Dickens Parlour Theatre offering more than magic

Starting this month, Dickens Parlour Theatre will be offering a concert series during the off-season months.

“We have made diversions into these areas in the past,” said Rich Bloch, owner of the theater. “We did an off-Broadway show last year, our Halloween event last year, and we’ve had a really, really strong response every time we’ve done something like that.”

The first installment of the series will feature Piper Laurie, who has visited the theater before.

“Piper Laurie is a legend in Hollywood,” said Bloch. “She’s a three-time Academy Award nominee, something like 11 Emmy nominations, and has won two and a Golden Globe Award. She’s really an impressive person. She’s just written a new book, an autobiography.”

On Sept. 28, a screening of “The Hustler” will be shown, and on Sept. 29 there will be a screening of “Carrie.” Both will be followed by dinner, discussion and a book signing with Laurie. Tickets cost $35 per person, and reservations are required.

“She agreed to come in and do this weekend with us in September and to talk about each of the movies she’s made and talk about her life in Hollywood, with people like Paul Newman and Ronald Reagan,” said Bloch. “It’s really going to be a heck of a weekend.”

The second installment of the series will feature concert pianist and goodwill ambassador to Turkey Naki Ataman.

“Naki and I have worked together for at least 10 years,” said Bloch. “I was sitting with him on a recent cruise and I was kidding and said, ‘Naki, you’ve played all over the world. You’ve appeared with major symphonies in 10 countries. You’ve done Las Vegas. You’ve recorded, and you’ve directed symphonies. You’ve earned the right to appear in a garage in Millville.’”

Ataman will appear at the renovated garage that is Dickens Parlour Theatre on Oct. 19 and 20, with a reception to follow after his performance on a 12-foot grand piano.

“It’s a multimedia thing where, as he plays, he does a media presentation of the various locations all around the world. It’s a really nice presentation. He’s an enormously accomplished musician. He did his first concert at the age of 5. His father was a conductor of the Turkish National Symphony. He’s just a great guy, and I think people are going to like it.”

Bloch said that he and his team at Dickens are excited about the series.

“We’re very excited about this. Our hopes are, in the future, it’ll be kind of an eclectic offering. One weekend we’ll have a string quartet. Another one we may have a local soloist. We’re working on that whole layout right now.”

For more information, or to make reservations, call (302) 829-1071 or visit dptmagic.com. Dickens Parlour Theatre is located at 35715 Atlantic Avenue in Millville.