The Gogue Performing Arts Center has unveiled its 2020-21 season lineup, which is packed with offerings, from musicians like Boz Scaggs and Branford Marsalis to award-winning musicals like "Fiddler on the Roof" and "OKLAHOMA!"
"We’ve had a tremendously successful inaugural season, which we still have a number of performances in March and April and one in May, but we’ve learned a lot. It’s kind of two-fold — we learned what the community, campus and region are interested in and are engaged in; we also learned what works best in our theater, so it’s a combination of what our audiences are looking for, the different things we want to be able to engage our audiences with from a learning standpoint, and then also what fits best in the theater," said Chris Heacox, executive director of the Gogue Performing Arts Center. "We have a theater that is acoustically fantastic with great sight lines and amazing sound, but some things just don’t work."
The Alabama Symphony Orchestra will bookend the second season at the Gogue Center, with performances of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" on Oct. 4 and Vivaldi's "Four Seasons Recomposed" on May 9.
"It’s taken two years to get the collaboration with the Alabama Symphony to bring them to Auburn to start this amazing partnership between the two organizations," Heacox said. "It’s been one of those things we’ve been working tirelessly with the organization to get this partnership off the ground. We’re excited to be able to do it."
The October slate is full of highlights, including Gavin Creel, Boz Scaggs, Del McCoury Band, and the collaborative project Not Our First Goat Rodeo, which features cellist Yo-Yo Ma, fiddler Stuart Duncan, double-bassist Edgar Meyer, mandolinist Chris Thile and featured vocalist Aoife O'Donovan. The project is a rekindling of the partnership that brought about the Grammy-winning folk album Goat Rodeo Sessions in 2011. The performance will include numbers from an upcoming album of new material this spring.
November will kick off with The Righteous Brothers: Bill Medley and Bucky Heard on Nov. 5 and feature other acts like The Legendary Court Basie Orchestra, comedian Jeanne Robertson, and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical." The Gogue Center will feature another musical in December with a two-day run of "Anastasia."
The new year gets kicked off in January with yet another musical: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," before bassist Edgar Meyer returns to the Gogue Center to join bluegrass mandolinist Mike Marshall, multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush and the George Meyer Ensemble for a Jan. 21 show.
"It’s great to get him in two different configurations," said Heacox of Edgar Meyer.
Grammy-winning soul artist Patti LaBelle will also perform in January.
Other highlights of the spring lineup include Rodgers and Hammerstein's "OKLAHOMA!" for three nights in February.
"We really wanted to bring an additional one and have a fourth Broadway show here," said Heacox. "Broadway is something we have to work very hard at getting tours that are coming through because they’re just so coveted by a number of theaters in the region, so we’re really excited to get the ones that we did this year."
The Branford Marsalis Quartet, "Fiddler on the Roof," Japanese percussion masters Kodo, and Piano Battle, which pits pianists Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis against each other, will also come to the Gouge Center next spring.
The Gogue Center and the city of Auburn are also partnering for a summer movie series in the amphitheater. The shows will take place on the last Friday in May through August.
"We’ll be doing double features, but we’ll announce the titles in a few weeks," said Heacox, who added that add-on shows that are not part of the season series will also be announced at some point.
The Gogue Center will also offer The Met: Live in HD next season.
"That’s the Metropolitan Opera live performances that you can go see at movie theaters or performing arts centers. A lot of patrons around here have been going to Columbus and Montgomery and Atlanta to go and see them," said Heacox, who added that the dates and performances will be announced this summer.
Season subscriptions are now available to donors and sponsors, and will become available to the general public on May 12.
Single tickets will be available for purchase beginning July 7.