The Murphy Theatre in Wilmington, Ohio is an absolute gem! My clogging team was honored to take part in the venue's 100th birthday celebration, which lasted an entire week.
Renovation and restoration projects have been underway and are still ongoing to restore this theatre to its original glory. The progress made since we danced in the Christmas show is impressive!
We were thrilled to be listed on the iconic marquee for our Sunday afternoon performance. This was FFC's first time doing a feature show at the Murphy; normally, we are part of a large holiday show cast.
Fun fact about the Murphy Theatre: Part of the film Lost in Yonkers was filmed here! You can see a portion of this marquee on the movie poster.
The day included tours led by Murphy volunteers such as Dan, who shared the history of the theatre and stories about the restoration work. Notice the organ on the left - more on that later.
Kudos to the man in the blue shirt seated far right! We ended up next to each other during the balcony portion of the tour, and I of course told him my clogging group would be performing later. He found me in the lobby after our performance to say he enjoyed it. Thank you, sir!
Speaking of volunteers, our friend Kevin worked the merch table when he wasn't watching the show. Kevin is a long-time member of the talented Murphy Choir. He'll return to the stage this December, singing Christmas tunes both serious and silly!
Cloggers frequently get asked if we dance in wooden shoes. (For any non-clogger readers out there, the answer is NO.) However, FFC loved this poster made by the Murphy staff to advertise our performance!
As if we weren't already happy enough to be performing at the Murphy, the melodies of the organ accompanying the silent films drifted to our waiting area below stage.
Murphy Theatre did not originally have an organ; a local piano master played along with silent movies back in the day. A theatre organ which once played in a Georgia theatre has found a new home at the Murphy, thanks to a donation from the Tom Hamilton family.
Our performance went well, with many in the audience singing along to "Rocky Top" and clapping with "Ida Red" to keep us going. What a treat to have lighting and sound crew to enhance the show!
Jim and Evie were interviewed by a local radio station after the performance. Thanks, WALH Radio!
After dancing, we needed FOOD! A meal with FFC family and friends was a lovely way to end the day.
Back at Fancy Free Clogging Studio, we are lookin' snazzy in our Murphy Theatre tee shirts.
Maretta, the Executive Director of Murphy Theatre, along with the rest of the staff (and volunteers) put on a wonderful event for the theatre's 100th birthday!
Thanks for allowing Fancy Free Cloggers to take the stage during this marvelous week of celebration. See you in December!