ECMA 2014 Venue of the Year, Harmony House, kicks off seventh summer

Journal Pioneer staff
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HUNTER RIVER - Harmony House Theatre in Hunter River warmed up its concert season with a few shows in May and will host another on June 13 with Terry Hatty and the Island Jazz Messengers: Alan Dowling, Sean Ferris, and Dan Roswell.

Patrick Ledwell and Mark Haines present "The Island Summer Review 2" this summer at Harmony House Theatre in Hunter River. The new season begins June 26.

Another unique performance is slated for June 19 with national award-winning country artist John Landry, who will be joined by two other musicians.

But the ECMA Venue of the Year winning theatre, owned by Kris and Melanie Taylor, will officially kick off their seventh summer season on June 26 with the return of a new version of last year's hit show "The Island Summer Review".

Starring Patrick Ledwell and Mark Haines, "The Island Summer Review 2" aims to have another summer of sold-out shows with audiences stomping their feet, in both laughter and along with the beat. This new show delivers authentic Island stories through a variety of comic and musical lenses. The duo's stand-up comedy, traditional and contemporary music, and mock-informative slideshows, will bring audiences home, but with unexpected turns, so a familiar place can be seen in a new light.

"We're super thrilled to be home to the Island Summer Review 2 after the wonderful support the show and the venue received last summer. To fill the seats every night and hear laughter and music fill the room is what it's all about for us," says Melanie Taylor, co-owner and artistic director.

She says that winning Venue of the Year during ECMA Week this year was a complete surprised but appreciated, and it solidified their belief in what they are doing with the venue. The Taylors had their best year since opening in 2008, so after six years of hard work and dedication to their passion and hosting a variety of world-class performers over the years, they felt the recognition was timely.

"We felt the win came at a really good time after six years of trying to come up with a formula that works. The hit show, the downstairs lounge, Kris' Art Gallery, and our great staff. Everything just fell into place a lot better than it ever had. I guess that's what happens when you combine experience, knowledge, and the willingness to try something different. It also comes down to working with professional and just "good" people," added Melanie. "Patrick and Mark are stellar performers and super good people, and half of the ECMA trophy really belongs to them."

She says the quality of the chef-prepared food before each show and the high level of customer service given by their staff were also factors. The support of business sponsors also proved to be a recipe for success for Harmony House Theatre. Approximately 15 show sponsors are on board again this year to enjoy a night of food and entertainment with their staff and/or clients.

"The Island Summer Review 2" runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night starting June 26 and ending Aug. 30. Tickets for the show are $17 for the first two weekends and $22 for the remainder of the summer. They can be purchased online through the venue website at www.harmonyhousetheatre.com or by calling 964-2255.

Organizations: Harmony House Theatre

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