Three first-timers and a perennial favorite highlight the world-class offerings from Boerne Performing Arts’ eighth phenomenal season.
It’s that time again. Autumn brings not only cool temperatures but a new cool lineup from Boerne Performing Arts (BPA), whose slogan is “Bringing the World of Performing Arts to Boerne!”
By Julie Catalano :: Photography courtesy of Boerne Performing Arts
Artistic director Greg Talford and marketing/publicity manager Sue Talford continue to fulfill that mission every year by delighting and entertaining theatergoers from the Hill Country, San Antonio and surrounding areas with stunning international acts at Champion Auditorium in Boerne. Season eight is no exception.
The TEN Tenors, “Home for the Holidays”
December 15, 2018, 7:30pm
BPA comes right out of the gate with a special event and return engagement. “It’s like every town has a favorite artist,” says Sue of the TEN Tenors. The feeling is obviously mutual: This is the fourth BPA appearance by the hot (with a capital HOT) Australian classical-crossover singing group with a 16-year history of sell-out performances all over the world, six platinum and gold records, and a diverse repertoire that has something for everybody. “Home for the Holidays will be more than just Christmas songs,” says Sue. “From classic arias to rock, the show keeps moving, whether it’s one guy or three. When all 10 are singing, it’s like a wall of sound.” (NOTE: The TEN Tenors “Home for the Holidays” is a special event concert and not part of the 2019 season.)
BPA’s 2019 regular three-concert season introduces international performing groups making their first appearances in Boerne:
Trinity Irish Dance Company
February 22, 2019, 7:30pm
No ordinary Irish dance troupe, Trinity Irish Dance Company (TIDC) predates any of the modern-day expressions of this popular art form. Founding artistic director/choreographer Mark Howard established the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance in 1982 and TIDC in 1990, making the school and company the birthplace of progressive Irish dance — a fusion of Irish traditions and thrilling elements of American innovation that dazzle worldwide audiences with breathtaking twists in staging, choreography and costuming. “We’re really excited to get them in Boerne,” says Sue. “They only tour four or five times a year and are very hard to book. They are the true innovators of the Irish dance movement, performing Irish dance at its best.”
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
March 26, 2019, 7:30pm
Go ahead, laugh, because the laughter really starts when the performance does. “They are hysterical,” says Sue, “and when the Ukes, as they are affectionately known, play the famous BBC Proms event at the Royal Albert Hall, their tickets sell out faster than almost any other group.” The whimsical combination of deadpan British humor, singing, musical artistry, a variety of styles (classic, rock, movie themes, even a sea shanty), will “blow everyone away,” says Sue. “We call groups like this the sleepers, like the Accordion Virtuosi of Russia we presented in 2018.” It also doesn’t hurt that ukuleles are enjoying a renaissance among young people, igniting passion for a little instrument once only associated with Hawaiian music. “This group sells out all over Europe, and now Boerne has them.”
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
April 5, 2019, 7:30pm
“This is a group that plays only small events,” says Sue mischievously, “like the Super Bowl, the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall.” Not to mention thousands of live shows, record sales of more than two million, and countless television and film appearances in their 25+ years. With a lively mix of jazz and dixieland, the group identifies as a swing band that celebrates America’s original art forms of jazz and swing with horns, strings, keyboard, drums and other percussion instruments. “We’ve been trying to get them for about four years,” says Sue of the soulful, swinging, high energy group that has audiences dancing in the aisles. “We’re hoping that this will be the big one that gets kids enthused about joining band.”
Kids figure prominently in BPA’s mission. At the three season shows, BPA presents “Preludes and Interludes” in the Champion Auditorium lobby, where Boerne ISD school groups such as jazz band, orchestra and choir will perform before the show and at intermission. In addition, lobby “Art Galleries” will feature artwork selected from BISD elementary, middle and high school students.
As always, the season includes Student Outreach Programs where students are brought in for special school day matinees. “There will be 1000 third graders for the Trinity Irish Dance Company, 1000 fourth graders for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and 1000 fifth graders for the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain,” Sue explains. Additionally, all special needs students attend all Student Outreach program matinees.
The support from Boerne and BISD has been “incredible,” adds Greg. “We have a school district and a city that is behind us 100 percent, a great board of directors and about 125 volunteers that help us in one form or another.” Two of those are well known to the many artists that have come through Boerne in the past few years: Cordillera Ranch resident Terry Weller and Boerne resident Sherry Regnier head the backstage hospitality committee, making sure the performing artists are taken care of with anything they need. “We treat the artists very well,” says Greg, “and show them what a special place Boerne is.”
Season ticket pre-sales ended October 31 and Cordillera Ranch was once again well represented with “many season ticket holders from Cordillera,” says Sue, “but we want to keep getting the word out to new people moving in.”
Single tickets go on sale November 1: Adults $30, $40 and $60. Students of any age with student ID, $20. Season tickets continue to be on sale, priced at $170, $100 and $75 (students $50).
For tickets, boerneperformingarts.com, 830.331.9079; or Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce, 121 S. Main St., 830.249.8000.