Cessnock Performing Arts Centre launched into 2020 with a night of stellar entertainment on Friday, when the venue came alive to the sounds of Bakoomba.
Combining reggae funk fusion with a healthy dose of Afrobeats and jazz, Bakoomba - a collective of nine talented musicians - lit up the stage and had the crowd on their feet with their hard-driving rhythms, slick horns and sassy female vocals covered in a layer of tasty percussion.
The audience was also treated to a preview of some of the amazing shows that make up the performing arts centre's 2020 season.
Among the 21 shows already announced is Hayes Theatre Co.'s production of H.M.S. Pinafore. Award-winning director Kate Gaul brings a re-imagined, gender-bending, hyper-theatrical and kinky take on this Gilbert & Sullivan classic to CPAC on March 7.
Jonathan Biggins' The Gospel According to Paul, which played to a full house and resounding reviews in 2019, will make a triumphant return on May 12, and perennial favourite Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow, showcasing the best and brightest in stand-up comedy, will appear on June 4.
The 2020 season also promises to deliver some fantastic theatre experiences for fledgling audiences, with The Gruffalo's Child and Dr Seuss's Cat in the Hat both playing two shows each during the Easter school holidays.
CPAC's curator of creative and performing arts Vicki Sienczuk said building strong and enduring relationships with patrons is an integral part of daily operations.
"CPAC prides itself on providing something for everyone, and each year we strive to provide live entertainment experiences for our audiences that embrace the eclectic scope of our industry. Our 2020 season is no exception," she said.
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said it was great to see so many attend the evening and show their support.
"A CPAC season launch is always a fantastic reminder of how lucky we are to have a world-class arts facility right here on our doorstep," he said.
Tickets for all 2020 season shows are now on sale at the CPAC box office, by phone on 4993 4266 or online at cessnockperformingartscentre.com.au.