Robert Earl Keen will perform at the Grand Theatre on Feb.10, 2021. (Photo submitted)

“We were in the last third of our best season when COVID hit and we closed the Grand Theatre in March,” Grand President Bill Cull said.

The Grand rescheduled five shows, all of which were to have been finished by June 7 of this year (now not until Oct. 16, 2021).

The Grand reopened in June with its Summer Series of movies, including “1917,” “Judy,” and “Parasite.” Social distancing makes our intimate theatre even more intimate with seating less than 100 patrons.

Currently, a planned new 2021 season is limited to six shows with prices averaging $200 for the full season with artists including Robert Earl Keen on Feb.10; the Capitol Steps on May 8; 10,000 Maniacs on May 13; and more.

Subscription sales to season subscribers are now on sale. Season tickets for new subscribers will go on sale Monday. Tickets may only be purchased through the ticket office by calling 502-352-7469, or visiting 312 W. Main St., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Season tickets range from $158 to $224, depending on seat location.

“Our season, though shortened due to COVID, is still eclectic,” Cull said.

The first performer is Texas, singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen on Feb. 10, who plays bluegrass, blues and everything in between, with Troubadour style. Keen is a member of the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame, played Railbird Festival at Keeneland in 2019 and last performed at the Grand in 2012. Robert Earl Keen is sponsored by Expree Credit Union. 

On Feb. 15, the Grand presents the National Players in “Raisin in the Sun,” the story of the Youngers, a black family living in a poor, crime ridden, South Side of Chicago neighborhood that inherits $10,000 and seeks to move to an all-white neighborhood where they are not welcome. Sidney Poitier played Alfred Lee Younger in 1959 in a story coming full circle 60 years later.

“We elected a Black president in 2008 who wasn’t even born in 1959,” Cull said. “Now, in 2020, his successor tells suburban housewives to fear black people moving into white neighborhoods today.

“The National Players will present ‘Raisin in the Sun’ with youthful passionate intensity, making us all reflect on its contemporary relevance.”

“Raisin” is sponsored by Sheila Bucy Potter and Larry W. Moore and will include a student matinee.

On April 9, the Grand presents a great night of fun with the Drifters and the legendary group’s great resume of songs “Up on the Roof,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “This Magic Moment,” “Sand in my Shoes,” and many more, spurring everyone to sing along and making even the least likely start to dance.

On April 16, the Grand presents 2020 Grammy winner Ranky Tanky, with a much older form of Black music, Gullah, which originated among descendants of enslaved Africans in the low country of the U.S. Southeast. Ranky Tanky presents Gullah with jazz-influenced arrangements in “Good Time,” which won a Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album in January 2020. The show is supported by South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts grants and will include a school matinee.

It’s been years since the Capitol Steps visited Frankfort. “The Grand was so excited to have them perform 25 days before the 2020 Presidential Election,” Cull said. “But, COVID changed plans and pushed the Together Frankfort sponsored show to May 8, 2021, when the Steps will still put the ‘mock’ in democracy.”

The final show for the 2021 Season is 10,000 Maniacs on May 13. The band continues to charm alternative rock fans with its jangly sound and sweet vocals. Christopher M. Hill and Associates, PSC are the sponsors for Maniacs.

All shows will be presented in COVID compliance. Temporary seat relocation and rescheduling may be necessary.

The historic Grand Theatre reopened as a performance venue in the fall of 2009 after a $5 million restoration spearheaded by the non-profit organization Save the Grand Theatre Inc. The Grand opened in 1911 as a vaudeville house and later became a movie theater before it closed in 1966. With its resurrection, the Grand is a 428-seat performing and visual arts theatre featuring state-of-the-art facilities.

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