There’s never a dull year at the Meyer Theater, and the 2017-2018 Season is no exception.
Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Paula Cole will be the first act of the season on Friday, October 13. Unless noted otherwise, all shows will start at 7:30 p.m.
Tom Ryder, Director of Campus and Community Events and Student Activities, is clearly pleased to have Cole on the roster.
“I was actually a big fan of hers back in the ‘80s,” Ryder says. “And her biggest hit is ‘Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?’ So if there are any older students out there, they may remember that song.” He describes her current music as having a “jazzy blues feel”.
“She really is a great performer,” he says. “The problem with that is that many people don’t recognize her name. So, name recognition with this one is a big thing we’re pushing in our advertising and promotions. If you don’t know who she is, go out and go to YouTube, click on some of her current stuff. I think our students will be really impressed with what they hear.”
Ryder continues, saying that he always tries to plan a variety of events to keep the season diverse.
“I try to find a little bit of something for everybody,” he says. “One thing that’s always done really, really well for us is tribute bands.”
He’s not wrong. Previous tributes to such famous acts as the Eagles, the Bee Gees, and Jimmy Buffett have done quite well. This year is no exception. Queen Nation will be performing on November 17 in another Friday at 7:30 p.m. show.
“It’s actually our best seller so far,” Ryder says, “leading the pack with around 200 tickets sold already. The VIP section is already sold out. So if students are interested in something like that, they need to get their tickets sooner rather than later. I do anticipate a sellout for that one.”
Classic Albums Live makes a welcome return with a tribute to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.
“They’re not a true tribute group,” Ryder says. “They don’t try to look like the performers. What they try to do is match them note-for-note, sound-for-sound. They want to sound just like it.”
Ryder notes that the show is just slightly behind Queen Nation in ticket sales, with about 150 to 160 tickets already sold at the time of the interview. Get tickets while you can. The show will be Saturday, January 20, once again at 7:30 p.m.
Additionally, Michigan-based acts such as Grand Rapids indie rock group The Crane Wives and Kalamazoo traditional Gaelic folk band Blarney Castle will be performing on Saturday, February 3 and Saturday, March 17, respectively.
Two different comedy shows will also grace the stage this season. Triple Time Comedy, featuring Norm Stultz, Jeff Nease, and Steve Lind, will perform on Friday, November 3. Louie Anderson, also an author and star of the FX comedy series “Baskets”, will appear on Saturday March 10.
Children’s shows also feature once again, with The Cat in the Hat coming on Friday, October 27. The show lasts for an hour starting at 7 p.m. and is geared towards children in kindergarten up to fourth grade. Dragons Love Tacos will be performed on Wednesday, February 21, again at 7 p.m. It is another hour-long show, but this time fifth graders are encouraged to partake as well.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our own band and choir!” Ryder says, referring to the Agora Chorale and Symphony Band concerts.
“I think our band is Monroe’s best-kept secret,” he says. “If people truly knew how good our band was we would be overrun, and oftentimes we already are! It’s often standing room only for our band. We have over 100 members… so if you haven’t been to a band concert, I would highly recommend it.”
The Agora Chorale concert is on Tuesday, April 24, while the Symphony Band concert follows on Monday, April 30.
Ryder also wishes to note something important.
“Up to the day of the show,” he says, “if you buy tickets at our cashier window and you have your college ID, they’ll give you $2 off any ticket. So it’s cheaper for students; we’re trying to help them out a little bit in cost.”
He also has good news for those who cannot buy tickets ahead of time, or know they’ll forget until the day of the event.
“If we’re not sold out the night of the show,” he says, “30 minutes before performance time we’ll give students tickets half-price. Up to two tickets with your student ID.”
The Meyer Theater’s 2017-2018 Season begins on Friday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. Further information, including ticket costs, can be found on the college website.