Live music is a huge improvement on canned music, which takes up valuable pantry space and often spoils into noxious free jazz. Keep it fresh with this GrouponLive deal to the Akron Civic Theatre. Choose between the following concerts:
For $20, you get two tickets for front-orchestra reserved seating to see “Jingle Bell Swing,” starring Helen Welch with Miller South Show Choir and Stanton Middle School Choir on Sunday, December 16, at 2:30 p.m. (up to a $40 value, including all fees). Doors open at 2 p.m.
For $10, you get one general-admission ticket for cabaret seating to see “Girls with Guitars” on Saturday, December 29, at 8 p.m. (up to a $20 value, including all fees). Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
British singer and frequent Broadway performer Helen Welch wraps her clear vocals around classic holiday tunes during a festive concert that features local youth choirs. The songstress, whose extensive stage resumé boasts roles in Hello, Dolly! and Carousel as well as her own one-woman shows, treats her audience to dollops of anecdotal humor in between the songs. She belts out swing-heavy versions of “Winter Wonderland” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” sways to the chilled guitar solo of “Cool Yule,” then slows to an introspective pace on more empathetic numbers such as “O Holy Night” and “The Christmas Song.” Welch encourages audience members to chime in on the popular carols and ditties alike as celebrated Ohio musician Rock Wehrmann accompanies her by tickling the keys of the Mighty Wurlitzer organ and loudly chewing chestnuts in rhythm.
“Girls with Guitars”—an intimate concert starring Anne E. DeChant, Tiffany Shea, and Hannah Thomas—showcases each singer-songwriter’s distinct style while also welcoming local songstresses Crystal Alwine and Madison Cummins. DeChant, the former lead singer of Cleveland band Odd Girl Out, delivers a cache of soul-searching melodies from her six albums, her ringing pipes strong from a bevy of gigs opening for Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, and 10,000 Maniacs. Shea rigorously strums along to her own robust belting style and challenging, contemplative lyrics. With a twangy alto touched by a slight rasp, Thomas brings an Americana sound to each of her songs, whether she’s recording at Capitol Records after winning a talent search or showing up at an Atlanta Falcons’ halftime show to perform a duet with an actual falcon.
E.J. Thomas Hall
Since 1973, The University of Akron's E.J. Thomas Hall has been the center of Akron's performing arts scene. The three-level facility, which occupies three acres of The University of Akron campus, boasts a massive, 44-ton movable ceiling that can shift to enclose the first or second levels. The position of the ceiling has a dramatic effect on the hall's volume and acoustics, so it is controlled by a computer precisely managing 27 counterweights. The hall's ability to transform from an intimate one-level performance space to a vast three-level concert hall allows it to host performances of a variety of sizes and styles by university students and faculty as well as the Akron Symphony Orchestra, the Tuesday Musical Association, the Children’s Concert Society, and the Akron Youth Symphony.