A sparkling season

The popular perception of a fine arts season is that it is front-end loaded. Patrons are lured in with high-profile performances and events at the beginning of the season, and then, after Christmas, the presenting organizations sort of coast toward summer.


It's a false perception.

Though Westobou and a slate of season openers do claim their share of the spotlight in early autumn in Augusta, plenty of big events are socked away for the final months of the season. Here are a few.


Although there are several major acts being booked by Global Spectrum at the Augusta Entertainment Complex in the coming months (Willie Nelson, Jason Aldean, B.B. King, Bill Cosby, Garrison Keillor), few have generated buzz like Carrie Underwood. Miss Underwood, who will perform May 2 at James Brown Arena, is exactly the kind of act that music fans had hoped for when Global Spectrum took over the facility's management last year.



It wasn't too long ago that the touring stage plays stopping through Augusta were decidedly lackluster. The current Broadway in Augusta series has increased the quality and quantity of touring productions. One highlight is a touring production of the hit musical Hairspray. Based on the movie by cult director John Waters, the 1960s-set dance party comedy plays Bell Auditorium on Feb. 15. In terms of popularity and demand, this is a booking similar in scale to last year's Mamma Mia! run.



No wrapping with a whimper for Symphony Orchestra Augusta. The ensemble will wrap its first season under the direction of Shizuo Z Kuwahara with a concert featuring Gustav Mahler's epic Symphony No. 5. This is a piece that requires an orchestra firing on all cylinders. It is dynamic and ranges in tone and theme from nearly martial music to the lovely Adagietto movement, which prominently features harp and strings.

The symphony also will perform with pop duo Air Supply on Friday, March 19, as part of its Pops series.