Mequon – It was a brisk Friday afternoon a few weeks before Christmas, but Mequon Superintendent Demond Means wasn’t listening to carols. Instead, the catchy lyrics of Daryl Hall and John Oates played prominently in the background when he answered the phone.“I’m getting in the spirit for what I know will be something pretty exciting for the community,” said Means, who described himself as a “big fan” of the dynamic duo.
Oates will be among the first to take the stage in the recently refurbished James Barr Performing Arts Center at Homestead High School in a formal kickoff of the new theater on Thursday, Feb. 23.
The idea to join efforts with Gathering on the Green was sparked by a conversation between Means and the organization’s executive director, Rob Kos, several months ago.
“The new space is incredible, and we really hope to partner with the school district on similar events in the future,” said Kos. “At 1,050 seats, the facility is able to accommodate a variety of productions in a larger, yet still intimate space.”
The show in February is an ideal fit for the updated space, Kos said, since it will be something more than a concert.
“It’s going to be a very unique experience because he’s going to do a lot of storytelling in addition to playing music,” said Kos. “So people will get to hear the stories behind the songs, which we are really excited about.”
Since the formation of Oates’ partnership with Hall in the early 1970s, the group has recorded 21 albums that have sold more than 80 million copies, according to a press release, making them the most successful duo in rock history.
They have had 10 No. 1 records and 29 Top 40 hits, including “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” “Kiss on My List” and “Maneater.”
In addition to receiving numerous American Music and MTV awards, in 2005 they were inducted into the American Songwriters Hall of Fame and in May 2008 were presented with the BMI Icon Award for their outstanding career achievement in songwriting. In 2014, the duo was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Since 1999, Oates has recorded five solo albums.
“We’re very excited to not only partner with Gathering on the Green, but to provide access to the renovated space to the community,” said Means, who agreed this will likely be the start of a consistent partnership with the organization.
The renovations that were done to the auditorium at Homestead were conducted using some of the money from the district’s $18.2 million facilities referendum that passed in April 2015. Now renamed the James Barr Performing Arts Center, it was used for the first time in early November for the annual student-produced AFS Variety Show.
In a presentation by Gathering on the Green, doors for the concert will open at 6 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the event went on sale Dec. 1. Reserved seats are $99 and general admission is $25. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call 262-242-6187 or visit www.gatheringonthegreen.org.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Gathering on the Green Presents John Oates: An Evening of Music and Conversation
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23
WHERE: James Barr Performing Arts Center at Homestead High School, 5000 W. Mequon Road
TICKETS: Reserved - $99, General admission - $35
CONTACT: www.gatheringonthegreen.org, 262-242-6187