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franklin county times

Evening at Roxy to feature Great Pretenders

The Historic Roxy Theatre in downtown Russellville will soon be filled with music once again for the annual W.C. Handy’s Evening at the Roxy featuring the “Great Pretenders” – locals performing the songs and stylings of the greats.

“We are very fortunate to have local businesses, industries and individuals support this program as well as others throughout the year,” said Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council President Susie Hovater Malone. “We are a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers, and the proceeds from all the productions and entertainers are used to maintain the Historic Roxy Theatre.”

Malone said each year brings a lot of enthusiasm for the show’s return, with many participants describing it as something they look forward to all year.

“I always look forward to singing at the Roxy,” said Jayne Wells. She and her daughter, Kelli Roberson, both sang in this past year’s show. Both will perform this year as well; Wells will be singing “Picture of Me Without You” by Lorrie Morgan.

“I love every minute of it,” added Wells. “I want to be in the show every year I can. It’s always very special, and I hope everyone comes out to enjoy it.”

Dana Hill, who will be performing “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain, echoed those sentiments. “I’ve been in the show for several years, and singing has always been one of my favorite hobbies ever since I was young,” she said. “There are many other talented people from this area, and I always look forward to hearing them.

“I’m so thankful the Roxy hosts the show as part of the W.C. Handy Festival so everyone gets to enjoy the fabulous showcase of talent we have here.”

Jeff Allen, who will be performing “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” by the Shirelles, said it’s “always a lot of fun,” and a good way “to showcase talents and entertain the community.”

Sydney Medley, who has been part of the show since she was a freshman in high school, will be performing “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Michael Bolton.

“I absolutely love getting to be a part of this amazing show,” Medley said. “I love performing live because you get to interact with the audience. You can almost feel how every person feels from start to finish, and that’s an amazing thing.”

The show, a well-established tradition now in its 21st year, will take place Thursday at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission for adults is $10, with student admission for ages 6-12 being $5. Ages 5 and younger attend free.

Major sponsors include the Franklin County Arts & Humanities Council, Bank Independent, CB&S Bank, Clark Pulley, First Metro Bank, Community Spirit Bank, Russellville Mayor David Grissom, Russellville Water Board, Russellville Gas Board, Valley State Bank and Yogi’s Convenience Stores.

For additional information, visit the theatre’s Facebook page or call 256-710-4821.