Let’s put on a show! Friends celebrate Sandwich Town Hall restoration

By Anthony Basile

Posted Nov 03, 2011

Sandwich —

The newly restored Sandwich Town Hall is a historical throwback, a fresh updating of a classic style.

The inaugural event held in the building by the new Friends of Town Hall aims for that same blend of the historical and the now.

The variety show known as the “Sandwich Town Hall Radio Musical” seeks to bring the venerable “Prairie Home Companion” format; songs and skits by a variety of acts with a combination of down home and witty flavor, to the restored building.

Performed by a lineup of local singers, actors, comedians, and tale spinners, the show’s two performances on Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6 will effectively begin the Town Hall’s new life as a performing arts venue.

The idea of a show sprung from Patrick Ellis of the Friends of Town Hall, who enlisted the help of Melinda Gallant. “It started out as a variety show,” says Friends member Bill Daley, “but melded into a live radio show as a way to better entertain the audience.”

With Gallant signed on by director, the search was on for local talent to fill the bill.

The acts brought in were gathered through personal connections of Ellis and Gallant. In Gallant’s words, “Some of the acts came through word of mouth; however most were known to Patrick and me.”

With the cast assembled, it came time to polish the acts for their big days, sewing together their individual talents into a nonstop radio-style production. “There was one walk through,” reports Daley, “and there will be one full dress rehearsal. Many of the performers have appeared on stage before, and some are band members.”

“Most of the performers are seasoned,” adds Gallant, “and if not are fast learners.”

The inspiration for the evening’s final form was taken from Garrison Keillor’s long running “Prairie Home Companion.”

“It will be a ‘live radio show,’” in Dailey’s words, “with an announcer, and a host, and people on stage doing the props and sound effects.”

One of the stars of the evening is the building itself, the newly restored Town Hall getting its public moment to shine. “The idea began in September as a way to begin the community into the restored Town Hall,” says Daley. “There have been a series of meetings since that time to bring it from an idea to a show.” Tickets revenue will go toward the continued maintenance of the building, built in 1834.

While the upcoming show is the first post-renovation show at the Town Hall, the Friends have plans to make entertainment a permanent part of the building’s character. “The idea is to continue this use of the Town Hall as a gathering place for the Community of Sandwich,” says Daley. “I suspect that there will be more shows in the future.”

With a new gathering place in a classic building and an organization interested in making it an enjoyable place to congregate, the people of Sandwich have plenty to look forward to. At the end of all of the planning and rehearsals, a new chapter in Town Hall’s long life will begin.

Read more: Let’s put on a show! Friends celebrate Sandwich Town Hall restoration – – Wicked Local – Cape Cod http://www.wickedlocal.com/capecod/news/x1408200084/Let-s-put-on-a-show-Friends-celebrate-Sandwich-Town-Hall-restoration#ixzz21ElRKahE