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Zach Theatre's 'Songs Under the Stars' returns to People's Plaza this spring

Michael Barnes
Austin 360
Roderick Sanford's resonant voice is a staple of Zach Theatre shows. He performed in "A Rockin’ Holiday Concert," pictured, a socially distanced, live outdoor concert on the People’s Plaza at Zach Theatre in December. He returns in April with "Down by the Riverside," part of the 2021 spring concert series "Songs Under the Stars."

One of the surprise theatrical hits from 2020 was the socially distanced concert series staged in Zach Theatre's spacious People's Plaza.

Thanks to mostly ideal fall weather, the city's regional theater company rolled out a series of themed concerts, from Broadway show tunes to an Austin take on Christmas standards, in the previously underused space between the Topfer Theatre and Kleberg Theatre.

More:Austin's Cap City Comedy Club, shuttered by pandemic, to reopen at the Domain

The sharp rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations in late December forced the theater to cancel the final planned holiday concerts.

Now, as Austin re-enters lower Stage 4 pandemic guidelines and vaccine rollout haltingly begins, some arts organizations have an eye toward 2021 programming.

Zach is back with details about eight planned weeks of outdoor song fests, all produced by Dave Steakley, and all but one with Allen Robertson in charge of musical direction. The themes — from country and soul to mariachi and Disney — demonstrate the troupe's depth and breadth of its talent.

All of the shows run about an hour with no intermission. Find details below.

Michael Barnes writes about the people, places, culture and history of Austin and Texas. He can be reached at mbarnes@statesman.com.

'Songs Under the Stars' 2021 Spring Concert Series

All performances take place in Zach Theatre's People's Plaza. Attendees must buy tickets in advance for seating in cabana-like pods. Some options require that you bring your own seats. Tickets start at $75 for a two-person pod. Info: zachtheatre.org.

WEEK 1 & 2: Legendary Ladies of the Grand Ole Opry  

Performances by Laura Benedict, Sidney Scott and Leslie McDonel

Week 1, March 18–21: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Week 2, March 25–28: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

WEEK 3 & 4: Down by the Riverside

Performances by Roderick Sanford, Janis Stinson, Judy R. Arnold and Tiffany Mann

Week 3, April 1–4: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Week 4, April 8–11: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

WEEK 5: Tameca Jones and Mary Bridget Davis in Concert

Performances by Tameca Jones and Mary Bridget Davis

April 15–18: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

WEEK 6 & 7: Disney Through the Decades

Performances by Kenny Williams, Roderick Sanford, Leslie McDonel, Zack Zaromatidis and Francene Bayola

Week 6, April 22–25: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Week 7, April 29–May 2: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

WEEK 8: Mariachi Melodias De Mexico

Performances by Mariachi Melodias De Mexico

May 6–9: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Michael Barnes writes about the people, places, culture and history of Austin and Texas. He can be reached at mbarnes@statesman.com.