From the first event in August through April, the 44th OPAS season is sure to delight audiences from the very young to, well, the more mature.
The new season will include six shows on the Ann Cobb Wiatt Main Stage program, six Intimate Gatherings performances and four Family Fun Events, as well as concerts by Texas Aggie Lyle Lovett and His Large Band and Rockapella.
Tickets for all OPAS 44th season events are on sale online at mscopas.org. They also will be on sale when the MSC Box office on the first floor of Rudder Tower on the campus of Texas A&M opens at 10 a.m. Friday. They also will be available by phone at that time by calling 979-845-1234.
The excitement begins Aug. 27 with the concert by Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. Single tickets for this concert start at $30.
This season’s cabaret event will be a big one with Christmas with Rockapella, the originators of the full-band sound of contemporary a cappella. Rockapella will perform for three nights, Dec. 2-4, at Miramont Country Club. A three-course meal is included. All tickets are $100.
The Wiatt Main Stage schedule is:
• The Illusionists: Live from Broadway , Oct. 18-19 — One of the most popular shows on Broadway in recent years, this production features some of the most incredible illusions ever seen on stage.
• Elf the Musical , Nov. 9-10 — Based on the popular Will Farrell holiday movie, this is the story of Buddy the Elf, a human raised by Santa’s elves. Sponsored by Aggieland Credit Union.
• Chris Botti Live in Concert, Nov. 30 — The talented trumpeter — the word’s best-selling jazz instrumentalist — will perform jazz standards and holiday favorites. Sponsored by Allstate.
• Russian National Ballet Theatre, Feb. 1 — This troupe of more than 40 dancers will perform the full-length ballet Don Quixote featuring the music of Ludwig Minkus, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa.
• Jersey Boys , Feb. 22-26 — This musical story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons took Broadway by storm in 2005 and is one of the most anticipated OPAS presentations. It will play for five nights, sponsored by Tom and Mary Kirk of McGregor.
• Once, April 11-12 — The Main Stage season concludes with the enchanting story of a struggling Dublin street musician who is ready to give up his dreams until a beautiful young woman hears his love songs and encourages him to continue.
Season tickets for all six events starts at $144.
The Intimate Gatherings series will include:
• The Capitol Steps , Oct. 13 — These political satirists, who have played at A&M before, take no prisoners in a scathing and hilarious look at American politics. What a lot of fodder the group has this year.
• J udgment at Nuremberg , Nov. 15 — L.A. Theatre Works presents this powerful courtroom drama that deals with issues of war, devotion to duty and personal and collective responsibility.
• All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 , Nov. 28 — Sworn enemies come together to talk and play during a Christmas truce during the bitter fighting of World War I. It is a perfect message for the holiday season.
• The Ahn Trio, Jan. 26 — Sisters Angella, Maria and Lucia Ahn celebrate the music of Prince, David Bowie, Pat Metheny, Jimi Hendrix and more.
• Barefoot in the Park , March 2 — Montana Repertory Theatre returns to celebrate its 50th anniversary with this tale of Paul and Corie as they navigate the trials and tribulations of being newly married.
• Greater Tuna , April 6 — Yes, this is the one that introduced the world to the inhabitants of Tuna, the second smallest town in Texas. This time it will be directed by Jaston Williams, the original Vera Carp, Petey Fisk and Didi Snavely, et al.
All Intimate Gatherings performances will be in Rudder Theatre, starting at 7:30 p.m. Season tickets to all six events start at $215. Sponsors of the Intimate Gatherings season are Allstate, Jackie Voss, exclusive agent; Sterling Auto Group; and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Jennifer Fredericks, broker.
This year, OPAS will roll its OPAS Jr. and OPAS Family events into OPAS Family Fun. Shows on the Family Fun program are:
• Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! , Oct. 15 — The legacy of the beloved Mr. Rogers lives on in this touring company based on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood .
• The Aluminum Show , Oct. 23 — This has been described as Blue Man Group meets Stomp in an energetic, futuristic sensory experience.
• Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: the Musical , Nov. 20 — Join Santa, the Abominable Snow Monster and Hermey the Elf in this rousing adaptation of the popular holiday TV classic.
• Earth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live — Families will get to observe, meet and interact with a collection of lifelike dinosaurs in this theatrical performance.
Regular tickets for each performance start at $25.
Putting together a season of this magnitude takes a lot of effort. A dedicated group of community and student volunteers worked closely with OPAS Executive Director Anne Black to select the performances that will delight, inform and entertain us in the 2016-2017 season. Rod Thornton chaired the group, with members Greg Anderson, Zou Cherry, Stacy Dill, Gina Flores, Anna Pendergrass, Taylor Rowland, Michael Wesson, Macy Hicks, Kayla Ray, Lisa Aldrich, Sue James and Melody Thompson.
Black said, “We are coming off of a truly unforgettable season that concluded last month with a sold out concert by Tony Bennett. As OPAS continues to grow and attract new audiences, our Program Advisory Committee worked hard to keep the wishes of our patrons in mind. Most notably, we are very excited about the larger family events coming to Aggieland this season.
“We put a special emphasis on identifying titles that would resonate with the family audiences that attended last fall’s sold out performances of Beauty and The Beast . We anticipate programs like Elf, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Aluminum Show will help us continue building family audiences and introducing young people to the performing arts. Those young people are our future!”