Now, however, when I hear those lyrics, they might not just be in my head; they may be ringing from the voice of Lori Valentine, owner of Fort Thomas Coffee, who is currently playing the role of Maude Dunlop in the Carnegie Theatre performance of The Music Man.
The Carnegie Theatre, located in Covington KY, has been hosting professional and community theatre in the former Carnegie Library (built in 1904 and on the National Register of Historic Places) since its inception in 1972.
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After attending an Arts School in California, she came to Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and entered CCM’s Musical Theatre Department. Upon graduation, she took a different path in life going into Branding Design before deciding to stay home to raise a family and, ultimately (and thankfully) opening Fort Thomas Coffee.
Valentine is not one to do just any show given that her approach to acting and singing includes her children learning and singing right along with her, so in order to step back into the theatre she needed to find the right show that could be a family affair. Said Valentine, “Music Man is a great fit for our family right now! And the cast is absolutely stellar.” She goes on to call this performance her “second half of life” and state how “important it is to continue to pursue our passions.”
Valentine also serves as the coach for the Highlands Middle School Drama Club and is continuing to look for other ways to get involved in the theatre.
|Rehearsal pictures provided by Valentine|
As for this show, Valentine freely admits she can see some similarities between River City, Iowa and Fort Thomas, KY. In fact, she even admits that her “character is absolutely based on some of the ladies of Fort Thomas”- but she will “never tell (…) who.” Perhaps, though, if you attend the show and pay really close attention, you’ll see a little of your neighbor or even yourself in Valentine’s characterization.
The show has four remaining performances through this weekend and tickets are still available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Carnegie’s website. Support the arts, local businesses, and local business persons who are artists.