Imagine hearing about a touring show scheduled to come to Cache Valley, buying some tickets, watching for the date on your calendar, then driving to downtown Logan and filing into the Eccles Theatre with a throng of other locals on a chilly, starlit evening full of excitement and anticipation.
That’s an experience that seemed far off this time last year after Cache Valley and the rest of the country scaled back live entertainment as a precaution against the coronavirus.
On Monday, CacheArts announced it is returning with a full schedule of national touring shows for its 2021-22 season — and as things have turned out, the season’s opening show on Sept. 7 will be “Air Play,” a circus-style extravaganza slated to come to Logan in March 2020 but forced to cancel just after the coronavirus pandemic was declared.
“They’ve actually had all of their equipment down in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah facilities in storage ever since last year, just waiting for us to be able to host them again,” said CacheArts Marketing Director Alek Nelson. “It’s been over a year since they’ve had all this stuff in Utah, so it’s really exciting to have them back.”
Another show rescheduled after a COVID cancellation is “The Moth,” a storytelling program staged in theaters around the country and rebroadcast on public radio. The shows typically feature five personal stories related to a general theme and told by the performers without notes. The Oct. 21 performance is cosponsored by Utah Public Radio.
Due to continuing coronavirus complications on the national level, this year’s Eccles season will not include any touring Broadway shows, as it traditionally does, but there will be some star power here on Nov. 15 for “Georgia on My Mind,” a celebration of the music of Ray Charles. The show will feature singer/songwriters Clint Holmes and Nnenna Freelon along with the 10-time Grammy winning a cappella group Take 6 and saxophonist Kurt Whalen.
The annual Christmas show by the Bar J Wranglers on Dec. 18 is also noteworthy. This will be the final season for the popular Wyoming-based Western music group.
The full 10-show season is as follows:
— “Air Play,” Sept. 7.
— Sons of the Pioneers, Sept. 27.
— “The Moth,” Oct. 21.
— Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Nov. 4.
— “Georgia on My Mind,” Nov. 15.
— Bar J Wranglers, Dec. 18.
— The Choir of Man, Jan. 8.
— Golden Dragon Acrobats, Feb. 9.
— “Collision of Rhythm,” April 13.
— PopovichComedy Pet Theater, May 11.
Tickets go on sale July 26 and can be purchased at CacheArts.org.
The touring season is one of several programs put on by the local arts organization formerly known as the Cache Center for the Arts. Its full slate of activities and shows are listed on the group’s website.
Although the 2020-21 touring season was canceled, CacheArts did manage to put on a variety of local performances over the past year, modified with virus safety in mind.
Nelson said state and federal funding, along with local donations, have helped the organization get through the difficult period.
“It was an off year for sure, but we’ve been really supported throughout this whole thing,” he said. “Locals really do care about the arts, and we’re really thankful for that. We’re confident that we’ll be able to help people experience the arts again here in Cache Valley and get back on track.”