The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 31, 2013

Country star Brantley Gilbert comes to 'Kato; Bethany staging comic opera classic

By Tanner Kent
The Free Press

MANKATO — Brantley Gilbert should be feeling pretty good when he rolls into Mankato’s Verizon Wireless Center on Saturday.

The up-and-coming country star who was a finalist for the Country Music Awards’ 2012 New Artist of the Year started the second leg of his Hell on Wheels tour on Thursday in Kansas City. The tour represents Gilbert’s first headlining tour after several years of opening for fellow country artists Willie Nelson and Toby Keith.

He’s already begun working on his third album and is one of five country artists who have been invited to play the coveted New Faces concert in March. And not to mention, less than two weeks ago Gilbert proposed to girlfriend Jana Moore, herself a rising country star and former actress on “One Tree Hill.”

Safe to say things are going well for the Georgia-born musician who has scored a pair of recent No. 1 hits with “Country Must be Country Wide” and “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.”

Gilbert also wrote “My Kinda Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem,” both of which were covered by Jason Aldean.

Gilbert’s concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Center with opener Kip Moore. Tickets are $37.00 (general admission-pit), and $29.75 and $24.75 for reserved seats. Tickets are available at the Verizon Wireless Center Ticket Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

Bethany staging Gilbert and Sullivan classic

The Bethany Lutheran College Choraliers are tackling one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular works for its mid-winter musical.

“H.M.S. Pinafore” was the fourth comic opera written by the famous duo of Arthur Sullivan and W.S. Gilbert. Opening in 1878, the opera ran for 571 performances and helped contribute to the development of contemporary musical theatre.

The story is rife with satirical, even caustic, humor as well as criticisms of England’s rigid class systems and social values. The plot follows a group of naval officers, shipmates and women aboard a British warship. When a lowly deckhand falls in love with the prospective bride of one of the ship’s officers, notions of class and identity are challenged.

Performances will be held at the Sigurd K. Lee Theater in the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, as well as Feb. 8 and 9. A 2 p.m. performance will be held Sunday.

The performance includes artistic direction by Ann Fredrickson and musical direction by Dennis Marzolf. Tickets may be reserved in advance by contacting the Bethany Box Office Monday through Friday from 1-5 p.m., or by calling 507-344-7374. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children, students (K-college) and seniors (ages 55 and older).