VALDOSTA – Music by Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and Frankie Valli top the 2019-20 Presenter Series.
The arts center, and its support organization, Lowndes/Valdosta Arts Commission, has put together a Presenter Series of nationally touring, professional shows for more than 50 years.
Presenter Series fans can look forward to three nationally touring productions in the coming months, said Nancy Warren, who co-chairs the Presenter Series committee with Tina Folsom, and Sementha Mathews, arts center executive director.
The shows are "Cruising Steady: The Music and Friendship of Aretha Franklin & Smokey Robinson," "Once" and "Jersey Boys."
Patrons can purchase discounted early season tickets starting Monday, July 29, through Aug. 30 for $120, for three shows. Early season tickets mean buyers get three shows for the price of two.
Starting Sept. 3, season tickets will be $155, according to the arts center.
Individual show tickets are $60 each this year and will be available closer to show dates.
An optional pre-show dinner will be offered 6 p.m. prior to each show at Mathis City Auditorium, with advanced reservations required, according to organizers.
All performances start 7:30 p.m. on show dates at Mathis City Auditorium, 2300 N. Ashley St.
– "Cruising Steady": Two performers portray Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson, Warren said. Broadway performer Patrice Covington and Jesse Nager, an NAACP award nominee, play the roles respectively. They have performed in Broadway shows such as "Motown the Musical," "Mamma Mia," "Mary Poppins" and "Good Vibrations." "'Cruising Steady' ... is a tribute show that focuses on long-time friends Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson and how their lives were similarly shaped by the times and their experiences," according to the arts center synopsis. Run date: Sept. 23.
– "Once": Warren and Folsom said this show is a gem that won eight 2012 Tony Awards including best musical and won the 2013 Grammy Award for best musical theatre album. It played last year at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Folsom said. Synopsis: "Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, 'Once' tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights ... but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance." Run date: Jan. 28.
– "Jersey Boys": Songs include Top 10 hits such as "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)." Synopsis: "Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony and Grammy award-winning true-life musical phenomenon, 'Jersey Boys.' From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that's just too good to be true." Warren warns the show contains adult "profane Jersey" language and is recommended for ages 12 and up. Run date: March 12.
The Valdosta Daily Times is a long-time Presenter Series sponsor. The Times is joined by Astro Exterminating, Stifel Investment Services, Langdale Vallotton Attorneys at Law, Synovus, Dr. Edward Fricker family, Barbara & Brantley Jenkins and WALB in sponsoring the 2019-20 season.
Community partners are Cowart Electric & Industrial Contractors, Fairway Outdoor Advertising, Holiday Inn & Conference Center, Turner's Fine Furniture, Valdosta Magazine, Wild Adventures Theme Park.
More information: Visit the arts center, 527 N. Patterson St., call (229) 247-2787; or visit turnercenter.org.