Smoot Theatre to hold Performing Arts Series

The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra

PARKERSBURG — The Smoot theatre will kick off its 2018-2019 Performing Arts Series in late August with performances through April 2019. Season tickets are $165, which includes five shows. Individual tickets start at $40. Season tickets can be purchased now over the phone at 304-422-7529 and regular tickets go on sale Aug. 1 at

The fifth show, currently scheduled for next spring, is still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.

* The series opens Aug. 25 with The Dukes of Dixieland, which presents the sounds of New Orleans come alive with the famous Dixieland band.

Back in 1974, producer John Shoup formed the Dukes of Dixieland, and opened their jazz club atop the Monteleone Hotel in the French Quarter, calling it “Dukes’ Place” with the blessing of its previous owner, Louis Prima. Playing four sets a night, often stretching till dawn, when three bucks would take care of the two drink minimum, Dukes’ Place also became the home base for a number of jazz sessions produced by Shoup for PBS, including the early Marsalis family, Stephane Grappelli, Les McCann and Toots Thielemans.

The Dukes started accepting 30 dates a year with orchestras, festivals and performing arts centers in the USA and overseas, never straying long, before returning home first to Dukes’ Place until 1986; then a new home on Bourbon Street called Mahogany Hall, and in 1992, they moved home base to the Steamboat Natchez, where they have remained ever since.

Celebrate Celine

They still play 30 concerts a year at different venues, but continue to work the dinner cruise for 45 weeks a year, seven nights a week. They have also found time to record 31 albums, produce three PBS television shows and stream one show a week, up to the internet. Unlike their dixieland name, they play New Orleans music, from Dr. John and Fats Domino, to Huey Smith and Louis Prima, not to mention many of their own original tunes. With a repertoire of roughly 400 tunes, there is room for all of the above and still be the pre-eminent New Orleans band as well as New Orleans Ambassadors.

* On Oct. 6, the Smoot will feature 7 Bridges: The Ultimate Eagles Experience. The group is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.

Using no backing tracks or harmonizers, 7 Bridges faithfully re-creates the experience of an Eagles concert from the band’s most prolific period. Every show features one brilliant hit single after another with some mighty Don Henley and Joe Walsh surprises sprinkled into the mix.

* After the start of the new year, Paragon Ragtime Orchestra will perform Feb. 5, 2019, at the Smoot, presenting the syncopated sounds of early theater, silent cinema, and vintage dance.

The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra is the world’s only year-round, professional ensemble re-creating “America’s Original Music” — the syncopated sounds of early musical theater, silent cinema, and vintage dance.

Dukes of Dixieland

The PRO came into being as the result of Rick Benjamin’s 1985 discovery of thousands of turn-of-the-century orchestra scores once belonging to Victrola recording star Arthur Pryor. In 1988 the Orchestra made its formal debut at Alice Tully Hall — the first concert ever presented at Lincoln Center by such an ensemble.

Since then PRO has appeared at hundreds of leading arts venues, including the Ravinia Festival, the Smithsonian Institution, Chautauqua, the Brucknerhaus (Austria), the New York 92nd Street Y, and the American Dance Festival. In 1999 PRO’s music inspired master choreographer Paul Taylor’s new dance “Oh You Kid!” which was premiered at The Kennedy Center jointly by the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Orchestra.

In June, 2003 the PRO presented the premier of Rick Benjamin’s new reconstruction of Scott Joplin’s opera “Treemonisha” at San Francisco’s Stern Grove Festival. In 2005 and again in 2006, Paragon had the honor of being presented in Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall as guests of the Minnesota Orchestra.

In addition to its worldwide concert hall, university, and festival appearances, the PRO has acquired a following both here and abroad through its radio programs on the New York Times’ WQXR, National Public Radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and the Voice of America networks. Since 1989 the Walt Disney Company has relied on the Orchestra’s recordings for the outdoor theme music heard at Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland, Disney World, and Disneyland Paris; the PRO strengthened its international following during its extended engagement as a U.S. Ambassador of Goodwill at the 1992 World’s Universal Exposition in Seville, Spain.

Over the years the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra has been heard on the soundtracks of several motion pictures and television programs. The Orchestra’s audio and video recordings have been widely praised, and considered instrumental in rekindling interest in America’s rich traditions of theater, cinema, and dance orchestra music.

* On April 25, 2019, the show will be “Celebrate Celine” starring Tiffany Desrosiers presenting Celine Dion’s biggest hits.

Celebrate Celine takes the audience on a journey through all of Celine’s biggest hits including “The Power Of Love,” “My Heart Will Go On,” “I’m Alive,” “Because You Loved Me,” “That’s The Way It Is,” “The Prayer” and others. Celebrate Celine is a 12-piece stage show with dancers and a four-piece string section.

* In addition to the Performing Arts Series, the Smoot also holds local productions and also hosts events and concerts organized by others. The next such show will be Sept. 7 featuring country legend Moe Bandy in concert. Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for students.

Bandy has 10 No. 1 hits, 40 Top Ten hits, 66 chart hits, five Gold Albums, Academy of Country Music Song of the Year, ACM Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year, American Video of the Year and ACM and Country Music Association Duet of the Year.

His hits include “Bandy The Rodeo Clown,” “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life,” “Till I’m Too Old To Die Young,” “Americana,”,“It’s A Cheatin’ Situation,” “Just Good Ol’ Boys,” “Barstool Mountain,” “I Cheated Me Right Out of You,” “I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today,” “Rodeo Romeo,” “You Haven’t Heard the Last of Me,” “Holding The Bag” and others.