- Tuesday, 01 October 2019
- Written by Stephanie Crider
It’s showtime! Tuesday, Oct. 15, Community Concerts opens its 2019-2020 season with one of the longest-running and best-selling groups of all time — Chicago. It’s the first of a five-concert season for Fayetteville’s oldest arts organization.
The band Chicago was formed in 1967 in, you guessed it, Chicago. The group’s bonafides include two Grammy Awards®, multiple American Music Awards, 11 No. 1 singles, five consecutive No. 1 albums and record sales over 100,000,000, with 47 albums earning gold and platinum certification. Chicago was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, and Chicago’s first album, “Chicago Transit Authority,” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014.
Mannheim Steamroller rings in the holiday season Nov. 19, celebrating the 35th anniversary of this annual Christmas tour. When Mannheim Steamroller’s first album came out in 1984, blending classical music with new age and rock, it changed the holiday music landscape.
“I remember when I came out with my first Christmas album in 1984 followed by our first tour,” said Chip Davis, the founder and creator of Mannheim Steamroller. “Back then, many in the music industry said focusing on Christmas just wouldn’t work. Now, 35 years later, we are still going strong. I want to thank our fans for making us part of their holiday tradition. Today we often see multi-generational families join us during the holidays each year.”
Cozy up with your sweetheart as the Texas Tenors take the stage Friday, Feb. 14. In 2009, the Texas Tenors appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” In the 10 years since, they’ve released four albums, two television specials, four DVDs, several singles and a children’s book. They’ve won three Emmy Awards, The Gelett Burgess Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature and the distinction of being Billboard Magazine’s 2017 #10 Classical Crossover Artist in the World. Their most recent albums “Rise” and “A Collection of Broadway and American Classics” both debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Chart.
Shake off the winter blues March 6 with The Temptations and The Four Tops. The Temptations have been wowing fans with smash hits for more than 50 years. Today’s members of the group, Otis Williams, Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Larry Braggs, Willie Greene Jr., continue the tradition of great music. “The Temps have always been known for great lead singers” said original member Otis Williams. “Today we have four of the greatest leads in the proud history of the group.”
The Four Tops first came together in 1953 as the Four Aims. The band’s first hit was “Baby I Need Your Loving.” It was released in 1964 and made them stars. It was the beginning of decades of smash hits including, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch,” “Reach Out,” “Standing In The Shadows in Love,” “Bernadette,” “Ain’t No Woman,” “When She Was My Girl,” “It’s the Same Old Song” and more. Today, the band is made up of original member Abdul “Duke” Fakir, singer and songwriter Alexander Morris of Detroit. Ronnie McNeir replaced the legendary Levi Stubbs and Roquel Payton, who is the son of original member Lawrence Payton, is part of the group as well.
Stay tuned for the final 2019-2020 concert details, to be announced at a later date.
In addition to great music, Community Concerts support great causes throughout the community. From scholarships to performance opportunities to the Fayetteville Music Hall of Fame, this all-volunteer organization not only brings first-class entertainment to the community at reasonable prices, but it also works to help grow the local arts community.
- Monday, 23 September 2019
- Written by Elizabeth Blevins
The Gilbert Theater opened the 2019-2020 season with “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. The show, which launched its 26th season, brings the familiar fun of Charlie Brown and his friends to a new audience, while thrilling the inner child of older audience members with a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The show runs through Oct. 6.
Linda Flynn, the stage designer, kept things simple with a sunny background, reminiscent of the original comic look. The actors carry the few props they use in and out of each scene as necessary. But they didn’t skimp on tradition. Schroeder’s piano, Lucy’s psychiatric advice booth and Linus’s blanket all feature prominently throughout the play.
The production also stayed close to tradition with the costumes. Lucy is in a blue dress, Sally wears pink and Charlie Brown is unmistakable in his iconic yellow tee shirt with brown zig zags. Their characters are as familiar as a childhood friend.
The cast dazzled the audience. 18-year-old Dan Follett was irresistible as Charlie Brown. He plays the anxiety-ridden character perfectly and has the audience in tears as he pines for the ‘red-head girl’ from beneath a brown paper bag.
Jennifer Czechowski is the delightfully bossy, Lucy. She bounces back and forth between know-it-all psychologist and lovestruck schoolgirl pining away for Schroeder with ease.
Gage Long plays Schroeder, the tortured artist who’s more infatuated with Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” than Lucy’s attention-seeking moves. His character seems hopelessly out of place when he’s not banging on his beloved keyboard.
Caryn Festa plays Sally. Her platinum ringlets and fluffy pink dress notwithstanding, she’s the most adult-like character in the bunch with an innate ability to manipulate everyone from the teacher to Snoopy.
LeeAnn Valcarcel is Snoopy, America’s most beloved pet. Whether she’s lounging on top of the doghouse or chasing rabbits with Sally, she’s delightfully sarcastic and always manages to appear cooler than the humans.
And finally, Quentin King steals the show as Linus. His lispy line delivery juxtaposed with his four-syllable dialogue were charming. Who else could deliver a five-minute dissertation on the psychological similarities between a security blanket and an adult’s hobby? And he truly believes he can walk away. “It’s a cozy sanctuary but it’s far from necessary, ‘Cause I’m just as self-reliant as before. As a simple demonstration of my independent station, I will go and leave my blanket on the floor.” Until he realizes he can’t.
The entire cast warbles through each song, slightly off key but with the enthusiasm only a school-aged child could deliver. And they bounce from one scene to another, staying only long enough to remind you of some long-forgotten conversation, maybe on the playground or in your best friend’s back yard. And then they’re off again, bouncing around your childhood memories and hitting all the hot spots.
For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.GilbertTheater.com.