Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival tickets now on sale

Published 11:01 pm Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bill Lepp is slated to appear at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival.

Bill Lepp is slated to appear at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival.

By popular demand, nationally acclaimed storytellers, Donald Davis, Barbara McBride-Smith and Bil Lepp will return to the stage of the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival Jan. 24 and 25.

The trio of top tellers will be joined by Dolores Hydock, a master storyteller, who brought the audience to its collective feet at two 2012 storytelling concerts at the We Piddle Around Theater in downtown Brundidge.

The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival historically has been designated one of the Top 10 events for January by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel.

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And for good reason.

Each year, the Brundidge Historical Society brings to the stage four of the top storytellers in the country.

“We are excited to be able to again bring to Pike County four of the storytellers that people from all across the country and beyond go to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee each year to hear,” said Johnny Steed, BHS president. “You won’t go anywhere and hear better storytellers than these four.”

In storytelling circles when folks talk about “The Donald,” they are talking about Donald Davis, the dean of storytelling. The New York Times said that Davis’ stories often [leave] listeners limp with laughter at the same time they struggle with a lump in their throat, Steed said.

“Donald Davis will be making his eighth appearance at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival and, as long as he’ll keep coming, we’ll keep having him,” Steed said. “He’s that good, even better.”

Steed said Bil Lepp has been a teller at the Pike County storytelling festival twice.

“Bil Lepp is a five-time champion of the West Virginia Biggest Liars Contest,” Steed said. “He’ll have the audience howling with laughter.”

Barbara McBride-Smith has performed at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival and also at the BHS June Buggin’ event.

“She’s a female Donald Davis,” Steed said. “She’s high energy. When she steps up to the microphone, she takes off and takes the audience with her. She might remind you of a fire and brimstone preacher, a carnival barker or Butterfly McQueen.”

Dolores Hydock will be a first time teller at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival, but she is no stranger to the We Piddle Around Theater.

“She performed at our June Buggin’ event in 2012 and was so popular that we brought her right back for our Chili Country Christmas, and it was one of the best Christmas shows we have had,” Steed said. “‘The Birmingham News’ described her as smart but not cynical, heartwarming yet never corny.

“This year’s Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival will have something for everyone. And, if you enjoy storytelling, or think you might, this year’s festival is a ‘can’t miss’ event.”

The 2014 Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival will open with supper and stories at 6:30 Friday, Jan. 24 at the We Piddle Around Theater in downtown Brundidge. Tickets for this event are limited. Tickets are $25 and include pre-show music, a full country supper and the storytelling concert featuring all four tellers.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, the Festival will move to the Trojan Center Theater on the campus of Troy University. Concert times are 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ($10 each) and 6:30 p.m. ($15). All concerts feature pre-show music 30 minutes prior to storytelling concerts and stories by all four tellers. Different stories are told at each concert.

Tickets are available at studio 116 on Main Street in downtown Brundidge and The Messenger in Troy or by calling 334-735-3125 or 334-670-6302 or 334-685-5524. Messages will be returned.