neither my sister nor I could adjust ourselves to the life in a mid-western city…The school made fun of our southern speech and manners…It produced  a shock and a rebellion that has grown into an inherent  part of my work…”

Sid Caradine III preparing to give it his all at the annual Stella Shouting.

Thus, my enrapturing undertaking commenced on the seventh day of September in the year 2012  at the  delightful edifice of HOLLYHOCKS for the Fourth Annual Stella Shouting contest. Handsome gentlemen and lovely dames of all ages lined up to shout at the beautiful Stella who was situated on the New Orleans style balcony of HOLLYHOCKS, which I previously referred to as a delightful edifice. Each brave challenger, unaware of the surrounding crowd, gave three supreme “Stella” shouts in hopes of claiming the prize.  The victor’s namesake will be forever engraved on the coveted Stella Shouting trophy.  This stellar prize  was shaped by the loving hands of a local artisan.  This glorious event is one you must experience for yourself, and now,while it is fresh on your mind and burning in your soul to witness all of these happenings, is the time to start making plans to visit and attend the Tennessee Williams’ Tribute 2013.

Jumpsuit: The Attic
Shoes: BCBG
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Necklace: Thrifted

I was delighted and honored to be an usher for The Rose Tattoo, a fabulous play written by Tennessee Williams, on the seventh and eighth of September.  The play  was held at Rent Auditorium on the charming campus of Mississippi University for Women (MUW).  On the night of the seventh, I proudly sported a ravishing vintage dress from Twisted Moss, which is featured on the “Weekly Whistle: Put on that Dress” blog. On Saturday evening of September eighth, I wore an exquisite vintage black jumpsuit from The Attic, BCBG black heels, and a classy thrifted faux pearl statement necklace.

This production of The Rose Tattoo was directed by Melanie Hintz, Steve Kuykendall, and Gabe Smith. The performance was absolutely splendid!  All the actors involved made this theatrical masterpiece such a delight to watch!  It kept me on the edge of my seat, and the main character, Serphina Delle Rose (played by Cherri Golden) performed each scene out with true passion and feeling!  I give this striking performance  FIVE VIP STARS!

From far left to right: Lucas Richardson, Kelsey Collins, Kessler Brown, Cody McClanahan, Kathryn Hintz, and of course, me!:)

The last stop of the VIP’s adventure was the Tennessee Williams’ Poetry Reading held at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library on Sunday, the ninth of September. I participated in this superb event thanks to the darling Elizabeth Simpson. Kessler Brown, Kelsey Collins, Kathryn Hintz, Cody McClanahan, Lucas Richardson, and I took the stage that Sunday to read a selection of poems by Tennessee Williams.  I read a divine poem “They That Come Late From Dance” from Now the Cats with Jeweled Claws.  As I read, Elizabeth Simpson and Sid Caradine III danced, and the talented Aidan Dunkelberg softly played an elegant violin piece.  Kessler Brown, Kathryn Hintz, and I preformed an excerpt from a short story by Tennessee Williams called Oriflamme, which means a banner or symbol inspiring devotion or courage (Merriam-Webster). Within that passage, a girl craves a red dress…she desires to make a statement, to wear it like a flag…a flag flying at the top of a mast. As I read, I could feel the rhythmic flow and emphasis in each line.

Once again, I would like to thank Elizabeth Simpson for inviting me to participate in the Tennessee Williams’ Poetry Reading and to give a big round of applause to my fellow performers-what a stellar event it was!

Being involved with the 11th Annual Tennessee Williams Tribute was such a terrific experience that I cannot wait to participate in it next year! So pack your bags, readers, and hit the road to the pulchritudinous, historical Columbus, Mississippi to see all the wondrous tourist attractions it has to offer!

You can contact Nancy Carpenter, the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director and Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation Executive Director, at 800-920-3353 or email at nancy@columbus-ms.org to find out the latest upcoming events in Columbus, Mississippi.

Places you will love in Columbus, Mississippi:

  • The Amzi Love – Lincoln Homes (circa 1848 and 1833): Make your reservation at (662) 328-5413. Your hosts are Sid. and Brenda Caradine. This home was featured in “Fodors Travel Guide”, The New York Times Travel Section, and Turner South’s Three Day Weekend.
  • “Griffin Eyrie” Victorian Home (circa 1872): owned and renovated by Col. Harold (retired) and Mrs. Bullock.
  • “La Vie Dansante” (circa 1890): owned and extensively renovated by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kacho
  • Tennessee Williams’ Home and Welcome Center: newly restored 1875 childhood home of America’s greatest playwright.
  • Tampico Bay: Satisfy your taste buds while touring the amazing Columbus, Mississippi by grabbing a bite to eat at the delicious Mexican restaurant, Tampico Bay.
  • Deep South Pout: If you adore clothes, jewelry, and glorious art then stop by the fabulous Deep South Pout-I am sure you will fall in love!

I would like to give an exceptional thank you to the grande dame, Brenda Caradine, for getting me involved with this excellent event! You are such a fabulous fan and supporter who has started the fad of calling me “Miss VIP” :)

Be sure to like my Facebook page to keep up with the latest VIP news, sneak peeks, and exclusive pictures you cannot find anywhere else:) www.facebook.com/VintageInspiredPassionista

*For exclusive photos of this experience, visit and like my Facebook page.*

Also, follow me on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with me while I am on the go! Twitter: @Abbysauce_ Instagram: @VintagePassionista

Here are a few more pictures from my wonderful adventure:)

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

 

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Columbus Pilgrimage Part 2:

After a very palatable lunch at Sweet Peppers Deli, my mommy and my deddy and I resumed our antebellum expedition by continuing on the Blue Tour. At Peppers, I had the most delectable thing on the menu (in my opinion…) the baked potato with cheese, bacon, butter…plethora of butter… and absolutely, positively, NO SOUR CREAM! I despise sour cream……One day, when I famous…I am going to walk into restaurants….they will seat me…and immediately serve me my baked potato with cheese, bacon, and extra butter…sans sour cream. I digress….

First Stop on the Blue Tour was Whitehall, circa 1843 two-story Greek-Revival Town House.  The current owners of Whitehall are Dr. and Mrs. Joe Boggess and family.

Mrs. Carol Boggess is the perfect Southern hostess, delightful storyteller, and just absolutely adorable!

This home has purple and red peek-a-boo glass surrounding the front entrance which allows people to see out, but not in.

The Boggess family has the bag containing all of the original keys of the home. How awesome!

 

A bullet was dug out of the front door during renovation. It’s assumed that it came from a carpetbagger’s gun during a riot…According to Merriam-Webster online, a carpetbagger was, “A Northerner in the South after the American Civil War usually seeking private gain under the reconstruction of governments.”  They carried all of their belongings in carpet bags, hence the name “carpetbaggers”!

Whitehall has the original radiators (which work)…this particular one in the dining room caught my eye because it has a bread warmer in it!

Here are a few interesting facts I learned about Whitehall while visiting there:

  • The house was originally insulated with horse hair.
  • Closets were added in the 1960s, and prior to that ginormous wardrobes were used because all rooms were taxed…and closets were considered rooms.
  • The current master bedroom was once the ballroom.
  • Upcyling has been around for a really long time…a piano was converted into a desk…and another piano was made into a table!

My family and I strolled on to the next stop on our pilgrimage journey, Colonnade Garden. The garden was built in the 1860s, and the current owners are Dr. and Mrs. Ryan Hill. The garden was very classy with a Southern flair.

The last stop on our adventure was Rosewood Manor. Rosewood was constructed in 1835, and it’s current owners are Mr. and Mrs. Dewitt Hicks…If you are a fan of antique porcelain then go here! If you’re clumsy…this is not the place for you!

Mrs. Hicks has an excessive, astronomical, staggering…(you would not want to stagger here!) collection of antique porcelain. Rosewood Manor is a showcase for what is probably one of the world’s largest collections of porcelain…I don’t mean to dwell on the word porcelain…it is something you have to see for yourself to understand….

My experience at the 72nd Annual Columbus Spring Pilgrimage was quite memorable, and I encourage all of you to make your own pilgrimage to Columbus, Mississippi next spring!

Check out Columbus, Mississippi online at www.columbus-ms.org

The next blog will be….*drum roll*…..wait for ittttttttt(Psych quote)……THRIFT STORE FINDS! YAYY!! I am very very VERY excited to share this thrifty find with y’all! So stay tuned to the VIP blog to see what nifty find I found while in Meridian, Mississippi! Speaking of Meridian….My family gained a new member today! Ella Ryleigh Williams, daughter of my cousin Melanie Eaves Williams…Ella is so precious, and I know my Paw Riley is proud to have her named after him:) I just love my Paw Riley sooo much! He is just like the coolest grandpa ever!

Love&Hugs

Abby Hat.

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