- Cullman, Alabama

September 8, 2013

An evening with Hal Linden: Community Concert Series kicks off Thursday

Special to The Times

CULLMAN — The Details

Where:The Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre on the Wallace Stage Community College campus

When: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, at 7 p.m.

Admission: Season subscriptions for the five-concert season are $55 (adult), $35 (student/

children) and $140 (family).

Single tickets will be available

at the door for $20.

Information: Contact Kathy Scruggs at 256-339-4447, or


It starts with the face and voice of a cherished entertainer you know and probably love -- and organizers of the 2013-2014 Cullman Community Concert season think they’ve put together a season-long roster worthy of an introduction by one of television’s most memorable and talented entertainers.

That’s exactly what concertgoers will get when the new Community Concert season kicks off next week. Hal Linden, easily remembered for his seven-year portrayal of television’s Barney Miller -- a role which earned him exactly that many Emmy nominations -- has had a long post-television career in music, leading a phenomenal stage show in which he solos on the clarinet and engages the audience with a singing voice that’s as musical as it is endearing.

“It’s really almost unbelievable,” said Community Concert Association board president Kathy Scruggs. “We’ve had some notable entertainers who’ve drawn a lot of people in the past, and they’ve always surprised us with their versatility. You think of these great entertainers in terms that are familiar; they’ve played a role in TV or in movies that you identify with -- but then they come and sing; they perform in a way you may not have expected, and it just blows you away.

“But I guarantee you will be completely amazed by Hal Linden; his musicianship and just the way he represents what I think of as a consummate entertainer. He is the real deal -- we knew that as soon as we saw him perform, when we were narrowing down the artists for the season opener -- and we are absolutely thrilled that we were able to invite him as the opening act for a pretty remarkable season.”

Linden will perform Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Betty Leeth Haynes Theater on the campus of Wallace State Community College. He plays the clarinet, sings, and reminisces over Broadway and American standards in front of a seven-piece touring band, traversing a musical milieu he knows well from his stint on Broadway, which includes a Tony-winning turn in The Rothschilds, for which he earned a Best Actor award in 1971.

But Americana represents just one facet of a diverse lineup for a concert season that encompasses Bluegrass, rock, opera, classical, ballet, and even a bit of homegrown talent.

“I mean, we’ve got Hal coming next week, and then I really don’t know where to start in terms of picking out the highlights from this upcoming season,” said Scruggs.

“We have something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, which is the Cullman Community Band on December 16. The talent we have right here in Cullman; the appreciation for honing a craft and perfecting musical performance for its own sake, that’s something that I think will really open people’s eyes -- the fact there’s such an incredible level of talent and devotion to music right here where we live. That’s a big highlight for me.

“But we also have just about as strong a lineup of invited performers as I think we’ve ever had, for as long as I’ve been associated with [the Community Concert Association]. I can’t stress enough how significant the final performance of this season is, when a very generous local gift from the Cullman Ballet Society will make possible a ballet production that’s about as elaborate as anything that’s come through here, so far as I know.”

That production will bring the New York Theatre Ballet to Cullman on Sunday, April 6, in a special Sunday matinee performance that will flood the stage with motion and sound.

“Of course we want people to get a season subscription and enjoy every type of music that we’ve worked so hard to bring to this area, but if you’re someone who likes to pick and choose which performance you want to see, I recommend getting ballet tickets early, because I expect the demand for this show, in particular, to be through the roof, which I totally understand,” said Scruggs.

For more information on the Cullman Community Concert Association’s 2013-2014 season, including information on concerts, dates, season subscriptions and single-concert ticket pricing, visit Students with a valid ID can obtain tickets for half price at the door, and for $20 below the regular $55 adult price for the season. Unless sold out, tickets can be purchased on-site at the time of each concert. Credit and debit cards are accepted.