‘Ultimate Oldies’ opens Friday, sellout crowd expected
Jamie Harden’s all new “Ultimate Oldies: A Little Bit Country, a Lot of Rock ’n’ Roll” opens Friday and will run for nine shows at the Manchester Arts Center.
“This show is a little bit different,” Harden said. “We’ve added a small country section.”
For those that love the 50s and 60s rock, the show is a lot of the same oldies that usually draws a sellout crowd.
“We’re still doing Elvis, the Beatles, the girl groups and doo-wop, our general stuff.”
Harden clarifies that each year’s production is unique.
“We try to let everybody know that all our shows are different. If you’ve been last year, [this time] you’re going to see a totally different show.
“It’s an all new show with all new songs. We’ve got new dancers, a new choreographer.”
This is the fourth year for the “Ultimate Oldies.”
Looking back at that first year, Harden said that he was a surprised at the overwhelming popularity of the show.
“There were 50 or 60 people every night that didn’t get in. We have to limit how many seats we could sell.”
As a result, the show has grown to its nine-show run, over three different weekends.
Harden attributes the show’s appeal, in part to how the audience relates to the music.
“They just love it, the people who grew up with this music. You can see it on their faces.”
He adds, “That’s the biggest reason why we do it – we love the reaction of the audience.”
The show also has a two-fold charitable side. Most of the funds go back to help the Manchester Arts Center, but a portion goes to the One Day Outreach program held in October at the fairgrounds.
“Last year we helped feed and clothe 2,400 people.”
This year’s Outreach, on Oct.12, is planned to be even bigger, with more help from the community and businessmen support.
“That’s going to be huge. Convoy of Hope is coming in and they will bring 5,000 bags of groceries and 2,000 pairs of shoes. That’s just with them,” Harden said.
“We get to help two organizations and have a lot of fun.”
“Oldies” will run Aug. 16-18, 23-35 and Sept. 6-8. The performers will take off the weekend of Aug. 27 at the MAC, 128 E. Main St.
Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Nightly shows are at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available for $15 from Millennium Repertory Company online at www.millenniumrep.org or by calling (931) 570-4489.