Heard of Mobile native Nick Brownlee? You will before long if the description of Mobile Opera’s Scott Wright is accurate.

“Nick went to Theodore High School and did all the usual guy things like football, went to South and in college found out he could sing. He sang with the chorus of Mobile Opera and was hooked,” Wright wrote.

The 2012 University of South Alabama grad has won numerous prizes, including the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He made debuts with Atlanta Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, the Metropolitan Opera — and made his European debut at the Teatro de Sao Carlos as Escamillo in Bizet’s “Carmen.”

“The kid is on a rocket ride and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy,” Wright finished.

Now is your chance to see the Azalea City’s most meteoric young export. Brownlee will have a recital at USA’s Laidlaw Performing Arts Center on Friday, Aug. 25, 7:30 p.m., where he’ll perform works of Brahms, Ibert, Ives and Mozart, among others.

Tickets for this special event will be sold at the door only; no reserve tickets or advance seating available.

Admission is $15, $10 for USA faculty and staff, USA students, youth under 18 and senior citizens. Cash or check only.
For more information, call 251-460-7116, 251-460-6136 or go to southalabama.edu/music.

Musical orphans storm JJP stage
The Joe Jefferson Players thought their 70th season deserved a spectacular start. So they turned to a Broadway warhorse that enjoyed an initial six-year run and set a record for the Neil Simon Theatre.

On Aug. 25, “Annie” opens at JJP (11 S. Carlen St.), boasting a cast of 50 and a production filled with the memorable tunes — “Tomorrow” and “It’s A Hard Knock Life” — that pulled in Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score.

Inspired by Harold Gray’s popular early 20th century cartoon, the plot centers the auburn-haired 11-year-old titular character and her rascally orphanage pals as they search for love and comfort in a Depression-wracked world. When little Annie and her scruffy dog, Sandy, stumble across benevolent billionaire Oliver Warbucks, schemes and crossplots sprout to sink hooks into the philanthropist’s wealth and heart.

JJP will feature their popular Blue Carpet Opening Night soiree, starting at 6:30 p.m. A “meet and greet” with cast follows the performance.

The play runs Aug. 25 through Sept. 10. Friday and Saturday curtain is at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.
Tickets cost $20, $15 for military/seniors and $10 for students.

For more information, visit the Joe Jefferson Playhouse Facebook page, call 251-471-1534, email info@joejeffersonplayers.com or go to joejeffersonplayers.com.