For Tupelo Community Theatre’s 40th year, board members decided it was time for something different.
“There are no repeat shows,” said Tom Booth, TCT executive director. “This is a season of all new performances for us.”
“Crowns” is a gospel musical that features an African-American cast. It tells the story of women in a small-town church and the hats they love.
“Next is ‘Dearly Beloved’ about a family wedding at a church,’ Booth said. “It’s so fun, and truly Southern comedy with a lot of great characters.”
“Evening of Entertainment” will include a dramatic play, “The Rabbit Hole,” as well as comedic performances by the West of Shake Rag improv group.
Mississippi native Larry Sartin’s “Catfish Moon” is a funny and poignant look at fishing, beer and the meaning of life.
The season closes with “All Shook Up,” an updated version of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” that includes Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Me Tender” and “Blue Suede Shoes.”
Music and movement will combine during Tupelo Ballet’s 2009-10 season.
“The Nutcracker,” a holiday tradition, will return in December. It’ll feature fancy costumes and fantastic settings inspired by Tchaikovsky’s enduring classic.
“We’ll have two guest artists from the American Ballet Theatre II in New York City,” said Sharon Long, Tupelo Ballet founder and artistic director.
The ballet’s spring production will feature “Giselle.” Long described it “as the original ‘Phantom of the Opera.’”
“This will be the first time the full-length ballet has been performed here in Tupelo,” Long said. “We’ll be featuring four guest artists from Ballet West in Salt Lake City. We’re very excited.”
Back to “The Nutcracker,” auditions will be 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 13 at 775 Poplarville Street in Tupelo. Dancers from second to 12th grade are invited to the community-wide auditions. Get all the facts by calling (662) 844-4352.
Tupelo Ballet’s season
-Dec. 5, “The Nutcracker.”
- March 27, “Giselle.”
- 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) – $200.
- Balletomane Circle (two season tickets) – $175.
- Individual performance tickets – $10/students, $12/seniors and $20/adults.
- Call (662) 844-1928.
Tupelo Symphony Orchestra
It’s bonus time for Tupelo Symphony Orchestra and Steven Byess, musical director.
The season will open Sept. 26 with a special performance by pianist Cecile Licad.
“This will be without the orchestra,” said Margaret Anne Murphey, TSO’s president and executive director. “It’s a little something extra. We called that ‘lagniappe’ in Louisiana.”
In October, Russian-trained pianist Yakov Kasman will make his fourth appearance with the symphony to perform Tchaikovsky’s “Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra.”
Steve Amerson, Laurie Gayle Stevenson and other guests will sing classical and sacred songs during TSO’s Christmas show.
The symphony will join violinist Alexander Markov and his rock ‘n’ roll band for his “Rock Concerto” in February.
“He’s trying to build a bridge so people will learn to appreciate classical violin music,” Murphey said. “He’s hoping to get young people interested.”
Byess and the orchestra will perform the music of classic cartoons in a March show that will include video clips.
That’ll be followed in April by pianist Mariangela Vacatello, a finalist at the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
“She is a technically brilliant pianist,” Murphey said. “She has a maturity, she has tremendous power and she has a beauty that all go together.”
Tupelo Symphony Orchestra’s season
-Sept. 26, “Season Opener Bonus with Cecile Licad.”
- Oct. 17, “Give Me Tchaikovsky with Yakov Kasman.”
- Dec. 12, “Christmas by Candlelight with Steve Amerson and Laurie Gayle Stevenson.”
- Feb. 20, “Markov Rocks! with Alexander Markov.”
- March 27, “Cartoon Classics/Symphonic Sounds.”
- April 17, “It’s a Winner! with Mariangela Vacatello.”
-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.
- Call (662) 842-8433
Tupelo Concert Association
The 62nd edition of the Tupelo Concert Association will open Sept. 17 with the Hunt Family Fiddlers, an award-winning family of Irish step dancers, fiddlers and singers.
That’s the start to a season highlighted by variety at Tupelo Civic Auditorium.
“The one I’m most excited about seeing is Daniel Rodriguez,” said Chauncey Godwin, association president.
Rodriguez was one of his police department’s designated singers on Sept. 11, 2001.
“They call him the ‘Singing Policeman,’” Godwin said. “He’s very patriotic and has a wonderful voice.”
Pianist Rudolf Bedginas will perform classical music and deliver a steady stream of jokes in February.
In March, the music of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, July Andrews and others will be highlighted in the 11-person show, “Red Hot Hollywood.”
The season will close with Bobby Bruce, otherwise known as Nearly Neil & the Solitary Band.
“If you were ever a Neil Diamond fan,” Godwin said, “not only does he look like him, he sounds just like him.”
Tupelo Concert Association’s season
-Sept. 17, Hunt Family Fiddlers.
- Oct. 12, Daniel Rodriguez.
- Feb. 9, Rudolf Bedginas.
- March 8, “Red Hot Hollywood.”
- April 27, Nearly Neil & the Solitary Band.
- Season – $50
- Call (662) 840-2658 or 842-3173