Grant kicks off Clayton Center season
By Steve Wildsmith | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Amy Grant, the best-selling Christian contemporary musician ever, is coming to Maryville.
Grant will kick off the 2012-2013 concert season at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus, officials announced this week, with a Sept. 27 performance in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre.
With comedy, musicals, country music and bluegrass, the rest of the season will offer something for everyone, according to Clayton Center Executive Director Robert Hutchens.
“I really do think there are names on the schedule that will make people want to buy season tickets,” Hutchens said. “With two seasons under our belt, I think we have a more cohesive audience, and we know what draws people. We hope they’ll look at the season and say, ‘I think I’ll like all of that; I’ll get a season subscription and save some money.”
Season subscriptions will go on sale June 25, and patrons can choose from a four- or seven-show package. The cost for all seven shows ranges from $145 to $240. On-sale dates for tickets to individual shows will be announced later this summer; to purchase tickets, patrons are advised to call the Clayton Center box office starting at 981-8590 10 a.m. on June 25.
The season includes:
• Amy Grant, 8 p.m. Sept. 27. Grant, who made her name as a Christian artist in the 1980s with hits like “Father’s Eyes” and “El Shaddai,” crossed over into the mainstream in 1986 with the No. 1 hit “The Next Time I Fall,” a duet with Peter Cetera. Another No. 1 single, “Baby Baby,” helped cement her as a successful pop artist as well, and over the course of her career, she’s won six Grammys, 25 Dove Awards and has sold 30 million albums worldwide.
• Etta May: “White Trash Diary,” 8 p.m. Oct. 5. The founder of the Southern Fried Chicks comedy troupe, May will return for a solo show.
“The Southern Fried Chicks show was wildly popular last season,” Hutchens said. “It sold out, and it might have just been our hottest-selling ticket ever.”
• Dailey & Vincent, 8 p.m. Nov. 2. Jamie Dailey was formerly the lead vocalist and guitarist for Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, while Darrin Vincent played with Ricky Skaggs’ band Kentucky Thunder. Together, they’ve released five albums, won 13 International Bluegrass Music Association awards, 23 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America awards and been nominated for a Grammy.
“Whenever they’re mentioned to people who know bluegrass, they get very excited,” Hutchens said. “I expect this show will get a really positive reaction from people.”
• Travis Tritt, live and acoustic, 8 p.m. Jan. 19, 2013. The country star has had more than 40 hits, including 20 Top 10 singles, five of which went all the way to No. 1 — “Help Me Hold On,” “Anymore,” “Can I Trust You with My Heart,” “Foolish Pride” and “Best of Intentions.”
• Three Redneck Tenors, 8 p.m. Feb. 22, 2013. Three opera-trained singers first found fame on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Music with a healthy dose of comedy.
• Leahy, 8 p.m. March 2, 2013. Celtic music from Canada in the form of this group of singers, dancers and musicians made up of eight brothers and sisters.
• “The Bikinis,” 8 p.m. March 22, 2013. A “Gidget”-style musical set to the music of girl groups of the 1960s, told as a story of four friends on the Jersey Shore.
The final piece of the 2012-13 season is a stand-alone presentation of “Broadway’s Next H!t Musical” on April 6, 2013, which will be held as a dinner theater-style production in the William Baxter Lee Grand Foyer. According to Hutchens, the artists create a musical on the spot.
“The audience comes in and writes down song titles — real ones or made-up ones, so if they’re sitting at a table with someone they want to roast, they can write their name on the label, and maybe that person will become part of the musical,” he said.
Other Clayton Center offerings not included in the season subscription but of interest to local arts patrons: A premier of “Macbeth,” a post-apocalyptic take on the Shakespearean classic by local filmmaker Rob Simpson; and staged productions of “The Glass Menagerie” in September and “Hamlet” in February.
“We’re touching on some genres we haven’t had before,” Hutchens said. “We want to give the public what they want and enjoy. We want our patrons to be entertained and to return and hopefully come see something they might not normally see.”