Piano at River Theater is too wobbly for workoutThe piano at the River Theater is too wobbly for words.

Board member Nancy Montgomery has a solution - but she needs help.

Professional tuner and theater-lover Wayne Bartlett of Longview, Wash., has offered a deal on a piano worth about $2,500. He will sell it to the River for $1,000. But the deal must be sealed right away. He's even willing to accept $500 now and the balance in installments.

"We need an angel," said Montgomery.

The River's tradition of staging summer musical productions began three years ago with "Angry Housewives," followed by "Rocky Horror. "Ruthless!" a musical that spoofs musicals is playing at the River this month, and has an intense score that would tax any pianist.

So Montgomery and music director Lisa Nelson are seeking a long-term solution.

"The River's sad, well-worn little piano won't hold a tuning, holds one broken string and barely holds up at all with its wobbly front legs, under the constant changing of locations within the confines of the theater," Montgomery said.

"A loan from Clatsop Community College solved the problem for the production," she said. "But if this cozy, intimate black box is going to continue its tradition of summer musicals, classical concerts, touring bands and live radio, it needs a permanent solution.

Montgomery welcomes Bartlett's offer, but says the theater can't afford it because summer musicals cost two to three times the budget of a straight production and ticket sales from summer shows are needed to carry the theater through to its next production.

"If you love the theater, and the continued outpouring of music in that acoustically sweet, intimate space, consider this donation. The offer of $500 down and the rest in installments only stands solid for another week," Montgomery said.

To help, call Montgomery at 791-2426 or send an e-mail to (tan@seasurf.net)

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