Carnegie Hall’s Smooth Ambler Second Stage Series presents The Fabulous Baker Sisters on Thursday, Mar. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Stone Room. The pair will share stories, memories and monologues that reflect their distinctly silly view of the world. Guests are invited to come early for a Preshow Reception from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. The Second Stage Series is sponsored by Smooth Ambler.
Although the sisters, Margaret Baker and Barbara Baker Elliott, have lived in the Greenbrier Valley for more than 30 years, they grew up in Smithfield, North Carolina, as UKs (Undertaker’s Kids), which explains a lot. Bummed about having a master’s in theater but working as a waitress, Margaret succumbed to a real job writing for kiddie television in North Carolina. She then chucked that aside, ran off and joined an alternative theater company. The Road Company, based in Johnson City, Tennessee, produced original plays based on improvisation while traveling in a van held together by duct tape. Upon drifting to Philadelphia to study Yankee ways Margaret stumbled upon a career in writing and performing one-woman comedy. After moving to Pocahontas County, she spent 18 years directing the Pocahontas County Drama Workshop.
Barbara started out as a writer in higher education, public television, and banking before she, too, moved to West Virginia, where her first job was as PR/Education Director at Carnegie Hall. Since then, she has worked almost everywhere in the Greenbrier Valley. She writes a regular humor column for The Greenbrier Valley Quarterly. In 2018 she compiled a decade’s worth of columns into a book, The Accidental Mountaineer, published by Havenbrook Media with illustrations by Sally Cooper.
For the Carnegie Hall performance, Margaret will bring back some favorite characters from her one-woman shows, including a K-Mart employee touting some questionable must-have specials and a wronged woman who shares some artsy, craftsy therapy tips. Her monologues will cover topics including a funeral business that has gone green, a disaster involving slime, an ode to poisonous gases for the young at heart, and help for those who are vulnerable to man spam scams.
Barbara will share some favorite essays from her book and column. They include an exposé of insanity in the beverage industry, a defense of pimento cheese purity, an adolescent quest for perfect hair, angst at being a baby boomer in a millennial world, and the risky business of competitive chili cooking.
Tickets are $15 and may be purchased by visiting www.carnegiehallwv.org, calling 304-645-7917, or stopping by 611 Church Street, Lewisburg. The Preshow Reception is free. A cash bar and snacks will be available.
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