NORWAY — The Save the Norway Opera House Committee will present “A Night for the Opera House” on July 16 at 7 p.m. at the Norway Memorial Library.

The event will feature author Myra McLarey reading scenes from her novel, “The Road to Eden’s Ridge,” and the premiere debut of a new musical by Sally Jones and Steve Jones based on scenes from “The Road to Eden’s Ridge.”

McLarey’s novel is set in a fictional town that is actually a thinly disguised Norway and focuses in part on attempts to rescue and restore the town’s historical Opera House.

McLarey, who formerly lived in North Norway and taught at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School for 16 years, co-authored “The Road to Eden’s Ridge” with Linda Weeks in 2002. After teaching for 10 years at Harvard, McLarey moved to Nashville to chair and design the English program for a new high school, where she now teaches. She is also an associate professor of Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Finance, where she leads workshops on using writing in the workplace.

Her third novel, “The Last Will and Testament of Rosetta Sugars Tramble,” will come out at the end of this year. The movie version of “The Road to Eden’s Ridge” is under a film contract with a Hollywood producer. It is also being made into a stage musical. Friday’s reading will highlight the challenges and changes involved when a piece of literature goes from book to the musical stage.

Music and scenes from the new musical will be read and performed by author Sally Jones of Norway and composer Steve Jones of Harrison, who are collaborating on adapting the novel into a musical for the stage. The evening includes Alison Whitney, Griffin Jones, Jeremy Hill, Tom Littlefield, Carol Brown and other singers and musicians from the area who often perform with the Oxford Hill Music and Performing Arts Association.

Writing to be heard is a craft Steve Jones pursued for many years as a radio reporter in the greater Detroit, Mich., market. In the past 20 years, he’s delivered the lines of others in more than 70 stage shows and four films in Southern Maine. His day job is managing real estate.

Sally Jones performs in Western Maine theaters and directs shows for OHMPAA. She has taught theater to high school students, most recently at OHCHS. She also sings with Act V, a trio that performs 1950s through ’70s rock and pop music. Recently she performed a one-woman show, “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington,” an original script by Linda Britt from the Out of the Box Theatre in Lewiston. The play, which is about the remarkable life of Margaret Chase Smith, will go on tour. It will be performed at the Celebration Barn Theatre Sept. 17-19.

Following Friday’s program, McLarey will sign copies of “The Road to Eden’s Ridge” and donate the proceeds to the Save the Norway Opera House Committee.

“This event is the first fundraiser we’ve held to support the effort to Save the Norway Opera House,” said Lisa Moore, coordinator of Save the Norway Opera House, a project of the Norway Opera House Corp. “We have been meeting all winter to educate ourselves and plant seeds that we hope will grow into a huge community vine of interest and activity around this historic icon.”


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