Back to the future: 2020 holdovers, new events fill Abilene entertainment schedules – Abilene Reporter-News
Last year, we learned a hard lesson.
There’s no business when there’s … no business. That includes show business.
Despite uncertainties with the ongoing pandemic, event organizations have gone forward with plans for their 2020-2021 seasons in Abilene.
If the theme is back to business, even with health precautions already in place or to be considered, the sub theme is unfinished business.
Several shows postponed by the pandemic have been rescheduled.
The third time is the charm for at least two shows.
One is a long-awaited return by Canadian Brass, which was a spring and summer 2020 event before being reset for Jan. 15 with the Abilene Philharmonic.
Another is “Dog Man: The Musical,” which twice was scratched by the Children’s Performing Arts Series. It’s due in town April 3.
CPAS maintains balance with pet lovers by pairing “Dog Man” with “Pete the Cat,” on Feb. 27.
While many faces remain the same, CPAS now is led by Melissa Harrell.
Abilene Community Theatre had to pull “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” last holiday season just before it was scheduled. It has been rescheduled for early December.
ACT will be doubly in the holiday mood, also offering “A Doublewide, Texas, Christmas” also that month. The theater did “Doublewide, Texas” last season.
Speaking of ACT, there will be shows offered on both the Main Stage and Black Box theaters this year. Main Stage productions run six shows over two weekends; Black Box shows will be one weekend, the exception being “Christmas Carol.”
The Abilene Philharmonic, which successfully juggled its 2020-21 season, will return to the Abilene Convention Center on Dec. 4 – its first performance in the concert hall since February 2020.
The season begins again with two outdoor concerts at the Abilene Zoo, then a Bachtoberfest event on the roof of The Grace Museum.
Several concerts previously planned have been rescheduled, including the music of “Wicked” and “The Wizard of Oz” on Feb. 5 and a tribute to the Beatles on June 11.
Returning after the longest break of all is the Broadway Series.
Two shows are holdovers – “Beautiful: The Music of Carole King” and “Waitress.”
The strong lineup adds “The Buddy Holly Show,” based on the early-day rockin’ roller born in Lubbock, and “An Officer and a Gentleman: A New Musical.” That’s based on the 1982 movie that starred Richard Gere and Debra Winter. It featured the song “Up Where We Belong.”
Abilene’s three universities have special shows.
It won’t be Halloween yet, but McMurry will welcome home “The Addams Family” for homecoming.
The fall musical at Hardin-Simmons is “Sweet Charity,” with Terri Wilkerson directing.
And Abilene Christian returns to the Convention Center for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” a show also delayed by the pandemic.
Retired ACU professor Adam Hester Jr. returns in early 2022 to direct “The Light in the Plazza.”
The Abilene Community Band hopes to be back in business this fall, with its autumn concert planned for Oct. 19 at the Paramount Theatre.
The local holiday season last year was not complete without “The Nutcracker,” which will be back Nov. 19-21.
On the concert scene, shows picked up dramatically this year. Texas-based ZZ Top is scheduled for Dec. 7 at the Taylor County Coliseum despite the recent death of bassist Dusty Hill. And comedian Bert Kreischer is here two days later.
There is music a-plenty at the West Texas Fair & Rodeo, with Curtis Grimes, Ariel Hutchins, Mike Ryan and Big Country favorite Jody Nix among those scheduled.
Here is what is planned … for now. Stay tuned for changes.
Greg Jaklewicz is editor of the Abilene Reporter-News and general columnist. If you appreciate locally driven news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.
Abilene Ballet Theatre
For tickets and information, call 325-672-0303 or go to abileneballettheatre.org.
Nov. 19-21: “The Nutcracker,” Paramount Theatre
March 6: “Fairy Tales & Fables”
Abilene Christian University
Season ticket packages are available for four or five shows. For tickets and information, go to https://www.acu.edu/academics/college-of-arts-and-sciences/departments/theatre/ or call 325-674-2787.
Sept. 9-10: “Tied,” by ACU graduate Crystal Rae and guest directed by Warren Jackson, Fulks Theatre. Free admission (recommended for ages 16 and older)
Oct. 15-17: Homecoming musical: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” guest directed by Jesse Galvan, Abilene Convention Center. Open seating, with tickets $30 (balcony) to $45 (floor). Student rush tickets are $5.
Nov. 15-20: Cornerstone Play: “God’s Favorite,” a Neil Simon play directed by Adam Hester, Fulks Theatre (talkbacks after each performance). Tickets $25; open seating.
Dec. 10: Film launch of “Dance of Courage,” a project directed by Lily Balogh
Feb. 17-19: Winter musical: “The Light in the Plazza,” directed by Adam Hester, Fulks Theatre (recommended for ages 10 and older). Tickets $25 (no dinner) and $50 (with dinner); open seating
April 17-9, 22-23: “Bus Stop,” directed by Gary Varner, Fulks Theatre (recommended for ages 10 and older. Talkback April 22. Dinner served April 23). Tickets $25 (no dinner) and $50 (with dinner); open seating.
Abilene Community Band
Go to abilenecommunityband.org for updated information on the 2021-22 season. Shows are free but donations welcome.
Oct. 19: Fall concert, Paramount Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
December TBA: City Sidewalks Christmas Lights Parade, Paramount Theatre
Abilene Community Theatre
Shows start at 7:30 p.m. This season offers two-weekend productions on the Main Stage and one-weekend shows at the adjacent Black Box. For tickets or information, go to abilenecommunitytheatre.org or call 325-673-6271.
Sept. 17-19, 24-26: “Clue,” directed by Amanda Keith, Main Stage
Oct. 14-16: “Proof,” directed by Gavyn Hardegree, Black Box
Oct. 29-31, Nov. 5-7: “The Boys Next Door,” directed by Keith May, Main Stage
Dec. 2-4, 9-11: “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” directed by Mike Stephens, Black Box
Dec. 9-12, 17-19: “A Doublewide, Texas, Christmas,” directed by Stacey Love, Main Stage
Feb. 3-5: “Collected Stories,” directed by Chelsea Deltz, Black Box
Feb. 11-13, 18-20: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” directed by Scot Miller, Main Stage
March 10-12: “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire Du Lune,” directed by Amanda Keith, Black Box
April 1-3, 8-10: “Charley’s Aunt,” directed by Elise Pryor-Harden, Main Stage
May 13-15, 20-22: “Three Tall Women,” directed by Gavyn Hardegree, Main Stage
The fall season will be “on the road” before returning for the first time since February 2020 to the Abilene Convention Center. Go to abilenephilharmonic.org for information and ticket purchases. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. unless noted.
Sept. 18: “Pops in the Park,” Abilene Zoo.
Oct. 2: “Classics Under the Stars,” Abilene Zoo
Oct 28: “Bachtoberfest,” atop The Grace Museum
Dec. 4: “Christmas Movie Magic,” Pops I at Abilene Convention Center
Jan. 15: Canadian Brass, Masterworks I at ACC
Feb. 5: “The Wonderfully Wicked Music of Oz,” Pops II at ACC
March 5: “The Planets” by Holst, Masterworks II at ACC
April 9: “Mystical Nights,” Masterworks III, ACC
April 28: “Vino with the Maestro” (donor event), Paramount Theatre
May 7: “1812 Overture,” Masterworks VI at ACC
June 11: “Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles,” Pops III at ACC
Abilene Opera Association
No information for 2021-22 is available but word is “Messiah” will be performed in December after missing in 2020. Go to www.abileneopera.org for updates.
Shows return to the Abilene Convention Center, each starting at 7:30 p.m. Go to celebrityattractions.com for ticket information.
Sept. 21: “The Buddy Holly Story”
Nov. 30: “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”
March 17: “An Officer and a Gentleman: A New Musical”
April 7: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific”
May 29: “Waitress”
Children’s Performing Arts Series
Tickets are $10 a seat, with season packages available. Shows generally are at 2 p.m. Sundays at the Paramount Theatre. For tickets or information, go to cpasabilene.org.
Nov. 7: “Artrageous”
Feb. 27: “Pete the Cat”
April 3: “Dog Man: The Musical”
May 1: “The Little Mermaid”
Most shows begin at 7:30 p.m., with a run beginning on a Thursday. Some shows also offer 2 p.m. matinees that Sunday. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 military, students and students, and free for HSU faculty, staff and students. Call the box office for tickets and information, 325-670-1405.
Sept. 17: “Pops at the Pond,” student outdoor musical showcase, no admission, 5:30 p.m. Free admission.
Sept. 30, Oct. 1-3: “Blithe Spirit,” directed by Victoria Spangler, Van Ellis Theatre. Includes 2 p.m.
Nov. 4-7: “Sweet Charity,” directed by Teri Wilkerson, Behrens Auditorium. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 military, seniors and students, and $5 HSU faculty, staff and students.
Nov. 19-20: “DirectFest Fall 2021,” VET
Feb. 17-20: “You Can’t Take It With You,” directed by Dr. Stace Gaddy, VET
March 5: “24-Hour Shakespeare,” VET (7 p.m.)
March 7-9: “You Can’t Take It With You,” Christian University Theatre Festival, VET
(HSU is host)
March TBD: Director’s Cut
April 7-10: Show TBD, VET
April 27-30: DirectFest Spring 2022, VET
June: New York City trip
Most performances are at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee Sundays. For information, go to https://academics.mcm.edu/theatre/index.html or call the box office at 325-793-3889.
Oct. 14-17: Homecoming musical: “The Addams Family: A New Musical,” directed by Neena McLain, Radford Auditorium. Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 for military, seniors and students, and $5 for McMurry faculty, staff and students.
Nov. 18-21: “Constellations,” directed by Kerry Goff, Ryan Little Theatre. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 military, seniors and students, and $5 for McMurry faculty, staff and students.
Feb. 17-20: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Neena McLain, RLT
March: “Graceland,” Christian University Theatre Festival, RLT
April 4-7: “I Do Believe,” directed by Ashleigh Goff, RLT
April: TBD, student-directed one-act plays
Movie tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for children, students, seniors and military. The slate of 2022 classic movies will be announced before the holidays. Go to paramountabilene.com or call 325-676- 9620.
Aug. 21-22: “Mi Tierra Mexicana,” 58th anniversary celebration of St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church Ballet Folklorico (7 p.m. Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday). Tickets $15 adults, $8 children under age 10.
Sept. 4: “Tangled,” 2 p.m. All seats are $2
Sept. 10-11: “Goldfinger,” 7:30 each night
Sept. 17-18, 24-25: Paramount fall production: “It’s Only a Play,” directed by Katie Hahn
Oct. 8-9: “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” 7:30 each night
Oct. 30-31: Halloween film: “Get Out,” 7:30 each night
Nov. 5-6: “24fps International Short Film Festival,” 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Nov. 12-13: “Gone With the Wind,” 7:30 each night
Dec. 4: “Home Alone,” 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 10-11: Holiday film: “White Christmas,” 7:30 each night
Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve film: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” 7:30 p.m.