The Grand Opera House Announces 2012-13 Variety Series: Live Music, Dance, Comedy and Arts Education Performances

April 23, 2012

Media Contact: J. Cindy Hill, (478) 301-2933, hill_c@mercer.edu

MACON – The Grand Opera House, Central Georgia’s exclusive presenter of professional touring Broadway performances, announced a 13-show Variety Series season to complement the 2012 - 2013 Butler Lexus Broadway Series. The Variety Series includes live music, dance, comedy and arts education performances, and the return of live, professional opera to The Grand.
 
“The Variety Series is our opportunity to bring the best of arts and culture from around the world to Macon for Central Georgians to enjoy, be inspired by, and to learn through outstanding, professionally produced performances,” said Betsy Fitzgerald, executive director of The Grand, which is a performing arts center of Mercer University.
 
The Variety Series begins with The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. For more than half a century this group, considered to be one of the greatest ensembles in the world, has toured the globe sharing Burundi native arts and culture, inspiring audiences, Western musicians and the world music movement.
 
Travel back to the big band era with All Hands On Deck! on Sunday, Sept. 30, at 2:30 p.m. Based on Bob Hope’s 1942 USO tour, this new two-act revue features four charismatic performers and a nine-piece orchestra who perform on-air antics, classic commercials, timeless songs and hilarious, impromptu skits as part of a live radio show with a patriotic finish that pays tribute to both active duty and veteran members of our armed forces.
 
Relive the greatest hits of jazz-rock band Chicago with Brass Transit on Friday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The Toronto-based tribute band’s performance includes all the hits from Chicago’s golden age performed by a world-class horn section, rocking rhythm section and sky-high vocals. The band includes veterans of Hall-of-Fame acts including The Drifters, Sam and Dave, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, Frankie Valli and the Mamas and the Papas.
 
Political satire meets musical comedy as The Capitol Steps make their debut performance in Macon on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. Whether you’re right, left, independent or in-between, The Capitol Steps will have you howling as they parody politics and bureaucracy in a fun, all-American song and dance production that they’ve been performing throughout America and on National Public Radio since 1981.
 
Audiences of all ages will delight at feats of acrobatics and engineering at Cirque Mechanics on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2:30 p.m. Called “the greatest contribution to the American circus since Cirque du Soleil,” Cirque Mechanics marries the theme of modern mechanical engineering to the cirque concept of human performance in an incredible performance of acrobatics, feats of balance and comedy. This performance is presented in conjunction with the 2012 Mercer University Homecoming celebration.
 
Grammy Award nominee and Georgia native vocalist John Berry returns with his annual Christmas Concert tour on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m. The country music crossover artist’s 1995 album O Holy Night launched this annual holiday event where he performs music from the album and classic holiday favorites.
 
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the popular children’s book, The Grand welcomes Clifford Live! on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. The big red dog’s lessons to share, play fair, have respect, work together and be responsible, truthful and kind are all part of this fun, hour-long musical theatre production, which is perfect for preschool and elementary students and their families.
 
Straight out of Detroit comes Legends of Motown featuring Horizon, on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. The hits of Motown come to life in a concert production complete with costumes and the smooth dance moves of a dynamic American musical era. Horizon’s vocalists have performed with many of Motown’s greatest groups including The Temptations and The Four Tops. Relive this golden era of American music.
 
The National Players brings to life George Orwell’s cautionary tale, Animal Farm, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. With themes that remain relevant to this day in our great nation and throughout the world, this allegory comes to life through a dynamic, dramatic and highly theatrical production of this important work of American literature.
 
The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players return opera to its rightful place at The Grand with their national touring performance of The Mikado on Sunday, March 3, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. Perhaps the most famous Gilbert and Sullivan work, three little maids from school who live in the fictitious Japanese town of Titipu experience love, loss, politics and lots of drama as this wonderful, fun musical storyunfolds with spectacular costumes and live full orchestral accompaniment.
 
The Cat In the Hat and a wonderful cast of characters bring beloved stories by Dr. Seuss to the stage in Seussical, a musical for kids of all ages, during the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival on Monday, March 18, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. Horton, JoJo, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Maysie LaBird and lots of Whos from Whoville sing and dance their way through thismadcap musical with the theme: oh the thinks you can think!
 
Celebrate “Girls Raised in the South” in the wonderful new production, G.R.I.T.S. The Musical, during the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival, on Thursday, March 21, and Friday, March 22, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.  Four women from four different generations with four very different points of view honor the culture, music, relationships and food indigenous to southern women, as chronicled in Friends are Forevah, the book that inspired the show.
 
The Variety Series ends with the Russian National Ballet’s return to The Grand to perform the timeless Cinderella on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. The internationally celebrated ballet company brings the magical elegance of this story to life with fantastic costumes, sets and a musical score by Prokofiev. A VIP Meet-and-Greet following the performance provides a wonderful opportunity for the audience to meet the cast.
 
Tickets for Variety Series shows are currently only available for purchase by Broadway Series subscribers. Individual tickets go on sale to the public on July 1.
 
Early Bird Season tickets, the lowest season ticket prices of the year, are available now through May 31. This season’s season tickets range from $185 to $225 for the five-show Butler Lexus Broadway Series. Early bird subscribers also enjoy first access to the best seats in the house for both Broadway and Variety Series performances, discount ticket prices for Variety Series shows and the option of an interest-free payment plan that spreads ticket costs over four months. For more information visit TheGrandMacon.com or call (478) 301-5470 weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
The Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of Mercer University, is Central Georgia’s premier historic theatre presenting professional Broadway tours, concerts, comedy, dance and variety shows as well as a full season of GrandKids arts education performances. Our stage is also home to the Macon Civic Club’s annual music revue, Macon Symphony Orchestra, Nutcracker of Middle Georgia and several other civic and arts organizations. The fully renovated 1,000-seat theatre is located at 651 Mulberry St. in downtown Macon, Ga. For a complete schedule of upcoming performances visit TheGrandMacon.com or call (478) 301-5470.
 
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