BY SHEENA BARNETT
A season full of Southern stories, passionate ballets, exciting music and guest artists, and a bit of Shakespeare make up North Mississippi’s 2013-2014 arts season.
Patrons have a variety of entertainment and art from which to choose, whether it’s a symphony performance, jazz bands, colorful ballets, comedies and dramas or plays just for kids.
Corinth Theatre-Arts has the first performance of the season, with “To Kill a Mockingbird” set to start Aug. 8.
CT-A’s season is billed as “Starting Fresh: Tales from the American South,” and includes nothing but Southern stories.
“It’s all the tales of the South, and the idea that people are changing and things are changing in the South,” said CT-A Artistic Director Cristina Skinner.
The season includes shows for adults, like “Sordid Lives,” and plays geared toward kids, like “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Miracle Worker,” and productions for all ages, like “Mockingbird” and “Driving Miss Daisy.”
Each month, CT-A also hosts cabarets.
“It’s the opportunity to bring people on stage to try their hand at directing, singing or dancing,” Skinner said. “It’s usually free, but we ask for donations.”
Tupelo Community Theatre’s season kicks off in September with “Red, White and Tuna,” the last of the popular “Tuna” plays.
“We’ve done the three other ‘Tuna’ plays, so this is the last one,” said TCT director Tom Booth.
TCT’s holiday show is “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which will feature a large cast.
“Tuesdays with Morrie” author Mitch Albom’s new comedy, “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel,” is just what it sounds like: two duck hunters in Alabama believe they shoot an angel.
The classic “The Importance of Being Earnest” takes the stage at The Lyric for the first time in March 2014, during Art Rocks Tupelo weekend.
Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” wraps up the season in May 2014.
Pied Piper Players kicks off its year in October with “Porridge,” followed by “Annie Jr.” in December.
The children’s theater group has had success in the past several years introducing young actors to Shakespeare, and this year’s selection is “Romeo and Juliet.”
The musical “School House Rock” closes out its season.
Jazz group the Sixth Floor Trio kicks off Tupelo Concert Assocation’s season in October.
The Diamonds, the vocal group behind the 1950s hit single “Little Darlin’,” perform on Nov. 15, followed by the Jesse Lynch Jazz 101 group in February.
TCA’s selection for the week of Art Rocks is Grammy-nominated country singer John Berry on March 18.
The North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, formerly known as the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra, begins its season on Oct. 26.
The first show celebrates the music of film composer John Williams, who scored films like “Superman” and “E.T.” and the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” series. The performance will include film clips.
A family performance is planned for earlier that afternoon.
The Christmas show will feature “The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington, and will include a swing band, said the symphony’s director, Margaret Anne Murphey.
“I think it’ll be as exciting as our ‘12 Days of Christmas’ show,’” she said.
The spring 2014 season includes guest artists who are returning to wow audiences at the Link Centre again.
Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux will join the symphony for Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez in January.
“He was here about 10 years ago at the beginning of his career. He’s a lovely young artist, and he’s been very successful,” Murphey said.
Pianist Sara Davis Buechner will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in February 2014.
Two friends, violinist Natasha Korsakova and cellist Allison Eldredge, are teaming up to perform Brahms’ Double Concerto in March.
Each of the women have performed with the symphony separately, but this is the first time they’re performing together with the symphony.
“They love to play together, and you can tell that in their enthusiasm,” Murphey said.
Pianist Andreas Klein – whom Murphey credits with helping the symphony choose its Steinway concert piano – returns for the closing performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in April 2014.
Ballet and more
Civic Ballet will celebrate local artists with its third annual Arts Showcase on Nov. 16 at the Link Centre.
Funded by a grant from the Elaine Dundy and Roy Turner Endowment for the Arts, the showcase will feature performing and visual artists from Northeast Mississippi, said Beverly Williams with the ballet.
Civic Ballet’s spring production is “Alice in Wonderland” and will be presented March 1. Tickets will be on sale soon.
Tupelo Ballet will present a Tupelo tradition with its 31st annual performance of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 7, said Tupelo Ballet’s Sharon Long.
The ballet welcomes Alabama Ballet on Feb. 15 for “Romeo and Juliet.”
Tupelo Ballet’s season closes the weekend of Art Rocks Tupelo with a performance of “Les Sylphides” and contemporary repertory, Long said. “Les Sylphides” is a non-narrative ballet that’s often described as a “romantic reverie.”
For information on tickets, contact each group by website or phone.
TUPELO COMMUNITY THEATRE
Sept. 12-14: “Red, White & Tuna”
Dec. 5-7: “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Jan. 30-Feb. 1: “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel”
March 20-22: “The Importance of Being Earnest”
May 1-3: “9 to 5”
Season tickets are $60, and wild card season tickets are $55. Aug. 4 is season ticket deadline.
tct.ms, (662) 844-1935
Dec. 7: “The Nutcracker”
Feb. 15: Alabama Ballet presents “Romeo and Juliet”
March 22: “Les Sylphides” and Contemporary Repertory
Season tickets are $55.
tupeloballet.com, (662) 844-1928
NORTH MISSISSIPPI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Oct. 26: A Night at the Movies: The Music of John Williams
Dec. 14: Christmas with the North Mississippi Symphony
Jan. 25: Rodrigo’s Concierto de Jaranjuez, featuring guitarist Jason Vieaux
Feb. 22: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25, featuring pianist Sara Davis Buechner
March 22: Brahms’ Double Concert, featuring cellist Allison Eldredge and violinist Natasha Korsakova
April 26: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring pianist Andreas Klein
Season tickets are $100.
nmsymphony.com, (662) 842-8433
PIED PIPER PLAYERS THEATRE GROUP
Oct. 4-6: “Porridge”
Dec. 13-15: “Annie Jr.”
Feb. 21-23: “Romeo and Juliet”
April 4-6: “School House Rock”
Nov. 16: Third annual Arts Showcase
March 1: “Alice in Wonderland”
civicballet.org, (662) 680-9041
TUPELO CONCERT ASSOCIATION
Oct. 17: Sixth Floor Trio
Nov. 15: The Diamonds
Feb. 18: Jesse Lynch Jazz 101
March 18: John Berry
(662) 842-3173, (662) 840-2505
CORINTH THEATRE ARTS
Aug. 8-11, 15-18: “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Sept. 19-22: “Biloxi Blues”
Oct. 24-27: “Driving Miss Daisy”
Dec. 12-15: “The Miracle Worker”
Feb. 28: “The Ransom of Red Chief”
April 3-6: “Sordid Lives”
May 22-25, 29-31, June 1: “Big River”
Regular admission each show is $12/adults, $6/students.
Season tickets are $70, and Aug. 18 is season ticket deadline.
corinththeatrearts.com, (662) 287-2995
STARKVILLE COMMUNITY THEATRE
Sept. 12-15, 17-21: “The Odd Couple”
Nov. 7-10, 12-16: “A Catered Affair”
Dec. 10-14: “A Christmas Cabaret” (not part of regular season)
Feb. 13-16, 18-22: “Steel Magnolias”
April 24-27, April 29-May 3: “Don’t Dress for Dinner”
Season tickets are $50.
sct-online.org, (662) 323-6855
ART ROCKS TUPELO
Art Rocks Tupelo is set for the weekend of March 20-23, 2014.
Prices and ticket deals will be announced soon.