Sold-out shows tailored to a wide audience and downtown events showcasing the Uvalde Grand Opera House are continuing goals for the historical theatre at 104 W. North St., and theatre staff already has a full schedule of events set for 2019.
Among upcoming events is a honey festival, slated June 14-15, during which opera house manager Rosie Whisenant recently received approval from city council to sell alcoholic beverages that can be taken out of the opera house and onto the downtown plaza.
On Sunday, Jan. 27, The Cookie Kitchen will host an already sold-out cookie-decorating party from 4-6 p.m. Two-person tickets were sold for $50, with a limit of 15.
On Feb. 16 at 7 p.m., community members are invited to spend an evening reveling in Broadway’s golden age with local talent Toni Hull as she celebrates the works of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein. Hull and other local talents will be showcasing a collection of well-loved songs from the infamous musical theatre team who wrote musicals such as “Carousel,” “Cinderella,” “The King and I,” “Oklahoma,” “South Pacific,” “The Sound of Music” and more.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for individuals 18 years old or younger.
On Feb. 23 at 7 p.m., Marty Haggard, the oldest son of country music legend Merle Haggard, will pay tribute to his father through stories and songs. He first performed the tribute show in Branson, Missouri, in 2010 before taking the show on the road. He will be available after the performance for a meet-and-greet session.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $28.
On Saturday, March 2, the opera house will present “The Lion of Texas: An Evening with Sam Houston” as part of a Texas Independence Day celebration spearheaded by the Uvalde Good Eggs. The show is part of an all-day series of events being planned by the Good Eggs and a number of other entities to celebrate the state and bring attention to downtown Uvalde.
According to promotional materials, “The Lion of Texas” is a one-man production that tells the story of Sam Houston after an all-day affair on Market Plaza. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $15 for adults and $10 for children.
On Friday, March 8, visitors are invited to test their Disney knowledge in a Walt Quizney event set in the opera house annex.
On Saturday, March 9, the Uvalde Idol singing competition will be presented on the opera house stage after a multi-year hiatus. This will be the 10th installment of the show. General admission tickets for the 7-9 p.m. show are $10.
On Saturday, March 30, The Hit Parade will feature the best music of the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s in an approximately two-hour performance by musicians of varying styles. Songs to be performed include those first performed by Dorris Day, Elvis Presley, Beach Boys, Mama Cass and Glenn Miller.
The program will begin at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for those 18 years of age or younger.
The Youth Players on the Plaza, better known as YouPOP, group will perform June 21-22, with rehearsals set to begin on June 3. More information about the youth theatre performance will be included in future editions of the Uvalde Leader-News.
Other planned events include a bridal-themed Four Square Friday on April 12; singer/songwriters session on Sept. 7; Hispanic heritage celebration in October; cabaret night in November; and various Christmas events in December.
Tickets for opera house vents can be purchased by visiting www.uvaldeoperahouse.org/tickets.
During her presentation to council last week, Whisenant introduced new press liasion Jennifer Lawrence, who Whisenant said has already had a positive effect on opera house event attendance.
“Jennifer is now in charge of our press and social media releases as well as our box office and customer communication,” Whisenant reported to council. “In the few short months that she has been onboard, there has already been a significant difference in the operations of the events and the building.”
Whisenant presented a breakdown of attendance and ticket sales for 2018 events held at the opera house.
El Progreso Memorial Library’s presentation of a magic show generated $4,990 with 499 people in attendance; “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” brought in $3,631 with 272 in attendance; The Magik Theatre’s “Kingdom of Texas,” $231 with 26; YouPOP “Treasure Island,” $3,044 with 442; Uvalde Good Eggs Prickly Pear Flats Poinsettia Pageant and Pfandango, $2,694 and 180; opera house presentation of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” $2,333 and 187; The Hit Parade, $3,115 and 330; Almost Patsy Cline Band, $3,435 and 152; Breakfast with Santa, $422 and 169; and Broadway comes to Uvalde cabaret, $469 with 169.
In addition to adding Lawrence to the staff, Whisenant said opera house updates for 2018 included installing four new HVAC units to service the auditorium and dressing rooms; replacing carpet in the stairwell; selling merchandise that includes postcards, posters, T-shirts and magnets; applying for a grant that would pay for an architect to assess building repair needs; increasing social media followers by 200 percent from 2016; and seeking contractors’ bids to add an ADA-compliant ramp to the opera house entrance.