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Averitt Center keeping Georgia on our minds for 2009-2010 season
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STATESBORO — Big band jazz, Blue Grass banjos, and improvisation comedy are just a taste of the incredible acts that will be gracing the stage in the 2009-10 season at the Averitt Center.

This season, the Emma Kelly Theater will be featuring artists from all over the state of Georgia, as the Averitt Center looks to keep “Georgia Artists on Our Minds.”

The season begins with a bang as the Averitt Center celebrates its five-year anniversary.

Since opening in September of 2004 the Averitt Center has brought some great talents to the Emmy Kelly Theater and this year will be unlike any other. The main focus this season is to showcase high quality artists, who also are from or are working mainly in Georgia.

Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Jazz Orchestra is the headlining act of the Anniversary celebration. They are bringing their unique big band style to the Emma Kelly Theater on Sept. 12.

Since forming the band in Savannah, Jeremy Davis says they have tried to embody “Great American song book” in a modern and interesting way. With stylings similar to that of Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack,” Otis Redding and even Johnny Cash, the 17-piece orchestra brings a “funny and family-friendly, full-on entertainment experience” to Statesboro.

“Upbeat music and offbeat lyrics" was how the L.A. Times described the Apostles of Blue Grass. Hailing from Manfield,  the Apostles are continually pushing the limits of the bluegrass musical genre with their edgy and comedic sounds.

On  Oct. 24 join Johnny Roquemore, John Nipper and Dave Ross as they offer some of their original songs, a host of popular covers, and a cavalcade of “bad” jokes.

Because it is important to have a since of humor, the Averitt Center brings you what Atlanta Magazine calls the city’s “best improv troupe.” The Laughing Matters Comedy improvisation team brings lots of laughs to the Emma Kelly on Nov. 6.

Founded 25 years ago, the Laughing Matters Comedy troupe continues to offer a high quality experience to anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing them. Owner Tommy Futch says that Statesboro can expect an “interactive one-of-a-kind experience that will never be seen anywhere in the world again.”

In January, Broadway comes to Statesboro in the form of a very talented duo. “2 For Broadway” with Courtenay Collins and Robert Ray is an intimate and enchanting 90-minute tribute to the best of Broadway’s music.

Ray, a former Broadway dancer/actor/singer, joins Collins, a Julliard graduate and New York performer, for a showcase songs of from Rogers and  Hammerstein, and that’s just act 1. The second act features songs from some of Broadway’s most popular works including “Chicago,” “The Producers,” “Cabaret” and, “Phantom of the Opera.” The show will feature a live five-piece jazz band and will be in the Emma Kelly on Jan. 23.

The next show is described as a “high-octane version of Forever Plaid.” With plans to make their show even bigger in 2010, Route 66 is sure to be a welcome treat for Statesboro in February.

Produced by Georgia-based Springer Theatricals and written by Roger Bean, Route 66 celebrates a nostalgic period of highways and road-signs and road trips. Producer Paul Pierce said the show will feature “lots of comedy, music and stage surprises.” The nationwide tour stops at the Emma Kelly Theater on Feb. 6 and will feature bigger sets, more lights,and even more elaborate musical numbers than in previous years.

The next artist has released ten albums, including one “Best of” album. She also received two Dove Awards, is an accomplished song-writer, is a college professor, and has even served as a talk-show host.

The Emma Kelly Theater welcomes Babbie Mason and her award-winning contemporary gospel stylings March 6. Mason has held the honor of performing for Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. Bush and Gerald Ford, in addition to performing for the distinguished Dr. Billy Graham. With a new album entitled “Everything,” Mason gives Statesboro an experience sure to be remembered for years to come.

For generations, the Indian art of Kuchipudi dance has been a highly regarded treasure, revered by royals and citizens alike. The Academy of Kuchipudi dance has become a staple in the Indian community in Georgia, bringing this national treasure stateside.

On May 1, Statesboro will have the opportunity to be a part of this time honored tradition.

Sasikala Penumarthi, who is head of the studio in Atlanta, says the show tells of an “ancient Hindu story about love and family” that is sure to be an inspiration.

With the Averitt Center continuing to keep “Georgia Artists on Our Minds,” the 2009-20 season is sure to be one of the best.

Season ticket packages will also go on sale July 20. For any questions about these shows, ticketing information, or any other events happening at the Averitt Center please call (912)-212-2787 or visit the Averitt Center’s Web site,

The Averitt Center for the Arts is not a government agency and does not receive unrestricted funds from grants or local, state or federal funds. A large part of our funding is from individual supporters. The Averitt Center for the Arts is a 501 (c) 3 organization.

This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations for the Georgia general assembly. GCA also receives support from its partner — The National Endowment for the Arts.