Tower Theatre 2018-19 series

September

14-23 “Cats” (musical)

October

2-3 New Chinese Acrobats

4 Herb Alpert and Lani Hall

6 Ruster Root’s Glabicki and Miller

7 Carlene Carter and Honey Don’t

16 Soweto Gospel Choir

22 “Wild Kingdom’s” Peter Gros

31 Haunted Illusions Halloween Party

November

1 Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular

16 Vienna Boys Choir with local chorus

23 “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” screening

29 David Benoit’s Charlie Brown Christmas

30 “Christmas Vacation” screening

December

5 Windham Hill “Winter Solstice” 30th Anniversary

7 “Love, Actually” screening

14 “Elf” screening

15-16 Central Oregon Mastersingers

21-23 A Swingin’ Tower Christmas

28-29 Storm Large

January

10 Portland Cello Project

12 John Sebastian

18, 19 Late Nite Catechism 2: Sister Strikes Again

February

7 Naturally 7

8-10 Bend A Cappella Festival

13 Celtic Nights

15 Everly Brothers Experience

March

6 Mandy Harvey

8 Mariachi Sol de Mexico

19 Don Felder (Eagles)

21 Recycled Percussion

April

6 Tango Mass with Central Oregon Mastersingers

7 Hot Club of San Francisco: Cinema Vivant

For tickets and information, including how to become a Tower member, visit towertheatre.org or call 541-317-0700.

Over the years, the Tower Theatre has become known for the wide variety of local, national and international entertainment on tap each season at the historic downtown Bend venue.

From time to time, that fact has been summed up by Ray Solley, Tower Theatre Foundation executive director and first-rate sloganeer, in a few ways. There was once “exercise your culture,” which hit on Bend’s interest in physicality and the outdoors, or perhaps, for the recliner inclined “Bend’s living room” hit closer to home — those seats are pretty comfortable, after all.

Even though the 2018-19 season promises an array of offerings — and some surely tempting slogans — this time around, Solley, the human meme generator, is letting the season speak for itself.

“I think what we’re just saying is we want people to come to the Tower several times a year. We want them to have a wonderful experience every time they come,” he said.

The 2018-19 “lineup is full. It is big. It is varied,” Solley said. The season starts with the acclaimed musical “Cats,” which enjoyed at least nine lives on Broadway and will be produced locally by the folks at Thoroughly Modern Productions, the same theater group that brought “Evita” to the Tower stage last weekend.

From there, the facility moves adroitly to New Chinese Acrobats, a group that will make the first stop of its first-ever North America tour at the Tower.

“They’re infused with this contemporary style. There’s contemporary music almost bordering on hip-hop,” Solley said. “It has a different, more youthful vibe to the whole show.”

New Chinese Acrobats will arrive in late September to practice and perform before embarking on the rest of the tour.

“They’re using one of the smaller stages on their tour not only to start the tour, but to rehearse the tour,” he said. “It’s a show that is perfect for the Tower.”

October continues with music from famed Tijuana Brass trumpeter Herb Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall (Oct. 4), followed quickly by a duo of Rusted Root members, singer-guitarist Michael Glabicki and lead guitarist Dirk Miller, offering an intimate set (Oct. 6).

Carlene Carter takes the stage the following evening (Oct. 7).

“We’re really talking Americana, country royalty here,” Solley said. Audiences who saw John Mellencamp in 2017 at Les Schwab Amphitheater would have seen her as opener.

“This town has a history of people opening at Les Schwab, then coming back to town as headliners,” Solley said.

South Africa’s longstanding Soweto Gospel Choir is up next (Oct. 16).

“It’s guaranteed to raise the roof, and guaranteed to raise your spirits,” he said. The choir wraps up the music-heavy month.

“We call October ‘Rocktober,’” Solley said, laughing.

Peter Gros of Animal Kingdom will be the next entertainer up, bringing with him animals “raised to have human interaction,” Solley said. “These are not animals caught in the wild and then trained for domesticity.” Earlier in the day, there will be a kids’ matinee.

The month of November kicks off with The Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular (Nov. 1), which “is what you think it is,” Solley said. “The music of Pink Floyd being pumped through our concert-quality speakers, and then the room being filled with special graphics and high-powered laser displays.”

Other highlights of 2018, include the return of the Vienna Boys Choir (Nov. 16) and Storm Large will return for a two-day stint (Dec. 28 and 29) featuring a revamped “Holiday Ordeal” show.

In early 2019, Portland Cello Project will return to Bend (Jan. 10), a show that includes performing the landmark Radiohead album “OK Computer” from start to finish — with the aid of other instrumentalists and vocalists.

“They’ve been doing it for a bit now, but they haven’t gone on the road a whole lot with us, because it takes so many people, and so many instruments, vocalists and musicians,” he said.

In February, Bend A Cappella Festival returns to celebrate the human voice. Vocal group Naturally 7 will headline on Feb. 7.

“They will kick off our fourth A Cappella Festival on a Thursday night; the festival starts the next day,” Solley said. “Their style is called vocal play. They completely create a rock ‘n’ roll band with their mouths as special effects. There’s a guy sitting on a drum stool. … He is literally and figuratively the drummer. He will pantomime air drumming and you’re hearing the drums and cymbals coming out of his mouth.”

Sibling duo the Zmed Brothers — yes, they are ’80s actor Adrian Zmed’s progeny — will create the Everly Brothers Experience (Feb. 15), and yacht-rock great Don Felder, a member of The Eagles for 27 years, just might have you feeling like you checked into the Hotel California (March 19).

That’s just a few highlights: For the full season schedule, see the sidebar .

“We feel the Tower continues to fill a need in the area, and in the region, for shows that you’re not going to see anywhere else,” Solley said.

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