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Parker

PACE announces lineup for new season

Big names, local favorites and more comedy in store for 2017-18

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Parker Arts recently announced its new season schedule, bringing a number of nationally recognized acts to Parker in addition to crowd-pleasing local productions patrons have come to expect to see at the PACE Center and Schoolhouse.

“We’ve got some fun things that kind of expand our cultural horizons,” said Shaun Albrechtson, Parker Arts’ production manager.

Albrechtson singled out the “Uncharted” series, featuring up-and-coming musicians, as an example of the diverse offerings in store.

“We’ve got everything from soul and gospel to a classical men’s vocal group,” he said.

Parker Cultural Director Elaine Mariner said a goal in the new season was to address “gaps” of some of the genres and performances overlooked in previous seasons.

One of those gaps, she said, was chamber music. To fill it, Albrechtson and company added a chamber music series featuring musicians from the University of Denver, to be performed in the Schoolhouse theater at 19650 Mainstreet.

“It’s a way to capitalize on the unique benefits the Schoolhouse offers. It’s a smaller, more acoustically driven space,” Mariner said.

Another experiment Mariner and the staff are trying is the first concert of the season, an outdoor, ticketed performance by ‘90s alternative rockers Smash Mouth at Discovery Park on Aug. 19.

Comedy is also more prominent in the schedule for 2017-18 schedule, with veteran standups Paul Reiser and Billy Gardell of “Mike and Molly” making appearances at PACE, in addition to the Comedy and Cocktails series, featuring local comedians, at the Schoolhouse. Albrechtson said another high-profile act is still being lined up for the season.

“The one thing we’ve heard over and over again is comedy, comedy, comedy,” Albrechtson added.

Mariner said she’s proud of being able to book the national funnymen, no easy feat for a smaller venue. She’s also proud that one of next season’s musicals, “The Full Monty,” will push the envelope a bit.

The raucous play, about a group of men who become strippers to make ends meet, won’t feature any actual nudity, but its adult themes and humor will require an audience advisory.

“There is no ‘full monty’ in ‘The Full Monty,’” Albrechtson said. But “people will be rolling in the aisles.”

Children’s fare, performances by the Parker Symphony Orchestra and other time-tested shows like “The Nutcracker” will return to draw families, children and loyal patrons, and Albrechtson said

“If you take a look at the calendar and you don’t seeing something you want, just keep going down,” he said. “There’s going to be something in there that you like.”

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