GREENVILLE — The Darke County Center for the Arts has announced the line-up for its 2016-17 season, themed “Connections,” beginning with the Barbecue and Blues fundraiser in July.
The special featured event this year will be Riders in the Sky, a Salute to Roy Rogers. The event will will Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. at St. Clair Memorial Hall. Riders in the Sky is a four-piece cowboy music and comedy troupe, popular with children and adults alike. The group recorded the song, “Woody’s Roundup” for the Disney Pixar film “Toy Story 2.” After the show on Saturday night, the group will present a special program for kids, the Kid’s Corral, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at Memorial Hall. Tickets for the Saturday event are $30, and tickets for the kids’ event on Sunday are $10.
“They’ve been a big local favorite,” said Keith Rawlins, DCCA artistic director. “Both times we sold out every single seat in the house.”
Barbecue and Blues is set for July 15 at Turtle Creek Golf Course. The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and will feature performances by Cincinnati blues artist Jay Jesse Johnson, as well as the local duo of Higgins-Madewell. Tickets are $10.
The second fundraiser of the year will be the popular Ghost Walk, which will be conducted Oct. 28, 29 and 30, with tours setting out from St. Clair Memorial Hall at 7:30 p.m. each night. The historical-themed walk through Greenville will include stories based on Rita Arnold’s “Ghosts of Darke County” book series. Tickets are $10.
A Taste of Wine and Jazz XXX will come to Montage Cafe on Jan. 20, featuring four wine selections, a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres and musical entertainment. The cost for the evening is $35, and tickets typically sell out quickly.
The final fundraiser of the season is another popular event at Montage Cafe, Irish Wave. The night includes lots of food, a wide variety of craft beers and musical guest Lone Raven. Tickets are $35.
There will be four shows in the Artists’ Series at Memorial Hall in the upcoming season, including a special holiday show and the ever-popular season-closing performance by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. All Artists’ Series shows begin at 8 p.m.
Loren and Mark will be on stage Sept. 24. This acoustic guitar and vocal duo consisting of Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb have traveled the world with their original and cover versions in bluegrass, jazz and country. Tickets are $20.
The holiday special is a performance of “A Christmas Carol,” a highly requested return of musical theater to the DCCA line-up. The show will be Dec. 17, and tickets are $25.
“We didn’t know about a holiday show, but we did the Glen Miller Orchestra show last year and sold out the show,” Rawlins said. “We’ve had a lot of people asking about musical theater. It’s been about 10 years since we’ve had musical theater in Memorial Hall.”
Rawlins said “A Christmas Carol” will have a cast of 23 people on stage and will be a “big production.”
“I’m really excited about that one,” Rawlins said.
Next up in the Artists’ Series will be We Banjo 3, which consists of brothers Enda and Fergal Scahill, along with Martin and David Howley, playing not only banjo, but also fiddle, mandolin, guitar and percussion to accompany their voices. Tickets are $20 for the Feb. 4 show.
“We Banjo 3 compares to last year’s Voiceplay,” Rawlins said. “They will play in the high schools for a week again. With Voiceplay, we sold out the first day it was in the schools. I think that will probably happen again.”
The Toledo Symphony Orchestra closes not only the Artists’ Series but the entire season April 29 with “I’ve Got Rhythm,” a tribute to the sounds and styles of the jazz age. This season’s show will include guest pianist Michael Chertock and will include the music of George and Ira Gershwin. Tickets are $30.
The Coffee House Series keeps the entertainment more intimate, in smaller venues with closer interaction with the audience.
One exception this season will be the Coffee House series performance of AudioBody, which will be in St. Clair Memorial Hall Dec. 15 beginning at 7 p.m. Two brothers blend music, comedy and technology for an exciting and explosive performance.
“AudioBody is pretty impossible to explain,” Rawlins said. “They’re comedians. They’re brothers, so they have that connection. It’s so good and it’s so funny. I’ve seen them twice and both times I laughed myself out of my seat.”
Other shows in the Coffee House series are as follows:
• Oct. 13, 7 p.m., Montage Cafe – Mirari Brass Quintet
• Feb. 9, 7 p.m., Arcanum Historical Society – John Latini
• March 2, 7 p.m., The Coffee Pot – Jason Farnham
• April 20, 7 p.m., Union City Arts Depot – Scott Ainslie
• May 11, 7 p.m., The Bistro Off Broadway – Blues from the Heart of Rock & Roll City, featuring Walkin’ Cane and Kristine Jackson
Tickets for all shows for the Coffee House Series are $10 each.
In addition to the Kids’ Corral show, there are three more shows in the Family Theatre Series at St. Clair Memorial Hall. These plays are specially planned for younger audiences and last about an hour. Chicken Dance will be Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. Laura Ingalls Wilder will be Jan. 29. Brown Bear Brown Bear will be April 23. Tickets are $5 each for these three shows.
DCCA is offering the Missoula Children’s Theatre Residency again this year, from Aug. 1 through Aug. 6. The program is open to students entering grades 1-12, and this year’s performance will be “Alice in Wonderland.” Forms to register are available at the DCCA office or will be available on audition day, Aug. 1.
There is no cost to participate in the program, thanks to sponsorship by the Darke county Endowment for the Arts. Auditions are Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to noon. Rehearsals will be Monday following auditions until 2:30 p.m., then Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., depending on the role. Performances will be Aug. 6 at 3 and 7 p.m. at St. Clair Memorial Hall. Tickets for the performance are $5.
“This last season was one of the most successful seasons ever in terms of audience attendance,” Rawlins said. “We sold out a record number of events this year.”
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