Out & About

New Grand Opera House season includes Broadway hits, Grammy winners

Broadway favorites and Grammy-winning acts highlight the upcoming season at the Grand Opera House.

“I think we’ve got a really good lineup. And we’re hearing from people at the box office too and that’s encouraging,” said Roseann Swiergosz, executive director of the Grand.

The Broadway season kicks off Oct. 8 with a one-night performance of “Beauty and the Beast.”

“It’s the last year for the tour,” Swiergosz said. “They are going to retire it. I know what a huge hit it was the last time. ... For people who want to see it again ... it’s the last opportunity to see it.”

The production was an addition to the usual season, as was a new production of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” which shows Feb. 26.

“One thing I like to do with audiences is survey them, and so, throughout the year, and especially in the beginning of last year, we were surveying the Broadway audiences and I gave them lists of shows that were touring and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ was the number one choice of the straight plays that were available,” Swiergosz said. “So, we booked it and that’s proving to be very popular at the box office as well.”

The other Broadway shows include “Ragtime: The Musical,” “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Saturday Night Fever.” The latter has not played Macon before.

“There are Tony winners,” Swiergosz said of the lineup. “This is a very strong series. Top of the line, world class shows.”

She emphasized these productions are the same ones that tour in larger markets.

“People in Macon are very fortunate that they have a beautiful theater that is so well equipped,” Swiergosz said. “That stage and that equipment can handle these big shows. That is what it was built to do.”

The Grand also continues its music series, which launched last year.

“That’s the Four Tops, John Berry, Mary Wilson from the Supremes and Rosanne Cash. All of those people are Grammy winners,” Swiergosz said. “Rosanne won three Grammys last year. She tied Beyonce and Pharrell (Williams) for the number of Grammys she won.”

The concert series kicks off in October with the Four Tops, who rose to fame in the 1960s with their first hit, “Baby I Need Your Loving.”

“All of the shows are exciting,” Swiergosz said. “I am always thrilled with all of the Broadway shows I’ve seen and certainly the ones I’ve been able to bring to Macon. I think our concert series are exceptional series, too.”

The Grand also offers a variety of children’s shows, called the GrandKids Series, which play during school hours.

“Those are just top rate,” Swiergosz said. “They are the best offerings that are available in the country that are touring are coming to Macon next year.”

This includes the only version of Peter Rabbit authorized by the Beatrix Potter estate, a musical on the book “Miss Nelson is Missing” and productions from two very popular children’s book series: Junie B. Jones and Skippyjon Jones.

The Grand also is adding a special performance this year for older kids with a shortened version of “Sherlock Holmes.”

“We’re recommending at least sixth grade because it’s a little more sophisticated than the other shows,” Swiergosz said. “This is kind of new for us this year to kind of cater and devote a show to older children in a school performance setting.”

This new season follows a successful year in which ticket sales allowed the Grand to update 100 seats.

“In addition to the 65 we replaced last year, we’ve added another 100 and we’ll be doing that this summer before the season starts,” Swiergosz said.

For more information about the Grand, located at 651 Mulberry St., or tickets to any of the performances, visit www.thegrandmacon.com or call 478-301-5470.

Grand Opera House 2015-2016 Season

“Beauty and the Beast”: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8

The Four Tops: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17

GrandKids “Miss Nelson is Missing: The Musical”: 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Nov. 5

“Ragtime: The Musical”: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15-16

John Berry: The Christmas Concert: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18

“Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story”: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8-9

GrandKids “Peter Rabbit”: 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Jan. 21

GrandKids “Skippyjon Jones, Snow What”: 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Feb. 10

“The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26

“Saturday Night Fever”: 7:30 p.m. March 11-12

Mary Wilson of the Supremes: 7:30 p.m. April 2

Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal: 7:30 p.m. April 14

GrandKids “Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School”: 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. April 18

“Mamma Mia!”: 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. April 23