The season opens as the Averitt Center celebrates its Fifth Anniversary. Since opening in September 2004, the Averitt Center has brought some great talents to the Emma Kelly Theater and officials hope this year will be unlike any other. The primary focus of the season is to showcase high quality artists, who also are from or work mainly in Georgia.
"Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Jazz Orchestra" is the headline act of the Anniversary celebration. They are bringing their unique big band style to the Emma Kelly Theater Saturday, Sept. 12. Since forming the band in Savannah, Jeremy Davis said they have tried to embody "Great American song book" in a modern and interesting way. With stylings similar to that of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack," Otis Redding, and even Johnny Cash, the 17-piece orchestra brings a "funny and family-friendly, full-on entertainment experience" to Statesboro.
"Up beat music and off beat lyrics" was how the L.A. Times described the "Apostles of Blue Grass." Hailing from Manfield, Ga., the Apostles continually push the limits of the bluegrass musical genre with their edgy and comedic sounds. On Saturday, Oct. 24, join Johnny Roquemore, John Nipper and Dave Ross as they offer some of their original songs, a host of popular covers, and a even some jokes.
On Nov. 6, the Averitt Center brings you what Atlanta Magazine calls the city's "Best improv troupe!" The "Laughing Matters Comedy" improvisation team is expected to bring lots of laughs to the Emma Kelly Theater. Founded 25 years ago, the Laughing Matters Comedy troupe continues to try to make audiences laugh. Owner Tommy Futch said that Statesboro can expect an "Interactive one-of-a-kind experience that will never be seen anywhere in the world again."
In January, Broadway comes to Statesboro in the form of a duo. "2 For Broadway" with Courtenay Collins and Robert Ray is an intimate 90-minute tribute to the best of Broadway's music. Robert Ray, a former Broadway dancer/actor /singer, joins Courtenay Collins, a Julliard graduate and New York performer, for a showcase songs of from Rogers and Hammerstein, and that's just Act 1. The Second Act features songs from some of Broadway's most popular plays including, "Chicago," "The Producers," "Cabaret", and, "Phantom of the Opera." The show will feature a live 5-piece jazz band and will be in the Emma Kelly on January 23, 2010.
The next show is described as a "High-octane version of Forever Plaid." With plans to make their show even bigger in 2010, "Route 66" is coming to Statesboro in February. Produced by Georgia based Springer Theatricals and written by Roger Bean, Route 66 celebrates a nostalgic period of highways and road-signs and road trips! Producer Paul Pierce says the show will feature "Lots of comedy, music and stage surprises." The nationwide tour stops at the Emma Kelly Theater Feb. 6, 2010, and will feature bigger sets, more lights, and even more elaborate musical numbers than in previous years.
The next artist has released 10n albums, including one "Best of" album. She also received two Dove Awards, is an accomplished song-writer, is a college professor, and has even served as a talk-show host! On March 6, 2010, the Emma Kelly Theater welcomes, Babbie Mason, and her award-winning contemporary gospel stylings. Babbie Mason has held the honor of performing for Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. Bush, and Gerald Ford, in addition to performing for the distinguished Dr. Billy Graham.
For generations the Indian art of Kuchipudi dance has been highly regarded, revered by royals and citizens alike. The Academy of Kuchipudi dance has become a staple in the Indian community in Georgia, bringing it state-side. On May 1, 2010, Statesboro will have the opportunity to be a part of this time honored tradition. Sasikala Penumarthi, who is head of the studio in Atlanta, said the show of an "Ancient Hindu story about love and family" that is sure to be an inspiration.
Season ticket sales begin July 20. Season ticket packages will also go on sale July 20. For any questions about these shows, ticketing information, or any other events happening at the Averitt Center please call (912)-212-2787 or visit www.averittcenterforthearts.org.