Guild Hall's Summer of Sound on Sale

Some tickets will go fast
Guitar Masters returns this summer to Guild Hall with Buddy Guy, above, who is still on tour at age 82. Roseanne Cash and the Allman Betts Band, a group formed by children of members of the Allman Brothers Band, will fill out the weekend that begins July 5.

Last year was the summer of stories, but this year Guild Hall has dubbed its high season of programs “the summer of sound.” Tickets go on sale Wednesday for the venue’s full schedule of concerts, plays, dance performances, comedy, talks, and more. 

“We have a really adventurous and dynamic season in regard to music this year,” Josh Gladstone, the theater’s artistic director, said last Thursday. At the same time, the preferences and interests of various communities on the South Fork are being addressed, “aiming for gratitude and giving back. There’s really something for everybody.”

Although many of the performances will be highlighted or examined in more detail closer to their dates, some of these tickets will be so hot they will disappear before eager fans can get to them. Here is a brief sampling. The whole schedule, with tickets, prices, dates, and times, is available on Guild Hall’s website.

This season’s lineup includes the band Dawes, Buddy Guy, David Sedaris, Roseanne Cash, a play reading starring Alec Baldwin, Chris Bauer, and Rob Morrow, the Kronos Quartet, two shows composed and performed by Philip Glass, and the Allman Betts Band.

Three of those concerts are part of the Guitar Masters series, which returns this year over the weekend after July 4. On July 5, Buddy Guy, “the last great blues artist of the 20th century era, who is now 82 years old,” will perform with a “monstrous band,” Mr. Gladstone said. “It’s going to be a big one.”

On Saturday of that weekend, the Allman Betts Band, featuring the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, will play with a lineup that includes Devon Allman, Duane Betts, Berry Oakley Jr., Johnny Stachela, R. Scott Bryan, and John Lum. Concluding the weekend will be Roseanne Cash and Band with a show titled “She Remembers Everything,” a collection of songs “that reckon with a flawed and fragile world.”

On July 25, Dawes, a California-based folk rock band, will be part of G.E. Smith’s Portraits series. “We’re already getting calls on that,” Mr. Gladstone said. He added that the interest so far is on par with the Avett Brothers concert, one of the most sought-after tickets last summer. Other artists in the series are Loudon Wainwright III and John Wesley Harding on June 28, and Amy Helm, Levon Helm’s daughter, with Tommy Emmanuel on Aug. 13.

Another perennially hot ticket is David Sedaris, who will return for an evening of readings from his essays of piercing social critique on Aug. 2.

Eugene Pack’s “Stan the Man” will be given a staged reading by Alec Baldwin, Chris Bauer, and Rob Morrow on two nights, July 11 and 12. The fast-paced comedy about three hard-driving guys at a leadership conference is not unlike a David Mamet play in its pacing, according to Mr. Gladstone, who will direct the reading, “but funnier, with a lot of comedic one-upmanship between the three guys.”

Philip Glass will bring his “Works for Piano” to the theater on Aug. 17 and 18. Although each night will offer different programs, each will include recent compositions and new arrangements of classic Glass works. The concerts will feature two guest pianists, Anton Batagov and Jenny Lin.

As with Yo La Tengo last year, Sam Green will offer “A Thousand Thoughts,” a “live documentary” of the Kronos Quartet, screening archival footage and recorded interviews along with live narration (by Mr. Green) and live accompaniment by the subjects. The June 21 show features interviews with Mr. Glass, Steve Reich, Tanya Tagaq, and Wu Man. 

“This is our big June show,” Mr. Gladstone said. “It was on a lot of critics’ top-10 picks for 2018,” and a coup to get again this year. “I know those who came last year got a kick out of Sam Green and his ironic delivery.” Kronos is a string quartet based in San Francisco that plays mainly contemporary, classical-style music. The event is “a rare meteor passing through our orbit,” Mr. Gladstone said without apparent irony.

But of course there’s a bunch more. An evening of flamenco fusion music and dance will open Memorial Day weekend on May 24. Members of the New York Philharmonic will return for a concert on July 13. The New York City Ballet comes back for an evening of highlights from their repertory. The Hamptons Dance Project will bring American Ballet Theater dancers out for five days of residency and two nights of performances. Questlove is back on July 28 and Aug. 4, with an unconfirmed wish list of interview subjects that are wildly rumored to include Bill Murray and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Also on the schedule are salutes to Sondheim, Barbra, and Django, with further concerts of doo-wop, Cuban boleros, Indian classical and folk music, and, yes, even Danish klezmer.

Among the guest rentals to watch for are a benefit concert being organized by Planned Parenthood with a still-unannounced headliner, and a benefit for celiac disease that will feature Colin Jost from “Saturday Night Live” and music by the Wallflowers.

And this is just scratching the surface.

The Allman Betts BandTour Manager 101
The Kronos Quartet and Sam Green during a performance of "A Thousand Thoughts," their live documentary about the bandWaleed Shah