The Grand Opera House Announces 2016-2017 Season

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MACON – The 2016-2017 Grand Broadway Series will include the following hit shows: FAME, Annie, Once and 42nd Street.

Additionally, the Concert and Broadway Bonus offerings will feature: Murder on the Nile, The Fifth Dimension, John Berry's annual Christmas Concert, Hotel California: A Tribute to The Eagles and The Marvin Gaye Experience.

Finally, the GrandKids Art Education Series will offer the following educational and entertaining programs: We the People, Pete The Cat, The Lightning Thief, and The Teacher From the Black Lagoon.

Season subscribers can renew their seats in June. Single tickets for all our shows will be processed after subscribers, and are available starting July 1.

The Grand's 2016-17 Broadway Series

FAME, Oct. 2-3, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

In spring 1980, over 4,000 young hopefuls auditioned for the New York City High School of the Performing Arts. Only 97 students were admitted… the cream of the crop!

FAME – The Musical is a full-throttle journey traversing the struggles, fears, and triumphs of young artists navigating the worlds of dance, music and theatre. Conceived from the unforgettable Academy Award-winning film and subsequent Emmy Award-Winning television series, this unmistakable title has been brilliantly transformed into riveting musical theatre.

Single tickets to the show will cost $71 in Area I and $62 in Area II, or $45 in the Boxes.

Annie, Nov. 21-22, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Leapin' Lizards! The world's best-loved musical returns in time-honored form to The Grand Opera House for two performances on Nov. 21-22 at 7:30 p.m. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, this production of Annie will be a brand new incarnation of the iconic original.

Featuring book and score by Tony Award®-winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie includes such unforgettable songs as “It's the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don't Need Anything But You,” plus the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

Single tickets to the show will cost $71 in Area I and $62 in Area II, or $45 in the Boxes.

42nd Street, Feb. 7-8, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

The quintessential backstage musical comedy classic, 42nd Street is the song and dance fable of Broadway with an American Dream story and includes some of the greatest songs ever written, such as “We're In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You,” and, of course, “42nd Street.”

Based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley's 1933 movie, 42nd Street tells the story of a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves her Allentown home and comes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical Pretty Lady. When the leading lady breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and becomes a star. With a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, this sparkling new production will be directed by co-author Mark Bramble and choreographed by Randy Skinner, the team who staged the 2001 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival.

Single tickets to the show will cost $71 in Area I and $62 in Area II, or $45 in the Boxes.

Once, March 14-15, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Once is a truly original Broadway experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights… but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance. Emotionally captivating and theatrically breathtaking, Once draws you in from the very first note and never lets go. It's an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.

Single tickets to the show will cost $71 in Area I and $62 in Area II, or $45 in the Boxes.

The Grand's Broadway Add-On

Murder on the Nile, March 5, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Aquila Theatre, in its 25th anniversary season, stages Murder on the Nile, by one of the greatest mystery writers in world literature – Agatha Christie. This brilliant new production features a masterful whodunit and Aquila's clever signature style.

Murder on the Nile, Agatha Christie's own staging of her famous novel, Death on the Nile, is set on a paddle steamer cruising the legendary Nile River in 1940s Eygpt. The passengers aboard are abuzz when the famous heiress, Kay Ridgeway, and her penniless new husband, Simon Mostyn, board the ship. Class, money and reputation are all at stake in one way or another for the passengers and before they know it deceit, theft and murder quickly make waves on the river. Spurned lover Jacqueline De Severac, protective uncle Canon Pennefather, a troubled German Doctor and a host of colorful and mysterious characters add to the drama and suspense of this classic Agatha Christie mystery.

Who can be trusted? Who holds the truth? Aquila Theatre brings its innovative touch to this deliciously dangerous murder mystery, with brilliant direction, superb acting, thrilling physicality and stunning designs. Aquila's Murder on the Nile will be a classic all over again.

Single tickets to the show will cost $45 in Area I and $37 in Area II.

The Grand's 2016-17 Concert Series

The 5th Dimension, Sept. 4, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

In 1967, a little known vocal group called The 5th Dimension recorded a song called “Up, Up, and Away,” which turned out to be one of the biggest smash hits in musical history. The single won several Grammy Awards. The group catapulted to stardom, and their story has been one of success ever since.

The 5th Dimension has released over a dozen hit albums and received 14 gold records, six platinum records and six Grammy Awards. Their classics include such hits as “Up, Up, and Away,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Last Night I Didn't Get to Sleep” and “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In.”

The group has headlined in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City regularly and continues to tour extensively throughout the rest of the United States, Europe and Asia. Their personal appearance itinerary has placed them on the world's most glamorous stages for over 40 years, including a tour of England and a performance at Radio City Music Hall with the late Frank Sinatra. While remaining true to their roots of intricate harmonies, The 5th Dimension continues to grow with the times to appeal to audiences of all ages and nationalities.

Preferring for the group to be innovators rather than imitators, original member Florence LaRue, along with Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker, Patrice Morris and Floyd Smith, has put together a show and sound that is truly their own, with more vocal range than ever and material that is fresh and varied. LaRue also works hard to remain true to the sound of The 5th Dimension's original recordings.

The group plans to take time out from their busy schedule to record a new CD to satisfy the many requests from fans and to introduce their music to the new generation.

Perhaps a recent reviewer of the White Plains Citizen said it best: “Their voices and harmony are stronger, more emotional, and as meaningful, perhaps more meaningful than when they first became hits in the 1965-1975 era… Today's Dimensions deliver a tight, personal show, as crisp as old top 40 Radio.”

Single tickets to the show will cost $55 in Area I and $47 in Area II.

John Berry's Annual Christmas Concert, Dec. 16, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Grammy Award nominee John Berry returns with his nationally touring Christmas concert to the Grand Opera House for this annual holiday favorite event. Berry's 1995 album “O Holy Night” launched his annual Christmas concert tour, which is now in its 17th year. Berry has had a string of hits, including “Your Love Amazes Me,” “Standing on the Edge of Goodbye,” “I Think About it All the Time,” “Change my Mind,” “If I Had Any Pride Left At All,” “Kiss Me in the Car,” “What's in it for Me” and “You and Only You.” But it was his stunning performance of the title track of the “O Holy Night” album that led to his most enduring legacy, his annual Christmas concert.

In 1995, Berry's single “Your Love Amazes Me” earned him a Grammy nomination, joining the 18 other hit songs of his that made it to the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. In fact, many of Berry's albums have gone gold and platinum, earning awards from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. Still, for Berry, the Christmas concert is special, as it provides him with a chance to share his faith and, according to his website, he views his performances as part of “his walk with Christ, (where) his calling has been to share God's love with his audience.” Audiences nationwide agree, selling out each stop on a regular basis, and joining together to celebrate with song and good company what the season means to them – family, friends and faith.

Single tickets cost $38 for all seating levels.

Hotel California: A Tribute to the Eagles, Feb. 26, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

For more than two decades, Hotel California has touched the hearts of fans all over the world, by faithfully and accurately reproducing the Grammy award-winning sounds of the Eagles. See how a spirited blend of originality and the pursuit of excellence have taken Hotel California to a level of international recognition normally reserved only for gold and platinum recording artists.

This dynamic, highly acclaimed show incorporates their very own world renowned vocal harmony, and authentic instrumentation, including all specialty instruments in a stage spectacle that is both modern and exciting. Each concert presents an exciting showcase of The Eagles' megahits such as “Take it Easy,” “Heartache Tonight” and, of course, “Hotel California,” as well as selected titles from the solo works of Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh.

So join us now on a trip down a dark desert highway, feel the cool wind in your hair and experience Grammy award-winning sounds… Relax, it's time to check in to the Hotel California.

Single tickets to the show will cost $39 in Area I and $35 in Area II.

What's Going On: The Marvin Gaye Experience, March 12, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

As one of the pioneers of Motown, singer-songwriter and producer Marvin Gaye helped shape the sound of R&B music and is considered one of the greatest artists of all time.

Soul man Brian Owens is often referred to as the “second coming of Marvin Gaye.” Owens, who has performed at the White House for First Lady Michelle Obama, dazzles audiences with performances that are full of soul and love well beyond his peers of today. His refined style combining classic soul with a slight modern touch is why audiences everywhere are calling him the new voice of American soul.

What's Going On: The Marvin Gaye Experience is Owens' tribute to the legendary artist and includes music selections that span Gaye's music-making career. Early solo hits like “Can I Get a Witness” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” share space with “You're All I Need to Get By” and other classic duets. And any Marvin Gaye song list would be incomplete without perennial (and challenging) crowd-pleasers like “Let's Get It On” or “Got To Give It Up.”

At its heart, Owens' Marvin Gaye Experience is about “preservation – upholding the tradition of true soul music that is so desperately needed in our culture today.” The show prominently features a suite of pieces from Gaye's “What's Going On” album, counted as “one of the most socially important artistic works in the history of American music.” In light of recent events in and around Ferguson, Missouri, where he resides, Owens says the show also speaks to a heightened sense of urgency and the prophetic beauty of Gaye's 1971 work.

Single tickets to the show will cost $35 in Area I and $33 in Area II.

The 2016-17 Grand Kids Art Education Series

The GrandKids Arts Education Series brings science and literature to life for young audiences. Professionally produced, nationally touring one-hour performances begin at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Tickets are only $7. Murder on the Nile is a 2-hour bonus show on March 6 at 9:30 a.m., and tickets are $15.

Each performance in the GrandKids Arts Education Series comes with a study guide to help make students' theatre experience as meaningful as possible. For many, it will be their first time viewing a live theatrical production. We have learned that when teachers discuss the play with their students before and after the production, the experience is more significant and long-lasting. We hope you and your class enjoy the shows!

We The People, Oct. 13, 2016

Theatreworks USA is proud to present We the People, a musical revue that brings American Civics lessons to life and promises to make Social Studies exciting and accessible. Students will have a blast learning about the three branches of government, the First Amendment, presidential elections, democracy, the judicial process and more.

Barreling through a variety of musical styles relevant to today's youth, including rock, rhythm-and-blues, and hip-hop, We the People will instill American pride in audiences of all ages, and perhaps even inspire them to get involved and make a difference.

Recommended for grades 4-8. Curriculum Connections: Communication and Language Arts, Music, Relationships and Family, Social Studies

Pete The Cat, Nov. 2, 2016

When Pete the Cat gets caught rocking out after bedtime, the cat-catcher sends him to live with the Biddle family to learn his manners – and boy are they square! But for the groovy blue cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up, so the minute Pete walks in the door, he gets the whole family rocking. The whole family, that is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second-grader on planet earth.

As the end of second grade approaches, Jimmy has a lot of tests, and the last thing he needs is some groovy cat in his life, changing his family and turning everything upside down. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect friend to help him out. Together, they set out on a mission to help Jimmy conquer second grade art, and along the way, they both learn a little something new about inspiration. Join Jimmy and Pete on an adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back in a VW Bus.

Recommended for grades Pre K-3. Curriculum Connections: Communication and Language Arts, Literature-Based, Music, Relationships and Family.

The Lightning Thief, Jan. 9, 2017

Last summer's Off-Broadway production of The Lightning Thief was nominated for an Outstanding Musical from the Lortel Awards and for Best Family Show from the Off Broadway Alliance.

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy has 10 days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Recommended for grades 2-6. Curriculum Connections: Communication and Language Arts, Literature-Based, Music, Relationships and Family, Social Studies.

Teacher From the Black Lagoon & Other Stories, Feb. 16, 2017

An exciting musical revue based on favorite contemporary children's books, Teacher From the Black Lagoon, by Mike Thaler and Jared Lee, follows Hubie's imagination as he faces his comically horrific fears and discovers that his new teacher is pleasantly human after all.

Recommended for grades K-4. Curriculum Connections: Communication and Language Arts, Literature-Based, Music.

Murder on the Nile (full two-hour performance), March 6, 2017

Aquila Theatre, in its 25th anniversary season, stages Murder on the Nile, by one of the greatest mystery writers in world literature: Agatha Christie. This brilliant new production features a masterful whodunit and Aquila's clever signature style.

Murder on the Nile, Agatha Christie's own staging of her famous novel, Death on the Nile, is set on a paddle steamer cruising the legendary Nile River in 1940s Eygpt. The passengers aboard are abuzz when the famous heiress, Kay Ridgeway, and her penniless new husband, Simon Mostyn, board the ship. Class, money and reputation are all at stake in one way or another for the passengers and before they know it deceit, theft and murder quickly make waves on the river. Spurned lover Jacqueline De Severac, protective uncle Canon Pennefather, a troubled German Doctor and a host of colorful and mysterious characters add to the drama and suspense of this classic Agatha Christie mystery.

Aquila Theatre brings its innovative touch to this deliciously dangerous murder mystery, with brilliant direction, superb acting, thrilling physicality and stunning designs. Aquila's Murder on the Nile will be a classic all over again.

Recommended for grades 8-12. Admission $15 per person.

For a complete schedule of upcoming performances, visit TheGrandMacon.com or call the Grand's box office at (478) 301-5470.

About The Grand Opera House

The Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of Mercer University, is Central Georgia's premier historic theatre presenting professionally produced, national touring Broadway productions, concerts, comedy, dance and variety shows as well as a full season of GrandKids arts education performances. Its stage is also home to the Macon Civic Club's annual music revue, the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the Nutcracker of Middle Georgia and several other civic and arts organizations. The 1,000-seat theatre is located at 651 Mulberry St. in downtown Macon. The box office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. For a complete schedule of upcoming performances visit TheGrandMacon.com or call (478) 301-5470.