Live Music: Songs Under the Stars at Austin’s ZACH Theatre

by Britni Rachal on April 14, 2021 in Entertainment, Music, Living Texas, Austin,

With an intriguing variety of musical performances, Austin’s innovative and award-winning ZACH Theatre is back in action

Now through May 9, Songs Under the Stars is back for a spring season. The socially distant series successfully premiered last fall, as a way for music fans to gather outside, while under strict regulations. The evening shows are a great way to end the day, watching the sun go down while enjoying a distanced performance.

The specially installed outdoor stage at ZACH Theatre in Austin, prepped here for the March Legendary Ladies of the Grand Ole Opry. Photo Suzanne Cordeiro

For this season, five concerts are being offered for eight weekends (running Thursdays through Sundays until May 9) outside of ZACH on the theatre’s now repurposed outdoor space —The People’s Plaza. With modified seating in pods that are distanced at least six feet apart, the area feels very spacious.

Precautions in Place

Taking great care with their safety protocols, ZACH requires masks when you are not at your pod — and the pod’s area is clearly marked with tape. Some of these personal quadrants include table seating; other pods are BYOC. (“Bring Your Own Chair.”) On all dates, each pod holds 2 – 6 people, including children.

Patrons and staff at Legendary Ladies of the Grand Ole Opry at ZACH Theatre in March. The same safety procedures are in place for the rest of the series, which continues weekends through May 9. Photo Suzanne Cordeiro

For anyone still nervous about a public gathering, ZACH’s detailed safety precautions should put your mind at ease – they even list how and who will open the bathroom door for concert goers needing to use a rest room during the 1-hour concerts. That is attention to detail!

Hurry and buy your tickets now, though. With patrons eager to experience a live theatre offering, and with increasing numbers of people vaccinated, dates are selling out. After my visit, I do recommend these shows.

A Sparkling Kickoff

The series got off to a memorable start in March with Legendary Ladies of the Grand Ole Opry. Lighting up the stage were Laura Benedict, Sidney Scott and Leslie McDonel. Clad in their sparkly attire, they belted out crowd favorites from Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.

The outdoor series kicked off at ZACH with a rousing weekend of the Legendary Ladies of the Grand Ole Opry. (L to R) Laura Benedict, Sidney Scott and Leslie McDonel. Photo Suzanne Cordeiro

The trio also provided plenty of laughs in between songs. At one point, they riffed on famous quotes from Dolly Parton—who apparently has said “Home is where I hang my hair.”

Tameca Jones

Starting tomorrow night (Thursday, April 15) the series continues with Tameca Jones in Concert. Known as Austin’s reigning Queen of Soul, Jones has showstopping vocals and will cover favorites from Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Tina Turner. (April 15-18)

Catch award-winning singer Tameca Jones at ZACH April 15-18. Photo courtesy Tameca Jones

Cinco de Mayo & Mother’s Day

Coming up is a weekend for the whole family, followed by a unique way to celebrate Mom.

April 29-May 2 celebrate the magic of Disney with hits from Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Moana, Coco, The Little Mermaid, and the Lion King in Disney Through the Decades. (That’s right – all your favorites are up, including “When you Wish Upon a Star”…”Under the Sea” and “Let it Go.”)

There’s a Cinco De Mayo-Mother’s Day weekend of celebration (May 6-9) with longtime A San Antonio favorite Mariachi Melodias.

In early April, the People’s Plaza at ZACH rocked to two weekends of Janis Stinson, Judy Arnold and Roderick Sanford raising the rafters in celebration of gospel music made famous by Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Shirley Caesar, Sam Cooke, and others. Photo Suzanne Cordeiro

Shows begin at 7:30pm Thursday – Sunday, with bonus matinee 2:30 p.m. shows on Saturdays and Sundays. All performances run approximately one hour with no intermission. Pods can fit groups of two, three, four or six people. Tickets start at $75 and must be purchased online.

Cover photo courtesy ZACH Theatre

Britni Rachal lives in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance journalist, full-time marketer, and a Realtor®. In addition to writing, Rachal enjoys traveling, event planning, fashion, fitness and serving the Austin community.