LUMBERTON — The stage has been set for a year of entertainment to appeal to a variety of music fans.
Everything from bluegrass to Motown, old-style country and classical is on tap for the upcoming season at the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater.
“We try to start each season with an old school, classic favorites type band,” said Richard Sceiford, executive director. “Last year it was The Drifters and this year it’s ‘A Temptations Revue,’ featuring Bo Henderson. We always know that will be a really fun concert and they typically sell out very quickly, these opening shows.”
The Temptations is considered by many to be the top R&B group of all time.
“A Temptations Revue featuring Bo Henderson” will be at the Civic Center on Sept. 23. The show recreates the harmonies and choreographed dance steps that made the Temptations famous and features a six-piece band that is a show in itself. Many of the players have backed up or opened for original Motown artists, including other former members of the Temptations.
— Riders in the Sky: A different style is up next on Oct. 6 with the Riders in the Sky Salute Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys. Riders In The Sky are said to have been keepers of the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.
With two Grammy wins, Riders also have been the Western Music Association’s Entertainers Of the Year six times, and won Traditional Group of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year multiple times. Billboard magazine’s Jim Bessman counts them as one of “the most significant acts in the history of American music.”
“For of lot of country fans who are of a certain age, they (Riders) were on TV a lot back in the ’60s and ’70s and they recall seeing them on television,” Sceiford said. “This is their 40th anniversary tour and it is a tribute to Roy Rogers. It’s songs that Roy Rogers made famous on radio and in movies. They have amazing harmonizing. Just like the ‘Temptations Revue,’ these groups are backed by a full band.”
There is also a lot of humor and story-telling involved, he said. It’s not contemporary country, it’s old school cowboy country.
— “Phantom of the Opera:” Rescheduled because of Hurricane Matthew, “Phantom of the Opera” will be staged on Oct. 26. Organist and composer Mark Andersen returns to his home theater and its Mighty Morton theater organ with a special evening of film and singing just in time for Halloween.
The first half of the show features Andersen accompanying on organ the 1925 silent horror film classic with his own original score, while the second half features some of the region’s top vocalists performing selections from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s hit musical.
— The Outliers: An annual event in partnership with the Robeson County Arts Council, this year features The Outliers, a popular five-piece eclectic bluegrass ensemble hailing from Raleigh that will be in concert on Nov. 2.
The Outliers’ influences range from the founders of bluegrass music to new originals and ancient tunes from the old country.
— “A Robeson County Christmas:”
The Civic Center’s annual holiday musical revue, which will show from Dec. 7 to Dec. 10, features the best regional performers singing and dancing in the holidays. This year’s show features Lumberton’s own Miss North Carolina 2013-14, Johna Edmonds, X-Factor Top 40 selection Tyler Cole, and Jef the Mime. The theater will be decorated for Christmas and, of course, there will be appearances by Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus.
— Balsam Range: Sceiford is excited to bring another Bluegrass group to the Civic Center, Balsam Range, which will perform on Feb. 10.
“They are easily the most requested group to bring back from our audiences,” Sceiford said.
He said Balsam Range has taken its music to the next level.
“For that finish, for that gold, smooth finish, it’s a different level and these guys have it. We’re really happy to have them back,” he said.
— Young Irelanders:
On March 9, The Young Irelanders, which comprises eight performers who have Irish traditional music, song and dance running through their veins, will perform.
“I’m really excited about The Young Irelanders,” Sceiford said. “It will be a combination of music, dancing, and singing.”
The artists have toured as lead performers with Riverdance and Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, been soloists on PBS specials, shared the stage with Bono, and have collaborated with Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones and Sting.
— Talent contest: My Time to Shine Talent Competition, which features local peformaers, will be held on March 24.
— Redneck Tenors: Three Redneck Tenors will bring their humor and talents to the stage on April 27. It may sound down home, but these are talented singers, Sceiford said.
A description of ther show says the “musical comedy featuring classically trained veteran artists is like Duck Dynasty goes to Carnegie Hall: down home laughs with big-city music.” Written by opera veteran Matthew Lord, with music arranged by award-winning composer Craig Bohmler, Three Redneck Tenors have been entertaining audiences since 2006.
“They are classical singers,” Sceiford said. “It’s almost like a musical. It has a narrative form to it.”
— “Into the Woods:” James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a modern classic on June 8, 9 and 10 and June 15, 16 and 17. The Tony Award-winning book and score follows a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the king’s festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse.
Tickets go on sale on July 5 at the Civic Center office but can be purchased online starting Saturday.
Tickets for the Mainstage Series can be purchased online by going to www.carolinaciviccenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased in person with a credit card or cash from noon until 6 p.m., Mondays through Fridays at the administrative offices in the theater’s second floor by entering on the Fourth Street side. Tickets also can be purchased by calling 910-738-4339 or, if available, at the door on the day of the performance. The box office opens for ticket sales one hour before performances.
Mainstage Series tickets are $25. Starting this season for the Mainstage Series, there are package discounts purchases of four, five or six shows at the same time. There also is a senior and military discount of $22 available for each Mainstage show. Student tickets are $10.
The group rate is $17 per ticket with advance purchase of 10 or more at same time, and are available by contacting the box office.
Tickets for members of Southeastern Regional Medical Center’s PrivilegesPlus program are $20 per show. For details about joining PrivilegesPlus please visit www.srmc.org/pplus.
Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater is located at 315 N. Chestnut St. in Lumberton.
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-416-5865.