Culture

The award-winning Gold Dragon Acrobats are coming to the Peoples Bank Theatre the last week of January. (Amitava Sarkar)
The award-winning Gold Dragon Acrobats are coming to the Peoples Bank Theatre the last week of January. (Amitava Sarkar)

Peoples Bank Theatre Welcomes Variety of January Acts


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The historic Peoples Bank Theatre in downtown Marietta is marking the one year anniversary of its reopening in January with performances by The Hit Men and the Golden Dragon Acrobats, as well as a special First Friday open house and a screening of the cinematic classic, Dr. Zhivago.

On Jan. 6, Peoples Bank Theatre will be a part of the year’s inaugural First Friday sponsored by Marietta Main Street. Between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., visitors can take a free guided tour of the recently restored historic theatre, which was built in 1919 as a vaudeville entertainment hall and movie house a decade before the dawn of amplification and talking pictures.

On the sidewalk in front of the theatre, people can admire one of several ice sculptures that can be found throughout downtown Marietta during this special “Fire & Ice” themed First Friday. At 7 p.m., the theatre will offer a free screening of family-friendly Pixar animated shorts. Downtown shoppers will have an opportunity to win a free giveaway from Marietta Main Street by receiving one raffle ticket per each $10 purchase in any of the downtown shops, including purchases at the Peoples Bank Theatre Box Office.

The Hit Men are headed to the Peoples Bank Theatre in January, with their associated hits in tow. (Submitted)
The Hit Men are headed to the Peoples Bank Theatre in January, with their associated hits in tow. (Submitted)

The following weekend, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m., Peoples Bank Theatre celebrates its one-year anniversary with a performance by The Hit Men—musicians who have shared the stage with the likes of Frankie Valli
and the Four Seasons, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Tommy James and the Shondells, Rod Stewart, Carole King, Jim Croce, Three Dog Night and more. The Hit Men will take the audience on a star-studded journey back through rock and roll history with some of the greatest artists of the past 50 years. The Hit Men perform a Billboard Chart-topping show of songs to which many have danced, dated, sang along and memorized every word.

Far from a tribute band, The Hit Men are the actual musicians and singers heard on the original records, on the radio, on TV and in concert. During their exciting multi-media production, The Hit Men will
take the audience behind the scenes with “insider” stories about what it was like on the road and in recording sessions with Frankie Valli, Tommy James, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Elton John, and many more.

The Hit Men consist of Lee Shapiro, Jimmy Ryan, Larry Gates, Russ Velazquez and Steve Murphy. All have either played, sang or did both on some of the most memorable hits of the era, including “Who Loves You”, “December 1963, (Oh What a Night)”, “The Loco-motion”, “Peace Train”, “Mony Mony”and “Joy to the World.”

Lee Shapiro is a producer, arranger and musician who not only arranged some of the Four Seasons biggest hits, but also collaborated with artists ranging from Barry Manilow, Tony Orlando, and Tommy James.

Jimmy Ryan began his career in the 1960s as lead guitarist, singer and a songwriter for The Critters. He’s been a backup singer, arranger and occasional co-writer with Carly Simon, and his guitar is heard on albums by Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney and Elton John.

Larry Gates is a singer, lyricist and composer who has worked with an eclectic array of artists including Carole King, Janis Ian and Rick Derringer. His music and voice can be heard on numerous national
television commercials.

Russ Velazquez is a singer, composer and arranger whose credits read like a musical Who’s Who. He has collaborated with everyone from Sting, The Ramones, and LL Cool J to Luther Vandross, Korn and Paul Abdul. He’s been nominated for four Emmy Awards for his work on Sesame Street and his song “2BA Master” hit the top of the children’s music charts and Radio Disney.

Steve Murphy is a drummer, singer, producer and engineer who has toured with The Alan Parsons Project, Jack Bruce, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Chuck Negron, Felix Cavaliere, Dave Mason, Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Mark Farner, The Turtles, Mickey Dolenz, Gary Puckett, Mitch Ryder and over a dozen more major artists from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

From classic music, Peoples Bank Theatre then turns its stage over to classic cinema.

On Jan. 22 at 2 p.m., the theatre will present a favorite Hollywood epic on the big screen, with a showing of the wintry 1965 drama, Dr. Zhivago (PG-13). Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago covers the years prior to, during, and after the Russian Revolution, as seen through the eyes of poet/physician Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif). In the tradition of Russian novels, a multitude of characters and subplots intertwine within the film’s 197 minutes (plus intermission). Zhivago is married to Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin), but carries on an affair with Lara (Julie Christie), who has been raped by ruthless politician Komarovsky (Rod Steiger). Meanwhile, Zhivago’s half-brother Yevgraf (Alec Guinness) and the mysterious, revenge-seeking Strelnikoff (Tom Courteney) represent the “good” and “bad” elements of the Bolshevik revolution. Composer Maurice Jarre received one of Doctor
Zhivago’s five Oscars, with the others going to screenwriter Robert Bolt, cinematographer Freddie Young, art directors John Box and Terry Marsh, set decorator Dario Simoni, and costumer Phyllis Dalton.

The month concludes with a dazzling performance by the acclaimed Golden Dragon Acrobats on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. the Golden Dragon Acrobats represent the best of a time-honored tradition that began more than 25 centuries ago. Today, the Golden Dragons are recognized throughout the United States and abroad as the premiere Chinese acrobatic touring company.

The company combines award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding
beauty.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats count among their distinctions being a seven-time recipient of the National Association of Campus Activities Entertainer of the Year Award, the Campus Activities Today’s Performer of the Year Award and, most recently, two most prestigious New York Drama Desk Award nominations for their Broadway performances. In recent years, individual members of the Golden Dragons have been recipients of awards at the Henan Regional Acrobatic Competition, the China National Acrobatic Competition, the National Teen Acrobatic Competition, the Italian National Acrobatic Competition, the International Young Adult Acrobatic Competition in Japan and the Presidents Award at the International Acrobatic Competition, and have performed for President
Bill Clinton and other world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Shanghai, China.

Full event details and ticket information for these events and more are available online at peoplesbanktheatre.com or by calling the box office at 740-371-5152. Walk-up hours at the box office are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and one to two hours prior to most performances.

Located at 222 Putnam Street in historic downtown Marietta, Peoples Bank Theatre is managed by the nonprofit Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association.