LUFKIN AREA NEWS
Angelina Arts Alliance unveils 20th anniversary season

The Angelina Arts Alliance announced the upcoming season and described measures to protect patrons of the arts after being forced to cancel what was left of their 2019-20 season due to COVID-19.

“We hope to share this new season with everyone because there has never been a better time to enjoy and experience the magic of live performances,” Jennifer Allen, executive director of the Angelina Arts Alliance, said. “More than ever, the arts will be part of recovery and the success of our community going forward.”

COVID-19 affected many of the Arts Alliance spring shows, but the organization is working out ways in which to keep audiences coming, but safe.

Show seating will be limited to encourage safety and the Arts Alliance is encouraging those who are interested in shows to apply for season tickets to guarantee a seat at the shows, Allen said.

“We are also carefully monitoring state, local and CDC recommendations, so that we will be properly prepared to receive our patrons safely in October,” Allen said. “We will be ready to present our East Texas neighbors with the world-class entertainment they’ve come to expect from us. We want folks to feel well-taken care of and well-entertained.”

The performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 with the Steep Canyon Rangers, a bluegrass band made up of six guys who use their talents to fuse the sounds of bluegrass, pop, country and folk rock.

The Grammy-award winning band is celebrated as one of the most versatile bands on the contemporary music scene, having topped the Billboard charts and collaborated with actor/banjoist Steve Martin. The group has released nine solo albums and two collaborations with Martin.

The group’s new album, ‘‘Be Still Moses’’ features a collaboration with the the Asheville Symphony and ‘‘just a pinch of 1990s-era Philly soul’’ with Boyz II Men.

The next performance will be by Straight No Chaser at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22.

The now decade-old band grew from a collegiate a cappella group at Indiana University now tours the world after a 1998 clip of them singing “The 12 Days of Christmas” went viral in 2006.

The band is known for their interpretations of hits from more than 16 genres. They’ve collaborated with Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Dolly Parton, among others. The band has sold more than 1.6 million albums in the United States and garnered more than 100 million YouTube views.

Ebenezer Scrooge and ‘‘A Christmas Carol’’ will visit the Temple Theater on Dec. 3. The classic tale by Charles Dickens shares the story of a greedy businessman who lacks kindness, compassion and charity. A series of ghosts take an elderly Scrooge through his dark holiday memories, which sets him on his heartwarming path to redemption.

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives kick off the new year with their performance at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16, 2021.

An American country music singer-songwriter, Stuart is known for both his traditional style and eclectic merging of rockabilly, honky-tonk and traditional country music, for which he has won multiple Grammy Awards.

He played in supporting bands for Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash before embarking on a solo career. He also has collaborated with Dwight Yoakum, Travis Tritt, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Steve Earle and B.B. King, among others.

On Feb. 5, Broadway fans can enjoy An Evening with Renée Elise Goldsberry on Feb. 5, 2021. Goldsberry won a Tony Award in 2016 for her performance in ‘‘Hamilton.’’

She’s also won a Grammy Award, Drama Desk award and the Lucille Lortel Award for her performances.

Goldsberry will take the stage with a four-piece band and three backup singers in her show “Revive,” which will feature high-energy, foot-stomping renditions of Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers and classic Broadway songs.

‘‘Beautiful — The Carole King Musical’’ brings the story of chart-topping music legend Carole King to the Temple Theater stage at 7:30 p.m. March 11, 2021.

The musical will feature beloved King songs, including “I Feel the Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “Natural Woman” and “Beautiful.” The story is of King’s road to success, and ultimately the hard times that pushed her to create some of the world’s most iconic songs.

The story begins at a time when she was fighting her way into the record business as an teen and follows her flourishing songwriting career in her 20s. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally found her true voice.

The Parsons Dance Company will visit the Temple Theater at 7:30 p.m. April 8, 2021.

The international touring company is based out of New York and known for their athleticism and ensemble work in the modern dance genre. The company said their mission is to “deliver life-affirming, inspiring performances to audiences worldwide and, through education and outreach programs, to sustain an appreciation for the art form.”

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“The arts are a powerful tool for self-expression and communications,” David Parson, the director of the company, said on the company’s website. “My goal is to provide opportunities for more people to experience the wonders of dance.”

Musician Jimmy Buffett’s Broadway debut, ‘‘Escape to Margaritaville,’’ is coming to Angelina County on May 20, 2021.

Buffett is a singer, songwriter, musician, author, actor and businessman. He’s best known for his music, which often portrays an “island escapism” lifestyle.

This musical comedy tells a story about the oft-mentioned bar of Buffett’s dreams and features the musician’s top singles like “Fins,” “Volcano” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

To close out the 20th anniversary season, the Blue Man Group will take the Temple Theater stage for two performances in the summer of 2021.

Blue Man Group is an American performance art company formed in 1987 by friends Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Its first public appearance was a celebration of the end of the 1980s. The three wore blue masks and led a street procession that included the burning of a Rambo doll and a piece of the Berlin Wall.

Since then, the group has grown in size and fame and they now have tours across the world, but remain primarily in major U.S. cities and Berlin. Cirque du Soleil bought Blue Man Group in July 2017 and announced they would expand the concept.

The performances include drumming, colorful movements, creativity and comedy. The pulsing, original music made by custom-made instruments are set to shock the audience. Their surprise audience interactions and absurdity make the performance enjoyable for all ages.

The Arts Alliance’s 2020-21 Discovery Series will feature four performances. Tickets for the series remain $6 for youth under 17 and $11 for adults.

The Discovery Series opens with a Very Electric Christmas on Dec. 19.

The combination of puppets, theater and dance is expected to get families in the Christmas spirit as the show tells a story of family, friendship and hope set to favorite holiday songs.

The story tells a tale of a young bird, Max, who is separated from his family in a snow storm as they’re heading south for the winter. Max ends up at the North Pole as Santa’s Helpers are putting the final touches on presents to be delivered by Santa. The real adventure begins as Max tries to reconnect with his family and learns a few lessons on the way.

The two-time Emmy Award-winning Saturday morning show, Innovation Nation — LIVE!, will hit the Temple Theater stage on March 6, 2021.

The show will feature the stories of past and present innovators and visionaries. It will highlight major turning points in the past and those happening right now that are affecting the science, technology, engineering, math, environment and social justice fields.

Included in their features, they’ll tell the stories of Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, Rosa Parks and George Washington Carver.

In late April, Bella Gaia will show the audience what it’s like to be an astronaut. The performance features NASA satellite imagery of earth, time-lapse nature photography and live world music and dance on the stage.

Kids will love the chance to experience the effect of space flight that was created by using NASA supercomputer data-visualizations with melodic and rhythmic soundscapes.

‘‘Madagascar — The Musical,’’ based on the DreamWorks Animation movie will close out the Discovery Series. A date for the performance has not yet been finalized.

Audiences will get to watch as beloved characters Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and the famous, innovative penguins, escape from the New York Central Park Zoo and journey to the island kingdom of Madagascar, ruled by the zany King Julien.

“We are incredibly proud of this season we’ve put together to celebrate our 20th anniversary,” Allen said.

The Arts Alliance began taking season ticket applications on Friday.

The Temple Theater box office is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Remaining single tickets for all shows go on sale Aug. 3.

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