BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH
OPELIKA — East Alabama Arts announced its lineup June 3 for the much-anticipated 2022-23 performance series, which will focus on being “A Season for All” and “All In for the Season.”
“The original intent was for this series to be something that appeals to a broad range of interests,” said Phillip Preston, director of the Arts Association of East Alabama, also known as East Alabama Arts. “… Everybody has certain things they like. They’re Broadway enthusiasts, they’re dance enthusiasts and opera and choral enthusiasts … The bigger benefit will be to provide a broad range and to put it into a subscription form so that everybody experiences all kinds of different things through the course of a season.”
This season will run from August 2022 through March 2023 at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts. The lineup is as follows:
“We’ll Meet Again” musical by James R. Harris – Aug. 30, 2022
Mariachi Henrecia de México, “Cuando México Canta” – Oct. 5, 2022
Kyiv City Ballet, “Swan Lake” – Oct. 20, 2022
Ranky Tanky (South Carolina-based quintet) – Nov. 14, 2022
“The Aluminum Show” – Jan. 25, 2023
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra ft. Alessio Bax – Feb. 23, 2023
Chanticleer (vocal ensemble), “The Best of Chanticleer” – March 2, 2023
Gentri, “The Gentlemen Trio” – March 30, 2023
The series opener, “We’ll Meet Again,” has major ties to Opelika, according to Preston. Not only does the writer and his family have deep roots in Lee County, but the musical focuses on the life of beloved city leader Henry Stern, whose family escaped the Holocaust with the help of his uncle, downtown Opelika merchant Julius Hagedorn.
“I think it’s a very heartwarming story, and it speaks a lot about how Opelika has always been seen through the years as a welcoming place and a place to connect with people,” Preston added.
Preston said he is also excited to host Kyiv City Ballet. The company has been touring France and the United Kingdom since the recent war in its home country kept it from returning. Following the European tour, Kyiv City Ballet will begin a tour of the United States, which will include a four-night residency in Montgomery and Opelika.
Patrons will be able to purchase either season subscriptions or individual show tickets. While costs continue to rise each year to book shows and host these events, Preston said EAA has worked to keep ticket costs as low as possible.
“The idea is that everybody buys in, and then it’s a community experience that we all share, and the variations make the experiences richer,” he said.
Preston added that subscriptions help offset the cost of holding these performances more than anything else. The cost of these subscriptions, as well as individual tickets, will remain the same as in 2020 before the initial COVID shutdown, but the discounts will help make the shows more affordable for more people.
Every week through the beginning of August, EAA will announce a discount for subscriptions. However, Preston noted that the earliest discounts will offer the most savings.
For more information on East Alabama Arts or the performance series, or to purchase a subscription, visit www.eastalabamaarts.org.