By Chad Frey
Newton Kansan
The Fox Theatre kicked off it's "Under Construction" concert series with a free show during Taste of Newton, and was able to get a strong crowd according to concert organizers.
But now the Fox has another big show — and needs community support as the concert series, designed to help raise funds to renovate the old theater on Main St., kicks into high gear.
"We need people in the seats to make it happen," said Barb Burns, chair of the Newton Fox Theater Performing Arts Center board " Give the new old Fox a chance. Check us out."
They picked an act with a strong reputation to kick off the paid concert series — 2012 Grammy Award nominee Marcia Ball will play at 8 p.m. Saturday. That alone is big undertaking for a board that is less than a year old.
"The community told the new board — through ReNewton, the Downtown Master Plan, and in personal interviews that the Fox was vital to a vibrant community. Citizens advised the new board to bring a variety of good, national talent to the Fox. The board was told to do it right,' Burns said. "We stepped up, accepted the risk, and are doing our best. We're also having a blast."
A new community not-for-profit board now owns the building — and is working to renovate the theater from top to bottom.
"The facility has had a deep cleaning and freshening," Burns said. "Plans are in the hopper for a major renovation and fund-raising effort. Four terrific concerts have been scheduled, just as the community requested us to do. ... The new Fox board will work tirelessly to take the Fox as far as the community will support it."
The Marcia Ball Band will bring her piano-playing, Dixie-blues-singing persona to the Newton Fox. The Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist, vocalist, songwriter is known for igniting a roadhouse rhythm and blues party when she takes the stage. Her piano-driven Cajun jazz has made her a staple at the Vail Jazz Festival. In 2012 Marcia Ball also played the Wine and Jazz Festival in Vancouver; the New Orleans VooDoo Music Festival, and the Blues to Bop Festival in Lugano, Switzerland.
Tickets are available at South Dillon's in Newton or on line at Select A Seat. Seats are general admission and are on sale now for $22 plus vendor fee. Doors will open Saturday at 7:30 p.m..
Four concerts have been scheduled this fall. Karen Waldrup and Ashlee K Thomas energetically re-opened the Fox last Thursday evening. "The Boxcars," an award-winning bluegrass group, will perform live at the Fox Saturday, November 3. A Celtic holiday concert with international recording artists, "Cherish the Ladies" will take the stage and Newton's heart December 3.
General admission tickets for the fall Fox concerts are available at South Dillon's in Newton or online at Select-A-Seat.
"Now we need you to step up, spend an evening with us, and support the Fox by attending these events," Burns said. "Come and expect to have fun. You will be pleased with its fresh, new demeanor. Quality, national talent has been lined up. We have fun ideas for a new approach to concessions down the road."