After a year of darkness and uncertainty about when it would be able to bring audiences back to its historic hall, Fox Tucson Theatre has roughly 50 shows on its books — and it’s only June.
The downtown venue’s top brass is confident they will add more shows —probably lots more — as artists of all genres fill out their 2021-22 tour plans in the almost post-COVID world.
But the Fox isn’t just plugging the shows into open dates as it has in years past. Executive Director Bonnie Schock has instead created seven event categories that cover genres of music from world music to legendary crooners, as well as film and comedy.
“The way that I think about programming starts with mission,” Schock said after hosting an event June 10 with donors and invited guests at the Fox, 17 W. Congress St., to unveil the 2021-22 season. “What are we doing this for? ... What’s our brand? What works right in our space?”
Schock, who took the reins of the Fox a week before the pandemic shut everything down, is drawing on her experience running the historic Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts in Red Wing, Minnesota, and the template of other performing arts centers around the country that curate seasons, not just events.
“Those really special experiences are the intersection of those two things, personal experience and space,” she said.
The season kicks off with The Mavericks “En Español” world tour on Aug. 19, which is part of the Listening Room: Country & Americana series — one of four Listening Rooms series meant to create a more intimate setting that highlights the theater’s acoustics and aesthetics.
The Fox’s annual “Chasing Rainbows” gala, a dinner-concert event that raises money for the Fox Theatre Foundation, is being split into three parts starting with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Sept. 11, the singer-songwriter trio of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Marc Cohn and Shawn Colvin on Dec. 4, and finishing with Broadway great Kirsten Chenoweth on Jan. 30.
Schock told the audience at the season reveal that she had been anticipating the day she could see the Fox seats filled and artists on the stage.
“There have been days and weeks this past year when we thought we would not make it here,” she said. “And here we are. It has been too long since we all made memories in this place.”
Tickets are on sale now through foxtucson.com. The lineup so far includes:
Legends — Lindsey Buckingham, Dec. 5; “My Bluegrass Heart” with Béla Fleck, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Bryan Sutton, Dec. 19; Kristen Chenoweth, Jan. 30; Don McLean with Al Stewart, Feb. 24; and Judy Collins, March 8.
Fine Vintages — Atlanta Rhythm Section with Firefall, Nov. 5; Croce Plays Croce, Jan. 29; Gary Mullen & the Works “One Night of Queen,” Feb. 22; Classic Albums Live performs Creedence Clearwater Revival “Chronicles,” March 26; and Music of Cream, April 19.
Global Journeys — Atlan, Nov. 21; Mariachi del Sol de Mexico’s “Merry-Achi Christmas,” Dec. 9; An Irish Christmas, Dec. 10; National Geographic Live with Steve Winter, Dec. 10; Jesse Cook, Feb. 3; National Geographic Live with Nazir Ibrahim, Feb. 6; National Geographic Live with Brian Skerry, March 13; Flor de Toloache, March 19; and Martha Redbone Roots Project, April 23.
K.I.T. Family & Youth — David Gonzalez “The Boy who Sings Pictures,” Sept. 20-Oct. 3 (virtual school residency); Passing Zone, Jan. 23; David Gonzalez’s “Cuentos,” Feb. 8; TheatreWorks’s “Pete the Cat,” March 3; Underwater Bubble Show, March 18; Jackson Galaxy’s “Total Cat Mojo Live!” April 15; and Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience, May 29.
Listening Room: Blues — The Robert Cray Band, Dec. 11; Taj Mahal, March 15; Keb’ Mo Band, April 29.
Listening Room: Country & Americana — The Mavericks “En Español” world tour, Aug. 19; Asleep at the Wheel, Oct. 8; Amy Grant “Our Time is Now,” Oct. 24; Tommy Emmanuel, Nov. 6; Sara Evans “At Christmas,” Nov. 26; The Oak Ridge Boys, Feb. 19; and Michael Martin Murphey & the Rio Grande Band, Feb. 25.
Listening Room: Jazz — Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Sept. 11; Pat Metheny: Side Eye, Oct. 5; Boney James, Nov. 7; “In the Christmas Mood: A Holiday Music Spectacular,” Dec. 18; The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas in Mardi Gras Mambo, Feb. 12; Hot Sardines, March 11; and An Evening with Chris Botti, April 2.
Listening Room: Singer-Songwriter — Chris Isaak, Sept. 25; Rickie Lee Jones, Sept. 26; Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin and Marc Cohn, Dec. 4; Joan Osborne & the Weepies, Jan. 27; and Storm Large & La Bonheur, Feb. 17.
Outburst Comedy — Paula Poundstone, Oct. 28; Randy Rainbow “Pink Glasses” tour, Nov. 11; Whose Live Anyway?, Nov. 20; Tom Papa, Jan. 8; and “An Evening with Peter Sagal,” Feb. 4.
Picture Palace — Fox Classic Films, Sept. 18; Cinema Tucson, dates TBA in September, October and November; Fox Classic Films: Silent Horror and Classic Monster, Halloween weekend; Fox Classic Films: Holiday, three showings in December; and “Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes,” March 4.
Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @Starburch