News Column

'Showville' episode to showcase Triad talent

July 7, 2013


July 07--This week's episode of the reality competition series "Showville" will showcase local talent in the Triad.

The episode -- which is scheduled to air at 10 p.m. Thursday on AMC (cable 35 or digital 622 on Time Warner Cable) -- was shot at the Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mount Airy. In each episode, hosts Alec Mapa and Lisette Bustamante visit one town to hold open auditions for a talent show -- with talents including singing, comedy, puppetry, juggling, magic and more -- with four finalists selected from each show. The finalists are then mentored for two days to compete for a $10,000 prize.

The Mount Airy episode was shot in January, but the results are under wraps until the episode airs. After they air, full episodes are available online at htp://


Mary Ann Summers, Billy the Kid and a vixen from "Dallas" are coming to town.

The Western Film Fair will run from Thursday through Saturday at the Hawthorne Inn & Conference Center on 420 High St. The festival will include screenings of more than 80 films and a memorabilia room with vendors selling movies, posters, books and merchandise. But one of the big draws is always the celebrity guest list, which leans toward nostalgic favorites, many of whom -- obviously, from the festival's name -- have Western TV shows or movies on their resumes.

Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann, the wholesome country gal, on the classic sitcom "Gilligan's Island," is one of the guests scheduled to appear. So is Clu Gulager, a character actor who played Billy the Kid in the 1960s Western series "The Tall Man" -- and who, for horror film buffs, played Burt in the 1985 cult classic "The Return of the Living Dead," among his more than 150 roles listed on the Internet Movie Database. And Morgan Brittany, who played Katherine Wentworth in the early 1980s on "Dallas."

There will also be stars from shows including "The Time Tunnel," "Riverboat" and "The Bold and the Beautiful." Most of them will be selling photos or other merchandise and autographs.

The festival starts in earnest on Thursday, but on Wednesday afternoon and evening there will be early-bird screenings of movies starting at 1 p.m. Admission on Wednesday is $10 per person or $5 after 5 p.m.

Admission to the film fair is $20 a day or $5 after 5 p.m. Passes for the whole festival are $60 a person or $75 for married couples. For more information, go to www.westernfilmfair, email or call (828) 524-5251.


New TV shows on DVD Tuesday include the first seasons of "How the West Was Won," a 1970s series with James Arness as the patriarch of a family settling the Western frontier, and "Unforgettable," with Poppy Montgomery as a police detective blessed -- and at times cursed -- with perfect memory; the third season of the quirky comedy series "Portlandia," about life among the hipsters of Portland, Oregon; the fourth season of the SyFy series "Warehouse 13," about government agents tracking down mysterious artifacts; the sixth season of the classic Western "Bonanza"; and the seventh season of the primetime soap "Dynasty."

(336) 727-7371

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