EDITORIAL: Seeking a good show? No need to leave town

Aug. 27, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Sanford, Broadway and Lee County rarely get the credit they collectively, and so justly, deserve for being “well-centered” in the arts arena.

No one, of course, can dispute our great location — not just midway between the beach and the mountains, but within an easy drive of the Triangle, Triad and Fayetteville areas, which have plenty of cultural offerings. (And let’s face it, we’re not so far from the Metropolitan Charlotte area, the inclusion of which probably doubles our close exposure to arts, performances, museums and more.)

What we've got going on in our own county, though, rivals some of the best of what those outlying areas have to offer. Just consider the most recent activity, much of which was set at our acclaimed Temple Theatre, involving some top musical and comedic talent.

A prime example — country music legend Charlie Daniels showed his staying power when he performed recently for the Down South Music Festival. Rodney Dillard and The Dillard Band (of "The Andy Griffith Show" fame) performed at the Temple on Thursday evening.

For several weeks, the venue has branched out into comedy with its "One Night Stands" series, with the next show set for Sept. 3 and others scheduled well into next year.

On Nov. 16, Mark Willis, a multi-platinum selling country music star, will grace the Temple stage. Noteworthy visitors aside, our area is fortunate to have an abundance of musical talent in its own backyard — like the Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra and the Lee County Community Orchestra to name a couple. The LCCO is gearing up to begin its 26th season, and Aug, 20 marked the start of weekly rehearsals on Tuesday nights. The theme of the upcoming season, which kicks off in October, is "The Spirit of America," and will showcase of of the finest works of American composers past and present.

Then there are the first-rate shows that the Temple puts on each year and draw crowds from surrounding counties and beyond. Next up is the classic "The Music Man," which runs there from Sept. 12-29.

Suffice it to say, fans of a good show, musical or otherwise, don't have to go far to get their fill. Central Carolina has much to offer in this regard, and if you can't find it here, it's likely to be found within driving distance.