Community events in Brownwood occur in cycles, annually. Just to mention a few, the Brown County Youth Fair is held each January, the Stars of Texas Art Exhibit falls in February, the Brown County Rodeo happens in June… you get the idea.

One of the biggest events for many local residents — and for others in surrounding areas — is the summer musical staged by the Brownwood Lyric Theatre. It happens each July, and it opens this weekend.

If you can’t get to the Lyric this weekend, reserve your seats for next weekend. It’s another “don’t miss” production.

“9 to 5 — The Musical” will be playing at the Lyric at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday this weekend. The schedule will repeat next weekend, except the matinees will be on Friday and Sunday. Tickets may be reserved online at brownwoodlyrictheatre.com, or purchased at the door.

Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to say with any authority how wonderful the show is going to be. I’ll say it will be, though, on the word of those either in the show or who have watched through the weeks of rehearsals the Lyric’s volunteer performers have invested in it.

Usually, before I write a column about any Lyric show, I’ll do my homework. However, I didn’t have a chance to catch a rehearsal before the Friday column deadline passed.

As a result, this article must become something of a generic accolade of what Lyric productions have meant to this community, and what they have meant especially since the opening of the restored theater in December 2014.

I hope you’ve been reading the articles and enjoying the photographs Steve Nash has been generating for the Bulletin in recent days. He took the time to talk to several of the performers in “9 to 5 — The Musical,” and their dedication to the goal of providing area audiences with a professional-caliber show is evident. One of his stories focused on first-time players in this production, and Lyric regulars are always ready to welcome newcomers into their family.

Audience members of Lyric productions are often amazed at the depth of talent found in the community. The question arises concerning how it can be sustained into the future.

That future appears to be in great hands. High school theater programs in Brown County have reached new heights in recent years, and the Lyric is supporting those efforts on schools’ stages by conducting summer youth theater workshops for two separate age groups. Performances capping those programs will be held over the two weekends following the “9 to 5” shows.

“Disney’s Frozen Junior” is scheduled July 26-28, and “Peter Pan Junior” will be performed August 2-4. With parents, grandparents, and siblings eager to see what these young actors and actresses have learned, each show could attract a capacity crowd for the students.

In you’re keeping a calendar, you’ll recognize that’s four consecutive weekends of musicals at the Lyric, beginning today.

Summer is obviously a busy time at the theater. It is also an entertaining time for anyone in the area who enjoys the musical stage.

Much more is on the schedule for the latter half of the year, but there will be plenty of time to discuss that in a few weeks. Meanwhile, the curtain is preparing to go up tonight for “9 to 5.” Get your tickets now.

 

Gene Deason is editor emeritus of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column appears on Fridays. He may be contacted at news@brownwoodbulletin.com.