It’s a brand new year, and the performing arts calendar is already stuffed for the first couple of months.
And that, to be sure, is a good sign. Things are added all the time to the music, art and theater dance cards, so by the start of February the first–quarter calendar will probably be fatter than the biggest package under your Christmas tree last week.
What are you excited about? Here are the coolest events on our Doppler radar.
Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore is bringing his new band Chelsea Light Moving to the third annual Savannah Stopover. It’s the opening–night show, March 7 at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
Stopover, in fact, is looking particularly sweet in 2013. The Athens collective of Montreal makes its Savannah debut with a free Forsyth Park concert March 8. The March 7–9 indie–fest also includes appearances by The Whigs, Ben Solee, Country Mice, Ponderosa, the Last Bison, Ambassadors and, literally, dozens of others.
One of these days, we’ll hear from the Savannah Music Festival about the “popular music” shows to be added to the already–announced 2013 fest, March 20–April 6. In recent years, these have included the Avett Brothers, She & Him and Band of Horses.
They’re always added after the main festival announcement.
We’re crossing our fingers for the likes of Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons or Fleet Foxes. But the announcement hasn’t been made yet, so that’s just the Connect wish list.
The announced shows, however, are pretty great. These include Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell (touring as a duo with a hot band) with Richard Thompson in the co–headlining slot, April 3 in the Johnny Mercer Theatre. Master Americana musicians David Grisman, Jerry Douglas, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, the Steep Canyon Rangers and Sarah Jarosz are also coming.
There’s great jazz (Ahmad Jamal), gut–busting R&B (Charles Bradley & His Extrordinaires), innovative guitar from Keller Williams & the Travelin’ McCourys, blues from Tab Benoit, and a Savannah debut from the Bill T. Jones/Artie Zane Dance Company. And Daniel Hope once again brings a colorful cross–section of fine classical players from around the world.
Some of the country’s premiere vocalists line up for the American Traditions Competition, Jan. 15–19.
March 12 is going to be a busy day at the Savannah Civic Center. On that Tuesday evening, monster rock bands Shinedown and Three Days Grace will be shredding in the MLK Arena, while Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty will be center–stage at the Johnny Mercer Theatre.
That quirky Jonathan Richman makes his semi–annual pilgrimage to Savannah on Valentine’s Day (that’s Feb. 14 at the Wormhole), and Celtic Woman returns for a bit of heavenly Irish music May 3 (Johnny Mercer Theatre). Also in the Mercer, on May 13 and 14, is a show that some consider a concert — Blue Man Group.
On March 2, the Trustees Garden’s the site for the third annual A–Town Get Down, with great local acts and headliner Loudon Wainwright III.
For A Night in Vienna, Feb. 1 at the Trustees Theater, the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus will be augmented by Sara Peeples (soprano) and Ian O’Brien (tenor).
How often does it happen that we see two of America’s best (and most popular) standup comedians within a month (more or less) of each other? Robin Williams will be at the Johnny Mercer Theatre Feb. 2, with Jerry Seinfeld booked there March 7.
Full of cool, creative gizmos and gizmo-makers, the Telfair Museum’s Pulse: Art and Technology Festival happens Jan. 30–Feb. 4, at the Jepson Center for the Arts.
The Savannah Book Festival takes place Feb. 14–17, and includes Trustees Theater speeches from Dave Barry (Feb. 14), bestselling author James Patterson (Alex Cross) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney (a kids’ event Feb. 16).
The St. Patrick’s Day parade falls on a Saturday this year (March 16) which, naturally, opens up a world of possibilities.
The touring Broadway shows coming out way include the first Savannah appearance of Monty Python’s Spamalot (Jan. 28, Johnny Mercer Theatre). Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance follows on March 13.
Savannah’s ever–healthy community and college theater season has some cool stuff, too. Bay Street Theatre has Shel’s Shorts, its second collection of off–kilter works by the late Shel Silverstein, Jan. 24–27, plus A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer Feb. 15–17. April 19–28, Bay Street’s doing the musical comedy version of Reefer Madness.
The Collective Face is putting on the C.S. Lewis drama Shadowlands (March 8–23) and Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (May 10–25).
On the SCAD drama desk: Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen, Feb. 14–17; The Three Musketeers, Feb. 28–March 3; and Urinetown The Musical, May 23–26. And at Armstrong Atlantic State University, the big season musical is Spring Awakening, April 11–21.