Stepping out of an established comfort zone can be a little unsettling, but with the support of its board of directors, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is doing just that. At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, JSMHM will host its first ever off-Broadway production: “Ivy Rowe — A One Woman Show with Mountain Music.” Barbara Bates Smith will portray the legendary character of Ivy Rowe and be accompanied by Jeff Sebens.
“I got a chance to see Barbara and Jeff present excerpts from the play in March at the Appalachian Studies Conference at UNCA in Asheville. I felt right away that “Ivy Rowe” would be a great fit for JSMHM,” said Rodney Sutton, current director of JSMHM. “Jeff’s performance of the music on lap dulcimer, hammered dulcimer and banjo is sure to be a hit with JSMHM’s audience members who love traditional mountain music!”
The show’s main persona, Ivy Rowe, is a highly beloved character by the show’s playwright, Lee Smith. The show’s audience will witness Ivy’s stand against the coal company’s bulldozer and revel in her love life through a series of letters. Jeff Sebens has been labeled a genius as Smith’s accompanist, seamlessly making the music a major, integral part of the story.
Now in her 30th year of performing “Ivy Rowe,” Smith, says that she never gets tired of performing it.
Originally co-adapted and directed by Mark Hunter, this spunky mountain woman’s story takes us in a flashback through a life of “livin’ on love.” With a sensuous nature and a flair for storytelling, Ivy paints a vivid picture of 20th century revivals, mine disasters, rural electrification, the Depression and three wars.
Doors open at 7 p.m. on the night of the show at the Harvest House in Boone, which can be located at 247 Boone Heights Drive.
Tickets cost $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Student tickets are $5. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Advance tickets may be purchased online or at Stick Boy Bread Co. (345 Hardin St., Boone) and Footsloggers on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock. Directions and more information can be found at the JSMHM website at www.mountainhomemusic.org.