At 25, Ross Ragland Theater Remains Community’s Cultural Epicenter

n By Jim Chadderdon and Mark McCrary

T

he heart and soul of a community is its cultural fiber. And if you ask nearly anyone in Klamath Falls about culture, the Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center will be enthusiastically mentioned. 

Founded in 1940 as the Esquire, this Art Deco styled theater today entertains, serves, educates, and inspires more than 100,000 people annually. In 1990, it underwent a facelift and on the back side of that became the Ross Ragland Theater.

Now celebrating 25 years since its re-launch, the Ross Ragland Theater presents major country, classic rock, jazz, and a whole lot more in its main stage performances. 

With its 750-seat auditorium, the Ross Ragland begins its 25th season with the award-winning country band, Lonestar®, Sept. 27.  Lonestar’s song “Amazed” spent 30 weeks climbing the charts to No. 1. After 10 more No. 1 hits, Lonestar® earned many awards including single of the year, song of the year, and CMA vocal group of the year. 

Young audiences will be thrilled to celebrate those wacky vegetables - Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber - when VeggieTales® celebrates a birthday Oct. 5. VeggieTales® will be 20 years old this season. For a night of silliness, fun, and memories you won’t want to miss VeggieTales®. 

Iconic musical group Three Dog Night® is one of rock’s most successful bands. They take the stage Oct. 10. They continue to be a fan favorite on radio stations everywhere and their concert will feature many of their Top 10 hits such as “Joy to the World,” “One,” and “Mama Told Me Not to Come.” They have sold more than 50 million albums and CDs and had 21 consecutive Top 40 hits. 

Audiences will be be-bopping and want to hip-hop when Diane Lines’ Jump! takes the stage Oct. 19. Diane Lines has a long list of accolades including graduating from Banff School of Fine Arts and performing with pop phenom Michael Bublé. Performing high energy boogie-woogie, swing, and jump blues, her show has played on six continents and she has performed with a variety of top talent.

Everything Fitz® will raise the roof of the Ragland with its musical roots in old-time fiddle music and step-dancing. This band of six family members bridges Celtic, gospel, bluegrass, and jazz musical styles and mixes in a bit of Irish jigs and reels. The rafters begin shaking Oct. 26. Fans call it inspirational.

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks® have been called a “national treasure” by the San Francisco Chronicle.  They will perform their self-named style of “Folk Jazz” music Nov. 7. Dan’s onstage wit has kept fans entertained for years, while the group’s blend of swing, jazz, folk and country music creates an irresistible sense of rhythm.  

Two countries merge when the California Guitar Trio and the Montreal Guitar Trio come together on tour Nov. 22. This group of six guitarists performs everything from classical guitar to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in six parts. You’ll enjoy this blending of steel and nylon strings. 

The fall season wraps up with three holiday classics: Nov. 30: The Eugene Ballet’s The Nutcracker®, Dec. 7: The Esquire Jazz Orchestra’s Christmas Swings, Dec. 12-15: Community Musical: It’s a Wonderful Life!