By David Steinberg
As double-digit anniversaries go, 50 years is probably right at the top. This fall, the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a potpourri of entertainment.
The hall opened on Oct. 1, 1966 with a concert by the Utah Symphony Orchestra.
Initially named University Concert Hall, the UNM regents rededicated it as Popejoy Hall in honor of Tom Popejoy, the UNM president who spearheaded the drive to build it. Popejoy retired as president in 1968.
Stage dramas plus an array of dance, music and touring Broadway shows fill the anniversary season from this November through October 2016.
Tom Tkach, Popejoy’s director, sees the shows as a nice mix for the 50th anniversary season. “It’s a strong season with strong appeal for a variety of patrons in our community,” Tkach said.
“If there’s one venue that can bring all these events to New Mexico it’s Popejoy. I consider Popejoy New Mexico’s flagship venue.”
The 2015-16 Popejoy Presents season opens Nov. 1 with Aquila Theatre’s production of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.”
Here is a list of the other announced presentations for the season:
—Nov. 4 The Beach Boys. Surf rock lives.
-Nov. 8. Benise: Strings of Passion. A fusion of flamenco and rock.
-Nov. 13 National Dance Company of Siberia. Fifty-five dancers bring the region’s heritage to the stage.
-Nov. 19-22 “A Christmas Story – The Musical.” Based on the holiday film favorite.
-Dec. 12 The TEN Tenors. An Australian ensemble sings holiday music.
-Dec. 13 Mariachi Christmas. Mexican folkloric dances and songs.
-Dec. 18 Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. A multimedia holiday show for more than 30 years.
-Jan. 15 Peking Acrobats. Talented Chinese gymnasts, tumblers, cyclists and jugglers.
-Jan. 17 “Driving Miss Daisy.” A white widow and her black chauffeur find friendship.
-Jan. 28-31 “The Producers.” The musical comedy took 12 Tonys.
-Feb. 5-7 Riverdance. The 20th anniversary world tour.
-Feb. 14 Tap Factory. Tap meets urban dance, acrobatics, tribal dance and capoeira.
-Feb. 19 In the Mood. Singers and dancers backed by a swing orchestra.
-Feb. 20 Ailey II. The spirit of choreographer of Alvin Ailey lives.
-Feb. 26 “Raisin’ Cane.” The many voices of the Harlem Renaissance.
-March 4 Tao: Seventeen Samurai. Traditional Taiko drumming with athleticism.
-March 8-13 “Once.” Tony winning musical about dreams, love and making music.
-March 18 The Very Best of Queen. Queen Machine revives Queen’s hits.
-March 20 Caladh Nua. A new Irish musical ensemble.
-April 2 Recycled Percussion. Talent, athleticism and antics.
-April 3 “The Pirates of Penzance.” The Gilbert & Sullivan favorite.
-April 13 Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles. A trip back in time.
-April 21-24 “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat.” A new production reimagines the Biblical story.
-May 1 Jim Belushi & the Board of Comedy. A night of comedy improv.
-May 7 Hotel California. A Salute to The Eagles.
-June 21-26 Disney’s “Newsies.” A musical that champions the underdog.
-Oct. 4-30 Disney’s “The Lion King.” It’s billed as the world’s No. 1 musical.
You can subscribe for ticket packages for Broadway in New Mexico and the Ovation series.
To subscribe online go to http://www.popejoypresents.com. Or to get personal assistance with your subscription order or set up a one-on-one appointment, call 277-9771. To arrange an appointment concerning subscriptions email email@example.com
Single tickets will start to be available in late September.