With a lineup featuring a smattering of well-established country stars, new and veteran blues performers, high-end vocal groups, and an iconic rock star, the Cascade Theatre announced its 2010-11 Cascade Theatre/Jefferson Public Radio Performance Series on Tuesday.
The series kicks off on Aug. 3 with one of the biggest stars from the early MTV era — Pat Benatar. Known for her hits like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Heartbreaker,” Benatar has long toured with her husband Neil Giraldo, the band’s lead guitarist and primary songwriter and producer.
From the country genre, the esteemed veteran Clint Black will perform on Dec. 14. Black has sold millions of records and had dozens of hits, but he’s also a well-respected traditionalist with proven longevity in a genre where stars can burn brightly and fade quickly.
Another country icon, Jo Dee Messina is set to perform Oct. 17 as part of her “Music Room Series Tour.” Messina will play new and old songs, take requests and answer questions during the performance.
One of the biggest groups in vocal music, The Manhattan Transfer, will perform on Oct. 8. The up-and-coming vocal group Straight No Chaser will perform Sept. 16, and the Broadway musical comedy (based around 1950s guy groups) Forever Plaid will be staged on Feb. 5.
In the blues genre, Ruthie Foster and Eric Bibb will perform on Oct. 27, and the Robert Cray Band will play on Nov. 11. All are returning performers at the Cascade. There’s also a “State of Jefferson Blues Jam” set for Jan. 22.
The series will also include the Dance Project’s popular “A Cascade Christmas” performance and its spring show entitled, “The Dance Project’s The Sound of Music.”
Here’s a look the season in its entirety:
Aug. 3 – Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
Sept. 16 – Straight No Chaser
Sept. 26 – SF Opera HD Cinema Series – Tosca
Oct. 3 – Manhattan Short Film Festival
Oct. 8 – The Manhattan Transfer
Oct. 17 – Jo Dee Messina
Oct. 27 – Ruthie Foster & Eric Bibb
Nov. 4 – Parker Quartet
Nov. 11 – Robert Cray Band
Nov. 26-27 & December 2-4 — A Cascade Christmas
Dec. 5 – SF Opera HD Cinema Series – La Boheme
Dec. 14 – Clint Black
Dec. 16 – Glenn Miller Orchestra
Dec. 17 — A Celtic Christmas
Jan. 16 – The Peking Acrobats
Jan. 22 – State of Jefferson Blues Jam
Jan. 30 – SF Opera HD Cinema Series – Lucia di Lammermoor
Feb. 5 – Forever Plaid
Feb. 13 – SF Opera HD Cinema Series – Elixir of Love
March 5 – The Aluminum Show
March 12 — A Touch of Classical Piano
March 16 – Great Big Sea
March 17 – Motown Idols
April 8, 9, 15 & 16 — The Dance Project’s The Sound Of Music
April 26 – Twist & Shout Beatles Tribute
May 7 – Tom Rigney & Flambeau
Tickets for the series go on sale on Thursday May 27 for Cascade Theatre members. General public tickets go on sale starting June 22. Information on becoming a Cascade Theatre member is available at www.cascadetheatre.org or at the Cascade box office at 243-8877.
Alright, I know what’s going on here — you’re waiting for me to weigh in with my own thoughts about the series.
OK, I’ll be your huckleberry. Here are some initial thoughts:
I think the Cascade bookers are still looking for the magic formula for successful booking for the Redding area. With this lineup, I think they’ve guaranteed a certain amount of safe success.
I can’t imagine that Clint Black and Jo Dee Messina won’t sell well. Manhattan Transfer’s a proven favorite.
I think Redding’s a sucker for nostalgia, so I bet Pat Benatar will be a big sold-out show.
For my personal music tastes, Ruthie Foster and Eric Bibb is a must see. They’re a pair of way soulful singers and delightful performers. (I try to follow Eric Bibb’s advice to “never let them ever drag my spirit down.”)
I’ll always be motivated to go see the sublime Robert Cray. Great Big Sea is intriguing to me.
The Parker Quartet could be a great classical show and very worth checking out.
I don’t like what happened to modern country music after Clint Black, but I’d like to see Clint.
I think this past year was the best ever for James Santos’ Dance Project performances. The spring show, “Steppin’ Out,” was perhaps the best show I’ve seen from this group.
I think that booking Motown Idols and the Beatles Tribute shows the power of that nostalgia within music.
But enough of what I think. What do YOU think of the Cascade’s lineup? What shows are you going to see?
Jim Dyar is a news, arts and entertainment journalist for A News Cafe and the former arts and entertainment editor for the Record Searchlight’s D.A.T.E. section. Jim is also a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding. E-mail him at email@example.com.