Starting its third season, the Gandy Dancer Theatre in Elkins is reaching out to more people than ever.
Offering a mix of musical entertainment, dancing and comedy, the theater provides a host of shows and special events throughout the year that appeal to folks of all ages.
Located at 359 Beverly Pike in Elkins, the theater offers shows at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday from April through December. The Gandy Dancer Theatre aims to dazzle audiences with the finest in high-energy, live entertainment; outstanding cuisine; state-of-the-art production; and seasoned, professional entertainers.
Since opening, the theater has seen thousands of people walk through the doors as visitors - and walk out as family.
Family is a noted theme even within the Mountain Memories Show Band's cast of talented musicians and singers. There's the husband-and-wife duo Nina Sharp and Rocky Hebb; Dave Marsh, the band's director, along with his son, David Marsh III, drummer; and Jamie Queen, Sharp's sister, who plays the infamous Penny Merle.
Other band members feel as if they are family as well, including pianist Lenny Stone, owner Ralph Bennett and Nathaniel "Flannel" Stalnaker, who just joined the group.
"Flannel is an outstanding musician and performer and will be a great addition to the Gandy Dancer stage," Hebb said.
Another part of the show - the popular Gandy Dancers - is a group of nine of the area's finest dancers.
The premier show has something for everyone. Talented singers bring the audience music from the 1950s to today, featuring country, pop, Motown, gospel and patriotic songs, along with family-friendly comedy, great costumes and energetic dances.
Other special shows throughout the year include the "Old Fashion Gospel Sing," which showcases local talent and the Mountain Memories Show Band; Murder Mystery Dinners; and holiday performances.
The Gandy Dancer Theatre is an 11,000-square-foot, $2 million facility, and it hosts the only Branson, Mo.-style dinner show in the state of West Virginia.
Since the theater also serves as a conference center, it can accommodate everything from business meetings and conferences, to weddings and receptions, to family or class reunions.
Another benefit the theater offers is a complete travel service. This free service to clients provides more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry.
"Whether you're looking for something to do in your own backyard, throughout the state or looking for that perfect getaway, the Gandy Dancer Travel Service can assist you in making memories that last a lifetime," said G'na Stephens, CEO of direct marketing sales for the Gandy Dancer.
The Gandy Dancer Theatre is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. More information is available by calling 304-636-4935 or toll free at 855-GANDYWV, or by visiting www.gandydancertheatre.com.