Latest News

FRANKLIN THEATRE WELCOMES GIFT OF GRAND PIANO

FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE – The Franklin Theatre recently accepted a new addition to their facilities, as the Miller Piano Specialists and Gibson/Baldwin delivered a sparkling new grand piano into the music venue.  The Baldwin R1 Artist Grand model will become an important instrument for many future performances and was used for the first time in November during the live taping of renown vocalist and songwriter, Deborah Allen’s internet TV show “The Deborah Allen Show…Live at the Franklin Theatre”which will air on DEB-TV/altimarc.com.

Ms. Allen, a Franklin resident and an endorsee of Gibson/Baldwin, was responsible for approaching the piano and instrument manufacturing company and spontaneously putting in a request for this incredible gift.

“I was hoping to give away a Gibson guitar at the TV taping and while on the phone with them I had an impulse to ask for a piano for the theatre, too.  When I heard a ‘yes’ coming back  to me over the phone…I was bouncing off the walls and grinning from ear to ear!” Deborah described.  “I am honored to partner with Gibson/Baldwin to gift our theatre with a beautiful new grand piano!  It truly makes my heart smile to be able to give back to my community which has such a passionate love for the arts.”

Gibson/Baldwin has gifted the Franklin Theatre with long-term use of this beautiful $48,300 instrument. Gibson is a globally, music focused and lifestyle-oriented company based in Nashville, Tennessee, that creates products that enrich the lives of musicians, fans and consumers.  “We are pleased to be able to give to Nashville’s surrounding communities and share with them a little piece of the Gibson lifestyle.  Hopefully this piano will add to the Franklin Theatre experience for the musicians who play there as well as the fans and patrons who come to see them,” explained Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson Guitar.

The Miller Piano Specialists located in Cool Springs joined efforts with Gibson/Baldwin to generously extend their tuning and training services to the theatre and assist with other equipment costs to transport and house the piano.

The Franklin Theatre is only able to provide the community with world-class entertainment through generous contributions like this one.  “Words are inadequate to express our appreciation for the gift of this grand piano and we will remember the kindness of Deborah, Gibson, Baldwin and Miller Piano every day – but especially when notes ring from it during performances”, said Franklin Theatre director, Dan Hays.

The Franklin Theatre looks forward to the use of this gift during the 2012 holiday season, moving into 2013, and for many years to come.

Originally built in 1937, the Franklin Theatre re-opened to the public on June 3, 2011 following a multi-year, multi-million-dollar restoration.  The Main Street landmark is owned and operated by the nonprofit Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County.  More information is available online at www.franklintheatre.com.

****
For further information please contact:
Chelsey Reardon
(615) 538-2079
chelsey@franklintheatre.com

TOMMY DORSEY ORCHESTRA TO “SWING IN” THE NEW YEAR AT FRANKLIN THEATRE

FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE – The Franklin Theatre will ring-out the old year and “Swing-In” the new with a distinctive evening and rare middle Tennessee appearance by the one and only Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. The theater opened it’s doors to the public in 1937 on Franklin’s historic Main Street. To honor the era that first welcomed the theatre, the evening will promise 1930s swank with a 21st century flair featuring two performances by this legendary dance band. The two shows of the evening, the first an early concert and the second a dance party, go on-sale Friday, November 23 at 10:00 a.m..

No group in Big Band history can get a crowd swinging like the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra! Known as the “Sentimental Gentleman of Swing”, Tommy Dorsey was a master at creating superb dancing and listening arrangements. Tommy’s work included collaborations with the likes of Paul Weston, Axel Stordahl and Sy Oliver, and showcased singers who could project them brilliantly; most notably the leader of the Rat Pack himself, Frank Sinatra.

Today the talent of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra carries on with their present band leader, Terry Myers. Terry has performed with The Tex Beneke Orchestra, The Les Elgart Band, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Ray Charles, Chubby Jackson, Louis Bellson, Butch Miles and many others. An exceedingly charming host, Terry will bring a welcoming spirit to the celebration and wows audiences with the band’s musical presentation. Come ready to dance!

FIRST SHOW – 5 p.m. Cocktails/6 to 7:30 p.m. Performance

For patrons interested in enjoying the remarkable sounds and sights of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Franklin Theatre offers an early show that includes comfortable seating and unobstructed viewing of the band in the theatre’s state-of-the-art performance hall. Cabaret seating includes a celebratory bottle of champagne for each couple! Ticket prices are $60, $65, $75.

DANCE PARTY – 8:30 p.m. Cocktails/9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Dance Party

A first of its kind for the theatre, the cabaret tables in front of the stage will be swept away, opening up the dance floor to every patron for a night of stylish revelry. This performance will also feature three complimentary drinks, a midnight champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres, and party favors. Ticket prices are $75.

If you are concerned about driving on New Year’s, the theater has made arrangements with the Franklin Trolley service to reserve round-trip rides for only $6 per person from neighborhoods within the Franklin city limits. Reservations are limited and on a first come first serve basis through December 21.

For more details on ticketing or trolley services for this special evening, contact the Franklin Theatre box office (615-538-2076) or Layne Barton at layne@franklintheatre.com .

Originally built in 1937 as a movie house, the Franklin Theatre re-opened in June 2011 following a multi-year restoration and now also hosts world class music performances, Broadway caliber live theatre and community events. The Main Street landmark is owned and operated by the nonprofit Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. For more information visit our website at www.franklintheatre.com .

****

For further information, contact:

Chelsey Reardon
Chelsey@franklintheatre.com
615-538-2079

Studio Tenn Re-Imagines Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” for 2012. Another Sellout Anticipated for the Dec 6-16 Run at the Franklin Theatre!

Studio Tenn’s annual live production of “A Christmas Carol” is quickly becoming a holiday tradition in Middle Tennessee–however, the theatre company isn’t content with simply re-staging last year’s smash hit.

Charles Dickens’ timeless holiday classic–which sold out all twelve performances in 2011–will return to the historic Franklin Theatre stage December 6-16. Tickets are now available online at StudioTenn.com or by calling the Franklin Theatre Box Office at (615) 538-2076.

But leave the holiday reruns to TBS! Company Managing Director Jake Speck says Studio Tenn will be presenting a “re-imagined” rendition for 2012.”We were beyond thrilled with the wild success of last year’s ‘Christmas Carol’,” says Speck, “but we have embraced the challenge and consider it our artistic duty and privilege to give our growing audience something new this year–a fresh interpretation.”

Others might opt for the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, but Studio Tenn refuses to rest on their laurels.Artistic Director Matt Logan says, “there’s good reason that Dickens’ classic Christmas tale has transcended generations across centuries. The central message is universal. We aim to celebrate the timelessness of Scrooge’s story by bringing it to life against a different historic backdrop.”

“Every act of storytelling involves full acknowledgment of the world you are in, and the world you want to escape to,” Logan explains. In designing Studio Tenn’s productions, Logan “look[s] for design elements held popular in our day and in the time period of the story–elements which serve as a portal for the audience, from one world to another.”

“This is easy for ‘A Christmas Carol’ because the design elements of the Victorian/Industrial era are currently in high fashion,” Logan says. “The modern pages of ‘Vogue’ and the silver screen are full of the silhouettes and textures from the time of Charles Dickens. In this year’s re-imagining of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ we plan to walk that line between past and present.” This is achieved most basically by using modern clothing to create period shapes, Logan explains. “We hope to ignite the imagination by telling this beloved story with bits and pieces from our existing lives,” he says. “I think audiences are bored by historical realism, but they are enriched by theatrical imagination. At Studio Tenn, we strive to hold true to innovative creation rather than mere replication.”

A complete sellout is again expected. In fact, advance sales have already prompted the expansion of the two-week run to include four additional performances. Opening weekend is especially in high demand, as it coincides with the Heritage Foundation’s annual “Dickens of a Christmas” festival. Now in its 27th year, the Victorian-era-themed street festival is expected to draw more than 50,000 people to Downtown Franklin over the course of the weekend. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 9.

Great seats remain for “A Christmas Carol,” but tickets are going fast. Group discounts are available to parties of 10 or more–an increasingly popular option for office holiday parties or family get-togethers. For more information about group tickets, call the Box Office at (615) 538-2076.

“We love that people are making our ‘Christmas Carol’ an annual holiday tradition with their families, friends and co-workers,” says Speck. “We are going to give you plenty of reason to keep coming back, year after year”!

Studio Tenn’s “A Christmas Carol” runs live on stage at the Franklin Theatre December 6-16. Tickets start at $47.50 and can be purchased online at StudioTenn.com or by calling the Franklin Theatre Box Office at (615) 538-2076.

Studio Tenn is a professional theatre company and a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information about the company and their productions, or to learn how to get involved as a sponsor or donor, please visit StudioTenn.com.

 

 

 

For media inquiries please contact:

Chelsey Reardon

615-538-2079

Chelsey@franklintheatre.com

 

Kenny Loggins is “a Rider” & Blue Sky Riders are Finally Home (Playing in Franklin, Tennessee).

“We wrote our first song and were singing with a three-part blend that comes once in a lifetime.” said Loggins about the new trio Blue Sky Riders.

For Loggins, Blue Sky Riders is a new creative step forward in a career filled with magic moments. His hits, early on as half of Loggins and Messina and then as a solo artist, include “Danny’s Song,” “House at Pooh Corner,” “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” “Angry Eyes,” “Whenever I Call You Friend” (with Stevie Nicks) and “This Is It,” a series of movie theme songs, including “I’m Alright” (Caddyshack), “Footloose” (Footloose), “Danger Zone” (Top Gun), and “Nobody’s Fool” (Caddyshack II), and later AC smashes including “Conviction of the Heart,” “The Real Thing,” “If You Believe” and “For the First Time.” His songs have been covered by artists including Barbra Streisand, Lynn Anderson, Anne Murray and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Loggins and Michael McDonald co-wrote “What A Fool Believes,” which received a Grammy for Song of the Year, and “This Is It,” which earned Loggins a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal.

“The best part,” says Kenny Loggins of that meeting with Gary Burr as he wrote for “How About Now,” his well-received 2008 release, “was that when we sang together, we sounded like brothers. The last time I experienced that kind of blend was with Jimmy Messina in 1971.”

Loggins, one of the premiere voices in modern popular music, called Burr, one of Nashville’s most accomplished writers, afterward and asked if he’d like to form a band. Then he suggested they look for a third, female voice. “I’ve got the perfect person,” said Burr. “Georgia Middleman. She’s the best I’ve ever worked with.” Loggins flew to Nashville and the three sat down to write.

“What a meeting!” says Loggins. “We wrote our first song and were singing with a three-part blend that comes once in lifetime.” With that, Blue Sky Riders was a reality.

Middleman, a renowned singer/songwriter, says the experience has reminded her of the Joseph Campbell line, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls”. “I’m definitely looking bliss in the eye right now,” she says. All three sing lead amid the three-part harmonies that told each of them from the beginning that they had something special.

Burr is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been named Songwriter of the Year by ASCAP, Billboard and NSAI with 13 #1 hits under his belt. His hits include Juice Newton’s “Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard on Me,” Conway Twitty’s “That’s My Job” and Wynonna’s “To Be Loved By You,” and his songs have been covered by LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, George Jones, Garth Brooks, RIcky Skaggs and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among many others. He has written and performed with Ringo Starr, had a worldwide hit with the Ricky Martin/Christina Aguilera smash “Nobody Wants to be Lonely,” and topped the charts with Kelly Clarkson’s “Before Your Love” and Clay Aiken’s “This is the Night.” He has toured with Carole King and produced Olivia Newton John, and early in his career spent three years as lead singer of Pure Prairie League.

Middleman was still a teenager when she began opening for artists like Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Drawn to Nashville’s creative energy, she quickly landed a publishing deal with Polygram and released the well-received Endless Possibiities on Giant Records. She wrote Keith Urban’s 2010 chart-topper “I’m In,” and singles including Tracy Lawrence’s “It’s All How You Look At It” and Sarah Buxton’s “Innocence.” Her songs have been recorded by Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Terri Clark, Mark Chesnutt and Joe Nichols, among many others. She has toured with Radney Foster and sung backup for Jack Ingram, Marty Raybon, the Warren Brothers and many other Nashville artists.

Tickets still available for their November 16 & 17 performances!

Inspiration Sparked by Franklin’s Effort to Restore The Franklin Theatre

The following is a note from a woman named Heather Lea Gerdes, who was introduced to the Franklin Theatre during a visit to Franklin four years ago. At that time Heather found herself inspired by Franklin’s valiant efforts to restore the Franklin Theatre – so much so that she chose a picture of the theatre as the foundation for a design she submitted for a Keith Urban t-shirt contest.

Heather writes:

I’m a Keith Urban fan. Let’s just say that his music opened my musical tastes to Country and inspired me to launch my special dance exercise program, Country Cardio. But this is not about that.

Four years ago over the July 4th holiday, I took my first trip to Nashville. Urban was also playing in a concert that weekend. Urban fans know he lives in Franklin, so of course, it was on my “To-Do” list. As I walked along lovely Main Street taking pictures, I came upon The Franklin Theatre. It was shut tight, covered with poster pleas for help. Even the marquee was reaching out: Save the Franklin Theatre.org, and I was really drawn to the place. I had studied film in college and made a documentary about a group of people trying to save the last drive-in in a small town in Florida, near where I grew up. Naturally, the Franklin effort filled my heart with a feeling of solidarity.

Earlier this week, I learned of a fun contest to design a t-shirt for Keith. As I was looking at photos from my Nashville trip, I came across the one I’d snapped of the theatre. It was the inspiration I was hoping for! Using a combination of pencil tracing, freehand, and one software effect, I came up with a simple design that I hope pays homage to the history of that crucial turning point for the Franklin Theatre and gives a nod to the town Urban also calls home.
I wanted to share my story with the folks at the now thriving Franklin Theatre and they have been kind enough to share it with you!

You can view and vote for Heather’s design along with many other wonderful designs in Keith Urban’s t-shirt contest by visiting:

http://creativeallies.com/creations/c722/contests/707/design-a-vintage-t-shirt-for-keith-urban