"Our goal is to try to reach out to different groups [of people], try to provide a variety of entertainment," said Terri Cox, program coordinator for The Grand, 7 N. Wall St. in Cartersville. "And we feel like we've really done that this year. We have a couple of shows that have some returning talent that people have expressed an interest in seeing.
"The first show, 'Country Royalty,' features Jason Petty who plays Hank Williams and recreates his music. Jason came [previously] and did a show about Hank Williams ... and they loved it and had asked for him to come back. So we thought this would be great because it would be him but then it's also more and something new as well," she said, adding this year Petty will be joined by Carolyn Martin, portraying Patsy Cline, and a five-piece band.
Following "Country Royalty," the series will continue with Atlanta Pops Orchestra on Dec. 10; The Return, a Beatles tribute band, on Feb. 4; comedian Henry Cho on March 3; and country singer Pam Tillis on April 21.
This season's lineup is a prime example of the types of performances offered through the entertainment series. Started in 2002, the series was fine-tuned following the results of a community survey more than five years ago.
Conducted by The Grand, the survey sought public input on a variety of items, from preferred types of music to performance dates and times. In addition to pinpointing Saturday as the concert day of choice, the survey revealed area residents enjoy country and bluegrass music and tribute shows.
"[The survey] did show us, that first of all, that there was a demand for good, quality entertainment in this town," said Matt Santini, administrator for The Grand. "We've kind of tailored everything toward bluegrass, toward having one orchestra performance a year. We've [also offered] clean comedy, which we've got again this year with Henry Cho, who if you're not familiar with him, he's a nationally known comic.
"That's almost as big a deal as getting Pam Tillis here. ... One other thing that we learned was in most towns the shows start at 8 o'clock -- that's a typical call time -- but here when we asked people what nights of the week, it was resounding that Saturday was a better night. And it was also resounding that a 7 o'clock start time fit our community better."
Also grateful for the community's support, Santini said the series would not have been possible without the involvement of Century Bank.
"We are once again honored to be the presenting sponsor of the Century Bank Entertainment Series at The Grand Theatre," said Century Bank CEO Richard E. Drews Jr. in an email to The Daily Tribune News. "The arts are a very important aspect of a community's quality of life, and as Cartersville's only locally owned bank, we believe it is critically important to provide the funding for this most worthwhile program. We have an exciting lineup of entertainers this year and we hope everyone in Bartow County will enjoy the show. 'Hats off' to Matt Santini and the entire staff of the theater for what will surely be the best season yet."
Along with offering quality entertainment, Santini said the series is a key way to introduce people to Cartersville.
"Before the shows, when I'm on stage I'll ask people, 'Who's never been to The Grand before?' Usually close to half if not more than half of the people have never been in The Grand Theatre before and that's great because one of the purposes of having this series is to draw people to the downtown area," Santini said. "I usually ask how many people went out and ate at a local restaurant before they came up here and I usually get a greater response out of that.
"So what we'd really like is to have people come up here and spend the day. If they [have the opportunity], spend a few hours in a museum, strolling around downtown, have a meal, then come enjoy a show and then hopefully spend the night in a local hotel and head back the next day."
Individual tickets -- $25 for orchestra level seats and $20 for balcony level seats -- currently are available, with season tickets offering a 10 percent discount. For more information, call 770-386-7343 or visit www.thegrandtheatre.org.