The Wheeler Opera House has announced the schedule of its own presentations for the 2006-07 season.The series of events opens Nov. 4 with fiddler Natalie MacMaster, co-presented by the Wheeler Associates. A two-time winner of Canada’s Juno Award, the Nova Scotia-born MacMaster’s 2003 album, the bluegrass-inspired “Blueprint,” featured Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas and Edgar Meyer; a new CD, “Yours Truly,” is set for release in October.South African a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo returns to the Wheeler Nov. 9. The Zulu group’s latest CD, “Long Walk to Freedom,” featured contributions from singers Hugh Masekela, Emmylou Harris, Sara McLachlan and Natalie Merchant.Country-rocker Chris Hillman, a founding member of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, performs Nov. 11. Hillman will be joined by Herb Pedersen, his bandmate in the current group Rice, Rice, Hillman & Pedersen.Singer/actress Bernadette Peters appears with her Broadway-style show, including a 29-piece orchestra, Dec. 29. Folk singer Tom Rush, who is credited with giving early exposure to songwriters Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor, is set for Feb. 3.The Wheeler collaborates with KAJX-Aspen Public Radio for a March 8 live taping of “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” the NPR game show hosted by Peter Sagal. The jazz duo of guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Brad Mehldau performs March 16, in a concert presented in association with Jazz Aspen Snowmass. The duo released its debut CD, “Metheny Mehldau,” earlier this month.The series concludes with a March 23 concert by singer Kathy Mattea, a leading country artist who has recently begun exploring her roots in Irish and Scottish music.Tickets for all shows go on sale Oct. 6 at the Wheeler box office, or by calling 920-5770. Tickets will also be available 24 hours a day at the Wheeler’s newly redesigned website, at http://www.wheeleroperahouse.com.Specially priced tickets for the Bernadette Peters show will be sold to local residents only for one day, Oct. 5. The $75 tickets will be sold in person only, at the Wheeler box office. Patrons will be required to present proof of residency, and purchases will be limited to two tickets per person.In addition, Mountain Groove Productions has two concerts scheduled at the Wheeler: singer-songwriter Dan Bern on Oct. 19, with local musician Dan Sheridan opening; and Texas rocker Robert Earl Keen on Jan. 12.
The Carbondale-based Thunder River Theatre Company has announced its schedule of productions for the upcoming season.The season opens with “The Complete History of America (Abridged),” written by Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. The fast-paced comedy, directed by guest director Sue Furze Lavin, shows in preview Oct. 5, and has performances Oct. 6-7, 13-15 and 20-21.”Death of a Salesman,” featuring Thunder River artistic director Lon Winston as Willy Loman, runs Feb. 16-March 3. Arthur Miller’s 1949, Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, will be co-directed by Winston and Thunder River associate artist Valerie Haugen. The season concludes with “The Trip to Bountiful,” showing June 22-July 7. Horton Foote’s 1953 television play about a woman returning to her Texas hometown will be directed by Winston, and features Haugen and Julia Whitcombe.All productions are in the Thunder River Theatre, in downtown Carbondale. Season subscriptions, as well as individual tickets, are available. For tickets, call 963-8200; for further information, go to http://www.thunderrivertheatre.com.Also, Thunder River has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2006 El Pomar Foundation Award for Excellence, in the arts and humanities category. The company will be recognized at a presentation banquet in Colorado Springs in November, where the winner of the Spencer and Julie Penrose Award will be announced.
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