The Ryman Diaries
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Actor/playwrights Tom Dolan and Debbie Mathis Watts are extending the run of their multi-media musical stage play “The Ryman Diaries”.
Actor/playwrights Tom Dolan and Debbie Mathis Watts are extending the run of their multi-media musical stage play “The Ryman Diaries” with pre-holiday matinees at Miss Jeanne’s Mystery Dinner Theatre in Nashville. Theatre-goers can celebrate Captain Tom Ryman’s 175th birthday with the show and brunch. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry signed a proclamation naming Oct. 12, 2016 as Captain Tom Ryman Day. Described as a 19th Century love story, “The Ryman Diaries” is a historical drama that depicts the life and times of Cumberland riverboat Captain Tom Ryman as told through the eyes of his wife, Bettie Baugh Ryman. The story covers 70 years of the couple’s lives through film media, stage acting, and original musical numbers. It tells of their unlikely romance, marriage, entrepreneurship, raising seven children on a riverboat, ultimate success, Christian conversion at a tent meeting, and the building of the Union Gospel Tabernacle.
The play is based on Watts’ book, with additional dialog from Dolan. The actors penned seven original songs for the production. Film clips feature flashbacks of young Bettie and historical stills provided by the Metro Archives. “We are thrilled to extend the show with brunch as a continued celebration of Captain Ryman’s 175th birthday,” said Watts, a former producer for various shows on TNN: The Nashville Network. “He and his wife Bettie were true romantics who laid the musical foundation for Middle Tennessee.” A veteran educator, professional pianist-vocalist, and author, Watts’ theatrical roles include Mollie in “Mousetrap” and Agnes in “I Do, I Do”. Dolan has received national acclaim starring as Elwood P. Dowd in “Harvey”, Dr. Albert Schweitzer in “Memoirs from Africa”, and Sam Clemens in “Mark Twain Live”. The actors also star in a new play in San Diego based on the lives of John and Lillie Spreckels.
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Guests can enjoy dinner and show or show only. Dinner will be served at noon. The show will begin at 1 p.m.