The Year in Arts

By M. Scott Morris / NEMS Daily Journal

Tupelo Ballet
As traditions go, Tupelo Ballet’s annual production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is firmly established.
This year’s performance will include music by Tupelo Symphony Orchestra. It’ll take place at the Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center.
“Our guest artist will be Michael Bearden and another dancer from Ballet West in Salt Lake City,” said Sharon Long, Tupelo Ballet’s artistic director.
In April, the Tupelo Ballet company will present a new production of a timeless tale, “Beauty and the Beast.”
It’s an original ballet by Jennifer Beasley with the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Jackson.
“There will be lots of costumes and masks,” Long said. “It’s nice to have something that was created here in Mississippi.”
Back to “The Nutcracker,” auditions will be 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 12 at 775 Poplarville Street in Tupelo. Dancers from second to 12th grade are invited to audition. There’s a $20 audition fee. Get all the facts by calling (662) 844-4352.

• Tupelo Ballet’s season:
• Dec. 4, “The Nutcracker.”
• April 2, “Beauty and the Beast.”
• Tickets:
• Pirouette Circle (ten season tickets) – $1,000.
• Jeté Circle (eight season tickets) – $750.
• Director’s Circle (six season tickets) – $500.
• Prima Ballerina Circle (four season tickets) – $300.
• Corps de Ballet Circle (two season tickets) – $250.
• Balletomane Circle (two season tickets) – $175.
• Individual performance tickets – $10/students, $12/seniors and $20/adults.
• Info: (662) 844-1928.

Tupelo Community Theatre
Tupelo Community Theatre will open its 40th season with “The Fantasticks,” a musical that ran for 42 consecutive years in New York.
“It is about two fathers who want their children to fall in love and marry,” said Tom Booth, TCT executive director. “To be sure that happens, they build a wall between their houses. They’re going with reverse psychology.”
“The Man Who Came to Dinner” isn’t a Christmas show, but the comedy is set during the holiday season.
“It’s very fun with a lot of physical comedy,” Booth said.
“The Dixie Swim Club” mixes drama and comedy. It follows the lives of a women’s swim team from their 40s to their 70s.
“It is very, very funny, but it’s very touching too, very true to life,” Booth said.
“Harvey,” the story of a man who sees a giant imaginary rabbit, is a comedy classic that many will recognize from the Jimmy Stewart movie.
The season will close with “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a big musical production.
“It’s a show within a show,” Booth said. “It centers on a showgirl who plans to give up her career to marry an oil tycoon.”

• Tupelo Community Theatre’s season:
• Sept. 30-Oct. 2, “The Fantasticks.”
• Dec. 9-11, “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”
• Jan. 27-29, “The Dixie Swim Club.”
• March 10-12, “Harvey.”
• May 5-7, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
• Tickets:
• Stage angels (eight wild card season tickets, eight tickets to fundraiser) – $1,000.
• Executive producers (four tickets with guaranteed seat selection, four tickets to fundraiser) – $550.
• Producers (two season tickets with guaranteed seat selection, two tickets to fundraiser) – $350.
• Directors – (two season tickets with guaranteed seat selection, one ticket to fundraiser) – $225.
• Stars (two season tickets with guaranteed seat selection) – $125.
• Regular season ticket, (guaranteed seat selection) – $50.
• Wild card season ticket – $45.
• Door – $20/adults & $10/students for musicals; $15/adults & $6/students for plays.
• Info: (662) 844-1935.

Tupelo Symphony Orchestra
Music will ring out at Link Centre during Tupelo Symphony Orchestra’s 2010-11 season.
Steven Byess will return as music director to lead the orchestra, and the first concert will feature violinist Natasha Korsakova.
“I think that’s going to be very exciting,” said Margaret Anne Murphey, president and executive director of Tupelo Symphony Orchestra.
In December, TSO will celebrate the holiday with a mixture of secular and sacred Christmas music.
Stanislav Ioudenitch, Gold Medal winner of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, will bring his wife and daughter to Tupelo in January.
“In February, that’s going to be a really big deal,” Murphey said. “The orchestra will play ‘The Planets’ by Gustav Holst. It’s a masterpiece.”
In addition to the music, there will be a video journey into outer space during the Holst program.
The Mississippi State University Chorus will lend its voices to the symphony in March, and TSO’s 2010-11 season will end with a return visit from Yaron Kohlberg.
“He was one of the most energetic and delightful pianists that we have ever had,” Murphey said, “and that’s saying something because we have had some brilliant pianists.”

• Tupelo Symphony Orchestra’s season:
Oct. 30, Natasha Korsakova, violin.
• Dec. 11, Christmas with the Tupelo Symphony.
• Jan. 29, The Ioudenitch Family.
• Feb. 26, Holst’s “The Planets.”
• March 26, Mississippi State University Chorus.
• April 16, Yaron Kohlberg, piano.
Tickets:
• Grand benefactor (two tickets) – $1,000.
• Benefactor (two tickets) – $500.
• Sponsor (two tickets) – $350.
• Patron (two tickets) – $300.
• Friend (two tickets) – $250.
• Season subscription (one ticket) – $90.
• Gift ticket $20.
• One ticket – $20/advance, $25/door and $10/students.
• Info: (662) 842-8433.

Tupelo Concert Association
The president of the Tupelo Concert Association has high hopes for the group’s 63rd year of providing quality entertainment for Northeast Mississippi.
“We really have a good lineup,” said Chauncey Godwin Jr. “This is one of the best ones we’ve ever had.”
It’ll open on Sept. 20 at the Civic Auditorium with Jim Witter, who will perform a tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John featuring hits from the ‘70s and ‘80s.
“He has a full band and a video presentation to go with it,” Godwin said.
In November, the Riders in the Sky will bring cowboy songs and comedy to town.
John Davidson, who hosted “That’s Incredible” and “The New Hollywood Squares,” will perform his stage show in Tupelo in February.
“John Davidson, everybody knows who he is,” Godwin said. “He’s quite a talented guy, and very attuned to the audience.”
The Tupelo Concert Association will end its season with a performance by The Dallas Brass, a band that plays classical, Dixieland, swing, Broadway and more.
“The Dallas Brass, for 25 years, they’ve been one of the top groups in the country,” Godwin said.

• Tupelo Concert Association’s season:
• Sept. 20, Jim Witter.
• Nov. 9, Riders in the Sky.
• Feb. 20, John Davidson.
• May 1, The Dallas Brass.
• Tickets: $50 for season.
• Info: (662) 840-2658, 842-3173.