The city-sponsored Roswell Presents series was so successful that it is back for its second year starting this Friday. This year, the series will be called Friday Nights Live! and will offer five shows and concerts.
“Last year was our first full blown Roswell Presents series with the theme/title True Americana,” said Morgan Timmis, the city’s historic and cultural affairs manager. “It consisted of three concerts of Americana style music. Our last concert with Justin Townes Earle was the most successful.
“It was so much fun to see how the audience responded. We even had folks down front dancing and I don’t believe that has ever happened before in the Cultural Arts Center.”
To reach the broadest audience possible this year, Friday Nights Live! programs will feature a variety of genres.
“We have music, dance, theatre and comedy to offer this season, literally something for everyone, including children who we think will love the Christmas show, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play,’” Timmis said.
The series kicks off Friday at 8 p.m. with the Wood Brothers. Oliver and Chris Wood play a roots-inflected blend of blues, folk and rock on guitar and stand-up bass. Signed to Blue Note Records, the Wood Brothers released their debut album, Ways Not to Lose, in 2006, which was named top pick in folk by Amazon.com’s editors that year. In 2010, the Woods hit the road with roots rock phenom Zac Brown.
Tickets for the show are $27.
Project 7 Contemporary Dance Company comes to the arts center Oct. 19. The company is celebrating its 5th year with a new show, EquiLIFTrium. The five Project 7 dancers in this performance represent five different characters from various walks of life. Each with their own individual agenda, the characters’ paths cross, their lives merge, and one by one, they experience a deeper understanding of the world through seeing one another with new eyes.
The show also features special guests Swagger Crew from America’s Best Dance Crew. Tickets are $25.
On Dec. 21 and 22, “It’s A Wonderful Life Radio Play” will bring a fresh new adaptation of the classic film to the Roswell stage. Set in the fictional studio of WVL Radio Theatre, one snowy night. the professional voice actors are unable to get to the studio.
But the show must go on, and so a small but intrepid band of employees manages to create the story’s dozens of characters and scenes using just their voices and some everyday household items for sound effects.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children age 14 and under.
Pianist Freddy Cole brings his trio to the stage Feb. 15. Cole, who studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, was influenced by John Lewis, Oscar Peterson and Teddy Wilson. A resident of Atlanta since 1972, he currently leads a trio made up of himself, guitarist Randy Napoleon, drummer Curtis Boyd and bassist Elias Bailey. A recording artist since 1952, Cole is also the headliner act for Roswell’s 2013 Roots Festival. Tickets are $27.
Finally, on May 24, The Second City troupe will take center stage. Since 1959, this small cabaret theatre group has produced some of the premiere comic talent in the industry. Alumni of The Second City — such as Alan Arkin, Barbara Harris, Robert Klein, David Steinberg and Fred Willard — first began to cement the theatre’s reputation.
With the debut of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, populated by Second City Alums John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner, the theatre became internationally known. Tickets for the show are $30.
The Roswell Cultural Arts Center is at 950 Forrest Street, Roswell. For more information or tickets, go to www.roswellpresents.com.