Page 61 - June2017

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Texas Family Musicals
By Kimber Fountain
G
one are the days of sitting high atop a hill in
Galveston State Park, looking down from the
Mary Moody Northen Amphitheater onto
a spectacular live performance set against
the stars. The Galveston Island Outdoor Musicals,
formally known as the Lone Star Historical Drama
Association (later changed to the Lone Star Performing
Arts Association), was one of the most anticipated
sensations of summertime in Galveston.
Unfortunately by the late 1990s, the amphitheater
was in severe disrepair, and it was finally abandoned
in 2004. After suffering significant damage from
Hurricane Ike in 2008, it was demolished in 2012 and
the land beneath it was given back to the park per a
clause in the original contract between the state and
the theatre.
However, despite the venue’s closure, the theatre
company itself lived on and continues to delight
audiences still today. Upon leaving the amphitheater,
performances were moved to Moody Gardens and a year later the name was
changed again to Texas Family Musicals, but after Ike drove away much of the fan
base for a number of years, the group relocated to Dallas.
There, TFM performed at a number of local and regional theatres across the Dallas
Fort-Worth area, but juggling multiple performances, different venues, and often
different versions of the same performance proved somewhat overwhelming.
Galveston seemed to be calling them home. Last summer, Texas Family Musicals
returned to the island where
it all started with their fan-
favorite
Hello, Dolly!
and
received an excited and
enthusiastic welcome.
“We have always
considered ourselves a
Galveston-based company,”
says Mike Skiles, the
Executive Producer of TFM
who led the struggling
troupe in its final four years
at the amphitheater and
has maintained the position
ever since. “We were simply
a Galveston company
performing in Dallas for
many years. And honestly,
when we came back we
didn’t think anyone would remember us.”
But they did, and much to their surprise
it was not only adults who remembered.
Surveying their first audience, Mike was
a bit puzzled when the demographic of
the crowd appeared to be much younger
than he expected, but what he soon
Ga l ves ton ’ s Summer Sensat i on Returns
South Pacific starring
Rob Gallagher and
Rachel Womble
JUNE 2017 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
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