It’s time again to harp on one of Free Times favorite harping points: The Harbison Theatre at Midlands Tech books far above what’s expected of a 400-seat theater out in the suburbs.
The venue’s recently unveiled 2019-20 season is the latest proof. Honestly, it’s a little absurd.
Among the musical acts are Grammy-winning R&B/soul mainstay Thelma Houston delivering a tribute to Aretha Franklin and Motown (Nov. 15), the harmonious and quickly ascending female country crew Farewell Angelina (Feb. 28), a sure-to-immediately-sell-out acoustic evening featuring Edwin McCain and locally reared Nashville writer for the stars Patrick Davis (May 1), and America’s Got Talent-launched dance music star Brian Justin Crum (presented in partnership with South Carolina Pride on Oct. 3).
Also on offer is the second year for the Carolina Shout jazz series, which will feature local favorites (Reggie Sullivan and Michael Peeples on Oct. 26, Terence Young on April 25) as well as Ranky Tanky, an on-the-rise, Gullah-inspired group from Charleston. The perpetually sold-out South Carolina Philharmonic Pops performances are back as well (Holiday Pops is on Dec. 15; Best of Broadway is on April 5). An additional intriguing inclusion is the Gospel Live night (Feb. 8) featuring choirs from seven of South Carolina’s historically black colleges and universities.
The theater also continues its National Theatre Live screenings, featuring recorded stage productions from London’s West End (All My Sons starring Sally Field and Bill Pullman shows on March 10).
The theater’s dance game is as strong as ever. Columbia City Ballet brings Le Ballet de l’Amour (Feb. 14), an opportunity to catch the company in a far more intimate environ than its regular home at the Koger Center. And New York’s Complexions Contemporary Ballet offers its classical-to-popular-spanning production Bach to Bowie (April 18).
The slate also includes comedy, a variety show and productions from the Columbia Children’s Theatre on Dec. 21 and March 14.
The full season is below:
Sept. 19 — The Texas Tenors
Oct. 3 — Brian Justin Crum
Oct. 11 — Harlem 100
Oct. 26 — Carolina Shout: Reggie Sullivan featuring J’Michael Peeples
Oct. 29 — Hocus Pocus (Halloween movie and trick or treat)
Nov. 8 — Kalen Allen
Nov. 15 — Thelma Houston’s Motown Experience
Dec. 15 — S.C. Philharmonic: Holiday Pops
Dec. 21 — Columbia Children’s Theatre: Santa Claus The Musical
Jan. 18 — Carolina Shout: Ranky Tanky
Jan. 24 — Akntunde and Joey I.L.O.: Comedy for All
Feb. 8 — Gospel Live
Feb. 14 — Columbia City Ballet: Le Ballet de l’Amour
Feb. 28 — Farewell Angelina
March 10 — National Theatre Live On Screen: All My Sons
March 14 — Columbia Children’s Theatre: Goldilocks and the Three Bears
March 21 — MTC Showoff
April 5 — S.C. Philharmonic: Best of Broadway
April 18 — Complexions: Bach to Bowie
April 25 — Carolina Shout: Terence Young
May 1 — An Acoustic Evening with Edwin McCain and Patrick Davis