Record number of shows: season 2017 launched at Capitol Theatre, Tamworth | GALLERY, VIDEOS

TRIBUTE: Entertainment venues manager Peter Ross chats with singer Damien Leith about his upcoming Roy Orbison tribute show. Photo: Peter Hardin 231116PCH074

TRIBUTE: Entertainment venues manager Peter Ross chats with singer Damien Leith about his upcoming Roy Orbison tribute show. Photo: Peter Hardin 231116PCH074

A RECORD number of events will be on the council’s entertainment menu in 2017 - and if you don’t live in Tamworth, some of them might come to you.

Entertainment venues manager Peter Ross hosted the launch of the next season on Wednesday night at the Capitol Theatre, giving the audience a taste of the 34 upcoming events of dance, song, drama, musical theatre, comedy and puppetry.

And Mr Ross said that, this year, some events would be taken outside the three major council-run venues of the Capitol, town hall and TRECC.

He said they would be “hand-picked, smaller-scale shows”: All This Living, a one-woman play about a senior who feels she’s becoming invisible (Bendemeer, Manilla and Barraba); and Dust of Uruzgan, the songs Fred Smith wrote as a diplomat working alongside Australian soldiers in southern Afghanistan (Nundle).

Season 2017 will strongly feature local shows, including Tamworth Dramatic Society’s staging of Geoffrey, a play written by Tamworth poet Peter Langston about the effect of mental illness on two Aussie men and their families; and I Am My Own Wife, in which Daniel Gillett will play 40 characters in the true story of a German transvestite who survived communist and Nazi regimes.

Tamworth Musical Society will celebrate everything about the ’80s in Rock of Ages, Gilbert & Sullivan in Pinafore & So Much More; and feisty orphans in Annie.

Young talent Alicia Turner reminds audiences why Annie is such a classic. Tamworth Musical Society will stage the musical in October-November 2017.

Ballet Stars Tamworth, 2340 Big Band and The Brilliance of Brass shows are on the agenda, with guest performers including stars of Les Misérables’ Australian cast, multi-instrumentalist and jazz singer George Washingmachine, Tamworth-born performer Peter Cousens, and local vocalists, dancers and musicians.

As is customary at the season launches, the audience was treated to a smattering of live performances from coming acts. 

Damien Leith gives a preview of his show Roy: A Tribute to Roy Orbison

They included Irish songster Damien Leith, who dropped in for a chat and a mournful cover of the Roy Orbison classic Crying – he’ll be bringing his full show Roy: A Tribute to Roy Orbison in February; and four-piece act Boys in the Band, who broke out some disco moves and harmonies with a couple of Jackson 5 covers – they’ll be back in March.

Boys in the Band teach us our ABCs. When they come back in March, they'll also have tunes from Frankie Valli, The Beatles, The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys and more.

Mr Ross welcomed the crowd with a reworking of A Lot of Livin’ To Do from Bye Bye Birdie, his new lyrics inviting people to “feel at home at the Capitol” – to consider it their second living room.

He was accompanied on the piano by music and theatre veteran Bill Gleeson, who sadly laid his partner Leon Shearer to rest last week and who Mr Ross said was a true example of the adage, ‘The show must go on’.

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