The Smyrna Opera House is hosting a taste of the fall season of events – with a taste of free hors d’oeuvres – this Thursday, Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

The free season preview party will be held in the second floor auditorium with details on upcoming events, preview performances, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The community is invited.

“We’ll have a number of actors and singers from this season’s shows,” said Jim Hawkins, chair of the programs committee. “We’ll also have a video clip of a performance by Melanomie, a chamber music group that plays both classical and modern pieces, adapting contemporary music to the instruments they play. They’re versatile. They perform a variety of different styles.”

While the preview party is free, organizers are asking people to RSVP to help with planning by calling 653-4236 or emailing

Hawkins said the fall season will feature popular performers from past years and new offerings.

Returning favorites include the classical piano series partnership with the University of Delaware, the Young Actors Guild with an adaptation of a Shakespeare classic, the “Songwriters & Storytellers” concert featuring Sol Knopf, and the Ovation Dinner Theatre presenting a comedy murder mystery, “Murder at the Long Branch Saloon.”

Opera House Board President Donna Cantillon said the Ovation Dinner Theatre show is a lot of fun because audience participation is encouraged.

“They choose people in the audience to say a part or hold a prop,” said Cantillon. “It’s funny and people really get into it. They usually have an award at the end for the best actor from the audience.”

New shows this year include a play written by Hawkins, “The Reinvention of Lily Johnson.” The political comedy is about a woman whose seemingly perfect life is shattered when her husband, a Congressman, is caught in an affair – so she decides to run against him. The play stars Samantha Simpson who performed the show earlier this summer in Philadelphia.

“It is excellent,” said programs committee member Leora Hansa. “It’s comedy. It’s drama. It’s dealing with important themes in a comedic way.”

Hansa will be directing another comedy-drama that’s new to the Opera House stage, “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron. A scene from the play will be performed during the season preview party.

A show to get audiences in the mood for Halloween will feature a new spin on the tales of Edgar Allan Poe.

“It will be an evening of fun and variety,” said Hawkins.

Other first-time performers at the Opera House this fall include the band TVC 15 presenting a David Bowie tribute concert and the Kent Chamber Choir performing Christmas songs.


WHAT Smyrna Opera House fall season preview party

WHEN Thursday, Sept. 8, 5:30 p.m.

WHERE Opera House, 7 W. South St., Smyrna

DETAILS Free admission, free hors d’oeuvres, cash bar. RSVP requested by calling 653-4236 or emailing