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Famed musical and new play hit the GTA stage

January 2, 2020

As a new semester begins, the Gainesville Theatre Alliance (GTA) is looking to build on its success from the fall with its 2020 February Festival of Theatre.

"We sold out every show of 'Legally Blonde,'" said Keri McClain, marketing manager of GTA. "And we ended up adding an extra performance, and the people really enjoyed it."

GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration between the University of North Georgia (UNG), Brenau University, theater professionals and the northeast Georgia community.

Launching the spring semester will be the musical "Pippin," a coming-of-age story well-known to theater enthusiasts, said Jim Hammond, chair of UNG's theatre department and artistic and managing director of GTA.

Heir to the Frankish throne, the young prince Pippin is in search of the secret to true happiness and fulfillment. Pippin is guided through the adventures of war, sex, politics, and love by a traveling troupe and its charismatic Leading Player.

"The young prince Pippin is looking to fulfill his life's goal, and his journey is often met with disastrous comic effect until he finds what he loves,"

Hammond said, noting the 1972 Broadway production earned Bob Fosse two Tony Awards for direction and choreography.

Performances of "Pippin" will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11-15 and Feb. 18-22 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and 22 at Hosch Theatre in the John S. Burd Center on Brenau University's Campus at 429 Academy St. NE in Gainesville, Georgia.

A free stage tour is at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 in Hosch Theatre, and an opening night reception Feb. 11 will follow the performance with catering by 2 Dog Café.

Tickets are $28-$30 for adults, $26-$28 for seniors and $18-$20 for students.

To round out GTA's February Festival will be the world premiere of "The Bra and Panty Club." The Southern-based comedy focuses on Addie and her job in the lingerie store of the best department store in the second-best mall in town. Addie copes with ridiculous co-workers and customers, office politics, an unexpected Prince Charming and a bomb scare (maybe).

"The story is witty and endearing and I know audiences will love it," Jim Hammond said.

Gay Hammond, associate professor of theatre at Brenau University, penned the play and will direct, too.  The play also will include the final GTA performance of Dr. Ann Demling, professor and chair of the theatre department at Brenau. She is retiring after 28 years with Brenau and GTA.

"I was thrilled when Gay asked me to do the role," she said. "It's also humbling to work with students on the show who make me lift my game."

Performances of "The Bra and Panty Club" will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14, 16 and 18-22 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 15 and 22. All performances will be in the Ed Cabell Theatre inside the Continuing Education and Performing Arts building on UNG's Gainesville Campus at 3820 Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood, Georgia.

A free stage tour will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 30, and an opening night reception will follow the performance on Feb. 14 with ACE Catering supplying refreshments.

Tickets are $18-$20 for adults, $16-$18 for seniors and $12-$14 for students.

A 20% discount is available to groups of 12 or more. UNG students, faculty and staff may contact the box office for specially discounted tickets. ADA seating reservations are also arranged through the box office.

Call the box office at 678-717-3624 or visit GTA's website for more information.

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