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Here's to "the Lady"
September 24, 2009 - Phyllis Sigal
A couple of years ago, we all thought it was "curtains" for the lovely Capitol Music Hall, but instead, the curtain was raised Wednesday on a stage full of entertainment ... and possibilities for the future for the Capitol Theatre.
Traffic was backed up across the Fort Henry Bridge, the city was hopping, restaurants were busy, lines of people overflowed up and down Main Street, the seats were filling up ....
All because, as one of The Four Townsmen said during their performance, "Music is again flowing through the Lady's veins."
"The Lady," of course is the Capitol Theatre.
Howard Monroe summed it up in one word, "WOW." And it was a WOW evening as the crowds came to celebrate "A New Beginning," as the evening was billed.
The huge crowd — a sign on the door said "Tonight's Show is Sold Out" — applauded for "The Lady," and applauded for the volunteers who got the best seats in the house — and deservedly so — and applauded for the individuals who are credited with allowing the doors to open once again.
The crowd applauded for Mary Eleanor Colvin, who as a 7-year-old attended the opening night for Wheeling's newest theater and watched the silent film, "Romance of the Underworld," and at age 88 attended Wednesday's opening.
The crowd applauded when Gil White read a document from W.Va. Gov. Joe Manchin proclaiming the Capitol Theatre a "jewel" among the hills of W.Va.
Country singer Slim Lehart kneeled down and kissed the stage.
Brad Paisley, via video, offered his congratulations and said he hopes to be back on the stage at the Capitol sometime.
There's was a lot of talking, a lot of applauding, a lot of back-patting and a lot of entertainment packed into opening night.
But more than anything, there was a lot of excitement and a lot of pride that "we," the community, made this happen.
Mentalist Craig Karges, who closed the show, commented, "There's a million reasons why something won't work. And a million reasons it will. 2,400 reasons are here right now."
And, we, the community, can continue to keep the music flowing through "the Lady's" veins ... We've got to keep buying tickets, but the powers that run the Capitol have to give us good reasons to buy those tickets, too.
Just to be back sitting in that grand, gorgeous structure felt great and brought back many memories of the shows I've seen there ... Wheeling Park's Festival of Sound, The Wheeling Symphony, "The Nutcracker," Music Hall Players productions, B.E. Taylor's Christmas show, Broadway touring shows and pop concerts.
I'm looking forward to many more.
Here's to "the Lady."
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One of "the ladies" at the Capitol Theatre.