The Virginia Opry, Virginia’s official Opry, will perform two shows, “Duos Night at The Virginia Opry” on Sat., Oct. 9, at 8:00 p.m. and “Memories of Elvis” on Fri., Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m.
“Duos Night at the Virginia Opry” features the Glen Shelton Duo as the headliner with four duos as opening acts, Bill Wade, Jr. Duo, Corbin Hayslett Duo, Gentlemen South, and Brian Buchanan Duo performing on stage at The Historic Masonic Theatre. Jana Allen, actress and vocalist, will emcee the show.
Michael Hoover, world champion Elvis tribute artist, and his Show Band will present “Memories of Elvis,” at the Natural Bridge Historic Hotel’s Washington Hall. The Glen Shelton Duo will open the show that will also feature Denise Glass as backup singer for Hoover.
M. Ray Allen, director of The Virginia Opry, said, “The two shows represent our defiance of the pandemic, and Michael Hoover with the Glen Shelton Duo opening for him is the first show our Opry has scheduled for the Natural Bridge Historic Hotel and Conference Center since the hotel officially became the Resort Performance Home of The Virginia Opry earlier this year.”
Allen continued, “Both shows are being sponsored by Hunt Brothers Pizza of Lexington, KY, and as president of Appalfolks of America, I greatly appreciate the ongoing support Hunt Brothers Pizza has provided over the years.”
As for “Duos Night at The Virginia Opry,” Allen noted, “Corbin Hayslett performed as a member of our Virginia Junior Opry when he was growing up in the Alleghany Highlands, and he will become the 42nd inductee into The Virginia Opry when he steps onto the stage at The Historic Masonic Theatre where he got his start during the 1990s.”
Like Hayslett, Brian Buchanan also performed with the Virginia Junior Opry as a teenager, and his band, The Buchanans, served as the Virginia Junior Opry’s band. Brian has performed with the Shenandoah Valley Jamboree, and he is the music teacher at Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg.
Gentlemen South, a duo comprised of the Peery brothers, Stephen, keyboard and vocals, and Justin, vocals and multi-instruments, is based in Rockbridge County. Stephen has performed with Martina McBride, Colin Raye and Mountain Thunder, the band that opened for The Statler Brothers’ farewell concert. Gentlemen South has performed at such venues as the Academy Theater in Lynchburg and the Patton Room at George’s Hotel in Lexington.
Bill Wade, Jr. is no stranger to The Virginia Opry’s patrons, having grown up in Clifton Forge where he has performed on stage in a number of plays, including “His First Best Country,” the two-act musical drama penned by the late Dr. Jim Wayne Miller. Wade performed the lead role of Professor Wells, a role that required him to sing and play the guitar. He hosted The Virginia Opry’s “Country Christmas Show” in 2020 at The Historic Masonic Theatre.
Glen Shelton, an official emcee of The Virginia Opry, will perform with a duo, guitarist and keyboardist, as the headliner. Shelton, an award-winning songwriter, has opened shows for more than 40 nationally prominent acts.
Tickets for “Duos Night at The Virginia Opry” are $15 to $40 depending upon seating locations, and tickets may be reserved online by visiting www.historicmasonictheatre.com or by visiting the box office at 510 Main Street, Clifton Forge, VA. The telephone number is (540) 862-5655 for The Historic Masonic Theatre that seats 540.
Michael Hoover defeated 95 other Elvis tribute artists in an international competition held in Memphis to win the title of “World Champion Elvis Tribute Artist,” and he has opened for Rosanne Barr at the Circle Star Theater in CA, has performed his tribute show for five consecutive days at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, has toured as an Elvis tribute artist in Nova Scotia, Europe, Japan and Canada and has often performed on TV.
He has shared the stage with Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, KC and The Sunshine Band, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chubby Checker, the Jordanaires and the late Charlie Daniels.
Doug Lester, the lead guitarist who is the Show Band’s leader, has performed with Alabama, Faron Young, Billy Joe Royal, the Drifters and Ronnie Dove.
Jay Reynolds, the drummer, has performed as a staff member of the Grand Ole Opry, and he has performed with Lori Morgan, Jeanie C. Riley, Steve Warner and Tommy Cash. Also, he has performed for the late President Ronald E. Reagan and the late President Richard M. Nixon.
Michael Mathias, the bass keyboard player, has worked with Monti Rock, III, an actor, musician and entertainer, and Mathias is considered to be one of the best multi-instrumentalists on the East Coast.
Tickets for “Memories of Elvis” are $35 each for the show that will be held in Washington Hall that seats 200. Tickets may be reserved online by visiting www.naturalbridgeva.com and further information can be accessed by calling Natural Bridge Historic Hotel and Conference Center at (540) 291-2121.
Allen concluded, “The Virginia Opry has joined Barter Theatre, Richmond Ballet and the Virginia Opera as entertainment entities that have received official designations via the Virginia General Assembly, and I thank Senator R. Creigh Deeds and Delegate Terry Austin for their support in getting Senate Bill 283 passed in 2020, the bill that has designated our Opry as Virginia’s own.”
West Virginia Daily News has been serving Greenbrier and Monroe Counties since 1866.