50th Anniversary Gala at NWFSC relives the ‘Swinging Sixties’

Special to The Log

Travel back in time when the national touring concert experience “This Is The 60s” hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville.

The event is part of the college’s year-long 50th Anniversary celebration. The college was established in 1963 and first opened its doors as Okaloosa-Walton Junior College in 1964.

The 1960s were, without question, the most exciting and innovative decade in the history of popular music. It’s the soundtrack that altered the lives of millions and had a dramatic effect on everything from hairstyles to human rights. More than just a musical performance, This Is The 60s is a total immersion into the pop culture of the 1960s, including TV commercials, retro dance numbers, vintage fashions, and rare historic newsreel footage ranging from Woodstock to the JFK assassination to recreate every aspect of the decade.

Billed as a baby boomer’s dream come true, This Is The 60s offers a flashback to the glory days of love beads, incense, peace signs, and some of the best music in rock history. To the younger audience, it’s the ultimate introduction to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll and an intimate look at the birth of the peace movement and other important activist causes that continue to resonate today.

Performed live with no pre-recorded samples, the two hour-plus concert experience features the skill and versatility of seven seasoned national performers with note-for-note recreations of the classic songs of Dion, Del Shannon, Cilla Black, The Yardbirds, The Kinks, The Beatles, The Monkees, The Turtles, The Mamas & The Papas, The Fifth Dimension, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, The Lemon Pipers, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Three Dog Night, Jefferson Airplane, The Rolling Stones and many more. 

The Oct. 12 event offers two ticket options:

• A $50 ticket that includes a 50th Anniversary Gala Reception from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Art Galleries prior to the show plus VIP reserved seating for the show

• Show-only tickets for $35 each 

Purchase the $50 Gala tickets by phone or in-person from the Box Office at 850-729-6000 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Advance “show only” tickets for $35 are available for purchase online at www.mattiekellyartscenter.org or by phone or in-person from the Box Office.

At-the-door show tickets will also be on sale for $35 from 6-7:30 p.m. the night of the show if available. There is a $5 per ticket discount for groups of 10 or more and a season package discount. Discounts are only available by phone or in-person from the Box Office.

From the early days of the space program, through the hysteria of Beatlemania, into the darkness of the Vietnam War, and the shining optimism of the Woodstock era, This Is The 60s merges that entire turbulent decade into a cohesive and enthralling stage production. The show covers the five essential periods of music in the ever-changing decade: The Early Years (1960-1963); The British Invasion (1964-1965); America Fights Back (1965-1967); Psychedelia (1967-1968) and Flower Power (1969-1970).

“It’s like spending a night at Shindig, the Avalon Ballroom, and a San Francisco love-in all rolled into one,” noted show producer Jim Duffy.

So whether you were a beatnik, a mod, a rocker, a hippie, or a yippie, don’t miss out on this opportunity to relive your glory days. For further information and video on the show, visit the Mattie Kelly Arts Center website at www.mattiekellyartscenter.org.