The list of top-flight talent and nationally-prominent artists slated to appear at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) continues to grow as three major events have been added to the spring schedule at the venerable performing arts venue in the heart of Boone.
ATHC Executive Director Laura Kratt announced that tickets are now on sale for bluegrass music artists Balsam Range, the national tour of “Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch” by Axis Theatre, and country music stars The Malpass Brothers. These events are in addition to the previously announced production of “Love Letters,” the “You and Me” tour by Drew and Ellie Holcomb, and concerts by the Wailin’ Jennys and Che Apalache. Information for all these events – and more – may be found at www.apptheatre.org.
At 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, Balsam Range will take the stage of the Appalachian Theatre. Their ascent to the top of the bluegrass and acoustic music world has left a well-marked trail of success since the band’s inception in 2007. One of the genre’s most award-winning artists in recent years, Balsam Range has garnered ten International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards on the heels of six critically acclaimed albums. They are the 2018 and 2014 IBMA “Entertainers of the Year” recipients as well as the 2014 IBMA “Vocal Group of the Year” winners.
Balsam Range consists of five members: on fiddle and lead tenor, Buddy Melton; on mandolin and vocals, Darren Nicholson; on stand-up bass, dobro and vocals, Tim Surrett; on guitar and vocals, Caleb Smith; and on banjo, Dr. Marc Pruett. Rolling Stone magazine said of the group, “…Balsam Range crosses plenty of boundaries, hitting a deft balance between the revered traditions of old-school bluegrass and the hopped-up eclecticism of contemporary newgrass.” Tickets are only $25 per person.
ATHC continues to program family-friendly events for children of all ages, with Axis Theatre welcoming audience members during a 3 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, April 26. “Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch” is a heartwarming puppet play that examines the effect that kindness can have on a dreary existence. Mr. Hatch lives a colorless, ordered life. He goes to work at the shoelace factory, eats his lunch alone, reads the paper and then goes to bed… early. Until, one Valentine’s Day he receives the biggest surprise of his life, a candy-filled heart with a note that whispers “somebody loves you.” Mr. Hatch’s world is turned upside down and he begins to make friends and enjoy all the fun parts of life that he once ignored.
Currently celebrating their 20th Season, Axis Theatre was formed with a mission to present vanguard adaptations and historical interpretations from their location in New York City’s Sheridan Square in Manhattan’s trendy West Greenwich Village. Show Business Weekly said, “Credit is due to this rather bold company with a distinctive mission, vision and talent to make it happen.” Chosen as one of the top ten reasons to applaud New York Theatre by Time Out magazine, who said “Seamless is the word I’d use to describe the Axis Company’s new production…” Ticket prices are affordably priced at $8 for children and $12 for adults, and the show is recommended for children six years of age and older.
The Malpass Brothers make their debut performance of the ATHC stage with a 7:30 p.m. concert on Friday, May 1. With sincerity and an ease on stage that belies their years, brothers Christopher and Taylor Malpass layer their smooth vocal blend and skillful musicianship with the deep respect they pay to the country music legends who have paved the way. Both gifted musicians and songwriters, their music is steeped in the legacy of the Louvin Brothers, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Hank Williams, Sr. and others. The brothers toured with the late Don Helms, former steel guitarist for Hank Williams, have opened for music legend Merle Haggard on multiple tours and appeared on stages from the Shetland Islands to Ryman Auditorium to Merlefest.
With 1950s pompadour hairstyles and an authentic mix of country, rockabilly and honky-tonk, the Malpass Brothers are “unabashed purveyors of tradition” from Goldsboro, N.C., transporting audiences “back 50 years,” said The Californian. Count on classic, real country. According to Bluegrass Today, the Malpass Brothers are, “…the best traditional country music that can be seen today.” Tickets are $25 per person.
Tickets are available 24/7 online at www.apptheatre.org and during box office hours at the theatre for in person and phone sales at (828) 865-3000. The theatre’s onsite box office hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and one hour prior to each curtain, should tickets remain available. The Appalachian Theatre is located at 559 West King Street in uptown Boone, NC next to Boone Town Hall.
To learn more about the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, sign up for their mailing list, participate in their “Take-A-Seat” campaign, or to contribute to their newly-created annual fund, visit their website at www.apptheatre.org.